Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

30 Aug 2012

Cut-Down Day Thread 2012

We'll be using this thread all day Friday to report the major names that are cut or traded as teams get rosters down to 53.

Somewhat well-known cuts so far:

Giants LB Greg Jones
Giants RB D.J. Ware
Dolphins WR Clyde Gates
Dolphins WR Roberto Wallace
Bucs DT Amobi Okoye (will re-sign with Chicago)
Redskins RB Tim Hightower
Eagles CB Joselio Hanson
Patriots QB Brian Hoyer
Patriots C Dan Koppen
Patriots WR Deion Branch
Eagles FS O.J. Atogwe
Browns QB Seneca Wallace
Browns TE Evan Moore
Lions CB Alphonso Smith
Saints K John Kasay
Eagles QB Mike Kafka
Steelers P Jeremy Kapinos
Steelers OT Trai Essex
Falcons CB Dominique Franks
Rams FB Ogie Mughelli
Bills DT Dwan Edwards
Packers DT Daniel Muir
Seahawks WR Kris Durham
Seahawks WR Deon Butler
Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette
Chargers DE Jacques Cesaire
Broncos CB Drayton Florence
Bengals LB Roddrick Muckelroy
Cardinals LB Clark Haggans
Vikings QB Sage Rosenfels
Chargers FB Jacob Hester
Giants CB Terrell Thomas to IR
Patriots RB Jeff Demps to IR
Cardinals trade CB A.J. Jefferson to Vikings

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 30 Aug 2012

107 comments, Last at 06 Sep 2012, 8:19pm by BaronFoobarstein


by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 08/30/2012 - 8:59pm

This will be fin to loon at througjoti the day. Thinking former Raiders WR C. Schilens going to get cut by jets.

by Purds :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 12:29am

Interesting rumors that the Colts may release Freeney. Hmmm.

by Marko :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 5:27am

Whether or not the rumors are true, I'm sure we'll see a series of obnoxious tweets about them from Jim Irsay complete with spelling errors, bad grammar, annoying abbreviations and unnecessary punctuation marks.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 9:10am

I like that Jim Irsay is basically RaiderJoe, except without the football knowledge

by akn :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 9:58am

"theres moar than just trade winds blowing, im about to RELEASE something bigger soon!!1!"

by bingo762 :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 12:06pm

And then he tweets a photo of a dump he took.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 12:53pm


by Marko :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 2:23pm

I think that should be +2.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 6:38am

Does that make any sense at all? Surely Freeney's still worth something fairly significant in a trade? Or something, anyway, even if it's only a mid-late round pick?

by dryheat :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 7:31am

Depends on how onerous his contract is. Still, it would be very surprising.

by JohnD (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 8:26am

The ever-excellent Nate Dunlevy wrote about the Freeney calculus on bleacher report.

by Dean :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 8:50am

An excellent writer on bleacher report? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

by JohnD (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 10:59am

I do my best to ignore the rest of the site when I visit to read his work. Even the presentation drives me crazy.

The Colts blog world just hasn't been the same since he shuttered 18to88.

by Dean :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 11:20am

I hadn't connected the name (probably because I don't follow the Colts any closer than any other team), but 18to88 was a pretty squared away site. Depressing to think that he's now writing for a site that caters to the "5 Moves [Your Team] MUST Make This Offseason!1!!" crowd.

by nath :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 2:41pm

5 Moves [Your Team] MUST Make This Offseason!1!!

"Watch this 11-page slideshow!"

by Lance :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 5:30pm

Yeah. Some huge percentage of the B/R stuff is now of the "The Top # of X in Y" type, where # is a number (of course), X is whatever topic you like-- stadiums, mascots, defensive backs, uniforms, coaches, etc., and Y is a sport, conference, division, and so on. This is all turned into a slide show with some small blurb to indicate what said stadium/mascot/defensive back/etc., is on the list. The justification for its inclusion is generally an appeal to popular thought, a non-sequitur, an appeal to logic that is contradicted 3 spots later, or a couched admission that the author just threw it in to get to 25.

by big_jgke :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 10:40am

I like the idea of an NFL where Vontae Davis brings back more in trade compensation than Asante Samuel or Dwight Freeney. And by like I mean am baffled by.

by Bnonymous (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 10:43am

Then why not say "I'm baffled by?"

by Jonadan :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 4:31pm

I always assume with comments like that that both things are true.

