Live Blog: Countdown to Cutdown, 8/27

Applying that unique PFF perspective to moves as they're made, we'll be taking you through the upcoming week of roster moves with comments and insight on the fly.

| 4 years ago

Live Blog: Countdown to Cutdown, 8/27

Teams have had three weeks of preseason to evaluate players in live action and decisions are starting to be made as to who stays and who goes as the NFL’s roster deadline approaches.

As we did with free agency and the draft, we’ll be applying that unique PFF perspective to moves as they’re made and taking you through the upcoming week with comments and insight on the fly.

Check back often to keep up to date as players get the call to turn in their playbooks and look for new work.

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August 27

16:03 – Jay Ratliff to PUP

The Cowboys have officially placed DT Jay Ratliff on the PUP list, keeping him out of action for at least the first six weeks of the season. He’s expected to play nose tackle in the Cowboys’ transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense, but that will have to be put on hold. Our own Steve Palazzolo took a look at one of Ratliff’s replacements who happened to have a good game the other night against the Bengals.

15:51 – Jonathan Stewart to the PUP list

The Panthers have officially placed Jonathan Stewart on the PUP list leaving RBs DeAngelo Williams and Kenjon Barner to shoulder the load in his absence. Battling injuries is nothing new for Stewart who was limited to only 322 snaps last season on his way to a +4.4 grade. The Panthers have invested heavily in both Stewart and Williams and they’ll go yet another season without having their 1-2 punch for all 16 games. Barner has flashed his elusiveness at times during the preseason with five forced missed tackles, but he’s also put the ball on the ground once while averaging only 2.8 yards/carry.


15:18 – 49ers announce Eric Reid to start at FS

Not a major surprise out of San Francisco given Reid’s first round status, but the 49ers eased him into his role during the preseason. The rookie has graded at +1.7 on his 116 snaps while not allowing a catch on the only throw into his coverage. He’ll be charged with replacing FS Dashon Goldson who moved on to Tampa Bay after grading at +6.5 last season.


15:00 – Lions Get to 75

Courtesy of Tim Twentyman the Detroit Lions have hit the intended mark with times to spare. That’s because they’ve said so long to two tight ends in the shape of Cameron Morrah and Matt Veldman. With five snaps between them during preseason it was always unlikely they’d work their way into a tight competition to be the teams third tight end. It’s just now been confirmed.

14:30 Houston Put 3 on I.R. … Possibly

They saw the Chargers have so much fun with it they’re following suit. Wide receivers Alec Lemon and Mike Smith are joined by defensive lineman David Hunter (per John McClain). Smith only managed six snaps, in contrast to Lemon who was on the field for 70 of them. He saw extensive action these past two weeks but let himself down with a couple of drops against the Saints. The most notable contribution from Hunter on his 47 snaps were the two penalties he got flagged for.

An update from Tania Ganguli on twitter let’s us know that Smith and Hunter were waived injured and will only revert to injured reserve if not claimed.

14:20 One in, One out for Raiders

In so much as they’ve cut Mitchell White (and not Tyler Wilson) and snapped up Justin Medlock. Mitchell only played 19 snaps in preseason but that was enough to earn a -1.6 grade after getting beat for two catches for 35 yards into his coverage. Oh well. Medlock will try and use these next few days to convince a team he’s worth a shot. He was with Carolina last year where he went 7-of-10 on his kicks.

The team also placed slot cornerback Joselio Hanson and running back Latavius Murray on injured reserve. Hanson is what he is and that’s a guy who is dependable in the slot and anything but outside. It’s a more significant loss than it might appear. Sixth rounder Murray won’t get a chance to build on his 22 preseason snaps in his rookie year where he averaged 3.6 yards per carry and forced one missed tackle.

