NFL Roster Cuts 2018: Predicting Notable Releases After Preseason Week 2

Ryan McCrystal@@ryan_mccrystalFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2018

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16:  Running back Charcandrick West #35 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs up field against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Week 2 of the NFL preseason is almost in the books, which means most teams are halfway through the process of evaluating players and piecing together their final 53-man rosters.

NFL teams have until September 1 to make their final cuts, but with two games in the books, many franchises are likely closing in on making some of those tough decisions.

As we near the end of the preseason, here's a rundown of a few veterans who appear to be on the roster bubble and could be searching for new homes in the near future.


Max Garcia, OL, Denver Broncos

Since being drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round in 2015, Max Garcia has been a staple of the team's offensive line. He started all 16 games in 2017 and 2016. However, it appears as though he's out of a job.

Late in 2017, right guard Ronald Leary was placed on injured reserve with a back injury, which opened the door for Connor McGovern, who took full advantage of his first opportunity to play. Now that Leary is healthy, he has been shifted to Garcia's spot at left guard, allowing McGovern to remain on the right side.

This has left Garcia battling for a backup role.

According to Ryan O'Halloran of the Denver Post, the Broncos have been giving Garcia work at multiple positions:

Ryan O'Halloran @ryanohalloran

Max Garcia giving center a shot with third team. Could make it as LG2 because of Leary health.

Denver also has veteran lineman Menelik Watson, who started seven games at right tackle in 2017, battling for a job. So whether it's Garcia or Watson, there is a solid chance a veteran lineman hits the open market at some point in the next few weeks.


Charcandrick West, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Frank Victores/Associated Press

Charcandrick West has been a versatile weapon for the Kansas City Chiefs over the past three years, racking up 999 rushing yards and 552 receiving yards, mostly in a backup role. However, it's a crowded depth chart in Kansas City, and West is on the bubble.

Unfortunately for the 27-year-old, he missed a significant amount of time early in training camp while in the NFL's concussion protocol. The injury allowed others, most notably Damien Williams, Kerwynn Williams and rookie Darrel Williams, to see increased action and potentially gain some momentum in the battle for a roster spot.

Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware are locks to make the roster, but there may only be room for one of the other three contenders.

West is the Chiefs' most expensive running back, with a cap hit just over $2 million. Unless he clearly separates himself from the others, that price tag could be a deciding factor.


Aaron Lynch, LB, Chicago Bears

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

The Chicago Bears signed former San Francisco 49ers pass-rusher Aaron Lynch to bolster their front seven this offseason, but injuries have limited his ability to get on the field over the summer.

Lynch was signed to a one-year contract worth $4 million, which becomes guaranteed if he makes the 53-man roster. Until that point, however, Lynch is only guaranteed his $1.25 million signing bonus.

According to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, Lynch has been dealing with a recurring hamstring injury since April, which has prevented him from getting any consistent work on the field since joining the Bears.

Obviously, the Bears initially anticipated Lynch playing a role this season. But given his contract situation and his inability to stay healthy, Chicago may be forced to cut ties with him before he even sets foot on the field.


Travis Swanson, C, New York Jets

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Over the past three seasons, Travis Swanson started 37 games at center for the Detroit Lions but was only able to net a one-year, $1.55 million contract with the New York Jets this offseason.

Spencer Long, also signed as a free agent this offseason, has been locked in as the Jets starting center throughout preseason, which leaves Swanson battling for a roster spot as the backup center.

It's possible the Jets will value his experience. However, according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com, Swanson's lack of versatility could hurt his chances of making the final cut.

Jonotthan Harrison has significantly less starting experience than Swanson but has played both center and guard during his career. Since teams usually can't afford to carry backups at each offensive-line position, versatility is a valuable trait for backup linemen, and it could win Harrison the job.


All contract information from Spotrac.


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