"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel

by Johnny Socko (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 11:57am

It's all about the Benjamins. Freeney makes $19 mill this year while Davis makes $1 mill. Not sure what Samuel made when he got traded, but I'm sure it was hefty.

by commissionerleaf :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 12:38pm

Also, Vontae Davis can't remember the Reagan years, unlike Freeney and Samuel. Age is as big a deal as the contract situation.

[Too bad they didn't cut Freeney in time to make a run at Brandon Carr.]

by DenverCheeze (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 11:40am

At first I thought that Jones name was James Jones...although I don't necessarily think hes all that much better than the bubble WRs on that team...anyone can drop balls on the sideline.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 1:51pm

James Jones isn't going anywhere. He may be the #4 guy in Green Bay, but he's still better than the #2 WR on teams like the Rams, Browns, Jaguars, and Fins.

by Dean :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 11:45am

Looks like PFT is claiming to be posting all the cuts on some sort of blog. Of couse, anybody who works behind a corporate firewall isn't going to be able to see something like that. Hopefully, most of the lists will be posted here.

by Nathan :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 12:23pm

Didn't happen today but kind of shocked at Gaffney getting cut. Stallworth not so much, once I saw them trying him at returner I figured he was a longshot to make the team.

by DEW (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 12:40pm

Let us pause for a moment to consider the concept of someone who just isn't good enough to be the fifth wide receiver on this year's Dolphins. I will be flabbergasted if Gates or Wallace ever plays another regular-season down in the NFL.

by koma (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 1:37pm

Patriots QB Brian Hoyer
Guess they're going with Mallett?

by Nathan :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 2:19pm

Funny, I just made the same decision in Madden.

In all seriousness though, I mentioned in another thread I was really pleased with what I'd seen from Mallett this preseason and this seems to confirm it. Best of luck to Hoyer, I think he deserves a chance to sign with one of the more QB needy teams and battle it out for a starting spot.

by JonFrum :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 9:15pm

I think you mean battle it out for a backup spot. The Patriots obviously tried to deal him and had no offers. That's not a potential starter.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 2:08pm

Packers cuts so far (according to GB Press-Gazette)
WR Tori Gurley
C Sampson Genus
S Anthony Levine
C/G Tommie Draheim
T Andrew Datko
TE Brandon Bostick
G Reggie Wells
T Shea Allard
WR Dale Moss
DE Lawrence Guy
WR Curenski Gilleylen
CB/KR Otis Merrill
OL Greg Van Roten

No big names so far. Gurley could be signed by another team. He has loads of potential (he had a rookie minimum contract last year even though he was on the practice squad) and at 6'5" 230# could be a great red zone target.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 2:31pm

Yeah I thought Gurley did enough on special teams and was as good as a WR as Boykin and Borel to earn the spot since he would actually have use as an active player on game days. Him getting cut I think means they are sticking with 5 receivers which is fine. I like the young guys and I know Driver will need to be replaced soon, but there is next years draft too where they can likely get someone as good or better than the three fighting this year. I'm curious who the other 9 will be, but I didn't and still don't expect any surprises, was just curious if they would carry 6 WR and who it would be if they did.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 2:59pm

Actually they don't need 9 more. Neal and Walden start the season suspended, and won't count against the final 53 so that means just 7 more.

I've seen several unconfirmed reports that

WR Diondre Borel
RB Marc Tyler
FB Nic Cooper

have been released as well so just 4 more to go.

Again no surprises in that group either. I suspect Boykin, BJ Coleman (they aren't carrying 3 QB's they want to slip him to the PS), Merling, and one of the OLBs (So'oto or Manning) will round it out.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:45pm

Looks like I'm wrong. Confirmation that

DT Daniel Muir

has been cut has been dug up.

That one surprises me, he looked pretty solid in camp and preseason and was signed on the cheap (veteran minimum). My guesses on how the D-line rotation might have been set up seem to be wrong.

Still no solid confirmation on the 3 in the earlier post I made.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 7:08pm

I'm disappointed Muir has been cut. I think he did more in camp than Neal has shown in three camps.

by DenverCheeze (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:07pm

Think they release Gurley early in the day so he may get picked up then release the others late and hope the other 2 (Boykin and Borel) make it to the practice squad?

by JasonK :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:17pm

Teams generally officially file all their transactions around the same time. The difference in announcement time just depends on which players/agents/whoever are the first to get on Twitter and spread the news.

by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 2:57pm

I'm pretty certain the Dolphins are going to claim Gurley if they don't swing a trade today. Maybe even if they do. Word is they'd been watching the GB receiver situation closely.

