NFL teams will make all their cuts at once this year, with all 32 clubs required to trim their 90-man offseason rosters to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 29. And there are sure to be some notable names who find themselves swapping teams as a result.
Trades, of course, are also a possibility, withreportedly on the market. But oftentimes, if other teams expect veterans to be released anyway, they’ll wait for the opportunity to sign them as free agents.
With that in mind, here’s a list of well-known players who could be surprise victims ahead of the looming roster cutdown deadline:
The Eagles gave Mariota $5 million guaranteed to be Jalen Hurts’ new backup and would prefer veteran insurance at QB, but the ex-Titans and Falcons castoff had an erratic summer, and sixth-round rookie Tanner McKee has shown more polish as a passer. Philadelphia has admitted expensive mistakes at QB2 before, but they’d likely only do this if another vet joins McKee behind Hurts.
(UPDATE: Cardinals cut McCoy Monday)
All offseason, the 36-year-old reserve has been penciled in as the Week 1 starter with Kyler Murray rehabbing from his 2022 ACL tear. But in between ailments of his own, McCoy has been just OK battling with rookie Clayton Tune, and now Arizona has acquired Joshua Dobbs from the Browns as added competition. In a rebuilding year, McCoy already profiled as a placeholder at best.
On his second stint as Josh Allen’s backup, Barkley and newcomer Kyle Allen have been uneven in their fight for No. 2 duties, and now the former is battling an elbow injury after a four-turnover preseason stinker. Owed just $150,000 guaranteed, the journeyman could easily be swapped out for another last-minute addition (Carson Wentz, anyone?).
The 2020 first-rounder has fallen to No. 3 on the RB depth chart at best, with Isiah Pacheco a justified starter and Jerick McKinnon locked into a secondary pass-catching role. The Chiefs could save close to $1M by parting ways with the LSU product.
(UPDATE: Jets cut Knight Monday)
The second-year backup was busy in four emergency starts as an undrafted rookie, totaling 400 scrimmage yards. But with Dalvin Cook onboard, Breece Hall returning from injury and both Michael Carter and Israel Abanikanda in town, where does he fit?
The former Packers Swiss Army knife felt like a natural fit for the Patriots when he signed in 2022, but he’s struggled to stay healthy, and Ezekiel Elliott’s entry as Rhamondre Stevenson’s relief should leave the remaining spots to younger options.
Heralded for his speed when the Browns made him a third-round pick in 2021, the Auburn product has logged just 14 catches in two years and is now buried on a WR depth chart that added Elijah Moore and Cedric Tillman Jr. this offseason.
Pittsburgh has worked to improve its offensive front the last two years, adding Isaac Seumalo and James Daniels. Now Green, a 2021 third-rounder who started 15 games at center as a rookie, appears to be on the outside looking in as a bench piece.
A former 14th overall pick, Kinlaw’s draft-day reputation has allowed him to stick despite managing just 1.5 sacks in three injury-riddled seasons. But with Javon Hargrave onboard and his fifth-year option declined, the experiment could finally reach its end.
The former Seahawks and Jaguars starter is behind Derek Stingley Jr., Steven Nelson and Desmond King in the CB room, and it’s possible Houston will prefer more developmental options on the bench as new coach DeMeco Ryans kicks off his rebuild.
A five-year Steelers starter, Edmunds may open the season as a first-teamer for the Eagles, but he’s also not a lock to make the club, which speaks to the uncertainty in Philly’s crowded safety competition, which includes Justin Evans and rookie Sydney Brown.
The Pro Bowler has been with the Saints for going on eight years, but coming off a down season, he’s faced stiff summer competition from undrafted rookie Blake Grupe, who’s both younger and cheaper. Cutting Lutz would save $1.7M.
Denver hasn’t been afraid to shake up special teams under new coach Sean Payton, releasing Brandon McManus in May and then signing Maher, the ex-Cowboy, at the start of camp. Payton has spoken openly about the possibility of changing kickers again.