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    • michael89156

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      Projecting Every NFL Team's Most Difficult Roster Cut By Kristopher Knox Aug 11, 2015 cut1_zpsxuerbgak.jpgMatt Rourke/Associated Press Over the next month, NFL teams are going to use training camps and the preseason to evaluate what they have available on their rosters. At the end of the period, each team will have to trim its roster to 53 men.Some of the coming roster cuts are going to be difficult.On the final day of cuts, every coach and general manager will have to make the painful decision to part ways with at least one player who almost did enough to win a job. In many cases, these guys go on to find a place on a practice squad or start for another team.In some cases, a player like Minnesota Vikings receiver and former Cleveland Browns practice-squad member Charles Johnson will do both.This is the kind of difficult roster cut we're going to try to predict for each team today. Since we're only entering the first full week of preseason action, there will be at least some degree of guesswork here (and it may all look a little foolish in a few weeks). However, we'll try to avoid picking on the career fifth-stringers and undrafted long shots of the league in order to keep it interesting.We'll focus primarily on past performances, injury history, system fit and salary when projecting our cuts, though recent reports and rumors will certainly have some influence.Atlanta Falcons: Dezmen Southwardcut2_zpsnivdjugj.jpgChris Keane/Associated Press Atlanta Falcons defensive back Dezmen Southward was a third-round pick only a year ago. However, the Falcons have a new head coach in place with Dan Quinn, and it appears Southward is going to have to make a successful switch from safety to cornerback to make the final roster.Though he has the raw talent to make a successful conversion, it's not like he excelled when he got opportunities for playing time in 2014. According to Pro Football Focus, he ranked just 166th among all safeties for the season.Southward also underwent knee surgery back in May, which has caused him to miss time during the offseason.Atlanta recently released its first depth chart of the preseason, and Southward is near the bottom of the cornerback group. A depth chart this early in the preseason has little bearing on the coming season, but it does show that Southward will have to beat out a number of talented players to have a shot at making the final roster.His future may depend on how many cornerbacks the Falcons decide to keep on the final roster.Veterans Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford and Phillip Adams are probably locks for the roster, as is second-round draft pick Jalen Collins. Undrafted rookies Akeem King and Kevin White may also make the roster over Southward, who has zero ties with Quinn.Carolina Panthers: Fozzy Whittakercut3_zpssxnfikut.jpgChuck Burton/Associated Press In addition to having one of the coolest names in the entire NFL, running back Fozzy Whittaker was a virtual multi-tool for the Carolina Panthers in 2014. He filled in at running back, returned kicks, played special teams and caught a handful of passes out of the backfield. However, he may have to beat out a number of players—including rookie Cameron Artis-Payne and offseason addition Jordan Todman—in order to stick on the final roster in 2015.Jonathan Stewart should remain the starter, and fullback Mike Tolbert should own a roster spot as well. The offseason acquisition of return specialist Ted Ginn may also hurt Whittaker's value on special teams.Depending on how many backs the Panthers decide to keep, there could be a battle between Whittaker and Todman for a single roster spot.Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer likes Todman to make the final roster:Jordan Todman, the running back whom the Carolina Panthers signed in March, is the early leader. The guy runs with authority and for a little guy he blocks with authority, too. I saw him handle linebacker A.J. Klein on a blitz, and I’m a Klein fan. Now, because Todman played three seasons for Jacksonville, started a game for Jacksonville last season and ran 62 yards for a touchdown last season, you could say he’s not a long shot.Tolbert also seems to like Todman. "He's a tenacious cat," he said, per David Newton of ESPN.com. "We call him 'Sir Purr' just because he's always on the move. You watch the game and Sir Purr is always running around, moving, dancing, doing whatever he can."If Carolina only decides to keep three tailbacks on the final roster, Whittaker could easily be the odd man out.New Orleans Saints: Josh Morgancut4_zpsone7eqlv.jpgChris Tilley/Associated Press Depending on how many wide receivers the New Orleans Saints decide to carry into the regular season, the team could face a few difficult decisions in the near future.Wideouts Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks are locks to make the final roster. When the Saints released their first depth chart of the preseason, Brandon Coleman, Lance Lewis, Nick Toon and Joe Morgan were listed as primary backups.If the depth chart remains constant, it would leave seven-year veteran Josh Morgan on the cutting pile.Morgan has a ton of NFL experience to go with 209 career receptions, so it's hard to believe that cutting him would be a simple decision. He appeared in 14 games for the Bears last season, though he only had 12 touches for 100 yards and a touchdown.The problem for Morgan is that he is 30 years old and doesn't play special teams.Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com believes Morgan will wind up battling a handful of younger players for the final receiver spots. If this is how things play out, the Saints could well turn to a player with youth and special teams value over Morgan.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Garrett Gilkeycut5_zpsehh5wsxf.jpgAssociated Press Offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey appeared in all 16 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season and is competing to make this year's roster as a backup.The reason he has value is that he can provide depth at either guard position and at center. The reason he may wind up as a cut casualty is that he didn't perform well when he had opportunities last season.Pro Football Focus rated Gilkey 54th overall among 70 centers in 2014 and 119th overall among guards. He knows he will have to be better to make the team in 2015."After the season Coach Warhop shared with me and said, 'You are going to have to fight for your spot on this team,'" Gilkey said, per Mark Cook of PewterReport.com. "'You had every opportunity to take that starting guard spot and you didn't take it. You only squandered it.' And he is right. I did."If Gilkey squanders his preseason opportunity this year, his versatility may not be enough to earn him a job in the regular season.For every team....link

