Predicting San Diego Chargers' 1st Wave of Roster Cuts
No player likes being told they've just been cut in the midst of living out their dream of playing in the NFL, but that's exactly what will happen on September 1 prior to 4 p.m. ET, when teams must reduce their rosters to 75 players. By then, the San Diego Chargers will have cut 15 players in order to meet those demands, as the current roster holds the maximum of 90 players allowed at the start of training camp.
Determining which players have become expendable can be difficult, to say the least, as most have fought hard to get to where they are today, but it's a decision the coaching staff will have to make before the September 1 deadline.
Here are five players expected to be among the first wave of cuts.
Demetrius Wilson and former Arkansas teammate Javontee Herndon have been reunited in San Diego, but according to one media expert, only one is expected to stick around. In his 53-man roster projection over at ESPN, Eric Williams has Herndon surviving until the very end as the sixth receiver behind Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Stevie Johnson, Jacoby Jones and Dontrelle Inman.
Wilson, meanwhile, is a long shot to make the team after catching just 17 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown in the Razorbacks' run-first offense last season.
Western Oregon standout Tyrell Williams has all the measurables you want in a receiver, but as one of 11 receivers competing for a spot on the active roster, the odds are against him making it past the first wave of cuts. He may be someone the Chargers look at as a candidate for the practice squad later on, but don't expect him to climb up the depth chart anytime soon.
Still, he's quite an intriguing player, and Nick O'Malley of MassLive.com detailed as much in his profile of Williams ahead of the draft.
Manuel Asprilla, a three-year starter at Boston College, is one of two rookies vying for a position at cornerback for the Chargers, joining third-round draft choice Craig Mager. However, the secondary is believed to be the deepest and strongest unit on the roster, with Brandon Flowers and Jason Verrett leading the way at corner.
Asprilla can try to catch on as a special teams player, but he is competing with nine other corners for a roster spot.
Every team has at least one camp arm, and second-year man Chase Rettig seems to fit that description for the Chargers as one of four quarterbacks on the roster. He and Brad Sorensen will push Kellen Clemens for the job of backup to Philip Rivers, but Clemens, a 10-year pro, looks to be firmly planted in that role.
Rettig's arm will serve its purpose in camp and in the preseason, but don't expect San Diego to carry more than two or three quarterbacks on the active roster.
Camp legs are also a thing this time of year, which seems to be the gig in mind for rookie kicker Josh Lambo, as the Chargers try to limit the workload of eight-year veteran Nick Novak. Lambo, a first-round pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, turned to place-kicking when his professional soccer career ended. He landed at Texas A&M, where he made 21 of his 25 field-goal attempts.
Novak's spot doesn't appear to be in any danger, though, as he is one of the most accurate kickers in team history, boasting a career average of 86.3 percent.