They just cut their most physically imposing WR (Wallace) because he couldn't catch. Like, at all.

Fire Jeff Ireland.

by koma (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:08pm

Sucks to have to release Datko because of the persistent injuries, but that was the reason he fell to the 7th round in the first place.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 9:55pm

Full list

T Shea Allard
T Daniel Muir
T Andrew Datko
TE Brandon Bostick
QB B.J. Coleman
FB Nic Cooper
RB Marc Tyler
C/G Tommie Draheim
C/G Sampson Genus
G Greg Van Roten
G/T Reggie Wells
WR Curenski Gilleylen
WR Tori Gurley
WR Diondre Borel
WR Dale Moss
DE Lawrence Guy
S Anthony Levine
CB Otis Merrill

T Derek Sherrod - PUP
LB Vic So’oto - IR

So the surprise keeps were
G Don Barclay - He kept getting better as camp went on, but still unexpected.
WR Jarret Boykin - They kept 6 WR and it wasn't Gurley or Borel
DE Phillip Merling - He wasn't horrible, but he didn't really flash much either

Though really nothing was a major surprise with this team. When Daniel Muir is the biggest surprise on cut down day things are pretty stable.

There will be some more decisions that have to be made after week one when Walden comes off his suspension, and then after week 4 when Neal comes back. There are four players on the PUP list that could impact things mid season or later with Sherrod who is very likely to be healthy and get a roster spot, Quarless should be recovered and will likely take a spot too, I've got a feeling that Zombo even if he is healthy will only get a spot if the other OLB's aren't doing well otherwise they'll put him on IR, I've got a feeling G Jaymes Brooks will end up being put on IR after his time on PUP ends too.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 11:38pm

I'll have to talk to my brothers in GB, but I'll admit until yesterday I hadn't heard of Boykin. I'm guessing they'll try to get Coleman, Moss, and Datko (and probably Tyler) to the PS, but I wouldn't try to guess on the others. I'm totally shocked abotu Merling, as I've heard he hasn't looked all that great in practice either. I agree Zombo is probably gone as he's an injury waiting to happen. I still won't be surprised to see a couple moves as I'm not comfortable with the depth on either line.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 11:38pm

Well they didn't grab Moss, but they signed the following 7 to the practice squad.

T Andrew Datko
TE Brandon Bostick
QB B.J. Coleman
RB Marc Tyler
G Greg Van Roten
WR Diondre Borel
DE Lawrence Guy

Also reported that they didn't put a claim in on anyone that was cut by other teams, and no team put a claim in on any of the players the Packers cut. However the Tori Gurley signed onto the Vikings practice squad (they offered him a contract to be on their 53 last year) it's not clear if the Packers made Gurley an offer for the PS or not after he cleared waivers.

I'm not surprised by any of those PS squad signings. Datko hasn't had any shoulder injuries (he was sidelined by a concussion) and he has a chance to develop. Guy has the body type they really want (that is part of why the kept Merling of Muir too, Merling is prototypical, Muir is a bit too short for what they want from a DE and too light for what they want for a nose and was outplayed in the 4-2-5 nickle by Daniels who is the same body type.

Now the only question is who will be the 8th member of their PS. Ah preseason when I want football so much that I care about who the final member of the practice squad is for my favorite team. :)

by dbostedo :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 10:49pm

As you might have already looked up, Jarrett Boykin is Virginia Tech's all-time leading receiver. Not fast, but great hands... he's got a shot at sticking.

Here's a little interview with VT's receivers coach about him : http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/160705245.html

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 2:14pm

DE Vernon Gholston was released by the Rams. I live in St Louis and didn't even know he was in their camp. Other Rams cuts (from St Louis Post Dispatch)

CB Kendric Burney
FB Ben Guidugli
C/G Tim Barnes
OT Joe Long
C/G/T Bob Hebert
TE DeAngelo Peterso
RB Chase Reynolds.

by Dean :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 2:37pm

They only just signed him last week. I hadn't realized either.

The only mild surprise so far is Guidugli. Reynolds looks like he has some potential - a year on someones practice squad could do him some good.

Also, for those unfamilair with camp fodder, "C/G/T Bob Hebert" is a G/C named "T Bob," as opposed to someone trying to find a spot by playing all 5 line positions.

by BigCheese :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 10:32pm

So that's twice in two years that he's been cut in the pre-season. What roster was he on last year? (I assume he must have been on one, ebcause there's no way he would ahve been in a camp otherwise, right?)

