50 Notable NFL Players Who Could Be Cut Before the Regular Season

Scott Carasik@ScottCarasikContributor IIJune 27, 2012

50 Notable NFL Players Who Could Be Cut Before the Regular Season

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    The NFL training camps start next month, and there are going to be quite a few notable players cut before the season. These players are notable not just because of their current status in the NFL, but because of initial draft status as well and the "what could have been" factor.

    The NFL head coaches will have many tough decisions this year with every single one of these players, and there could be some cuts that no one expects. The players who will be replacing these will be promising young stars and recent draft picks who have turned these guys into players on the roster bubble (h/t Ryan Riddle).

Arizona Cardinals Linebacker Clark Haggans

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    The Cardinals have an interesting predicament at outside linebacker. They have multiple guys competing for just two spots. Of them, veteran Clark Haggans is trying to show that he is more than just a shell of his former self. The 35-year-old is entering his 13th NFL season and fifth with the Cardinals.

    He has been having somewhat of a career resurgence in Arizona, as he has 13 sacks over the past three years in more of an edge-setting role. That's about to change with O'Brien Schofield finally healthy and able to pick up the scheme. Haggans now heads to the backup grouping and is competing for his job with the Cardinals in 2012.

Arizona Cardinals Linebacker Quentin Groves

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    Quentin Groves, much like Clark Haggans previously, is competing for his job as well this year. The former Jaguar and Raider has been one of the most disappointing draft picks for any team in the NFL. He was selected in the second round of the 2008 draft and has since posted a career 2.5 sacks.

    The Cardinals are hoping to squeeze something out of this lemon, but could end up with more production from street free agent and Groves' former Auburn teammate, Antonio Coleman. Should Coleman or former fourth-round pick of the Cowboys Brandon Williams end up with the final roster spot at outside linebacker, Groves is likely out of the NFL.

Atlanta Falcons Offensive Tackle Sam Baker

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    Sam Baker has been a god awful pass-blocker since he was drafted for the Falcons. Despite the coaching staff's praise of him to the papers, it's all just coach speak and fluff at this point. Baker was the third worst pass-blocker in the NFL in 2011, according to Pro Football Focus's Pass Blocking Efficiency stat rating at 90.9.

    For comparison, the league median in pass blocking efficiency is in the 94.3 to 94.5 range. Will Svitek rated above the median average at 94.9 and looks like the guy who should be starting initially. They also took a promising left tackle prospect in Lamar Holmes in the third round, and Holmes compares favorably to Andrew Whitworth of the Bengals.

Atlanta Falcons Offensive Guard Vince Manuwai

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    When the Falcons brought in Vince Manuwai, analysts thought he was brought in to start for the Falcons at right guard. Since the drafting of interior lineman Peter Konz and the realization that Mike Johnson is still the same guy who was a third-round pick, Manuwai's job looks in jeopardy when looking at the Falcons interior line situation.

    The Falcons haven't carried more than nine offensive linemen on the roster in any given year under Mike Smith. They don't look to start a new trend now, and normally, the four backups they select are versatile to play multiple spots: a swing tackle, a guard/center, a swing guard and a guard/tackle. Manuwai could be on the outside looking in if the swing guard spot is taken by Mike Johnson.

Baltimore Ravens Wide Receiver and Return Specialist Jacoby Jones

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    Jacoby Jones was brought into the Ravens to come in and compete for the slot wide receiver role as well as the starting return specialist role. He will have some stiff competition, though, in David Reed for the returner role. He will also have to compete with Tommy Streeter and Tandon Doss for the slot receiver role.

    History looks to be on Jones' side this year because of his top punt-returning abilities, but without a good showing at wide receiver, the Ravens could cut him. They are one of the few teams that want their special teams players to be just as good at their normal position in order for them to stay with the team.

Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Sergio Kindle

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    Sergio Kindle was a promising prospect in 2010 and was drafted in the second round. Since then, he has been a mixed bag of issues and injuries. He fell down the stairs shortly after being drafted and suffered a head injury that has left him completely changed (h/t USA Today's Nate Davis).