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    • Anonymous

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      Gilkey has been very solid in TC. Don’t see this happening.

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    • Anonymous

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      Warhop has a lot of room to talk.Out of 32 olines in the nfl, warhop's was ranked 103.Im not so sure he understands what "squandering an opportunity" actually means..

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    • Anonymous

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      Isn’t Gilkey our only backup C?

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    • Anonymous

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      Isn't Gilkey our only backup C?

      Actually, as far as pure center it's Josh Allen. Gilkey may be the game day backup though.I also think that Gilkey appears to be winning a roster spot as the reserve guard/center on game days so I don't think it will be him.Here are my candidates for the toughest cuts this year:Robert Herron - Herron is facing a uphill battle with Hall/Dye and Bell. It may be a case of just being too late. Herron has had a good camp so far, but it might not save him. Also he doesn't really play special teams. Russell Shephard - Shephard looks to be caught in a numbers game. He's a special teams standout, but isn't turning heads so far in camp. He has a better chance of sticking IMO than Herron, but the new talent at WR is going to make him a tough cut.Louis Murphy - Murphy showed last year that he can be a dependable 3rd wide receiver, but he's 30 and is competing against a younger version (Bell) that is getting a lot of hype. In addition, Bell seems to have special teams value. Murphy could be another tough cut.Mike James - James looks to be the odd man out this year in the running game. Generally a solid back that has done everything asked of him, his chances of staying aren't looking good. Dominique Brown is a younger bigger version so the Bucs might well be willing to cut James.Brandon Myers - This is my surprise cut. Myers does a lot of things okay, but doesn't do anything really well. I think he's on the bubble and his fate will be decided by how much the Bucs end up liking Cameron Brate or if the Bucs ultimately go with only 3 TEs. I think the coaching staff likes Wright and Stocker but what could make Myer a casualty is his salary. I do think Myers makes the team though, but cutting him wouldn't really surprise me.

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    • Anonymous

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      Isn't Gilkey our only backup C?

      gilkey, allen and warren.

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    • Anonymous

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      Isn't Gilkey our only backup C?

      gilkey, allen and warren.

      I've now seen in two places that Ali was also learning center.....

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    • Anonymous

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      good list nitey.  i think we have a lot of positions that are gonna have some very tough cuts.  shoot, just about every position!S - probably either a developmental guy in tandy or a lovie guy in conte gets cut.  LB - who gets the backup STs jobs?  williams/dean/greeneDE - surprising that gholston is already out, but that leaves english/sidbury as the fourth.OG - lots of guys here - gilkey/omameh/allen/edwards/masafiloTE - do we keep 3 or 4?WR - does herron keep it up all camp and in games?  is shepherds ST role replaceable?  is hall just a flash?  could go a lot of ways.  is murphy expendable?CB - is moore a nickel or outside?  is dixon developing?  would you keep frey and LJ?this board hates most of these guys, but i am looking forward to the way it plays out!

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    • Anonymous

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      I've now seen in two places that Ali was also learning center.....

      legit places?  i wouldnt doubt it down the road, but i find it hard to believe they are seriously crosstraining him right now.  i could see it a little, more for end of the world scenarios, but if they are wasting time with him at C rather than RG in this training camp i would have doubts.

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    • Anonymous

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      I've now seen in two places that Ali was also learning center.....

      legit places?  i wouldnt doubt it down the road, but i find it hard to believe they are seriously crosstraining him right now.  i could see it a little, more for end of the world scenarios, but if they are wasting time with him at C rather than RG in this training camp i would have doubts.