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Exystence :: Tue, 09/04/2012 - 8:52am

He was with the Bears last year. Gotta believe that's it for him. It still amazes me just how little he ever showed in the NFL.

by JasonK :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 2:43pm

The Joselio Hanson cut is a little surprising to me. I had read that rookie Brandon Boykin might beat him out for the nickel DB job, but I don't see how that adds up to being released. Hanson's not expensive ($825K in base salary); why wouldn't they keep him around as a 4th CB in case of injury to Asomugha/DRC/Boykin?

by dmstorm22 :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:01pm

Don't know, but I could see quite a few teams looking at him. Many teams need depth corners, and as you say, Joselio is cheap.

by Dean :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:05pm

I'm guessing that since they released him last year and nobody picked him up, they figure they can do it again. They have two high paid starter, 4 young players, and one veteran backup. Long term, he's less of a risk to cut then guys like Hughes, Marsh or Lindley.

by chemical burn :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 9:07pm

Well, also Boykin won the nickel job and they see their #4 & #5 CB's as back-ups to the starters - what I mean they don't keep a back-up nickel-back, so there was no spot for him based on how they construct their roster. Hanson has a proven skill-set and it doesn't include playing on the outside. Lindley, Marsh (and even Boykin) are theoretically #1 & #2's in development...

by Steve in WI :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:35pm

I was surprised to see that the Bears cut Josh McCown. Obviously, they would have been in trouble anyway if he was going to see any major playing time, but it makes me nervous to think that they're only going to have 2 QBs.

It's not out of the realm of possibility for both Cutler and Campbell to get knocked out of the same game, and then what? Let's say that they do both get hurt in the same game, but that the injuries are minor and at least one of them will be ready to go the next week. I'd hate to see the Bears lose a winnable game, especially because of how tight the division is likely to be, because they have nobody to back up Campbell.

by koma (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:45pm

Plenty of teams do this. The GMs just reason that the ability to have an extra player on your roster for the entire season will produce more wins than hedging against the fairly small probability that both QBs go down (in the Bears' case, maybe a little higher because of the terrible O-line). In some cases (maybe most, or all) 2-QB teams have a designated tight end or other skill-position player that is ready to step in at QB to finish the game. But think about the skill of the average QB3--there aren't very many that can sustain a drive and take time off the clock to protect a small lead.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:55pm

Yep, Packers did that for most of last year (there were a few games where Harrell was on the 53 and inactive). Jordy Nelson was their designated emergency QB for most of the games (the radio guys would often point that out since it was listed on their press material), though they have Randall Cobb who could take direct snaps too if need be.

I'm not sure who the Bears would have for that spot, but like you stated it's generally someone who was high school QB or played some QB in college before getting moved, or just some guy who they have seen show an overall knowledge of the play book and they figure can take some snaps and throw the ball on shorter routes. But yeah it's a fairly common gamble, especially if the team has a former QB who they have given a few of the closed practice snaps too just to see. Sometimes these guys will do part of a practice running the scout teams but you just don't hear much about it because those are closed to reporters practices and it only comes out later.

by Marko :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 4:30pm

I'm not surprised at all that the Bears cut McCown for the reasons stated above. They simply need the roster spot, especially with some of their injury issues. For example, they may need to keep 2 punters because Adam Podlesh might miss the first week or two of the season with a minor injury. They wouldn't put him on IR or even the modified IR, so he needs to be on the 53 man roster. In addition, if a veteran like McCown is on the roster in Week 1, his salary is guaranteed for the entire season.

They can always bring him back if the need arises and he is not with another team. Also, I think they will sign undrafted free free agent Matt Blanchard (who was impressive in preseason) to the practice squad. If they had a short term injury to Cutler or Campbell and needed to have another QB on the 53 man roster, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bears turn to Blanchard.

In the meantime, I think the emergency QB would be Earl Bennett.

by akn :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 5:05pm

Before he was traded today, I wouldn't have been surprised at all if they named Tyler Clutts the emergency QB. That guy is (and has been) willing to do anything for his team (including backup long snapper). Shame to see him go.

by Marko :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 6:34pm

I liked Clutts, too, but it was obvious that they weren't going to keep him because Tice has no need for a pure fullback. Texans fans will definitely notice him, as he is an outstanding blocker.

I hadn't thought about him before as an emergency QB, but if he was inserted at QB, he would probably play just like Tim Tebow. Not much as a passer, but a physical runner.

by BigCheese :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 10:39pm

Very sad to see Clutts go, but you're right. They didn't need him in that system.