    In his two years for the Ravens, he has competed in a total of two games. Unfortunately for Kindle, he will be having to compete with Chavis Williams and Albert McClellan for his job. A job that he could very possibly lose if he doesn't step up and take it.

Buffalo Bills Defensive Tackle Dwan Edwards

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    Dwan Edwards is one of the best backup defensive tackles out there. However, he could still be out of a job come September should Alex Carrington and Torell Troup step up. Edwards makes too much money to be a fifth-best defensive tackle on an NFL roster.

    Combine that with the third-down looks that could include Mario Williams or another defensive end sliding inside to create more pass-rush, and the writing is one the wall for Edwards. The Bills should end up on top whether they keep him or cut him, though, as their defensive line is one of the best in the NFL.

Carolina Panthers Offensive Tackle Jeff Otah

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    The Panthers are looking to be on their last straw with Otah and his lackadaisical attitude. According to ProFootballWeekly's Dan Parr,

    Head coach Ron Rivera has made Otah no guarantees as far as a starting job, though, while praising the performance of Byron Bell, who started 12 games at right tackle while Otah was out last season.

    And should Otah not earn the starting job, there is a high likelihood he could be cut to save cap space. The Panthers did select Lee Ziemba in last year's draft, and Ziemba works better as a swing tackle than Otah does. Otah needs to get his head and his knee right or he will be sitting on the curb come September.

Carolina Panthers Linebacker Thomas Davis

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    Thomas Davis is an emotional leader and top player for the Panthers when he is on the field. The problem is that he has only played nine games total over the past three years and had his third ACL injury. While it would be nice for him to come back, he could be best as a coach at this point in his life.

    The Panthers did also draft Luke Kuechly with a first-round pick, and the former Boston College Eagle should be starting at either the weak-side or Middle linebacker spot with Pro Bowl-caliber Jon Beason taking the other. Davis could stay on, but it makes more sense to reach an injury settlement with him.

Chicago Bears Wide Receiver and Return Specialist Johnny Knox

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    Johnny Knox has been an incredible asset for the Bears over his three-year career. However, he could be beat out by the talent that is able to overwhelm him this year. The Bears have six wide receivers who could prove to be better than him and worth the roster spot.

    If Knox is cut, a big part of it will be a December injury that he sustained to his vertebrae. If he does somehow sticks with the team, it's because they can put him on injured reserve for missing the entire season due to the injury (h/t Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun Times).

Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Jamaal Anderson

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    Jamaal Anderson is a purely run stuffing defensive end. He was selected seventh overall in the 2008 draft and has been one of the biggest busts in draft history with his lack of pass-rushing ability in the NFL. However, he was selected when Zimmer was on the Falcons staff, and he gets reunited with the man who taught him as a rookie. 

    This won't be enough for a career resurgence, though, as Anderson still only has a career high in sacks of 3.0. He could possibly make the Bengals, but it makes more sense to stick with Derrick Harvey because Harvey has at least a career high of 3.5 sacks.

Cincinnati Bengals Linebacker Vontaze Burfict

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    Vontaze Burfict has a couple of problems in trying to earn a roster spot. The first is, his attitude needs to show a complete change from what it was in college; otherwise, even the Bengals are wasting their time with him. By trying to give Burfict a shot, the Bengals have a great risk/reward possibility here. That being said, Burfict has a lot of competition.

    He will be competing with 2010 fourth-round pick Roddrick Muckelroy and will be facing an uphill battle against a top-notch backup. He could still end up with a job, but it looks like the Bengals would have to slide Muckelroy to another slot, or Burfict will have to make a position change to the outside himself.

Cleveland Browns Linebacker Scott Fujita

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    With all the insanity that has been going on with the Saints bounty scandal, Scott Fujita has been one of the primary targets. Fujita received a three-game suspension as part of the investigation (h/t ESPN's Jamison Hensley), and there is question as to whether he should be a leader of the Browns defense going forward.

    The Browns have a pair of young talents at weak-side linebacker in Kaluka Maiava and Emmanuel Acho. Both players are naturally suited to the 4-3 that the team has been transitioning to and should be able to come in and compete with Fujita regardless of his suspension.

