Cutdown Blog: AFC East
It’s not as flashy as it’s free agency brother, but “cutday” may be the most frantic for all NFL front offices.
There isn’t another time of the year where they have to be so reactive to every move every team is making, ready to pounce on possible talents who might improve their roster or be worth developing on their practice squad.
To help you keep up to date we’re going to be providing details on all the moves in each divisional page. Keep coming back for each and every player released with stats, snaps and grades on all of them.
Of course this might not be enough for you, in which case you’ll need yourself a PFF Premium Membership.
Matt Leinart, QB: The final nail in the coffin of the career of former first round pick Leinart. He was atrocious on short notice against the Lions, earning every bit of his -3.0 grade, throwing two picks and just three completions.
Thaddeus Lewis, QB: The team took a flier on Lewis to see what he could do and obviously decided the answer was “not much”. In Tuel They Trust. Or E.J. Manuel. You decide.
Zach Brown, RB: Turned his 31 attempts into just 94 yards and earned the lowest grade in preseason of all Bills running backs (-3.3). Just didn’t show anything extra even if he was faced with some poor blocking.
Kendall Gaskins, RB: Had just 26 attempts to prove himself but with just one forced missed tackles and 1.8 yards after contact he looked like a guy that would need some good blocking in front of him to make anything happen.
Brandon Kaufman, WR: Played well enough (+2.0) in preseason that he’ll get more chances at some point, he was just beaten by the numbers game. Caught all five of his targets for 85 yards and a touchdown, good for the third best yards per route run average of all Bills receivers.
Dorin Dickerson, TE: Looking at who got snaps in preseason it’s clear the tight end isn’t going to be a big part of this offense. Dickerson has an intriguing physical skillset but has never turned into NFL production. Not even in preseason when he caught just two passes on his 59 snaps.
Nick Provo, TE: Struggled with his run blocking (-1.4) and didn’t offer much in the passing game. A camp body until Scott Chandler is good to go.
Zebrie Sanders, OL: The former fifth round pick was given his most significant preseason action against the Lions but unfortunately for him was beaten for a sack and a hurry at right tackle. He may land back on the practice squad, but it unlikely to see any playing time this year.
Antoine Caldwell, OL: At times in Houston he flashed talent. Enough that we thought he might make their right guard job his own. But the 2009 third round pick blew his chance in 2012 (-8.1) and ensured he wasn’t a part of their future plans. His primary problems there were in pass protection (12 quarterback disruptions allowed) but in preseason it was his run blocking (-4.7) that did him in.
Zack Chibane, OL: Played in two games and totalled 30 snaps. The only thing that was worse for his prospects than a lack of playing time is what he did with his playing time. A -1.3 grade sealed the deal.
David Snow, OL: The team just handed Eric Wood a lot of money and with Doug Legursky on board have a lineman who can backup across the interior of the line. Snow got a lot of preseason back (137 snaps) but didn’t impose himself in the run game (-2.4) in such a way as you would keep him on the roster.
Jarron Gilbert, DL: He can do more than just jump out of swimming pools. A disappointment when selected as a project by the Bears he now looks more ready for the rigours of life in the NFL. Was the highest rated defensive linemen to be released with a +5.8 grade with his ability to generate pressure (one hit and seven hurries) something of a revelation. Worth a team taking a punt on.
Terrell Troup, DL: Was overdrafted and has under delivered. He got plenty of work in preseason but just wasn’t deemed worth a roster spot after earning a -2.3 grade. An early downs player who was once a second round pick, teams will make some enquiries about him.
Izaan Cross, DL: Struggled against the run and with the team deep on the defensive line, he was never really in contention. Out played by others who got cut, his best hope is to develop on a practice squad somewhere.
Jamie Blatnick, DL/ LB: Was the lowest graded player to be released at the linebacker spot with a terrible -6.2 grade. The team obviously wanted him to succeed as he picked up 95 snaps, but could muster up a paltry three quarterback disruptions on 51 pass rushes. Wasn’t much better against the run.
