Notable NFL players to watch on cutdown weekend

The roster cuts and maneuvering for NFL teams to get down to a 53-man roster by Saturday's 4 p.m. ET deadline has already begun. Below is a list of names to keep an eye on over the weekend, whether they are potential candidates for release, trade, the reserve/physically unable to perform list or injured reserve:

Brock Osweiler, Browns quarterback: NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Osweiler was "available for a trade," which usually translates to "ready to be released" at this time of year. It's hard to imagine another team giving up a draft pick for Osweiler, even if the Browns took on nearly all of his $16 million guaranteed salary. If Osweiler were released, Cody Kessler and possibly Kevin Hogan would be on the depth chart behind rookie starter DeShone KizerUPDATE: The Brownsreleased Osweiler on Friday.

T.J. Ward, Broncos safety: Ward was the most surprising name to pop up as a trade candidate this week because he still played at a high level last season. But Ward has suffered an assortment of minor injuries, and Broncos general manager John Elway likes the young depth behind him. If a trade doesn't happen, a release is very possible. UPDATE: The Broncosreleased Ward on Saturday.

Matt Forte, Jets running back: The veteran was told by general manager Mike Maccagnan that he would not be traded, so it appears the team will hold on to his $4 million guaranteed salary.

Geno Smith, Giants quarterback: Was Geno's performance on Thursday night enough to save him? He completed 10 of 11 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots, although Josh Johnson also played well. Only one of the two veteran quarterbacks is likely to make the team and back up Eli Manning.

Sammie Coates, Steelers wide receiver: Last year's starter is squarely on the roster bubble after an injury-plagued training camp. He and Justin Hunter were battling for one roster spot, according to coach Mike Tomlin.

Victor Cruz, Bears receiver: Cruz appeared to be on the outside looking in at a roster spot even before he suffered a knee injury Thursday night. UPDATE:The Bears released Cruz Friday.

Pernell McPhee and Lamarr Houston, Bears linebackers: It was not a great sign for Houston that he was playing at length in the fourth preseason game. A knee injury, even if its minor, won't help his case for a roster spot and neither will his salary.

McPhee is a different case. It would be surprising to see such a talented player released, although not unfathomable. I'm more interested to see if the Bears put him on the reserve/PUP list, taking him out of action for the first six weeks of the season.

Chris Johnson, Cardinals running back: Turning 32 years old in September, Johnson started to show his age in training camp. He could be edged out by Cardinals running backs with more special teams ability like Elijhaa Penny and Andre Ellington. UPDATE: Johnson was released by the Cardinals on Friday, per Rapoport.

Aaron Donald, Rams defensive tackle: Coach Sean McVay's public confidence about Donald playing in Week 1 sure makes it sound like a deal is coming this weekend. Rapoport reported that Rams brass met with Donald's representatives on Wednesday.

Duane Brown, Houston Texans left tackle: Remember him? The three-time Pro Bowler's holdout has slipped under the radar. The team is running out of time to make a deal before regular-season action.

Jermaine Kearse and Jeremy Lane, Seahawks wide receiver, cornerback: Rapoport reported that the Seahawks were gauging trade value for both players. That's a surprise because Kearse was expected to start at wide receiver and Lane lined up as a starting cornerback for much of training camp. The team clearly believes they have enough depth at both positions and it would be surprising now if either was on the roster next week. UPDATE: The Seahawkstraded Kearse to the Jets on Friday.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content