14:15 – Eagles no longer on the Hunt

If another team doesn’t pick him up on waivers then Philip Hunt is heading for injured reserve. An intriguing player he hasn’t done much in preseason (-0.9 grade on 30 snaps) but it’s hard to forget his 2011 season where in very limited action he did show an ability to turn the corner and pick up pressure. Unfortunately he saw less playing time a year later and never really built on that cameo.

14:05 – Chargers Send 3 to I.R.

And those three are Dan DePalma, Chris Gronkowski and Mile Willie. That increases the chances of someone like Robert Meachem making it through to the final 53, especially as DePalma saw a lot of playing time (108 preseason snaps). He was the most targeted of his peers as well with 13 balls thrown his way, catching seven and dropping one. As a 2011 undrafted free agent he’ll likely return for another crack at the roster next year. That same fate awaits Willie who had a couple of spectacular grabs and touchdowns early on in preseason but became less of a factor the more he plays. As far Gronkowski he was unlikely to make the team with Le’Ron McClain on the books, and earned a -1.5 grade on his 12 snaps over the past few weeks. He spent last year with Denver but rarely got on the field with just 39 offensive snaps.

13:50 – Dallas Get on with the Cutting

After letting go just one guy yesterday the Cowboys have some ground to make up. From Calvin Watkins they’ve let go of Anthony Amos, Colin Cochart, Jared Green, Dennis Godfrey, Nick Stephens, Eric Rogers and Deon Lacy while sending Tyrone Crawford to injured reserve.

None are as surprising as the earlier release of Pendleton with Alex Tanney doing enough to make Stephens expendable heading into the final preseason game. The receivers all had their chance to press for a roster spot but none of them could make the most of their opportunities and now find themselves looking elsewhere to continue their careers. Of them all it was Lacy who walked away with the highest grade (+2.3).

13:40 – Bad News for Packers

And worse news for DaJuan Harris. He only say 12 snaps in the preseason but showed enough last year in his 126 snaps (including postseason) to suggest he would be in for a bigger role. Of course that means Eddie Lacy is likely in for a bigger role now with the rookie having already broken a tackle on a quarter of the rushes he had in preseason.

13:25 – Patriots Announce They’re At 75

We mentioned earlier today that New England had said goodbye to Evan Landi, and now they’ve finished their cuts process (for now) as Anthony Rashad White is released to make it a 75 man roster (per their own twitter feed). White struggled for playing time as preseason find Joe Vellano and Marcus Fortson ate up the majority of playing time. In the end he managed 26 snaps, picking up a hurry and two defensive stops in the run game. He just didn’t do enough on the practice field to give the team a reason for keeping him about.

13:15 – Chiefs Hit 75

And they’ve done it by waiving Jamar Newsome. The undrafted free agent from 2011 hit the 200 snap mark last year for the Chiefs (though he only caught 5-of-14 targets and dropped three balls). That said of the 11 receivers who got snaps for the Chiefs this offseason (including Jonathan Baldwin) six got more than the 34 he managed. He did haul in 5-of-7 targets with no drops but will have to hope he catches on somewhere else.

13:00 – Seahawks

Two more men won’t be making the Seahawks roster. They’ve just cut Will Blackmon and Donavon Kemp. Blackmon was at one time a scary returner but has bounced around the league in recent years and couldn’t latch on to a Seahawks team long on cornerback talent and not short on return options. He earned a -0.2 grade on his 37 snaps.  Meanwhile Kemp didn’t even get that much playing time. He was limited to 18 snaps and wasn’t targeted once. That was a sign of what was to come.

12:30 – Enjoy Our Content

This isn’t the only piece we have going on at PFF right now. We’ve got a run down on all the first rounders with snaps and grades, every game from preseason ReFocused, while our analysts spend some time discussing the AFC North today.

12:15 – Colts Make it to 75

No cuts to speak of but Indy have stashed away Nathan Palmer, John Boyett and Josh McNary. Of them Palmer got on the field for 58 snaps in the preseason and earned a -1.2 grade on the 40 routes he run. He’s likely to end up on injured reserve. Neither of the other men got on the field.