Dallas Cowboys Defensive End Marcus Spears

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    Marcus Spears is in one of the most interesting scenarios right now in football. He currently is entering his eighth year in the NFL and is just now turning 29 years old. He can play both a 4-3 defensive tackle and 3-4 defensive end and has been an asset for the Cowboys for seven years now.

    All that being said, he has to compete with the highly athletic Clifton Geathers, third-round pick Tyrone Crawford and 2010 seventh-round pick Sean Lissemore for a roster spot. He could very well be unseated by Geathers and Crawford, who seem to have the added athleticism that Rob Ryan likes in his defensive linemen.

Denver Broncos Running Back Knowshon Moreno

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    Knowshon Moreno was a promising back from the University of Georgia. However, his career hasn't been as promising with just a 4.1 career yards-per-carry average and seeing a reduction in carries every year. Moreno also faces the prospect of being beat out by a new draft pick in Ronnie Hillman.

    Should Hillman win the starting job from Moreno and Willis McGahee, those two will have to battle for the primary backup job. At this point, Knowshon isn't showing to be worth his contract, and the 24-year-old could be cut. A change of scenery would do him well, though, as he is in a similar situation to what Marshawn Lynch faced in 2010 with the Bills.

Denver Broncos Linebacker Wesley Woodyard

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    Wesley Woodyard has been a solid backup for the Broncos for a few years now, but should be looking over his shoulder. He could be cut if he doesn't beat out 2012 sixth-round pick Danny Trevathan from the Kentucky Wildcats. 

    Trevathan is already impressing coaches and could end up being the starter initially while D.J. Williams is out. Another name to watch out for is 2011 third-round pick Nate Irving. The NC State product is developing nicely as a linebacker in the NFL and could provide to be a better strong-side linebacker than Von Miller, who should wind up on the weak side eventually.

Detroit Lions Running Back Kevin Smith

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    Kevin Smith was the workhorse for the Lions his rookie and sophomore years in the NFL, carrying the ball over 200 times in each season. However, the past two years, he has been a reserve for the Lions and competing for playing time with Jahvid Best.

    Mikel Leshoure is finally healthy, and it begs the question in Detroit as to whether Kevin Smith is better than Keiland Williams or even Joique Bell for the offense the Lions run. He could contribute to a team that is looking for more of that workhorse back, but if Smith loses his job this year, he could be out of the NFL for more than just a couple of games.

Detroit Lions Defensive End Everette Brown

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    It's amazing how terrible the Panthers have been at the draft recently. They trade away multiple picks in future drafts to take a guy who isn't worth the current pick they trade for in the first place. Everette Brown fits that scenario, and he is currently playing for the Lions.

    While he should benefit from being in another wide-9 alignment like what the Seminoles played when he was in college, he shouldn't be able to beat out Lawrence Jackson or Ronnell Lewis for a roster spot. Brown will do best when he gets cut again to join a team that runs a wide-9 like Detroit or Philly in Tennessee.

Green Bay Packers Offensive Guard Evan Dietrich-Smith

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    Evan Dietrich-Smith is best known for getting stomped on by Ndamukong Suh instead of his actual talent on the field. In just three starts over the past three years, he has played enough to show that he shouldn't be on the field as a backup, let alone actually playing as a starter. 

    In less snaps than anyone not named Derek Sherrod on the line, he had the worst offensive lineman rating outside of Marshall Newhouse. To be fair to Newhouse, he has no business playing offensive tackle and is best suited for a guard position himself, and with the addition of Datko and Sherrod able to take over his spot, Newhouse should be able to backup the guard spots once again.

Green Bay Packers Linebacker Eric Walden

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    How Erik Walden won the starting strong outside linebacker spot in the Capers defense is completely mind-boggling. He's a journeyman reserve defensive end for most of his career and doesn't have any business starting the NFL. To compound on that, Frank Zombo and Brad Jones should be competing with him for a spot as a reserve linebacker.

    At this point, it would make sense to say that Zombo and Jones deserve the spot as rotational rushers just as much as he does. Walden proved that he has no business rushing the passer, though, and in 16 games, racked up just 3.0 sacks. 

