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Saturday, September 3, 2011
Angst not prevailing emotion as cuts loom

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

SEATTLE -- The NFL's final exhibition game of the 2011 season had finally ended Friday night at CenturyLink Field.

Jeron Johnson, one of the undrafted rookie free agents fighting for a spot on the Seattle Seahawks, sat before his locker for what could have been the final time.

A strong safety from Boise State, Johnson had been one of the more impressive rookies in camp. He's going to earn a roster spot, in my view. But with the NFL mandatory reduction to 53 players looming Saturday, unestablished players around the league have reason to worry.

"I feel a little bit relieved," Johnson said.

Relieved, as in, Johnson had done everything in his power to earn a spot on the initial 53-man roster. He had generally fared well, pressing fifth-round choice Mark LeGree for what could be one spot at safety.

In this game, a 20-3 victory over Oakland, Johnson had broken up a third-and-4 pass, forcing a field-goal try. He had made a first-down tackle for a 5-yard loss. And he appeared to avoid the glaring errors that can leave a negative last impression.

"I feel like I had a pretty good game tonight," Johnson said. "Still don't know what could happen. It's out of my control now. ... What I can control, I did. We'll see what coach Pete [Carroll] and the rest of the staff thinks."

Teams must comply with the 53-man limit by 6 p.m. ET. The Arizona Cardinals were the first NFC West team to comply. The St. Louis Rams announced seven cuts Friday. The Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers have yet to announce moves.