And if he was inserted at QB he would have to be better than Hester, which is what I fear would be their plan.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 7:29am

Good to know - they definitely needed a more physical fullback as a counterpoint to James Casey, and I was a little surprised when Norris got cut. I think McManis has a chance to be quite useful, if it's any consolation. He seems to generally outplay Kareem Jackson in practice/preseason, but lose out to good old former first round pick bias.

by Marko :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 1:19pm

I think this trade is win-win for both teams in that they were able to get something useful for the players rather than just cutting them. From what I've read, the Bears wanted McManis almost exclusively because he is a good special teams player. Part of the reason the Bears always are good on special teams is that they target and acquire players largely for their value on special teams. (Blake Costanzo and Eric Weems are two examples of players the Bears signed in free agency for this very reason.) The Bears are pretty well set at CB, so I wouldn't expect to see McManis get much playing time on defense barring a lot of injuries.

by Steve in WI :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 5:06pm

All three of you make sense. I guess I was just surprised that they're going with only 2 QBs, but then again, I'm sure part of the reason they've had 3 most years in the recent past was that they had serious questions about who was #2. Clearly Campbell is the #2 here and he would have to be pretty terrible for them to go looking for someone else should Cutler get hurt.

I think the Bears are definitely thinking they'd be able to get McCown later in the season, if God forbid they really need him.

by BigCheese :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 10:41pm

The best part is that one of the Bears' site's front page stories is "McCown shines in preseason game."

What really surprised me is that they kept Booker over Allen, who must have been cheaper, and didn't leave the last preseason game iwth a head injury.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by PM Patriot (not verified) :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 5:40pm

Love to see that Romney ad cut. If he interrupts my football strategizing one more time....

All the Pats cuts are suprising. Hoyer could start for the Cards tomorrow and be a huge upgrade.

by MJK :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 6:46pm

I think it was economics with Hoyer. He's likely hit his ceiling and Mallet has more upside, so as long as you're comfortable with handing the reins to Mallet if Brady went down, Hoyer became an expendable luxury, even if he is better than probably five or so starters in the league. I think Mallet's performance has been good enough that they are comfortable with him as the backup, which puts Hoyer in the #3 spot, so there's no reason to keep Hoyer and his $1.9M salary on the roster this year on the off chance that both other QB's get hurt. Also remember that Hoyer was in the last year of his contract, so it's not like releasing him costs them anything after this year. Maybe they could have traded him for a very late round pick, but I suspect, given his lack of actual game experience, they would have had very few takers.

The more surprising cuts are the WRs. Everyone talked about how stacked they were this offseason at WR talent, with Welker, Lloydd, Branch, Gafney, Stallworth, Edelman, Ochocinco/Johnson, Gonzalez, and their younger developmental guys. Now they're all gone except for Welker, Lloydd, and Edelman. I guess if you're planning on putting two TE's on the field every down, you really only need three real WR's on the roster (Slater is their fourth, but he's really a special teamer). But they're awfully thin in case of injury.

The only other arguable surprise is Koppen, but he's been surpassed by other folks on the roster. I would expect they could get something in trade for him, given how other teams are so desparate for half decent OL help (and he qualifies)...

by JonFrum :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 9:20pm

I'm not comfortable with Mallet's performance this year. Maybe he has more upside than Hoyer, but if he needs to start a few games early in the year, the Patriots are in trouble.

And Koppen was a free agent this year. No one wanted him.

by chemical burn :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 10:24pm

Yeah, after watching Mallet in the preseason, I don't think there's any team in the league with a bigger drop-off between their #1 & #2 QB. Of course, that's because their #1 is so great to begin with, but I'm even not sure how the Patriots could win games without a great QB - and Mallet is not a great QB.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 11:29pm

Seriously? More than Rodgers to Graham Harrell? More than P Manning to the dynamic duo of Caleb Hanie and Brock Osweiler? Pats fans hyperbole never ceases to amaze me.

by Karma Coma :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 1:15am

Well, since the purpose of hyperbole is to create a strong impression, I'd say your boundless amazement means that Pats fans are really good at using hyperbole.

by Sifter :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 3:37am

chemical burn isn't a pats fan anyway...

by Dean :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 8:13am

And now that Kellen Clemens has been released, the dropoff from Sam Bradford to some undrafted free agent rookie would have to top this list anyway.