Houston Texans Quarterback John Beck

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    John Beck is a pathetic excuse for a quarterback in the NFL. He has no business being in the league at this point in his career and is at his best when he can sit on the bench and make sure the starting QB and the backup have enough Gatorade in their hands.

    How he even is in a training camp is a disconcerting situation, and Houston is having him battle with local product Case Keenum for the third-string quarterback role. Beck being drafted in the second round was a big mistake for the Dolphins, and his two interceptions for every touchdown he throws isn't worth the risk of even having him on the roster.

Houston Texans Running Back Justin Forsett

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    Unlike Beck from the previous slide, Justin Forsett actually does belong in the NFL. However, unlike Beck, Forsett will lose his job due the performance of an excellent young rookie named Davin Meggett. Meggett is very reminiscent of Arian Foster when he first came into the league and is an ideal fit for Kubiak's running scheme.

    Forsett has been solid in his career, but he won't be able to hold off the surging Meggett in training camp. An opportunity should arise for the former Cal Golden Bear eventually this season, and he could possibly even end up in Minnesota when all is said and done.

Indianapolis Colts Running Back Mewelde Moore

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    The Colts have one of the worst teams in the league right now. They just underwent a huge veteran purge and will be re-building for another two to three years at a minimum. On the bright side, they have some talent that should shine through. A large bit of talent on the team is at the running back position.

    Donald Brown and Delone Carter are looking to be set as the top two backs for the Colts. Mewelde Moore has to fight Vick Ballard for a spot as a guy who can be a workhorse if one of the other two go down. Ballard should be able to earn the spot as the Colts build for the future.

Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver Brian Robiskie

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    The Jaguars have one of the deeper wide receiver corps in the NFL after completely revamping it with a first round pick in Justin Blackmon, a top-notch free agent in Laurent Robinson and a solid pair of slot men in Mike Thomas and Lee Evans. 

    Because of that, Brian Robiskie is fighting for his NFL life with Chastin West and Cecil Shorts. It's to be seen if he can live up to the potential that led him to be a high second-round pick in the 2009 draft. But as of now, Robiskie is looking like the ultimate draft bust.

Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver Chastin West

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    Last season, the Jaguars wide receivers were so bad that Chastin West was starting. Dunta Robinson of the Falcons puts the sentiments most have towards West into perspective in this quote that ESPN Florida's Charlie Bernstein recorded (h/t Jordan Heck from Big Cat Country):

    Those guys couldn’t get a f***ing WR if it hit them in the head. They haven’t had anyone decent since Jimmy Smith. They had Matt Jones? Now, Chastin West? Those guys are f***ing jokes.

    And it's hard to not agree with Robinson there. West had 13 catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, those numbers were in an entire season, so they look terrible unlike if they had been in a single game. West doesn't belong on an NFL roster and should lose out to Cecil Shorts for his roster spot.

Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Guard Ryan Lilja

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    Jeff Allen was taken in the second round of the NFL draft back in April, and it's looking more and more like he is going to be the starting left guard for the Kansas City Chiefs. Ryan Lilja manned that spot in 2011 and was average there.

    However, with Eric Winston coming to shore up the right tackle position, it's the right time to make a long term change at left guard as well. By bringing in Allen and Winston to combine with an already solid Albert, Hudson and Asamoah, the Chiefs line will be better this year and will also leave Lilja without a job, as he is making too much to be a backup.

Kansas City Chiefs Safety Abram Elam

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    Abram Elam was brought in during free agency to compete for a backup safety spot with about 10 guys. The problem is that Elam is a bad safety in the NFL. He has earned contracts based on his ability to latch onto wherever Rob Ryan is at the time.

    Now that Rob Ryan has let him leave from his defense in Dallas, it's only a matter of time before Kansas City realizes that he is absolutely useless in coverage, and he loses his job to one of the competing rookies on the Chiefs. In Dallas, he was protected by the scheme and still allowed a passer rating of 102.2.

Miami Dolphins Running Back Steve Slaton

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    Steve Slaton has been fighting to keep a job in the NFL ever since Houston released him last September for his fumbling issues. Miami just spent a fourth-round pick on Lamar Miller and is expecting him to come in and provide impact.