Bryan Scott, LB: So long to a former safety who carved out a role for himself as a defender in the teams sub package defense. A change in schemes put him on shaky grounds and while he wasn’t poor in preseason (-0.4) that wasn’t enough for the team to hold onto him. He’s still got some worth to a team looking to use him exactly as the Bills did in 2012.
Kourtnei Brown, LB: Failed to generate pressure off the edge and the result was -1.4 grade. Had 22 opportunities to rush the passer but could only turn it into one hurry. Not enough to make a solid impression.
Keith Pough, LB: Had a tough time of things, particularly against the run (-2.3). Considering that was where he was meant to shine he was always likely to receive his marching orders.
Brian Smith, LB: Got some training camp buzz but that died down once he took to the field. Played 75 snaps but struggled to get off blocks and make plays. Ended up with just the one tackle (and two misses) and a team inside linebacker low grade of -2.3.
Crezdon Butler, CB: Perhaps the biggest surprise, especially with Stephon Gilmore going down. Picked up an extremely impressive +3.9 grade after allowing just five of the 15 balls thrown into his coverage to be complete. Broke up three passes and picked off another. Surprising.
T.J. Heath, CB: He didn’t have a good preseason did he? Got beat for a touchdown and struggled in coverage, often saved by some erratic quarterback play. Lowest graded Bills cornerback in coverage with a -3.9 grade.
Kip Edwards, CB: Did well in his 74 snaps (+1.6), allowing just one of the five balls thrown at him to be completed. Didn’t hurt his chances of making the roster with a couple of sacks and you figure he might latch onto a practice squad somewhere as a developmental slot cornerback.
Jordan Dangerfield, S: The team opted to go in a different direction despite his +0.9 grade being the highest of all Bills safeties in the preseason. This unit didn’t cover themselves in glory.
Aaron Corp, QB: Was always unlikely to make the roster with the team still infatuated with Pat Devlin (-4.0). Corp as a result saw only nine snaps but did rather impressively turn that into a -1.6 grade.
Jonas Gray, RB: Didn’t have a good preseason. His -4.6 grade was the worst, by some distance, of the Dolphins backs and he was the only one to fumble a carry. He did force six missed tackles but there was more bad than good on his preseason tape.
Keenan Davis, WR: Came out strong in the Hall of Fame Game with three catches for 48 yards and a touchdown, but was only targeted once over the next four games.
Brian Tyms, WR: Played more than any other receiver for the Dolphins with 156 snaps. Unfortunately he didn’t convert opportunity into production with 11 grabs and one drop.
Chad Bumphis, WR: Put forth a strong enough campaign that a practice squad invite may be waiting. Worked well from the slot and had a healthy 138 yards on 66 routes run for the best yards per route of any receiver on the team. Never really stood out though.
Marvin McNutt, WR: The 2012 sixth round pick didn’t catch a pass on his two targets and did his best preseason work in the last game that saw him catch four passes for 99 yards and a score. He dropped two of his 12 targeted passes however.
Kyle Miller, TE: With only three NFL snaps under his belt, Miller was a longshot to make the team. He did little of note in the preseason, grading at +0.4 on his 62 snaps that included five receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Jeff Adams, OL: The 2012 undrafted free agent graded at -4.7 on his 122 preseason snaps, including a -4.4 run block grade. He pulled a respectable +2.0 grade as a pass blocker, but also notched a team-high three penalties.
Chris Barker, OL: Barker had a strong Hall of Fame Game but tailed off since then, finishing with a -4.6 overall grade for the preseason. Like Adams, Barker struggled in the run game grading at -4.7.
Sam Brenner, OL: No Dolphins offensive player played more than Brenner’s as he split time between left guard and center. He wasn’t bad, grading at -0.4, but there was little room for error with the Dolphins only looking for one backup interior lineman.
