Keeping the momentum alive in an NFL career is never easy.
For some veterans, an injury can derail the progress, or a bad season or a bad scheme fit can start messing with the intellectual side of the game. Players just aren’t the same as they were during their heyday.
Cut day in the NFL represents the end of a dream. For some veterans, it does mean that Father Time finally caught up with them to give them the pink slip.
Here are some notable players who were among the cuts across the league after preseason concluded.
QB Cam Newton
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
It was notable because the New England Patriots couldn’t even find a place for a former NFL MVP as backup to Mac Jones. Newton led the Patriots with a 7-8 record last year, his lone game missed due to being on the COVID-19 reserve. Wherever Newton goes now, he will be the band-aid to an already problematic quarterback situation.
QB Nate Sudfeld
(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Remember when Doug Pederson put in Sudfeld against Washington in Week 17 last year because he wanted to see what he had, even though they were down by a score with rookie Jalen Hurts in the game? The Eagles lost, Pederson got fired, and then the San Francisco 49ers confirmed what most people knew. Good times.
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Howard was a Pro Bowler his rookie year in Chicago in 2016, and added a second 1,000-yard season in 2017. However, when he got to Philadelphia in 2019, the results never manifested. After spending a couple games in Miami in 2020, Howard came back to the Eagles, but he may be done for good this time around,
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The former 2016 first-round pick from Ole Miss never got it going with the Minnesota Vikings (2016-19), Atlanta Falcons (2020), or the Jacksonville Jaguars. With Treadwell going through three NFL teams, and not making Jacksonville’s final roster, one has to wonder whether this is the end of the line.
WR Chris Hogan
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Hogan had a nice run from 2016-18 complementing or filling in for Julian Edelman, but his post-New England phase played out similar to his pre-New England phase. The New Orleans Saints couldn’t find a spot for him on the roster. If there is another Bill Belichick assistant out there, maybe Hogan catches on after Week 2.
WR John Brown
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Imagine telling the Raiders you want out of there. That was the case with Brown, who requested his release. The former Arizona Cardinals 2014 third-round pick, who will now probably be on his fifth NFL team in 2021.
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Hollister appeared he was catching on in the last two years with the Seattle Seahawks; he just needed a change of scenery on a second contract. However, it didn’t manifest with the Buffalo Bills. Tight end is a position that takes attrition throughout the season, so, Hollister should get some calls.
TE Richard Rodgers
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It doesn’t get as good as it was when Aaron Rodgers was your quarterback, but Rodgers had a good run last season 24 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns through 14 games. However, the former Packer wasn’t good enough to make final cuts after a full preseason.
C-G Senio Kelemete
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Kelemete was reliable for the Houston Texans the last few seasons as guard and center. Of course, Bill O’Brien was the coach and Mike Devlin ran the offensive line. Nevertheless, he could still provide solid depth. The 49ers felt differently.
OT Chaz Green
TYRON SMITH, LT, Cowboys: Missed last week’s loss to Atlanta with a groin injury. His replacement, Chaz Green, allowed four of Adrian Clayborn’s six sacks. It’s unclear whether Smith will return this week for a key division matchup against the Eagles. (Getty Images)
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The guy who was filling in for Tyron Smith at left tackle and got Dak Prescott sacked eight times in 2017 just got cut from his fifth team since 2018. The Pittsburgh Steelers saw enough, too.
DT Hassan Ridgeway
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Ridgeway played only 14 games for the Eagles in the past two seasons, recording 3.0 sacks. With the Eagles letting Ridgeway go after preseason, it could be the end of his Philly run. However, interior defensive line always needs help.
DE Everson Griffen
There is an old saying that you can’t go home again. For Griffen, it is true, even after stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions last year. The former Minnesota Vikings 2010 fourth-round pick may be done in the Twin Cities.
LB Benardrick McKinney
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The Texans needed to offload McKinney’s contract, and the Dolphins thought they needed help at inside linebacker. The former 2018 Pro Bowler will look for a third team, maybe one that can use a big-bodied inside linebacker in a 3-4 to stop the run.
CB Artie Burns
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Burns had a promising rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and it never got any better after that. The former 2016 first-round pick from Miami tore his ACL during the month-long training camp last season, and it appears he won’t be completing that comeback in Chicago.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
(AP Photo/LM Otero)
It has been a tough time since the Green Bay Packers released him midseason in 2018. Clinton-Dix finished out the season with Washington, and then played in 2019 with the Bears. Dallas gave him a shot in training camp in 2020, but he was released and was out of football last year. The 49ers may have seen what Green Bay, Washington, Chicago, and Dallas all saw, too.