Cutting to 80: The Path To A 53-Man Roster

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NFL teams are required to trim their rosters from 90 to 80 players on Tuesday. The first cuts are usually to 75 players, but the NFL is wisely giving teams some extra time to evaluate players in this shortened off-season. A quick explanation of PUP (Physically Unable to Perform). The PUP list is something that allows teams to keep injured players on their roster without counting against the 53-man limit. Players currently on the PUP (Colin Cole, Cameron Morrah, Deon Butler, Roy Lewis) DO count against the 80-man roster, so the Seahawks will need to cut 10 other players. Players that remain on the PUP list when the 53-man roster is announced will have to sit out the first six games of the season.

Number kept in 2010: 3
Currently on roster: 3
Avg kept since 2008: 3
Prediction: There is little reason to expect a change here, and none of the first 10 cuts will come from this position.

Number kept in 2010: 4
Currently on roster: 7
Avg kept since 2008: 5
Prediction: Justin Forsett, Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington and Michael Robinson will make the final roster. Thomas Clayton will likely stick around through the first cuts as the team needs a running back to take the bulk of the carries in the final pre-season game. That may also save Vai Taua. Both Taua and FB Dorson Boyce are possible cuts on Tuesday.

Number kept in 2010: 6
Currently on roster: 12
Avg kept since 2008: 5.7
Prediction: Mike Williams, Sidney Rice, Ben Obomanu, Golden Tate are locks. Kris Durham is pretty darn near a lock due to being a 4th round pick this year. Doug Baldwin has been the best receiver in camp outside of Sidney Rice, and has shown promise as a return man. Deon Butler is injured and will either be put on PUP or waived/injured at the 53-man cut-down, so he will not be let go this week. Patrick Williams and Brandon Smith are almost certain cuts this week. It’s possible the team let’s Isaiah Stanbeck go as favor to allow the veteran to have the most time to catch on with another team. Ricardo Lockette is a guy they’d likely want to save for the practice squad, so he’ll stick around. Chris Carter is right on the bubble for the first cuts, but is more likely to go than to stay. At least three get cut from this group on Tuesday.

Number kept in 2010: 4
Currently on roster: 6
Avg kept since 2008: 3.3
Prediction: John Carlson, Anthony McCoy, and Zach Miller are locks. Dominique Byrd would seem to have earned a spot. Cameron Morrah will be put on PUP. Ryan Travis is on the bubble for this first cut. He will not make the final roster. 

Number kept in 2010: 11
Currently on roster: 14
Avg kept since 2008: 10
Prediction: Russell Okung, Robert Gallery, Max Unger, John Moffitt, James Carpenter, Tyler Polumbus, Mike Gibson are locks. Paul McQuistan and Breno Giacomini likely stick as well. Paul Fanaika likely makes it, and probably William Robinson. Brent Osborne is a guy they probably want on the practice squad. Lemuel Juanpierre and Zach Hurd could be part of the first cuts. This is a group that could see a veteran pick-up to replace a reserve when the team gets to 53 players.

Number kept in 2010: 9
Currently on roster: 17 (included Jameson Konz in this group)
Avg kept since 2008: 9
Prediction: Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Raheem Brock, Brandon Mebane, Alan Branch, Junior Siavii,  and Jimmy Wilkerson are locks. Colin Cole will either go on PUP or be waived/injured, but is safe for this first cut. Dexter Davis, Pep Livingston, Pierre Allen, Jameson Konz and Maurice Fountain are safe for the first cuts. Jay Alford, David Howard, A.J. Schable, and Teryl White are possible cuts this Tuesday.

Number kept in 2010: 6
Currently on roster: 10
Avg kept since 2008: 6
Prediction: Leroy Hill, Aaron Curry, David Hawthorne, K.J. Wright, Malcolm Smith and David Vobora are locks. Mike Morgan and Neal Howey are possible practice squad guys. Matt McCoy is a great special teams player, but Vobora’s signing appears to make him the odd man out. The team could do him the veteran favor of letting him go early. Michael Johnson is probably cut this Tuesday.

Number kept in 2010: 6
Currently on roster: 10
Avg kept since 2008: 4.7
Prediction: Marcus Trufant, Walter Thurmond, Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner are locks. Roy Lewis will start the year on PUP. There is a closer race than people think between Kelly Jennings and Byron Maxwell. Maxwell is strong on special teams, but Jennings has experience. I would not be shocked to see Maxwell get that spot. Ron Parker, Kennard Cox, and Jesse Hoffman are all at risk on Tuesday. Expect 1-3 players from this group to be part of first cuts.

Number kept in 2010: 4
Currently on roster: 7
Avg kept since 2008: 4
Prediction: Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Josh Pinkard, and Atari Bigby are locks. Mark LeGree is someone they’d like for the practice squad. Jeron Johnson is another practice squad possibility. Ricky Thenarse is a likely cut this Tuesday.

Special Teams
Number kept in 2010: 3
Currently on roster: 4
Avg kept since 2008: 3.3
Prediction: Jon Ryan, Jeff Reed and Clint Gresham (long snapper) are locks. Jon Gold will be let go, but probably will do all the punting in the final pre-season game to play it safe with Jon Ryan. It’s not likely a cut will happen here on Tuesday, but it’s not out of the question.

Guessing the first 10 cuts: Ron Parker, Michael Johnson, Teryl White, David Howard, Zach Hurd, Patrick Williams, Brandon Smith, Kennard Cox, A.J. Schable, Ricky Thenarse.

It’s going to be a rough few days for about 20 guys on the roster who are hoping they don’t get called.

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