    With Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas already taking two running back spots, that leaves one for Slaton and Miller to fight over. Slaton likely will get cut this offseason and find a role on a team where he is a special teams player and carries a ball every now and again.

Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Michael Jenkins

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    Michael Jenkins is a perfectly capable wide receiver in the NFL, but the Vikings have a lot of competition at wide receiver, and he is the one that will be on the short leash. The Vikings have seven guys competing for just four spots behind Percy Harvin, and Jenkins could easily lose out to at least five of them.

    2012 draft picks Greg Childs and Jairus Wright from Arkansas have more potential to be great than Jenkins at this point in their careers and should be able to win two of the four spots. Jerome Simpson and Devin Aromashodu look like the next two in line, and then it's Jenkins and last year's seventh-round pick Stephen Burton in the third tier.

Minnesota Vikings Cornerback Zack Bowman

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    A surprising pick here, as the Minnesota defensive backs were awful last year, but right now, Bowman has an uphill climb to stay on the roster. He will have to beat out Brandon Burton, and this year's third-round pick, Josh Robinson, if he wants any semblance of playing time.

    That being said, Bowman could still contribute to an NFL team as a nickel-caliber corner and special teams player. It wouldn't shock to see him wind up on someone's roster in 2012, but Bowman doesn't look like he will be playing for Minnesota.

New England Patriots Defensive End Jermaine Cunningham

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    With the additions of Trevor Scott, Chandler Jones and Jake Bequette, it's almost a given that Jermaine Cunningham will be out of a job. That's honestly a shame, as he was looking very talented as a 3-4 outside linebacker under Belichick in 2010 with 34 tackles and a sack in just 11 games started. 

    Cunningham could have a resurgence under a new coordinator this year for the Patriots, but all signs are pointing to him losing his job to Jones, Scott and Bequette. If the Patriots do decide to change their formations completely to a 4-3 as opposed to a 3-4, then Cunningham stands a better shot of making the roster.

New England Patriots Defensive Tackle Ron Brace

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    If there is one spot that the Patriots are just loaded at, it is the defensive tackle and 3-4 defensive end spot. This year's group is no different, except that Ron Brace is looking up at a competition that features Myron Pryor, Gerard Warren and Marcus Forston for two of the four defensive tackle roster spots.

    Brace is best on base packages. The Patriots used their base package less than their nickel in 2011 and is continuing the trend in 2012. However, this doesn't mean great things for the 25-year-old and could spell for his demise with the Patriots.

New Orleans Saints Linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Bounty Hunter

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    Bounty Hunter. It's a better movie title than it is a personal title. Vilma has brought this entire mess upon himself and deserves the one-year suspension that he received from Roger Goodell. As Michael Vick says (h/t NFL.com's Jeff Darlington),

    This man is the real deal. He don't play. If he asks you a question, answer with honesty. Tell him the truth. If you get into some trouble, be honest, truthful, forthright. Don't play with this man. He'll love you to death, but the minute you cross him, he'll be all the way turned up.

    Vilma more than deserves his suspension. And looking into the situation the Saints have at linebacker with Curtis Lofton taking over in the middle, Vilma should also be cut and a new era on the Saints defense needs to begin. 

New York Giants Defensive Tackle Shaun Rogers

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    The New York Football Giants are Super Bowl champions once again, but they have brought in someone who doesn't reflect the championship attitude they are trying to keep. His name is Shaun Rogers. He's bounced around a few teams in the past and is at a point in his career where he needs to just call it quits.

    Rogers is going to have to compete and beat Rocky Bernard and Markus Kuhn out in the preseason. Kuhn looks to have the best skill-set for the job with his good lateral quickness and big, but not gigantic frame at 6'5", 299 lbs., and Bernard is the incumbent of the backup role. Rogers faces a tough battle just to make this year's roster.

New York Jets Safety Eric Smith

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    Eric Smith has been on scholarship in New York for some time, and it makes no sense as to why. He is the absolute worst defended on an otherwise solid New York Jets team, and the worst aspect of his game is pass coverage. 