12:00 – Cundiff Out, Carpenter In

That means that every team except for the Saints, who released nobody yesterday, have had their cuts assessed by us. Now we’re up to date this blog will continue to deliver reaction to all the goings on

Let’s start with the news, courtesy of a bunch of people on twitter, that the Jets have released Billy Cundiff and signed Dan Carpenter to replace him. Carpenter was our 16th ranked kicker last year and offers a reliable leg even if he is on his third team in three weeks.

11:45 – San Francisco 49ers

When you’re losing quarterback competitions to Colt McCoy, it’s not going to be long before you’re losing your job. That’s the lesson Scott Tolzien (-3.9) found out after a horrible spate of play in preseason. His 57.0 quarterback rating really doesn’t do his play justice as he completed just 52.9% of his passes.

That ended his chance of being the backup to Colin Kaepernick and makes him the most notable cut from the 49ers. He wasn’t the only one though with D.J. Harper, Joe Holland, Al Netter and Colton Schmidt given the boot. Harper was never likely to crack the roster at running back, turning his 27 snaps into a terrible (-2.4) grade. Netter was our second lowest graded player on the entire offense (-4.4) and won’t be the latest rags to riches story on that line. 

11:40 – Seattle Seahawks

By the close of play on Monday Seattle had trimmed it’s roster by eight. The biggest surprise may have been, to us, Kyle Knox who showed some handy pass rushing on his 11 pass rushes that produced two sacks and a hurry. A shame for him.

There were few surprises elsewhere. Sure Martin Parker (+1.6) played well in his 37 snaps but the entire defensive line played well for Seattle. They’re just os loaded there. The other cuts were Perez Ashford, Jameson Konz, Andrei Lintz, Kyle Nelson, Brett Swain and Craig Wilkins.

11:35 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seven down, a lot more to go. The most surprising aspect of the Buccaneers cuts is that it featured several NFL veterans. In fact no rookies are yet to be released with the guys to go wide receivers Derek Hagan and Carlton Mitchell, Spencer Larsen, safety Troy Nolan, defensive ends Ernest Owusu and Markus White and  quarterback Adam Weber.

Hagan and Mitchell had a chance to latch on but neither delivered in preseason (they combined for a -3.4 grade) while Nolan could only get on the field for 14 snaps. The one time Texan nickel safety may struggle to latch back on with a team that picked up the pieces after he was let go by Miami last year.

11:30 – Minnesota Vikings

There were a host of cuts for the Vikings yesterday with no fewer than 13 guys let go. There’s a lot more breathing room in the lockerroom now.

Those guys were wide receivers LaMark Brown, Erik Highsmith and Chris Summers, offensive linemen Tyler Holmes and Camden Wentz, defensive linemen Lawrence Jackson and Marquis Jackson, linebacker Stanford Keglar, defensive backs Greg McCoy and Roderick Williams, running backs Bradley Randle and Jerodis Williams, and lastly quarterback James Vandenberg.

Quite the mouthful.

No guessing who the biggest cut was. Former first round pick of the Seahawks Lawrence Jackson who has never able to build on his impressive first year in Detroit to deliver on his potential. Can we bounce back from this? He didn’t look great in preseason with a -2.8 grade on 87 snaps.  You can’t really say any of the other moves really caught the eye.

11:15 – Washington Redskins

This may be the end for Donte Stallworth. His career has had some highs but he just couldn’t fight his way through to a roster spot in a crowded receiver group. They gave him 51 snaps in the offseason but he could only catch two of six passes thrown his way and did drop one.

Of course he wasn’t the only one. There was also goodbyes to be had for cornerback Richard Crawford, linebackers Ricky Elmore, Quan Sturdivant and Jeremy Kimbrough, Eric Kettani, John Potter and Chip Reeves. Kettani, the former Navy fullback, actually looked the part with his lead blocker against the Steelers so his story may not be over yet. The same can’t be said for the trio of linebackers that managed just 17 preseason snaps between them. Crawford might be the biggest surprise at this stage however. He didn’t play poorly in the preseason (+0.1) and was decent enough in his 201 snaps last year.