by Mr Shush :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 8:46am

I dunno. I still think it might be Peyton to Osweiler/Hanie.

by chemical burn :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 4:58pm

Yeah, not a Pats fan - but I don't see how that team can win without Brady - a defense at best built in complement of the offense and at worst one of the worst in the league. No running game, certainly no standout RB. A system based on timing and smart reads... I just don't see them winning without Brady. Rodgers to his back-up might be a bigger drop, but Flynn looked like a genius last year and then couldn't even win a starting job from a 3rd round rookie - GB has a solid track record of developing QB's in a way that Belicheck doesn't (mainly from lack of opportunity to develop that track record.) Anyhoo, really didn't mean for it to be so controversial, just that Brady is really good and from what I saw of Mallett, he'd probably be the #3 QB in Arizona this year. GB is very similar and if you thought Rodgers to back-up was a bigger drop, I won't argue with you. Of all the teams with great QB's (and also watching Manning in the preseason, I think it's pretty clear the jury is out on whether he still belongs to that group at the moment), I just think NE is the most screwed if the starter goes down. I think New Orleans is the least screwed because their running game is so good and versatile that they could patch over losing Brees in a way that NE's running game won't save Mallett... Anyway, my main point is Mallett is freakin' awful and NE doesn't seem to have a contingency plan...

by Nathan :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 5:10pm

How many of Mallett's snaps have you watched? I've seen pretty much all of them this year and last and I really don't agree with your assessment of him at all.

by jackgibbs :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 7:56pm

I'm not as high as nathan on mallett, but he isclearly a talent, and with a little more polish I can see him being a successful starter.

I also think you might be underselling the pats defense. their two first rounders look very exciting, and we haven't really seen what ras-i dowling can bring. add a healthy chung and new comer steve gregory and this is a very different unit than it was last year

by MJK :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:38pm

So here's the thing...the Pats didn't have the option of choosing between Mallet and some mythical player who is almost as good as Tom Brady. They had the option of choosing between Mallet, Brian Hoyer, both, or a street free agent. Regardless of our differing opionions on Mallet, he's obviously better than a street free agent. I thought he looked (arguably) better than Hoyer in the preseason. But even if they were equal, Mallet is younger, has more physical upside, is under contract for longer, and most importantly is cheaper. So if you're only going to keep one of them, Hoyer would have to be clearly, unarguably better than Mallet to keep over him. And keeping both doesn't make sense...you can only start one guy at a time, so even if Brady is a 10, Mallet is a 4, and Hoyer is a 4, you can't keep both of them and think you have an 8 if Brady goes down.

(Note that keeping both last year made sense because Mallet was new to the system and rough around the edges, much like Brady himself in 2000, and it would have been Hoyer playing if Brady went down, but Mallet was being groomed for the future).

Obvioulsy, you're right. If Brady goes down, the Pats are in trouble. That is true of practically every team with a HOF QB, unless the backup happens to be...Tom Brady. :-) But remember, people thought the same thing in 2008, and the Pats did OK. Yes part of that was an easy schedule, but part of it, I think, is McDaniels knowing how to get the most out of his QB's. I think Mallet is at least as good now as Cassel was then...certainly he has more physical skills.

Also, on the defense, I think it's dangerous to infer too much from last year's defense being "at best built to complement the offense and at worst one of the worst in the league". We know from FO's research that defenses are far more variable than offenses from year to year. Add in the fact that at least regression to the mean will help, that the Pats were in the midst of transforming their system last year, and that they've had almost complete turnover in players, and there could be a significant improvement. Maybe there won't be...but one thing is sure. This year's defense won't look anything like last year's. 13 new players on defense as of Friday. In particular, the pass rush looks to be MUCH improved, as does the pass coverage (assuming health, Chung-Gregory-McCourty-Arrington-Dowling is much better than some crazy combination involving McCourty out of position, Arrington, Ihedigbo, Molden, Moore, Barret, Brown, and a partridge in a pear tree).

