Tracking the 2016 Roster Cut Casualties

Tracking the 2016 Roster Cut Casualties

By Brandon Niles (4for4 Scout), last updated Sep 5, 2016

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Brandon has been a regular contributor to 4for4 since 2006. He's an experienced writer with a background in communication, business and alcoholic beverages.

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The sad day of final cuts is upon us once again, as NFL teams around the league trim their rosters to get down to the 53 players allowed for the regular season. This is a day when teams make the hard decisions that will ultimately decide whether a player lives out his dream, or has to start thinking about a life after football. For many, this may be the last chance at a career in the NFL. For a few, this day marks vindication for a lifetime of hard work and struggle to reach this pinnacle of athletic achievement.

For fantasy owners, final cut day tells a different story. As teams make their final cuts, fans and fantasy owners are treated to a flurry of activity that could make or break a fantasy team. Did you draft the right handcuff? Did your veteran quarterback win the job? Is your kicker still employed? Add to that the excitement of the impending NFL regular season, and it’s a good time to be a football fan.

To keep track of all these moves, has you covered! This article will be updated right up until the final cut is made preparing for the 2016 NFL season, so check in before your fantasy drafts for any potentially impactful transactions. The below team-by-team brief analysis is not meant to be comprehensive, but will highlight any fantasy-relevant moves. On Tuesday afternoon, teams will need to be down to 75 players, with the final cut to 53 players due this Saturday, September 3rd.

Additionally, players placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and placed on injured reserve (IR) during final cuts will be noted. IR designation usually means the players’ season is done. Game over. Meanwhile, PUP makes the player ineligible to play for the first six weeks of the season.


Arizona Cardinals: Kerwynn Williams, RB

With Andre Ellington healthy and David Johnson and Chris Johnson expected to be the main backs, there wasn't room on the roster for Williams, who has been productive in spot duty in the past and could catch on elsewhere in a backup role.

Atlanta Falcons: Sean Renfree, QB//Shayne Graham, K

Sean Renfree will no longer be the backup in Atlanta, which isn’t a surprise since the Falcons brought in veteran Matt Schaub over the off-season. Graham wasn't expected to beat out Matt Bryant, who should remain the kicker in Atlanta.

Baltimore Ravens: Ben Watson, TE (IR)//Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB (PUP)//Keenan Reynolds, WR/RS//Michael Campanaro, WR//Justin Forsett, RB

Watson tore his Achilles tendon in the third pre-season game and was placed on IR, making Crockett Gillmore the only truly healthy option at the TE position in Baltimore. Taliaferro going to PUP makes room for both rookie Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West to make the roster. Baltimore will hope Reynolds clears waivers so they can add him to the practice squad, but he clearly wasn't ready yet. Campanaro was a bit of a surprise but is a good sign for the health of Breshard Perriman. Forsett is a surprise cut, but should bode well for Terrance West to assume the starting role. Buck Allen should still be the pass-catching back. 

Buffalo Bills: Jerome Felton, FB//Blake Annen, TE//Dan Herron, RB

Felton lost out to the younger Glenn Gronkowski for the starting fullback job. No fantasy potential here at the fullback position, but Felton was once a decent receiver out of the backfield. Annen's release means sophomore Nick O'Leary will likely stick as a sub-package TE. Herron was beat out by rookie Jonathan Williams and Mike Gillislee for backup duties behind LeSean McCoy.

Carolina Panthers: None

No significant roster cuts at this time.

Chicago Bears: Senorise Perry, RB//Darrel Young, FB//Tony Moeaki, TE//Daniel Braverman, WR//Jacquizz Rodgers, RB//Robbie Gould, K

Drafting Jordan Howard and the return of Jacquizz Rodgers from injury made Perry expendable. The veteran Young was beaten out by second-year New Zealand import Paul Lasike. Moeaki was in a good position in Chicago to get his career back on track but couldn't get it going. Zach Miller remains an interesting low-cost option at the TE position. Braverman is a versatile rookie who most thought would make the roster, and Mariani was supposed to be the RS, but their release likely means Deonte Thompson's job is safe. Rodgers became expendable after the team drafted Jordan Howard. Gould comes as a surprise since he's been there over a decade, but whoever the Bears sign to be their new kicker has limited value in an offense with some question marks. 

Cincinnati Bengals: Zach Hocker, K//Brandon Tate, WR//Mario Alford, WR

Mike Nugent will remain the kicker in Cincinnati after the release of Hocker. The veteran Tate will likely replaced by rookie Alex Erickson in the return game, and the release of Alford means rookie sixth-round pick Cody Core should make the final 53.