11:10 – Dallas Cowboys

Only one guy gone so far from Dallas and it’s former Jaguars seventh round pick, Jeris Pendleton. His release comes as something of a surprise since he was both heavily used (115 snaps) and played reasonably well (+3.0 run defense grade). Sure he offered little as a pass rusher but what did you expect? He’s a guy that will draw some interest as he displayed some talent in his 33 snaps with the Jaguars last year.

11:05 – Green Bay Packers

Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio was meant to be camp competition for Mason Crosby but it never materialized as he missed his only kick attempt from 40 yards plus. Of course that wasn’t the biggest news, as it was the release of Graham Harrell that earned that honor. He had his chance in preseason but allowed Vince Young to outplay him as he was well worth his -1.5 grade. No real implications here for the Packers because either way this is a team still dependent on the talent of the excellent Aaron Rodgers.

Others to go were wide receivers Omarius Hines and Justin Wilson, running back Angelo Pease, and defensive tackle Gilbert Pena. The two wideouts combined for just 27 snaps, failing to put forward a case for more playing time. Pease was the longest of long shots with the depth at running back Green Bay has and could only muster a -1.7 grade on his 16 snaps. Meanwhile defensive tackle Pena managed 41 snaps and a +0.8 grade in run defense. Unfortunately it’s one area of the team that is performing exceptionally well right not.

11:00 – Houston Texans

A busier day for the Texans that some. After seeing two snaps against the Saints they decided Zach Boren wasn’t the fullback for them, while Ray Graham was the first running back to be let go as that competition intensifies. The remaining guys cut on offense were guard Bryan Collins, tackle Nick Mondek and tight end Adam Schiltz. Oh and one time preseason wonder Stephen McGee who we can safely assume isn’t going to make it in this league at this point. Mondek and Collins were gone when they didn’t get on the field this week while Schiltz couldn’t do enough to make the team look past the impressive play of Ryan Griffin so far.

On defense linebackers Elliot Coffey and Ja’Red Davis went (proving that wearing a number in the 60s isn’t a good omen), with cornerback Travis Howard and defensive Earl Okine also dismissed. Davis looked to have the best bet of lasting a little longer based on his 64 snaps, but it wasn’t to be.

10:55 – Cleveland Browns

The end was nigh for five now former Browns who handed in their playbooks yesterday. The most notable name was Jordan Norwood who the team had been trying to make something of since they picked him up after the Eagles let him go in 2009. Back in 2011 he even got on the field for 250 snaps but his speed didn’t translate to production and he found himself limited to just 77 snaps a year later. He was clearly not in the new regimes plans, especially after trading for Davone Bess.

He was joined by fellow receiver Cordell Roberson who caught four of the seven balls thrown his way, but did drop two passes. The others to go came on defense with Dave Kruger saying bye-bye to the team and his brother after just 4 preseason snaps. Those others continuing their dreams elsewhere were Vernon Kearney (49 snaps) and Tommy Smith (42 defensive snaps). Neither made the kind of impression that meant they were unexpendable.

10:45 – Cincinnati Bengals

If you watch Hard Knocks tonight you may get a final glimpse of the six chaps the Bengals cut yesterday. One was always likely with kicker Quinn Sharp never likely to unseat Mike Nugent. Of the others two were on offense and three on defense. The skill position guys to go were Jheranie Boyd and Richard Quinn. Yep that’s the Richard Quinn who not so long ago was a second round pick and got on the field for 63 snaps in the preseason. He was overdrafted and has under delivered as a pro.