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 09/04/2012 - 10:37am

As to the Saints, I also think Chase Daniel is by far the best of the superstar QBs' backups. He should get a chance to start somewhere when his contract's up (end of this season, I think). He's also tolerably stylistically similar to Brees. Obviously he'd be a downgrade, but I think the Chase Daniel Saints could still hang a lot of points on teams.

by Dean :: Tue, 09/04/2012 - 10:44am

Has he done anything in the NFL? I know I was underwhelmed by him coming out of Mizzou, but I haven't paid attention since.

by Mr Shush :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 5:30pm

The Saints and Texans play each other every pre-season, so I've probably seen more of him than most non-Saints fans. I don't think he's going to be a star or anything, but I think he's a quality back-up who could potentially start somewhere and in the context of the Saints' loaded offense could probably produce pretty damn effectively for a few games if Brees got hurt.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Tue, 09/04/2012 - 9:49pm

It's even harder rate backup QBs than starters because chances are you haven't even seen most of them play, and even then you have a small sample size. Still, I think Byron Leftwich makes a pretty good backup, especially now that he's escaped a preseason without a shattered sacrum or somesuch.

by Nathan :: Tue, 09/04/2012 - 11:11pm

I think the word you are looking for is "ankle."

by BaronFoobarstein :: Thu, 09/06/2012 - 8:19pm

Chances are you haven't ankle most of them play? That doesn't even make sense!

by dryheat :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 4:22pm

In re: Koppen, doesn't Tennessee need a center, and play New England in week 1? I''m surprised Tenn or Cinn hasn't signed him yet

by BigCheese :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 10:46pm

A.J. Greene was also waived today.

Bears undrafted rookie T A.J. Green, but still... :P

Also, is it just me, or are Xavier Adibi and Rashied Davis as "big" a name as almost any on that list?

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by BigCheese :: Fri, 08/31/2012 - 10:48pm

So, Okoye is heading back to the Bears. Very happy to see that.

And wasn't Atogwe like the hot Safety FA two years ago? ANy Philly fans know how he played last year? I mean, the Bears really oculd use safety help, and I think they might look his way.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Dean :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 8:14am

Last year he took the usual veteran route. He signed a big money deal with the redskins and got hurt. Philly didn't bring him in until right before camp.

by TomC :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 10:53am

Totally agree on Atogwe. I was disappointed when the Rams re-signed him whatever year that was. Since then he's probably lost a step, but it's hard to imagine he wouldn't be an upgrade over whoever is the 4th safety right now (Anthony Walters?).

by Marko :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 1:10pm

Gotta disagree on Atogwe. From what I've read, they thankfully have no interest in him. In the past few years, the Bears have brought in a couple of well-known veteran safeties who at some point were considered good players (Adam Archuleta and Brandon Meriweather). The general reaction when they were first acquired was similar to your comment in that people thought they would be an upgrade over what the Bears had at safety. Boy, was that wrong. Archuleta and Meriweather were complete disasters. Beware of washed up safeties that other teams are all too happy to get rid of.

by BigCheese :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 5:42pm

Archuleta I'll give you, but I don't know anyone who was expecting good things from Merriweather in Chicago.

Speaking of which, now that he's playing in the same defensive backfield as Dante Hall, how soon until we see Hall thinking "I have safety help, let me jump this route!" at the same time Merriweather's thinking it's time for him to freelance, they flatten each other and the reciever walks untouched into the end zone.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 6:34pm

I assume you mean DeAngelo Hall. If Dante Hall's part of your defensive backfield, your issues go deeper than freelancing safeties. Though some would probably say the same of DeAngelo... and Meriweather for that matter.

Wasn't it a tackle like you describe on one of his own teammates which contributed to Meriweather leaving the Patriots?

by BigCheese :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 10:25pm

Yes DeAngelo. Was juggling a conversation, a bad internet connection and looking up some things at the time.

- Alvaro

Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs

by Slaymont Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 4:40pm

Otogwe got cut by the Redskins, who viewed Madieu Williams as an upgrade. That should tell you everything you need to know about him.

by chemical burn :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 5:04pm

Atogwe getting cut was actually probably the biggest surprise of the cuts - he looked pedestrian, but Jarrett was AWFUL. And excluding the starters (who are no great shakes) those were the only guys on the roster in danger of playing at an NFL level. If Allen goes it will be bad. If Coleman goes down, it will be a disaster. They really needed a stable veteran back-up like Atogwe and I just understand what they see in Jarrett other than his fairly high draft position. It was the only cut I strongly disliked - although I think keeping Kafka around would have been more worthwhile than pretending Trent Edward's preseason performance means a goddamned thing.

by akn :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 7:53pm

It would be interesting adding Oshiomogho Atogwe with Amobe Okoye, Israel Idonije, Stephen Paea, Matt Toeaina, and Cheta Ozougwu for the Bears all-vowels defense.

by Slaymont Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 3:34am

...and resign Adewale Ogunleye and Pisa Tinoisamoa for veteran depth, and sit back and enjoy radio booths from opposing teams attempt to pronounce names when the Bears are on defense.

by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 4:07pm

I will merely smirk at Greg Jones being cut. I had to listen to college fans tell me ad nauseum the guy was awesome when it was very clear the defense was designed for him to make tackles. He wasn't special. It was entirely the scheme.