      One was a comment by the Commish (a tweet) and here on PR, that said Marpet was practicing snapping.From PR;'s article...While Marpet’s long-term NFL future may be at guard, his current mindset is to expose himself to multiple positions. “I’ve also tried to learn a little bit of center,” he said. “I’ve done some pre-practice snaps and things like that so I can be as versatile as I can.”https://www.pewterreport.com/articles/bucs-rookie-marpet-adjusting-to-right-guard/Not sure how much to put into those however.

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    • Anonymous

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      One was a comment by the Commish (a tweet) and here on PR, that said Marpet was practicing snapping.From PR;'s article...While Marpet’s long-term NFL future may be at guard, his current mindset is to expose himself to multiple positions. “I’ve also tried to learn a little bit of center,” he said. “I’ve done some pre-practice snaps and things like that so I can be as versatile as I can.”https://www.pewterreport.com/articles/bucs-rookie-marpet-adjusting-to-right-guard/Not sure how much to put into those however.

      i can certainly see this.  he wants to learn, he wants to be more versatile, he wants to see if he can do it.  i think thats a reason he is good, and he was drafted by us instead of a more proven guy.  hes got the mind, hes got the drive.i just dont want the teams direction to be taking away RG snaps this early in his career.  i dont think they are.

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    • Anonymous

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      One was a comment by the Commish (a tweet) and here on PR, that said Marpet was practicing snapping.From PR;'s article...While Marpet’s long-term NFL future may be at guard, his current mindset is to expose himself to multiple positions. “I’ve also tried to learn a little bit of center,” he said. “I’ve done some pre-practice snaps and things like that so I can be as versatile as I can.”https://www.pewterreport.com/articles/bucs-rookie-marpet-adjusting-to-right-guard/Not sure how much to put into those however.

      i can certainly see this.  he wants to learn, he wants to be more versatile, he wants to see if he can do it.  i think thats a reason he is good, and he was drafted by us instead of a more proven guy.  hes got the mind, hes got the drive.i just dont want the teams direction to be taking away RG snaps this early in his career.  i dont think they are.

      I agree and I think you noticed they said pre-practice snaps, so he is not doing it in practice, yet.  But I would not be surprised, like the commish predicts, that Ali is our future (replaces EDS in 1 or 2 years) center and not future long term RG. And I think exactly what you said about him is why that is possible.

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    • Anonymous

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      At this point, I think it’s more of ‘kicking the tires’ on whether Marpet can play center rather than seriously trying to get him up to speed. So far he seems to be making a serious run at the starting RG position and the coaches are looking at trying to narrow down who they keep and who gets cut. If Marpet has the ability to possibly play center that might mean that someone else is maybe expendable.I think the Bucs will probably only carry 8-9 offensive linemen on the main roster. Early guess is Dotson, Mankins, Evans, Smith, Marpet, Gilkey (G/C), Edwards (G/G), Phamphile (T/T) and possibly Josh Allen as (C/G). Gilkey and Phamphile being active on game day.JMO.

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    • Anonymous

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      We will be scanning the waiver wire for OL and DEs….

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    • Anonymous

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      Maybe for DE’s, I’m not sure about OL now. A lot depends on if they only keep 8 OL or 9 on the final roster. These seven are not going anywhere (Dotson, Mankins, E. Smith, D. Smith, Marpet, Edwards and Phamphile – so that leaves only 1 to possibly 2 positions open. At the moment, Gilkey seems to be impressing so it’s very likely he gets the backup C/G position. Maybe they can find someone better than Gilkey or Allen, but both have a year plus under Warhop and now know the system. I'm not sure they will be replacing anyone unless Gilkey returns to last years form in the preseason.

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    • Anonymous

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      Maybe for DE's, I'm not sure about OL now. A lot depends on if they only keep 8 OL or 9 on the final roster. These seven are not going anywhere (Dotson, Mankins, E. Smith, D. Smith, Marpet, Edwards and Phamphile - so that leaves only 1 to possibly 2 positions open. At the moment, Gilkey seems to be impressing so it's very likely he gets the backup C/G position. Maybe they can find someone better than Gilkey or Allen, but both have a year plus under Warhop and now know the system. I'm not sure they will be replacing anyone unless Gilkey returns to last years form in the preseason.

      Sort of like a Rays’ hitter having a year+ under Derek Shelton… they were probably better before they got here.

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