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NFL teams have to make some tough decisions and even send tougher messages to many players in the coming hours.
By 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, all 32 franchises must cut their rosters from 90 to a maximum of 53. Some teams have already started winding down, with a few announcements appearing after teams completed their final pre-season matches in the past few days. Teams are also using this deadline to swing trades, as the Dallas Cowboys’ move to acquire quarterback Trey Lance stands out among many already completed deals. Could there be more on the way?
Check back with USA TODAY Sports throughout the day for all the news regarding the notable players released or transferred ahead of Tuesday’s deadline:
The Minnesota Vikings made several roster cuts Monday, including former XFL players QB Jordan Ta’amu and RB Abram Smith.
Ta’amu threw 14 touchdowns and three interceptions for the runner-up DC Defenders last season. Smith, who also played for the Defenders, led the league in rushing with 791 yards and seven touchdowns on 158 carries. Both were named to the 2023 All-XFL Team.
An outstanding pass rusher could be looking for a change of scenery.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote Monday that Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett is “gauge the market for potential to play more elsewhere.”
Barnett, 27, is part of the Eagles’ deep squad led by Hasson Reddick, Josh Sweet and Brandon Graham. The former first-round player, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Philadelphia’s home opener against the Detroit Lions last year, is entering the final year of his contract on a base salary of $3.5 million.
There is still over 24 hours left until the NFL roster cut deadline, but several moves have already been cleared. Among the early moves on Monday:
- The Pirates have released DT Deadrin Senat, S Nolan Turner, G John Molchon and OT Michael Niese, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
- The Steelers have fired LB Tanner Muse, according to NFL Network’s Tom Bellicero.
- The Colts plan to release former WR Breshard Perriman in the first round, according to multiple reports.
- The Chiefs released WR Marcus Kemp, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The Bears’ first batch of cuts consisted of just three players, but two names sparked some intrigue.
Chicago released quarterback BJ Walker, who signed a two-year contract with the team in March after spending three years with the Carolina Panthers. Walker was initially seen as a prime candidate to be the backup to Justin Fields, but that role may now fall to rookie Tyson Bagnet, an undrafted Division II Shepherd college freshman who holds the NCAA record for career assists (159). Pagent’s only other remaining competition is veteran Nathan Peterman.
The Bears also waived offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, a 2021 first-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders who was claimed by Chicago last August. Leatherwood has played in just four games for the Bears, and the Bears will be charged nearly $4.6 million for the money he is still owed.
Two teams, in the midst of rebuilding their offensive lines, reached an agreement with each other on Sunday to reshape their fronts further.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sent offensive guard Kevin Dotson to the Los Angeles Rams as part of a pick trade. The Steelers will receive a 2024 Rams fourth-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick, while Los Angeles will receive a 2024 fifth-round pick and a 2025 sixth-round pick to Pittsburgh.
A fourth-round draft pick in 2020, Dotson has started all 17 Steelers games at left guard this season, but the signing of Isaac Seumalo saw him play a backup role. In Los Angeles, he must provide added depth to a front looking to provide more consistency and better protect veteran midfielder Matthew Stafford when he returns to the lineup.
Could Kendall Hinton’s bizarre career with the Denver Broncos be at an end?
The wide receiver was among the Broncos’ first wave of cuts on Sunday. Although he could return to the team as a member of the practice squad, it’s unclear if he will be claimed by another team — or if he’s considered for Denver at all at this point.
Hinton became famous as the Broncos’ quarterback in one game in 2020 when all four of the team’s passers were sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols, and three of them violated close contact rules. However, last season he helped an injury-plagued team by playing in 58% of the team’s offensive strikeouts. He finished with 33 catches for 311 yards.
Teams must narrow their rosters down to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Several teams have already announced their first wave of cuts, and more will appear on Mondays and Tuesdays before the official rosters appear.
However, the lists aren’t quite “final” by Tuesday afternoon. Teams have until noon on Wednesday to file claims for any players waived in the roster reduction process. Of course, teams must make corresponding moves to keep their lists at 53 when adding a player, which means some players may think they made the “final” cut only to learn the day later that they’re out.