Cleveland Browns: Travis Coons, K//Austin Davis, QB

The release of Coons means Patrick Murray has won the kicking job in Cleveland. Davis, who had a couple of starts last year, became expendable after the Browns signed Robert Griffin III and drafted Cody Kessler.

Dallas Cowboys: Kellen Moore, QB (IR)//Devin Street, WR//Darren McFadden, RB (NFI)

Moore going to IR wasn't a surprise after breaking his leg during the off-season. Dallas will go with rookie Dak Prescott while Tony Romo is hurt and may look to sign a veteran backup for the short term. Street was beat out by Brice Butler as a sub-package WR. McFadden going to NFI will keep him out at least the first six weeks, guaranteeing Alfred Morris is the right handcuff to Zeke Elliott. 

Denver Broncos: Garrett Graham, TE (IR)//Juwan Thompson, FB//Kalif Raymond, RS//Mark Sanchez, QB//Ronnie Hillman, RB

Graham's injury makes Virgil Green that much more entrenched as the starting TE in Denver. Raymond lost out to Jordan Norwood for the primary returner job. Thompson has gotten spot carries over the last couple of seasons, but was beat out by rookie Andy Janovich out of Nebraska. Sanchez lost out to Trevor Siemian for the starting job and the Broncos decided to save some money by releasing him. The release of Hillman indicates a role for Devontae Booker on passing downs and makes C.J. Anderson a little extra valuable as the lead back. 

Detroit Lions: Devon Bell, K//Brandon Pettigrew, TE (PUP)//Corey Fuller, WR (PUP)//Matthew Mulligan, TE//T.J. Jones, WR

Matt Prater won the kicking competition against Bell. Corey Fuller going to PUP and the release of Jones might open the door for Andre Roberts to make the roster and contribute in sub-packages and possibly the return game. The release of Mulligan and Pettigrew going to PUP might mean good things for veteran journeyman Orson Charles, who has a chance to be the number two TE with Andrew Quarless suspended if he can beat out Adam Fuehne and Cole Wick.

Green Bay Packers: None

No significant roster cuts at this time.

Houston Texans: Cecil Shorts, WR

Shorts is a bit of a surprise, but he may get picked up somewhere. The promising performances of rookie Will Fuller and sophomore Jaelen Strong made Shorts expendable, and both should be considered high upside, end of the bench fantasy options for owners still drafting or looking for waiver stash material. 

Indianapolis Colts: Stevan Ridley, RB

Ridley's time in Indianapolis was short-lived, as he was only signed within the past week or so. His departure should leave the backup RB job open for Robert Turbin or rookie Josh Ferguson.

Jacksonville Jaguars: None

No significant roster cuts at this time.

Kansas City Chiefs: Aaron Murray, QB//Kevin Hogan, QB//Frankie Hammond, WR

With newly acquired Nick Foles on the roster, the Chiefs were looking to trade Murray. Apparently there were no takers, but someone may sign the former Georgia Bulldog. It's surprising they gave up so quickly on the rookie Hogan, but it came down to numbers. Hammond's release might mean Chris Conley is ready to get some meaningful snaps in sub-package sets.

Los Angeles Rams: None

No significant roster cuts at this time.

Miami Dolphins: Marshall Koehn, K//Daniel Thomas, RB

The kicking competition didn’t end up being an issue for the incumbent Andrew Franks, who seems to have kept his job in the wake of Koehn’s release. Thomas got some pre-season play, but his release likely means Damien Williams will stick as the reserve behind Arian Foster and Jay Ajayi.

Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater, QB (IR)

As expected, Bridgewater was placed on IR after a devastating knee injury Tuesday. Expect the Vikings to bring in another player, but either way, the new guy or Shaun Hill will be risky in most fantasy leagues.

New England Patriots: Dion Lewis, RB (PUP)//Aaron Dobson, WR//Keshawn Martin, WR/RS//Tyler Gaffney, RB

It wasn't unexpected, but it was still a blow for fantasy owners to see Lewis officially out at least until six weeks after being placed on PUP. James White has a chance to emerge as a pass-catching threat out of the backfield and Tyler Gaffney could see more touches as well. The release of the disappointing Dobson might mean that rookie Malcolm Mitchell is recovering well, and should mean good things for free agent acquisition Chris Hogan. Martin and Gaffney getting cut means good things for the versatile rookie D.J. Foster

New Orleans Saints: Connor Barth, K//Travaris Cadet, RB

Kai Forbath won the kicking job with the Saints and is an interesting option because of their prolific offense. Cadet lost out to Marcus Murphy in the return game and rookie Daniel Lasco as a reserve RB.