On defense Jordan Campbell always faced an uphill battle to make the team and so it proved. The team is deep at linebacker and he couldn’t find more than 24 snaps with the last being against the Titans. Terrence Brown found himself in a similar situation trying to make it on a deep loaded at cornerback and couldn’t get onto the field at all. The last of the guys was Vaughn Meatoga and although he didn’t embarress himself in 20 snaps, he couldn’t crack a deep position with the team giving the majority of snaps to the impressive Terrence Stephens.

10:30 – New England Patriots

Just the sixmaking way in New England, and one of those was a reserve long snapper (Mike Zupancic). Of the other five only two played offense and combined they accounted for just 35 preseason snaps. Those men were Kamar Aiken and Evan Landi and neither had the opportunity to seperate themselves from the rest.

On defense they’ve said goodbye to Brandon Jones, Niko Koutouvides and LeQuan Lewis. Of them Jones saw the most preseason action (43) snaps but the biggest name to go is special teamer Koutouvides. He even got some playing time on defense a couple of years back (not that he did that well) and managed two special teams tackles last year.

10:00 – Miami Dolphins

Not many to speak of with the Dolphins who said goodbye to five guys yesterday. On the offensive side of the ball they got rid of Jeff Braun (a player who saw only seven snaps in preseason), Chandler Burden (who earned had his worst game of preseason at left guard versus the Texans a week ago), and wide receiver Kenny Stafford (a player who caught one ball for 3 yards and dropped another).

Two guys on defense were given similar treatment. Defensive tackle Chris Burnette (-3.4) had plenty of opportunities to impress (52 snaps) but struggled in the run game as the grade shows. The other was linebacker Alonzo Highsmith who didn’t look completely out of place in very limited action, but couldn’t get on the field against Tampa like the rest of the guys.

09:30 – Buffalo Bills

The Bills haven’t trimmed their roster as quickly as some but they did release five players yesterday. Perhaps the most notable is wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers (+0.6). There was some buzz about him when he was signed up as an undrafted free agent but in 34 preseason snaps he didn’t do enough to beat out the guys above him with players like Brandon Kaufman (+2.6) making a stronger case to be kept on the roster (at least for a few more days).

Others getting cut included DeMarco Sampson (+1.7 on 48 snaps), Ryan Turnley (-2.3 on 30 snaps), Dominique Ellis (27 snaps) and Jumal Rolle (44 snaps).


It’s a new day and we’re back blogging away on all the moves as teams trim down their roster. Keep coming back every 30 minutes and get reaction to all the moves.

Turn the page for the news from yesterday

  • Abouthat

    Anybody at PFF got a comment on Madden Grades? I saw a list of top ten and it mirrored your ideas of players pretty closely. Evan Mathis was number 4 or 5, much to my pleasant surprise. Never thought he would be recognized. PLEASE do an article on Madden Rankings and what your opinion is. That would be a phenomenal read.

  • GESBoulder

    It sure appears as if Donny and the crew at EA are using PFF as a primary although not exclusive source for “their” player ratings. I use PFF ratings in my point spread model. EA’s weekly player adjustments last year were highly correlated with weekly PFF scores. You’ll find if you create a normalization model for PFF scores into EA’s 60-100 scale, you’ll find most players are very close in both models. A few examples of exceptions would be players like Nate Solder (95.5 PFF > 85.0 EA) and Maukice Pouncey (82.5 PFF < 88.0 EA). Way too many players are almost identical for EA not to be looking at PFF. (This becomes especially true when you look at those players who got a significant change from their end of year 2012-13 rating to their new Madden 25 rating (e.g. Louis Vasquez, PFF 89.5, EA M25 89.0).

  • LincolnCAfan

    In the 8/26 list of cuts you were much more detail oriented, providing number of snaps and their PFF rating, 8/27 cuts report is very lacking. I do not see Green Bays Packers WR rookie Alex Gillett even though he lead the team in receptions (7) during the preseason through 3 games, and no report on San Francisco 49ers early release of WR Ricardo Lockette who had a spectacular ST tackle…