2011 NFL Cut Day Brings Some Surprises by Lloyd Vance

 

The Miami Dolphins’ Turk had to tell running back Larry Johnson, “Coach needs to see you and bring your playbook”

Every team has that member of their coaching staff that no one wants to see on Cut Down Day.  The Turk came around the NFL at 6:00 PM on Saturday September 3rd reducing rosters to the regular season limit of 53 players – Approximately 700 players were given their walking papers. The last cuts are always the toughest for NFL teams as many had to let go as many as 22 players getting to the regular season limit from the earlier  limit of seventy-five.

Some of the bigger players getting their walking papers were Patriots RB Sammy Morris, Dolphins RB Larry Johnson, Eagles TE Donald Lee, Raiders CB Lito Sheppard, Patriots former first-rounder safety Brandon Meriweather, Bears RB Chester Taylor, NY Giants QB Ryan Perrilloux, Giants punter Matt Dodge, Steelers DB Victor “Macho” Harris, Niners QB Josh McCown, and Eagles DB Joselio Hanson.  Also promising Jacksonville Jaguars RB Rashard Jennings and Chiefs TE Tony Moeaki were placed on injured reserve for the year after injuring their knees near the end of preseason.

Some younger players that were cut still could be added to NFL practice squads as teams can name up to 8 players after12 PM EST (after waivers) on Sunday September 4.  By the way a practice squad is not that bad of a gig.  Players can be paid a minimum of $5700 dollars a week while learning in meetings and practices.

However for other cut players their next steps could be limited.  The Arena Football League (AFL) is over for another year and the Canadian Football League (CFL) is well underway, so the United Football League (UFL) — will starting its 3rd season this fall — maybe their only option left.

Lloyd’s Leftovers

NFL’s best feel good story from Cut-Down Day – With all the players whose NFL dreams were shattered on Saturday, there was one great story to talk about in league circles.  As former Boston College LB Mark Herzlich, a former cancer survivor made the New York Giants regular season linebacker.  The 23-year-old fromWayne,Pa., had played inspired the entire preseason and made it very tough for the G-Men’s coaches to cut him.  He six tackles, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble during the preseason, plus played very well on special teams.  “Well it is6:03pm an I am still a Giant God Is Good,” Herzlich tweeted Saturday.

Trades?? – Usually the NFL only has trades around the draft, but cutdown day there was one noteworthy move.

  • Jets ship-off veteran – Head Coach Rex Ryan sent veteran defensive back Dwight Lowery to the Jacksonville Jaguars for an undisclosed conditional draft pick. Lowery was a versatile DB, who spent three seasons with the J-E-T-S, after being drafted in the fourth round out ofSan JoseState.  Ryan said of the trade “It was an opportunity for Dwight to go to a place where he’s really going to be used and compete for that starting nickel job. I think it was kind of good for Dwight to go toJacksonville and get more playing time, and for us, we just felt we had the depth we needed in the back end.”  The New York Jets now have 10 defensive backs on its roster for the regular season — five cornerbacks and five safeties.

 You can also view the full list of transactions from NFL Cut Day here.

 

Lloyd Vance is an  NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and Sports Journey Network , who is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

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