It is a day the players dredd and a day both the coaches and general managers rather not have to deal with. The final cuts just before the start of the regular season. Some dreams will continue while others will turn into a nightmare and end.
There are some cuts that you see coming especially when a player goes awol for two days and then finally shows up(Dimitri Patterson of the Jets) and then there are some head scratches like Nate Burleson getting cut from the Browns when the Browns are thin at receiver with Josh Gordon done for the year (suspension).
Another head scratcher is Jets WR Stephen Hill, a 2012 second-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech who failed to follow in the footsteps of fellow alumni Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson. He finished the past two seasons in IR. All the talent in the world and couldn’t hold on to the football and was well underwhelming as a receiver on a team that needed him to step up as a receiver.
Then there are cuts like Champ Bailey that lookslike this is the end of a great career of a great player…or is it? One of the things that makes players great is their competitive drive and ego, but it is that same drib]ve and ego that blinds them when it is time to call it a career. Is that the case of Champ Bailey or does he really have something left? Could there be a team that could use someone with his experience like say…the New York Jets?
And then there is the case of Michael Sam the NFL’s first openly gay drafted player. He was cut by the Rams and yes I am sure people paid attention. His coach Jeff Fisher is convinced that he has a future in the NFL but right now there were not enough spots on the team. It did seem that coach Fisher did leave the door open for Sam to make it on the practice squad.Fisher believes Sam has an NFL future, and it still could be with the Rams. If he’s not picked up by another team, he could land on the St. Louis practice squad.
”I can’t go there right now,” Fisher said. ”Coaches don’t talk about practice squads because we have to see what happens. We’ll know better tomorrow afternoon.”
His being cut had nothing to do with his being gay, it had to do with could he play for the Rams at this point in time. In this case apparently not. But let’s face it Sam was drafted in the seventh round this year, how many 7th rounders make the team? Not many. He also lined up at a position that the Rams were deep at the defensive end couldn’t make a team stocked with pass rushers and lost out to undrafted Ethan Westbrooks, who proved more productive and more versatile. Whether or not Sam gets another shot to make a team in the NFL remains to be seen.