NFC South: roster cuts

Long wait on cutdown day

September, 3, 2011
9/03/11
10:34
AM ET
Saturday is the day when NFL teams have to have their rosters down to 53 players.

We’ve seen some moves already across the NFC South but there are a lot more to come. Keep checking back throughout the day because some moves could be made public early.

But teams don’t have to have their transactions into the league office until 6 p.m. ET. As soon as each team announces its moves, I’ll write a cutdown analysis.

Don’t expect all four teams to publicly announce their moves right at 6. Some teams will come close to that time, but recent history has shown that other teams will wait a few hours. So keep checking back and we’ll have the analysis on each team as soon as we know who’s been cut.
Just wanted to clarify a minor detail about Saturday’s deadline for rosters to be down to 53 players. The official deadline for teams to have their rosters into the league office is 6 p.m. ET.

I’ve been guilty of saying the deadline is 4 p.m. and so have a lot of other members of the media. I think it’s force of habit because the general deadline for transactions on a given day is 4 p.m. But I just had a league official read me the memo that went out to all clubs and the correct time is 6 p.m.

We’ve already had a couple of roster moves (New Orleans cut Ladell Betts and Bobby McCray) trickle out. I think it’s very possible we could hear more, maybe even all, of New Orleans’ roster moves today because they’ve obviously started the process. That makes sense because the Saints are operating on a shorter schedule than the rest of the league since they play the Thursday night opener with Minnesota.

I’ve been told not to expect any announcements out of Atlanta until Saturday. Going from past experience, I’m pretty sure Carolina will wait until about 5:59 p.m. Saturday to make their roster moves public. (General manager Marty Hurney is a former sports writer and he likes to make current sports writers wait.) I have no indication Tampa Bay will be announcing anything until Saturday, but my computer and cell phone will stay on all afternoon and tonight.

Panthers: Cutdown analysis

August, 30, 2008
8/30/08
8:35
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Biggest surprise: Can't really say there was any shock at Carolina's moves. But I think it's fair to say the release of defensive end Stanley McClover was a big disappointment to the team. McClover had plenty of chances last year and in training camp. McClover had potential but never was able to get anything out of that and the Panthers decided to keep rookie Hilee Taylor. They could still look to add another defensive end.

No-brainer: A day ago, cornerback and return man Ricardo Colclough probably would have been on the roster. But Colclough was charged with driving while impaired early this morning and that probably prompted his release. The Panthers might put up with some issues from important players, but not from Colclough.

What's next: With Steve Smith suspended for the first two games, the Panthers still let veteran receivers Samie Parker and Travis Taylor go. They did keep undrafted rookie Dominique Thompson but it's likely they'll scour the list of newly-available receivers.

Carolina's cuts

August, 30, 2008
8/30/08
8:14
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The Panthers cut Milford Brown, Ricardo Colclough, Toniu Fonoti, Terrence Holt, Samie Parker, Travis Taylor, LaBrandon Toefield, Brett Basanez, Decori Birmingham, William Buchanon, Joe Field, Troy Fleming, Chris Hannon, Nick Hayden, Evan Mathis, Stanley McClover, Rueben Riley, Geoff Schwartz, Tim Shaw, Darren Toney, Chad Upshaw and Stephen Williams.

They also placed receiver Steve Smith on the suspended lists. He'll miss the first two games.

Falcons: Cutdown analysis

August, 30, 2008
8/30/08
7:11
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Biggest surprise: It wasn't as much a surprise that Joey Harrington was cut as it was that D.J. Shockley made the team. Shockley is a bit of a local cult hero because he played at the University of Georgia, but this move wasn't about popularity. It was about Shockley's potential. Yes, he's a project, but the Falcons think they might be able to develop Shockley into something. They'll have time because rookie Matt Ryan is going to be the starter and veteran Chris Redman will be the backup.

No-brainer: You could see the release of veteran guard Kynan Forney coming for a while. It's sad, but true. Forney had been with the team since 2001 and started most of his career. But Harvey Dahl emerged as a starter and the Falcons weren't going to keep paying Forney starter's money.

What's next: With Thomas Brown going on the injured reserve list, the Falcons still may be in the market for a running back. They're set with Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood as their top two backs, but they may look to upgrade over Jason Snelling, who made the roster.

Saints: cutdown analysis

August, 30, 2008
8/30/08
4:17
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The Saints got down to the 53-player limit by placing cornerback Greg Fassitt on the injured reserve list and waiving Andy Alleman, Tim Duckworth, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Skyler Green, Lynell Hamilton, Orien Harris, William Kershaw, Taylor Mehlhaff, Buck Ortega, Tyler Palko, Josh Savage, Olaniyi Sobomehin and Joe West.

ANALYSIS

Biggest surprise: The release of Harris is a bit of a surprise with Hollis Thomas out with a triceps injury. Harris had a good camp and preseason. There's plenty of other depth at defensive tackle. Harris is a guy who could land on another team's roster quickly.

No-brainers: The Saints used a sixth-round draft pick on Mehlhaff and some assumed that meant he would be the kicker. But the Saints have made it clear they're going for it this season with all their other roster moves. They followed suit at kicker and kept veteran Martin Gramatica over Mehlhaff. Sure, Mehlhaff has the stronger leg. But Gramatica has made some big kicks in the NFL and the Saints may need some clutch kicks this year.

What's next: Palko, the third quarterback, was released. That leaves only Drew Brees and Mark Brunell. That's a strong combination with plenty of experience, but the Saints could look to pick up a younger quarterback to groom behind the veterans.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

It will be a busy day around the NFL as teams have to trim their rosters to 53 players. No word yet on any moves and I'm expecting it to be several hours before teams start announcing their moves.

Once the moves are made we'll have analysis on the NFC South cuts and rosters. Keep checking back this afternoon and evening.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

No real surprises in the first wave of cuts by the New Orleans Saints, but there was one other move that was a little disappointing.

The Saints placed rookie wide receiver Adrian Arrington on the injured reserve list, which ends his season. Arrington, a seventh-round draft pick, had been very impressive early in training camp and seemed to have a real shot to be the No. 4 or 5 receiver. But a case of turf toe sidelined Arrington and didn't seem to be getting much better.

The Saints couldn't afford to keep Arrington on the active roster. The one bright side is Arrington will get to spend the year sitting in on meetings and will have an opportunity to get completely healthy. That's just the opposite of what happened with rookie receiver Robert Meachem last year. Meachem wasn't able to be a factor in his rookie year because he was running with a limp for about half the season.

In other moves, the Saints released safety Lance Schulters, defensive end Jeremy Geathers, tight end Ronnie Ghent, defensive end Marcus Pittman, safety David Roach, guard Isaiah Ross and tackle Brian Stamper. That leaves the roster at 67 players and the Saints have to get down to 53 by Saturday afternoon.

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