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10 most surprising cuts made by NFL teams for 80-man roster deadline: Fan’s take
Thanks to new agreements in the CBA, August 30 marked the first time all NFL teams needed to trim their rosters down to 80 players. While teams are still restricted to having a 53-man roster by September 3, many teams have already made big decisions to let go of useful veterans and recognizable players due to high salaries, injuries, and poor offseason performance. Here's a look at 10 of the most surprising players to find themselves cut by their respective teams over the past few days.
Signed just two weeks ago on August 15, Bullocks was unable to make an impression on the team, being outshined by the likes of Tyvon Branch(notes), Mike Mitchell(notes), and Matt Giordano(notes). This former 2005 second round pick for the New Orleans Saints had his best season in 2007 with 77 tackles, one sack, and two interceptions.
An undrafted free agent from UCLA, Havner was one of the three players released by the Packers to reach the 80-man roster limit. A backup tight end behind Jermichael Finley(notes), Andrew Quarless(notes), and Tom Crabtree(notes), Havner was also a key special teams contributor with 20 tackles back in 2009.
Another high draft pick who did not pan out, Kelly's first few years of his career were plagued with injuries. Dealing with an injured knee, hamstring, and foot since 2008, the Oklahoma product has only played in 21 regular season games and caught 28 passes.
A former backfield starter for the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints, Bell came into a situation with the Lions with a chance to gain from a season-ending injury to Mikel LeShoure(notes), but was became an early cut due to a recent illness.
A strongside linebacker with many years of experience, Diggs ended last season with a pectoral tear. Also carrying a $1.25 million cap this year, Diggs's salary, injury concerns, plus loss of a starting spot to former Packer Brady Poppinga(notes) led to his release.
A long snapper who has been a part of the team since their 1994 Super Bowl team, Binn and the Chargers parted ways after Binn lost his competition with Mike Windt(notes). After suffering a hamstring injury last season, Binn leaves the team as the all-times games played leader.
A move that caught him off guard, Haye was set to make about $3 million this season. However, due to a defensive tackle position battle between younger players Jurrell Casey(notes), Zach Clayton(notes), and Karl Klug(notes), the Titans decided to go younger and release a player who has been a solid contributor on their defensive line for the past two seasons.
A fourth round draft pick in 2005 by the Patriots, Sanders was one of the veterans on the team. Despite being tied for second on the team with three interceptions, Sanders was set to make at least $2.8 million and has been battling a leg injury, marking the end of a stint with the team that saw him collect 303 tackles and eight interceptions.
A solid pass-rushing presence over the past nine seasons, Brown had a down year for the Saints when he only collected two sacks. Slated to earn $3 million this season, Brown was deemed expendable after the drafting of California star Cameron Jordan(notes) and former Detroit defensive end Turk McBride(notes).
By far the most accomplished player released in the first round of cuts to reach the 80-man roster limit, Gurode is a five-time Pro Bowl pick and was healthy during training camp. Due a $5.5 million base salary, Gurode was definitely cut for salary-cap reasons and is already being contacted by several teams since being released, including the Seattle Seahawks.
August 2011 Transactions, NFL.com
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Austin Chang is a lifelong football fan, San Francisco 49ers supporter, San Francisco Bay Area native, and contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
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