With the preseason over, all that’s left for the team to do before they head off to St Louis for the first game of the regular season is to decide who makes the final cut. Some guys had some high expectations coming in, but due to lack of productivity, effort, ability to execute the new coaching regime’s scheme, or unfortunate injury circumstances, many players will be looking for a new team tomorrow. Here’s the guys who I think will be sticking around:
No surprises here, as all three QBs will be staying with the team, at least until Spielman can convince somebody that Ponder is worth more than a foam cheese shaped head ornament.
I like Banyard better than Asiata, and if this were my decision he’s the one I’d keep. Unfortunately, there are smarter people making the decision, and I believe they’ll be choosing to let Banyard get scooped up by a team in need of his skill.
No need for any more than 1 FB in Turner’s scheme, and Jerome is too good to consider anybody else for the job. The coaches must have seen something in camp that we didn’t get to see in the preseason games, because Line didn’t seem like he had a chance to make this team.
When I learned Simpson had gotten into trouble with the law again, I was ready to cut him loose. I would have preferred the team drafted a WR this year instead of loading up on DBs with so many of their late round picks. Now that Simpson’s suspension has been confirmed for 3 games, it leaves a spot open for Smith to fill. Hopefully the team will be able to sneak Smith onto the practice squad after that, because it looks like he has a good chance of developing into something good in a short time.
With any serious competition being eliminated due to injury, these 3 players emerge with one star recieving TE, one more very reliable receiving TE and the third specializing in creating holes for Adrian. Big surprise out of the Tight End group, as the star of the preseason was cut loose. It’s going to be interesting to see how this team survives with only 2 Tight Ends.
Tony RichardsonAustin Wentworth
There’s been appearances that Wentworth is the favorite to be the backup tackle on this group, but I just can’t allow myself to think that Richardson is not going to get the job. He’s an undrafted free agent who was supposed to get selected in the mid rounds of the draft. It seems like too good of a steal for us to let him get scooped up by another team.
It looks like I should have trusted what I was seeing on the field, because even after his poor performance in replacement duty for Loadhot, Wentworth still made the team ahead my favorite for the spot.
Yankey should be pushing for Johnson’s job pretty soon, but it seems that the value of continuity along the line is being heralded over the value of skilled players. Yankey still makes the cut, sending vets like Ducasse and Baca packing.
Another surprise amongst the offensive line, as they bring in a ninth player to help with their depth.
Berger is remains the most valuable backup on the line, with his ability to transition to any of the interior positions supported by his years of experience proving he is a quality backup.
This group gets heavier than it should be just because there’s too much skill to let any of the three backups chance going to another team. The team ditches a solid veteran backup in favor of youth and potential.
2 solid starters supported by 2 very promising backups should equate to a group of fresh players all throughout the season while rotating in and out in Zimmer’s scheme.
My first impression is that if the team decides to keep this group at 6, it could be Mauti that loses the coin flip. While he has more value as a future prospect, I think the coaches like Dean’s production on special teams too much to keep Mauti around based on what he might add to the team in future seasons. These seven get the nod for now though, producing some solid depth for the back-end of the front seven of this defense. Some extra depth along the group of LBs seems like overkill, so I’m expecting that a good handful of these guys will be contributing a lot on special teams.
With Cox being a surprising cut in the first round of releases earlier this week, a roster spot is opened up for one of our draft picks, and after showing some flashes during the preseason Price ends up getting the nod.
Kurt Coleman Chris Crocker
This was the hardest group to select. Of the guys fighting for the second starting gig, nobody stood out in the preseason. Former starter Jamarca Sanford misses the boat after piling up too many injuries to make the new coaching staff comfortable leaving him on board. Meanwhile, the second starter may prove to be the defense’s biggest weakness this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team try to improve on the position early in next year’s draft.
Proving that this was the toughest group to select, 2 of my picks got cut and a rookie with potential was kept on board in their place. This group still looks very questionable, and I’d be a lot happier if the team found a reliable veteran who didn’t make the final cut on one of the other teams.
No surprises here as the team keeps the group from last year, who spent the entire off-season completely uncontested.
With those 53 (+1), here are the guys I expect to be looking for a new team or profession:
OC Zac Kerin
CB Julian Posey
DE Justin Trattou (After his performance on Thursday, he is one player who I think is able to find a new team)
DT Isame Faciane
OG Vladimir Ducasse (Veteran journeyman should also find a new team)
LB Justin Jackson
LB Mike Zimmer
RB Joe Banyard (Another favorite to be sporting a different jersey next week)
S Jamarca Sanford
OT Mike Remmers
WR Donte Foster
Cuts who the team should try to get on the Practice Squad:
DT Chase Baker
FB Zach Line
OG Jeff Baca
OG Austin Wentworth
S Antone Exum
TE Chase Ford
RB Dominique Williams
LB Brandon Watts
CB Kendall James
WR Kain Colter
[The cuts are all due to be made on Saturday, so check back to see how close my predictions were.]
*Actual results have been adjusted for – the players who made the team that I didn’t think would are highlighted in bold green. My picks who didn’t make the team are