NFL Cut Week Candidates – by Ben Barton

NFL coaches love to tell you that in the NFL, every week is important. They don’t like to admit that some weeks really are more important than others. The football calendar is marked by several “of most important” weeks. The NFL Draft is one, The Super Bowl is another. The third? This week – Cut Week.

Every team has until September 1st to slash their 90-man rosters down to a maximum of 53. That’s 37 players per team, meaning that in just a single week, potentially 1,184 players will lose their jobs.

Most of these players will be veterans, undrafted rookies, or players struggling with injuries. However, every year, a few players fall on the wrong side of the roster bubble and cause a (small) splash in the free agent market. I’m here to lay out 5 players that, if they get cut, should find a spot on another roster without much trouble.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

Ameer Abdullah, Running Back – Detroit Lions

If you look up the term ‘flatter to deceive”, you’ll find a picture of Ameer Abdullah. He was a 2nd Round draft pick in 2015 and eventually won the starting job in his rookie season – although that didn’t come until Week 12. After his 2016 season ended in Week 2 with torn foot ligaments, Abdullah was expected to take a step forward in 2017 – he didn’t. Instead, he ended the season with 552 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns. Detroit’s search for a 1,000-yard rusher goes on.

ameer
(Photo Credit: Daniel Mears/Detroit News)

He enters 2018 behind Kerryon Johnson, LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick on the depth chart, and has been running with the 2nd team for most of the preseason. It’s possible he gets traded, but would anybody be willing to part with draft picks for a player who looks destined to be cut? Doubtful.

Potential Destinations: Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs

Jeff Janis, Wide Receiver – Cleveland Browns

Jeff Janis has all the measurables you want from a number one wide receiver. 6’3”, 219lbs, 4.42 40-yard dash – athletically, he’s a specimen. For whatever reason, he just hasn’t turned that athleticism into production on a football field.

After being run out of town in Green Bay, Janis now finds himself struggling to make a significant impact in Cleveland. With Josh Gordon set to return to a team that already features Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, and Duke Johnson Jr, not to mention rookie Antonio Callaway – there appears to be little room for Janis to make an impact at wide receiver, especially after being outshone by C.J. Board in the preseason. While there might be room for him on special teams, it’s equally likely that Cleveland gets rid of him altogether.

Potential Destinations: Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts

Joe Williams, Running Back – San Francisco 49ers

This time last year, the Joe Williams hype train was almost out of control. Everywhere you looked, especially within the dynasty fantasy community, everyone was issuing the same missive: buy Joe Williams.

Now? He might not even make the 49ers roster. If signing Jerick McKinnon to a workhorse-type deal was a signal of intent, bringing in Alfred Morris might just have sealed Joe Williams’ fate.

49ers Texans Football
 Photo Credit: AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

He was excellent in college at Utah and is lightning fast – but just hasn’t been able to stay healthy, missing all 16 games last year with an ankle sprain and is already suffering from fractured ribs this preseason. It’s possible that both he and fellow running-back Jeremy McNichols find themselves looking for new teams by the weekend.

Potential Destinations: Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers, TennesseeTitans

Jordan Leggett, Tight End – New York Jets

In one of the most gripping National Championship games in recent times, Jordan Leggett stepped up to make one of the most memorable plays of the game, a vital acrobatic reception on third down to keep Clemson’s game-winning drive alive.

Unfortunately for Leggett, he hasn’t been able to have the same impact on the field at Met Life Stadium. He missed four games last season to a knee sprain, and failed to make any notable impression during his rookie season. So far this preseason, even with Austin Sefarian-Jenkins leaving to join the Jacksonville Jaguars,

Leggett finds himself lagging behind Chris Herndon and Eric Tomlinson on the depth chart, and has been outplayed by Neal Sterling so far. Last night looks likely to be Leggett’s last action in a Jets uniform.

Potential Destinations: New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions

Bonus Pick:

Kaare Vedvik, Kicker/Punter, Baltimore Ravens

The Norwegian undrafted rookie has displayed a massive leg as both a kicker and punter and has been catching the eye of several NFL teams.

Just last year, kicker Will Lutz was a Raven drawing favorable glances and ended up having an excellent season for the Saints. Vedvik seems to be following the same trajectory, and could very well find himself starting on an NFL roster very soon.

Honorable mentions: Brandon Marshall (WR, SEA); De’Angelo Henderson (RB, DEN); Breshad Perriman (WR; BAL)

By Ben Barton – @Baron_Barton

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