I am sorry the guy lost his job. Not taking pleasure in that. Just the know it all fans who bellered at me and clearly didn't have a clue.

by Insancipitory :: Sat, 09/01/2012 - 6:01pm

And the Seahawks released Kellen Winslow....

by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 4:46am

the Demps move reeks of bending if not breaking the rules
from fine to IR in less than a day?

but that's darth hoody and the mystery injury report for ya

Velvet Sky fan

by dryheat :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 8:58am

I doubt it. The Patriots could really, really, use him week 1 -- they have absolutely no legitimate kick returners on the roster. A player declaring himself to be "fine" before the benefit of any medical testing isn't necessarily healthy...and that probably goes double for Belichick. Rule #1 is you don't talk about injuries out of house.

Demps seems to be a good candidate for the half-season IR.

by PatsFan :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 12:48pm

I don't believe Demps is eligible for the half-season IR:
* He wasn't on IR when the agreement (and the 2012 exemption) were announced.
* He did not go on IR from the 53-man roster.

He's gone for the year.

by Purds :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 12:53pm

If you're not cheating, you're not trying...

by PatsFan :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 5:49pm

And if you're not whining about something, you're not a Colts fan...

by Purds :: Sun, 09/02/2012 - 7:18pm

Oh, did I insult you by getting a little too close to the truth? Sorry that you're so touchy, even before the season starts. Hope nothing bad actually happens. I'll try to play nice. You just go ahead and keep manipulating the rules. Don't whine to me that you didn't cheat if you get fined or lose a draft pick or anything like that. We've been down that road before, and we've all hear the vociferous FO Pats fans come out in defense. Wish I had some of the cool aid.

Oh, and by the way, what do you think is the legitimate reason for IR on Demps? You really think he's injured?

by MJK :: Mon, 09/03/2012 - 1:13am

What would be the point of putting him on IR if he wasn't injured? He's on the full year IR--Belichick confirmed that in an interview. So he can't play this year (unless there's some sort of injury settlement/waiver wire rule in effect...I get confused about the details of that). Either way, if he's not injured, putting him in IR is bad for the Pats. They're paying a player who can't play for them this year.

by Marko :: Mon, 09/03/2012 - 4:05am

The reason why teams sometimes put players on IR who aren't really injured (or who have minor injuries that will heal well before the end of the season) is obvious: Instead of cutting the player if he wasn't going to make the 53-man roster, they stash him on IR for a year to prevent another team from claiming him. The season becomes somewhat like a redshirt year for the player (although he isn't allowed to practice), and the team hopes he learns the team's system and can make the team and contribute next year.

This link explains all of this with respect to Demps and what some suspect the Patriots of doing: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/02/pats-stashing-of-jeff-de...

by Dan :: Mon, 09/03/2012 - 4:13am

The IR is like the practice squad, except other teams can't claim him (and he can't practice or get called up during the season). He gets a full year to work out, build a football player's body instead of a sprinter's, and learn the playbook & NFL-level technique. The Pats keep his rights without using up a roster spot.

I don't know if that's actually what's happening, but it would make some sense if it was. I think the Bears did something along these lines a few years ago with Henry Melton, who was transitioning from RB to the defensive line.

by tuluse :: Mon, 09/03/2012 - 11:07am

The Bears do this all the time, it just rarely actually works.

by PatsFan :: Wed, 09/05/2012 - 9:06am

did I insult you by getting a little too close to the truth?

Nope. Just laying out some reciprocal truth on you. Which apparently you can't take.

by dryheat :: Mon, 09/03/2012 - 8:39am

I get the mechanics, yet this is neither new or exclusive to the Pats. If a player is injured, he cannot be released without an injury settlement, so he takes up a spot on the roster for an indeterminate amount of time, or he goes on IR. Demps isn't the first or the five hundred and first player to go on IR with an injury that wouldn't require him to be out for the entire season otherwise. It's simply the nature or the IR rules in the NFL. If this is Pete Carroll or Ron Rivera, it's a non-story. The player can file a grievance if he wants to, but the fact is that if Demps only had a two or three week injury, he would be on the 53. The Pats desperately need a kick returner.