    Smith has no reason being in the NFL as a starting safety and should be relegated to the deep bowels of the bench if he even makes a team. The Jets brought in LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell in free agency and drafted Antonio Allen and Josh Bush to be the new safety corps. Smith shouldn't be able to beat any of these players out, and if he somehow does, then the Jets need to check their player evaluators again.

Oakland Raiders Fullback Owen Schmitt

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    Owen Schmitt is a very good fullback in the NFL. However, how much sense does it make to carry multiple fullbacks in today's NFL? It doesn't really, since the fullbacks have essentially turned into glorified H-backs and are expected to act as both runners and receivers in addition to their blocking duties.

    While Schmitt is an excellent blocker, he isn't going to take a spot from Marcel Reece, nor is Marcel Reece going to switch to the tight end position. If Schmitt is cut, he will find a home somewhere as a fullback in a scheme that calls on the fullback to block primarily.

Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Trent Edwards

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    Trent Edwards once started for the Bills. Now he is fighting for a job on an NFL roster. He is likely going to get cut, as he is the fourth-best quarterback on a team that will only carry three. He also is worse now than he was when he was failing for the Bills.

    Mike Kafka should win the backup quarterback role, and the Eagles didn't spend a third-round pick on Nick Foles just to have him get cut. Expect Edwards to wind up on another team's backup list, but he has no logical reason to be on the Eagles in 2012.

Philadelphia Eagles Defensive End Darryl Tapp

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    Darryl Tapp is a good pass-rusher, but the Eagles have multiple guys to compete with him. They drafted Vinny Curry out of Marshall in the second round, and he will be the primary competition for Tapp. That being said, a team doesn't take someone in the second round to cut them.

    They also don't let a first-round pick like Brandon Graham just fail completely without trying to give him every shot imaginable. So expect the Eagles to let Tapp go, as the contract he is signed to is too much for someone on the third string to be making.

Pittsburgh Steelers Safety Myron Rolle

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    Unfortunately, the only reason Myron Rolle is even notable is due to his status of snubbing the entire NFL for a year to be a Rhodes Scholar. In the long run, he made the perfectly right decision to do so, but has missed out on an NFL career due to not playing football for a year.

    Rolle will have to beat out Will Allen or Ryan Mundy for a spot on the team, and it's not looking like that will happen. His best bet is to either play in Canada or stop pursuing a football career and finish up his Oxford education in medicine.

San Diego Chargers Wide Receiver and Return Specialist Roscoe Parrish

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    Roscoe Parrish signed a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the Chargers after he left the Bills this offseason. In doing so, he guaranteed that he will have to fight for his job both as a punt and kick returner and as a wide receiver. 

    As a wide receiver, Parrish is pretty terrible and doesn't really belong on the field. At one time, he was a top-notch return specialist, but he isn't looking like he should be able to beat out Michael Spurlock or Eddie Royal for the top returner role.

San Diego Chargers Tight End Randy McMichael

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    Randy McMichael is the oldest tight end on San Diego's roster. A roster that has a plethora of talent at the tight end position when taking into account the recent draft pick of Ladarius Green, the all-timer Antonio Gates and solid reserve Dante Rosario. 

    McMichael had a solid year as a second tight end in the offense in 2011 with 30 catches for 271 yards, but Ladarius Green will provide a better pass-catching option early on. The 6'6", 238-pound Green needs time to grow into his frame, but with his blistering speed, will relegate McMichael to the waiver wire.

San Francisco 49ers Wide Receiver Kyle Williams

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    Kyle Williams dropped two punts in the NFC Championship game that led to the Giants heading to the Super Bowl over the 49ers. Since then, he has been a relative goat in the eyes of the 49ers and needs a fresh start. The 49ers look like they are going to give it to him.

    They have drafted a receiver in the first round in A.J. Jenkins, re-signed Teddy Ginn, Jr. to be kick and punt returner again and signed the legendary Randy Moss and Super Bowl star Mario Manningham. Williams will enjoy playing elsewhere in 2012 and should be able to help a team like Miami at both wide receiver and returner.

San Francisco 49ers Cornerback Perrish Cox

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    Parrish Cox is a man with a fair share of personal problems. However, he is still a solid NFL player, and should those personal problems be behind him, he can contribute to an NFL team. The issue here is whether those are behind him or not. 