Andrew McDonald, OL: It was a rough five games for McDonald who finished at -7.5 including -5.0 in the run game. He also surrendered seven pressures on his 74 pass block attempts, good for a -3.3 grade in that department.
Antwan Applewhite, DL/ DE: The veteran just didn’t show enough in the pass rush department as he picked up only one hurry on his 56 attempts. He finished at -3.1 overall.
A.J. Francis, DL: The undrafted rookie free agent played well throughout the preseason and may have put himself on some radars with his +5.7 performance. He notched three hits and three hurries to go with a batted pass on his 71 pass rushes as he lined up predominantly at defensive tackle on the Dolphins’ four-man line. We’ll be keeping an eye to see where he lands.
Tristan Okpalaugo, DL: No Dolphins defensive player saw more than Okpalaugo’s 169 snaps though he was unable to make an impact as he finished with a -4.2 grade. The three sacks look nice, but he only picked up one other hurry on his 92 attempts.
Kheeston Randall, DL: The 2012 seventh round pick was unable to secure a roster spot after playing 148 snaps in spot duty last season. He didn’t do much this preseason as he pressure the quarterback four times on 72 rushes to go with his +0.8 grade against the run. His 6-foot-5, 309-pound frame could get him a look as a 3-4 defensive end.
Tracy Robertson, DL: Right behind Okpalaugo with 152 snaps, Robertson failed to separate himself on his way to a -0.1 grade. He notched four stops in the running game, but only two hurries and a batted pass on 85 rushes just wasn’t enough to secure a roster spot.
Lee Robinson, LB: Showed well in coverage as he picked up three of his five stops in the passing game while defending one pass, but three missed tackles against the run were a big part of his -2.5 run grade.
Austin Spitler, LB: Had seen the field for only 14 snaps since 2010 and graded at -0.2 on 96 plays this preseason. Spitler tied for third on the team in special teams tackles with three.
Keelan Johnson, DB: The undrafted safety graded at -0.6 on 94 snaps including -1.6 against the run. He missed on two of his 10 tackle attempts. Both of his stops came in the passing game, helping to fuel his +0.9 coverage grade.
Jordan Kovacs, DB: One rough game in coverage against the Texans was enough to put Kovacs at -2.3 for the preseason on his 118 snaps. In that game, he gave up 52 yards into his coverage on three targets including a touchdown.
DeAndre Pressley, DB: A strong finish to the preseason wasn’t enough for Pressley who finished at +0.4. Opponents only completed 3-of-8 passes into his coverage though they covered 84 yards.
Julian Posey, DB: Saw a lot of action during the preseason as he was targeted 17 times while surrendering only six receptions for 89 yards. He also got his hands on two passes. He was the beneficiary of some dropped passes and he picked up a pass interference penalty in the last game so the numbers, but finished with a solid +0.6 coverage grade.
New England Patriots
Tim Tebow, QB: The one everyone was waiting for. In the end his play so bad it made the decision relatively easy. He was our lowest graded passer in preseason with a -9.3 grade as he completed just 36.7% of passes and took seven sacks. This really should be the end of him as a quarterback.
George Winn, RB: Unfortunately for him the Pats aren’t exactly short on talent at the running back spot. Winn therefore had only 15 opportunities to run and while he didn’t shame himself (+0.6) he didn’t stand out either.
Ben Bartholomew, FB: Didn’t do enough on the practice field to earn the playing time to show he was more worthy of being kept than James Develin. Just 12 preseason snaps.
Johnathan Haggerty, WR: When you get five snaps in preseason you’re probably not making the roster. Was thrown as just once and could only watch as others stole the show.
Quentin Sims, WR: Didn’t get an awful lot of playing time but made the most of what chances came his way (+2.7). Turned his seven targets into four receptions and two touchdowns. There might just be something that.
Jake Ballard, TE: Never really looked fully healthy from last year’s knee injury, Ballard struggled in the run game to the tune of a -2.4 grade and he failed to catch a pass during the preseason.
