X

NFL Roster Cuts 2019: Predicting Notable Releases After Preseason Week 2

Jake RillAnalyst IAugust 18, 2019

New England Patriots wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, center, warms up with teammates during an NFL football training camp practice, Thursday, July 25, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

The NFL preseason isn't just about players getting ready for the start of a new season. There are also cuts that need to be made.

Not every player in training camp and participating in preseason games will still be on their team when the regular season begins on September 5. Each team has to cut its roster down to 53 players before its season opener.

Some decisions will be easy; others not so much. There are always key position battles during the preseason that lead to some players earning the final spots on the roster and others getting cut.

Here's a look at six players who could be cut during the second half of the preseason.

                    

C.J. Prosise, RB, Seattle Seahawks

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

It's tough to prove you're worthy of a roster spot when you can't get on the field.

Much like most of his career, C.J. Prosise has dealt with injuries this summer, as a hip sprain has prevented him from playing in the Seattle Seahawks' first two games of the preseason. He previously had a hamstring injury and an illness this offseason.

Seattle has plenty of depth in the backfield, with the duo of Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny leading the way. It's possible the Seahawks decide to cut ties with Prosise, who was their third-round pick in the 2016 draft.

Over three seasons, Prosise has played only 16 games and carried the ball 42 times, 30 of which came in his rookie season. Last year, he had only one carry for minus-three yards.

             

Demaryius Thomas, WR, New England Patriots

Demaryius Thomas is another player whose health could lead to his cutting. The 31-year-old receiver is working back from a torn Achilles tendon, but he's made positive strides of late. According to The Athletic's Jeff Howe, Thomas was recently sprinting at practice.

The New England Patriots don't have great receiver depth, so if Thomas could play even close to the level of his best seasons, he could be a valuable asset. But because they will likely have five running backs and a fullback on their roster, the Pats will likely only carry five receivers.

If Thomas is healthy and can get on the field with veteran quarterback Tom Brady, it could be a big boost for New England's offense. But how the last two weeks of preseason go could dictate whether that's a possibility.

Thomas played for the Denver Broncos from 2010 until 2018 before a midseason trade to the Houston Texans in October. He tore his Achilles in the Texans' penultimate game last season against the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 23.

                          

Torrey Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers

Bill Feig/Associated Press

Torrey Smith is entering his ninth NFL season, but experience may not be enough for the receiver to make the Carolina Panthers' 53-man roster.

Last year, Smith played 11 games for Carolina, hauling in 17 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns. But the Panthers added to their receiving corps over the offseason, signing Chris Hogan and selecting Terry Godwin in the seventh round of the NFL draft.

Smith had a slow start to the preseason, missing the beginning of training camp and the preseason opener with a knee injury. He played in Carolina's game against the Buffalo Bills on Friday, but he did not have a reception.

Over the past several seasons, Smith's production has declined from his best years with the Baltimore Ravens. It's possible his career will take a different path later this preseason, with the possibility remaining of him not making the Panthers' roster.

             

Mason Crosby or Sam Ficken, K, Green Bay Packers

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - AUGUST 15: Mason Crosby #2 of the Green Bay Packers stands on the field prior to a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

No team carries two kickers, so the loser of the Green Bay Packers' kicking competition is not going to be on the team's roster come Week 1.

The advantage would seem to go to the veteran, Mason Crosby—the 34-year-old who has been the Packers' kicker for the past 12 seasons. But his numbers have been slightly down the past two years, when he's made 80.4 percent of his field-goal attempts.

Sam Ficken doesn't have much NFL experience, as he played four games for the Los Angeles Rams over the past two seasons, making three of his six career field-goal attempts.

Both Crosby and Ficken have only attempted one field goal this preseason, and both were made. It's likely Crosby will earn the job. But with kickers, one poor showing could lead to losing their job, so it's still possible Ficken has a chance to make the team.

                  

Cardale Jones, QB, Los Angeles Chargers

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 08: Cardale Jones #7 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to throw the ball against the Arizona Cardinals during an NFL preseason game at State Farm Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

When Cardale Jones was at Ohio State, he played a big role in the Buckeyes winning the national championship in 2015. However, he played only 11 career college games before entering the 2016 NFL draft, and he's had a quiet football career since.

Jones is entering his fourth NFL season after spending the past two years as a backup for the Los Angeles Chargers. However, Los Angeles has since signed Tyrod Taylor to back up Philip Rivers and drafted Easton Stick in the fifth round of the 2019 draft.

Because teams don't typically carry four quarterbacks and the Chargers used a draft pick on Stick, it's likely Jones will be cut before the end of the preseason.

Jones completed four of his six pass attempts for 47 yards in the Chargers' preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals, and it's likely he will play again when they take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon. But it could be one of the last times he takes the field in a Chargers uniform.