    Cox could very easily be suspended if his civil case becomes a criminal one and the distraction off the field could hurt his on-field performance. His competition for the final corner spot in San Francisco is pretty thin, so if he keeps his nose clean, he should be able to win it outright.

Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson

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    The Seahawks have three quarterbacks competing for the top spot. As a captain last season, Tarvaris Jackson looks like he has the inside track. However, as a captain last season, should he lose, he is the first one to be cut because a controversy at quarterback is never good for a locker room.

    Matt Flynn is a guy who could very possibly win the job and has all the tools to do so. However, the dark horse here is Russell Wilson. He is the most competitive player of the group and has the all-around talent to be successful. Should Jackson lose to either guy, he could be an excellent backup for another team in the NFL.

St. Louis Rams Wide Receiver Steve Smith

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    St. Louis has a lot of talent on the team right now at wide receiver. Danario Alexander, Austin Pettis and Brian Quick are tall, fast targets that will be able to blow the top off of a defense. Brandon Gibson and Greg Salas both have good size and hands and can play as a No. 1 receiver.

    Danny Amendola and Chris Givens are both smaller slot types who can run underneath routes and make people miss to gain yards after the catch. The one who doesn't fit is Steve Smith. He's a good bit of everything, but he doesn't slide in well to any of the three roles that have been seen in pro offenses today and could end up getting cut if he can't beat out one of the younger speedsters.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Tackle Amobi Okoye

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    Amobi Okoye is still just 25 years old and has five years of pro experience under his belt. However, he is in a fight for his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after getting offseason knee surgery (h/t The Pewter Plank) and facing some stiff competition in training camp.

    This isn't to say that Okoye still can't be productive in the NFL, though. He still has all the tools to be successful with his quick first step and his 6'2", 315-pound frame. He just needs to find a team that puts him in the proper role for his talents should he get cut by the Buccaneers.

Tennessee Titans Wide Receiver Damian Williams

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    Ever since being drafted in the third round of the 2010 draft, Damian Williams has been a bit of a disappointment. He has just 61 catches for 811 yards and five touchdowns in his career. He could eventually blossom, but the Titans just took a top slot receiver in the first. 

    Williams will have to beat out LaVelle Hawkins and a host of college free agents just to keep his job. If the Titans go with six wide receivers, Williams would easily have the inside track, but teams don't take someone in the first round to sit them on the bench all year.

Tennessee Titans Defensive Tackle Shaun Smith

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    Mike Martin, Sen'Derrick Marks and Shaun Smith are competing for two spots in the defensive tackle rotation. As of now, Marks and Martin look like the best possible fits for the scheme that is run in Tennessee, and Smith would be the odd man out.

    If Smith is the odd man out, expect him to head back to a scheme that is more suited to his talents: a 3-4. Smith is a 6'2", 325-pound two gap 3-4 nose tackle who will have trouble trying to be a penetrating 1-tech 4-3 nose tackle.

Washington Redskins Quarterback Rex Grossman

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    The Redskins started 3-2 despite Grossman playing like garbage with a 55.8 percent completion percentage, and a 2-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Grossman only got worse as the year went on too and was rightfully replaced by Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick.

    However, when Washington took Cousins in the fourth round, the writing is on the wall for Grossman's exit. Rex may not be cut until towards the end of training camp and when the Redskins can bring in someone cheap and effective as a third option, though.

Washington Redskins Cornerback Cedric Griffin

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    Cedric Griffin was an average cover corner for the Minnesota Vikings in 2011. He has potential in the nickel, but he is going to be out of place early on. He could very easily lose his job in Washington to the competing Morgan Trent, Brandyn Thompson and Kevin Barnes. 

    The Redskins did also draft a pair of corners and sign a rookie free-agent corner, and the competition for the nickel will be tremendous. Don't be surprised if Griffin is cut for Minnifield, Bernstine or Crawford to earn a roster spot.

    Scott Carasik is an NFL draft and Atlanta Falcons Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek and also runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and the host of Kvetching Draftniks Radio.

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