New York Giants: Nikita Whitlock, FB//Andre Williams, RB

Whitlock was effective last year but an injury-plagued pre-season means Will Johnson will likely replace him as the starting FB. The release of Williams means good things for starter Rashad Jennings and means rookie Paul Perkins should be the right handcuff. 

New York Jets: Kyle Williams, WR//Ross Martin, K//Devin Smith, WR (PUP)//Zach Sudfeld, TE//Jeremy Ross, WR/RS//Tommy Bohanon, FB//Jace Amaro, TE//Khiry Robinson, RB

The release of Williams and Ross means Jalin Marshall will likely be the primary return specialist, and he may even challenge for the WR3 spot. Martin never really challenged Nick Folk, who should keep his kicking job another season. Devin Smith was supposed to provide a deep threat for the Jets, but he won’t get his chance until at least mid-October after being placed on PUP. Sudfeld was unlikely to win the job but was in the running, while Amaro comes as a bit of a surprise. Kellen Davis should be the primary TE this year. The veteran Bohanon was beat out for the starting FB gig by converted LB Julian Howsare. Robinson is still recovering from a leg injury and the Jets will likely put him on IR when he clears waivers. Matt Forte and Bilal Powell are still the backs to own in New York. 

Oakland Raiders: None

No significant roster cuts at this time.

Philadelphia Eagles: Rueben Randle, WR//Chris Givens, WR//Cody Parkey, K

The trade for Dorial Green-Beckham made Randle and Givens expendable. DGB’s only real competition remaining for a starting job opposite Jordan Matthews is Nelson Agholor. Caleb Sturgis will be the kicker to own in Philly with Parkey gone. 

Pittsburgh Steelers: Ladarius Green, TE (PUP)//Bruce Gradkowski, QB (IR)//Demarcus Ayers, WR/RS

Jesse James might be a decent streaming option for now while Green is on PUP. Gradkowski going to IR makes room for newly acquired Zach Mettenberger to challenge for the #3 spot. Ayers was brought in to make a difference in the return game but was outplayed by Eli Rogers in every aspect. 

San Diego Chargers: James Jones, WR//Zach Mettenberger, QB//Javontee Herndon, WR//Branden Oliver, RB (IR)

Jones was thought to have a shot at the No. 3 WR role, which will now likely be occupied by Tyrell Williams until Stevie Johnson returns. Mettenberger failed to challenge veteran Kellen Clemmons for the backup job. Herndon was going to be a primary return specialist. His release opens room for DeAndre Reaves, and gives further opportunities for Williams. Oliver's injury is a blow to the return game as well as the backup RB spot, where Kenneth Farrow should now make the roster.

San Francisco 49ers: Jerome Simpson, WR//Bruce Ellington, WR (IR)//Kelvin Taylor, RB//Jeff Driskel, QB//DuJuan Harris, RB

On a thin roster at WR, it’s surprising that Simpson couldn’t win a job. Ellington is a big blow for the 49er receiving corps. Two less guys on the depth chart should be a good thing for guys like Aaron Burbridge and newly acquired Jeremy Kerley, who could also now be in line for return duties if he can hold off Bryce Treggs. Taylor and Harris were thought to challenge for a backup role, but it looks like Shaun Draughn and Mike Davis will still be the reserve backs behind Carlos Hyde. Driskel's release means Colin Kaepernick is likely to remain a 49er for at least another season.

Seattle Seahawks: None

No significant roster cuts at this time.

Tampa Bay Bucs: Storm Johnson, RB//Donteea Dye, WR//Louis Murphy, WR (PUP)//Kenny Bell, WR

With Johnson’s release, Mike James should remain the third back on the roster behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims. Dye, Bell, and Murphy were the biggest challengers to Adam Humphries, who now should challenge as the WR3 on the team and the primary return specialist.

Tennesse Titans: David Cobb, RB//Bishop Sankey, RB//Justin Hunter, WR//Dexter McCluster, RB/RS

Cobb didn't stand a chance with the additions of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry this off-season. A long way to fall for Sankey, but not a surprise given the depth at the position. Hunter never really lived up to his high potential, but should have a chance with another team with a less crowded depth chart. He wasn't going to be any higher than fifth on this squad. McCluster's value was mostly in the passing an return game, where Tre McBride should replace him.

Washington Redskins: Keith Marshall, RB (IR)//Derek Carrier, TE (PUP)//Logan Paulsen, TE//Mack Brown, RB

With the speedy Marshall done for the year, Robert Kelley and Mack Brown will compete for backup carries behind Matt Jones. Carrier and Paulsen have both had a few starts in recent seasons, but were buried on the depth chart with the return of Niles Paul from injury and the addition of Vernon Davis. The release of Brown ensures that Robert Kelley is the back to own behind Matt Jones.


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