NFL Cuts 2018: Predicting Notable Roster Releases Before Regular Season Begins

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2018

Even though the Raiders signed Doug Martin this offseason, he still has to work to ensure a position.
Even though the Raiders signed Doug Martin this offseason, he still has to work to ensure a position.Associated Press

It happens every year. There are big names cut from NFL rosters each summer who are seemingly good or productive players.

However, those players may be attached to big salaries or battling underlying injuries that are keeping them from the practice field, and several weeks of inactivity could result in a shortened stay on the roster.

Will Blackmon, Victor Cruz and Jeremy Kerley were among the veterans who were cut last summer. 

Others will join them this year, and it could lead to the end of a player's career or maybe a change of address for the 2018 season.

            

Running back Doug Martin, Oakland Raiders

Martin signed with the Raiders in the offseason, but the $1.475 million in his contract is not guaranteed. Unless he dominates throughout the rest of training camp, head coach Jon Gruden may decide that keeping other players on the roster will suit the Raiders better.

If Gruden sees Martin as the running back who gained 1,402 yards in 2015, he will keep him. However, Martin rushed for 421 and 406 yards the last two years, respectively, so the Raiders could part company with him if that's the form he has shown this preseason.

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Cornerback Cyrus Jones, New England Patriots

Jones was a second-round draft pick in 2016, but he may have a difficult time holding onto a roster spot. Jones was the team's punt returner as a rookie, but he struggled to catch them. He suffered a torn ACL last year.

The defensive back appears to be healthy this year, but he has to prove he can catch punts consistently and also has the speed that made the Patriots draft him in the first place.

         

Wide receiver Breshad Perriman, Baltimore Ravens

Perriman has been a huge disappointment in his first three years with the team, and he needs a huge camp if he is going to hold on to his position with the Ravens. He needs to establish himself after catching just 43 regular-season passes to this point in his career.

At best he is a No. 4 receiver with the Ravens, but he has to prove that he is worthy of that position since he is not in the team's plans as a special-teams player.

           

Wide receiver Kevin White, Chicago Bears

White was supposed to be a receiver who could carry the offense on his shoulders because of his speed, talent and big-play ability when the Bears made him a first-round draft choice in 2015.

Injuries have been the issue for White throughout his tenure with the Bears, and now that he is in his fourth year, he will have to prove he still has the ability to change a game.

White has caught just 21 regular-season passes in three years. The Bears have Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller, but do they really want to keep White if he is just good enough to make it as the team's No. 4 wideout? General manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy may have to make a hard decision.

Michael Johnson is an expensive part-time player for the Bengals.
Michael Johnson is an expensive part-time player for the Bengals.Gary Landers/Associated Press

            

Defensive end Michael Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals

Johnson had 49 tackles and five sacks last year as a part-time player, so there's every reason to believe he can still be productive again this season.

However, according to Spotrac, Johnson has a cap hit of $6.1 million this season. Do the Bengals really want to spend that money on a player who is not in the lineup on every down? 

Johnson is a solid player who can make a contribution, but he is not a game-changer.