Daniel Fells, TE: Limited to just two preseason games, Fells was the odd man out with Rob Gronkowski’s potential return and undrafted free agent Zach Sudfeld’s emergence.
Luke Patterson, OL: Struggled throughout the preseason while getting a chance to play multiple positions along the offensive line. Finished with a -3.3 overall grade including -2.6 as a run blocker.
Matt Stankiewitch, OL: Spent most of his time at center and was handled in both the run and pass game on his way to a -8.8 overall grade.
Josh Kline, OL: Decent effort for Kline whose 192 snaps paced the Patriots’ offense. Fared much better as a run blocker (+2.0) than he did in pass protection (-2.1).
Gilbert Pena, DL: After getting released by the Packers, Pena pulled a -1.7 grade in his one-game tryout Thursday night.
Scott Vallone, DL: Only saw the field for 30 snaps, grading at -0.6. Picked up one sack on his 21 pass rush attempts.
Jermaine Cunningham, DL: Didn’t see the field this preseason as he battled injuries, the 2010 second round pick’s time in New England ends in disappointment after a promising rookie campaign.
Justin Francis, DL: As an undrafted rookie last year, Francis saw the field for 302 snaps and graded at -10.0. He posted a -3.8 in his two preseason games this year.
Marcus Bernard, DL: A surprising cut to team insiders, Benard got a long look as an interior pass rusher in camp, something he hadn’t done a lot of during his career. On 126 preseason snaps, he picked up seven pressures and graded at -1.3 against the run.
Marcus Forston, DL: Flashed at times during camp and throughout the preseason, but Forston just wasn’t strong enough against the run as his -3.2 grade indicated.
Mike Rivera, LB: Lost in the mix at an extremely deep position, Rivera’s -0.9 on 85 snaps just wasn’t enough this preseason.
Ja’Gared Davis, LB: Played only special teams for the Patriots after grading at +0.1 on 64 preseason snaps for the Texans.
Jeff Tarpinian, LB: Saw limited time on defense, but graded at +1.3 on his 55 preseason snaps, including +1.7 against the run.
Justin Green, DB: Played 186 defensive snaps allowing 9-of-14 passes to be completed into his coverage for 128 yards and a touchdown. Finished with a -3.6 coverage grade.
Stephon Morris, DB: Did not see a defensive snap and graded at -1.0 during his limited time on special teams.
Kannoris Davis, DB: Like Morris, played exclusively on special teams and graded at -3.0 in that area.
Zoltan Mesko, P: Simply beat out by a younger, cheaper option in Ryan Allen, Mesko graded -1.8 compared to Allen’s +5.1. One area where Allen held the advantage: only 44 percent of his punts were returnable compared to 86 percent for Mesko.
New York Jets
Greg McElroy, QB: Got injured at the wrong time and it allowed Matt Simms to come in and play pretty well. It’s a shame for McElroy who was having a decent preseason (+1.6) but this is a cruel business.
Moses Madu, RB:
Michael Campbell, WR:
Mohamed Massaquoi, WR: Must be a nice guy because he just keeps on getting chances. It’s a long time since he had his breakout game as a rookie and despite the Jets being desperately thin at receiver, Massaquoi wasn’t deemed an upgrade. That’s telling.
Ben Obomanu, WR:
Zach Rogers, WR:
Chris Pantale, TE:
Erik Cook, OL:
Jason Smith, OL: The former first round pick’s return to New York lasted only 51 snaps that saw him grade at -3.7. He gave up three sacks and two hurries on his 35 pass block attempts for a -3.1 pass block grade.
J.B. Shugarts, OL:
Lanier Coleman, DL:
Antonio Garay, DL:
Junior Aumavae, DL:
Tevita Finau, DL:
Troy Davis, LB:
Jacquies Smith, LB:
JoJo Dickson, LB:
Mike Edwards, DB:
Royce Adams, DB:
Rontez Miles, DB:
Dan Carpenter, K: