An updated version of Lane Adkins' analysis of over 75 recently cut players...
Brian Griese (Tampa Bay) Griese has displayed to be an effective
quarterback at the professional level. In Tampa Bay, Griese's career has
realized a rebirth under the offensive mindset of head coach Jon Gruden,
though the 2005 season ended in injury. Griese wants to remain in Tampa Bay,
the team wants to retain his services, this appears to only be a salary-cap
related move to help the team at this time. Negotiations are ongoing at this
time and Griese could be resigned soon. If something unexpected were to
occur between the team and player during negotiations, Griese could be a
very interesting player in the free agent market. Due to his moderate salary
requirements and necessity for many teams, Griese could command and expect a
Kerry Collins (Oakland) The salary-cap strapped Raiders did not have
many options in getting below the league-mandated 94.5 million dollar cap.
Collins due to his large cap number (approximately 13-million dollars) was
an easy target. Still possessing a big-arm, Collins is a vertical game type
quarterback and has shown the tendency to be prone to turnovers. While his
decision making process has improved, he still locks on receivers far too
often. Collins will receive some serious interest in free agency, as he
remains a viable starting quarterback option.
Tony Banks (Houston) Banks has been a backup to David Carr in Houston
and should only expect to serve in a reserve capacity at this point in his
career. Still athletic, Banks still has a strong arm, but inconsistency and
a knack for turning the ball have hampered him throughout his career.
Jay Fiedler (Jets) Brought in to serve as insurance in the event
starter Chad Pennington was injured, Fielder went down with a shoulder
injury minutes into his first opportunity in New York. Has had some success
as a starter, but is now in the twilight of his career and should be looked
upon as a backup or emergency type starter.
Tommy Maddox (Pittsburgh) Appears to have lost all confidence in his
ability. Often throws into coverage and has proven to be very erratic.
Unlikely he will suit up in 2006, unless a team comes calling for a veteran
type to step in.
Mike Anderson (Denver) Looking to clear cap space and provide Ron Dayne a greater opportunity (as a backup), Anderson was a somewhat
surprising cut for the Broncos. Not the fleetest afoot, Anderson has proven
to be a powerful inside, downhill type rusher. On the downside of his
career, Anderson has the ability to play, but shouldn't be counted on as a
feature back at this point.
Stephen Davis (Carolina) At one time Davis was as good as any back in
the league. Knee injuries have robbed Davis of his surprising quickness and
upper-body shiftiness. Still retains power, but is too great an injury risk
to count on.
Rod Smart (Carolina) Simply a reserve at the running back position,
Smart has had some success in the return game and should catch on with a
team seeking a better than average kick return specialist.
Tony Hollings (Houston) Never reached the potential many scouts
believed he possessed when coming out of Georgia Tech. Knee injury in
college robbed him of playing time and quite possibly took some of his game
from him. Hollings is a reserve at best at the professional level.
Cal Murray (San Diego) Special teams type player.
Jerald Sowell (Jets) Has one role, of a blocking back. Good blocker
that understands his role of sacrificing himself. Teams which utilize the
two-back or H-back sets with a need should express an interest.
Lorenzo Diamond (Miami) A diamond in the rough this diamond is not.
Does not offer any true threat or significance and should be viewed a role
Jeb Putzier (Denver) Has turned into a solid tight-end in the Broncos
offensive system. Putzier release was in an effort to reduce the Denver
salary-cap issues and no other reason. His blocking has improved, but should
be deemed average, while excelling as a receiver. The interest in Putzier
will immediate when the free agent player signing period commences.
Mark Campbell (Buffalo) As the Bills sought to gain salary-cap
relief, Campbell was an easy target for the team. Has battled injuries
throughout his career, when healthy has shown the ability to get open, and
is a sufficient run blocker. Campbell should be looked at as a depth player
for a team looking to fill out the roster with a veteran presence type
player willing to play special teams.
(Re-signed with St. Louis) - Isaac Bruce (St. Louis)Bruce again was a solid receiver in the 2005 season and appears to not
be slowing down. A very good route runner, with deceptive speed and
quickness, Bruce is a salary-cap cutting measure by the team. While Bruce
could resign with the Rams, he may be willing to test the free agent market,
where a player of his stature could be an immediate hit. If he enters the
free agent waters, Bruce will command immediate attention and should sign a
Cedric James (New England) Non-descript, special teams type player at
Johnnie Morton (San Francisco) Nearing the end of his career, still
runs routes well, but has slowed and does not catch the ball nearly as well
as in his days in Detroit. Can be a help as a reserve, but shouldn't be
counted on to be a major contributor.
Harry Williams (Jets) Special teams type player.
Damion McIntosh (Miami) Age, size, and physical limitations make
McIntosh a risky proposition at the tackle position. Due to the lack of
top-flight talent at the tackle position in the game, McIntosh should remain
in the game as a reserve.
Brad Hopkins (Tennessee) He may be getting up in age (35), but
Hopkins still possesses the ability and consistency sought at the left
tackle position. At one time, He was close to being a dominant tackle,
utilizing quickness and excellent handwork, now he depends on experience and
desire to play the position at a high level. Due to age, Hopkins shouldn't
be counted on to be much more than a two-year stop-gap player.
Matt Morgan (St. Louis) Reserve, special teams type player.
Matt Hill (Carolina) Reserve, special teams type player.
Jason Fabini (Jets) Fabini was a solid, workmanlike tackle for the
New York Jets prior to a pectoral muscle tear midway through the 2005
season. Capable of manning either the left or right tackle position, Fabini
has been a consistent lineman without significant injury concerns. Fabini
remains strong at the point of attack due to a wide base and leg strength.
Released as a salary-cap relief measure, Fabini will garner serious looks
from teams seeking an above average, experience lineman.
Mike Williams (Buffalo) A classic underachiever inside a mammoth
frame. Williams was a highly touted lineman coming out of Texas, but has
never achieved at the level expected of a high first-round draft selection.
Overall play is inconsistent and sloppy, does not move well, and cannot
reach the second level of defense. Williams can start on a team which can
hide his deficiencies and will receive some looks based off his size and
Ron Stone (Oakland) This cagey veteran will not wind down his career
in Oakland. A marginal, fringe type player now, Stone still has the ability
to run block well, but struggles against quicker defensive linemen.
Inconsistent is getting to the second-level of the defense and can be beat
without help over the duration of a game. May get some looks from teams
wanting to add depth, especially in training camp.
(Signed with Minnesota) - Jason Whittle (Giants)
A better run blocker than pass blocker, Whittle is not overly strong at the
point of attack, but will give maximum effort. Could be of value to a team
looking for an average lineman for depth, or to help a team with issues at
the guard position.
Will Shields (Kansas City) Just like a fine wine, Shields appears to
get better with age. Still can control his man at the point of attack and
run block with the best in the business. Shields plays with the find you and
grind you attitude. Even at 35-years of age, Shields has the quickness and
strength to pass block well. If Kansas City does not resign the veteran
lineman, Shields will command immediate attention on the open market.
David Loverne (Detroit) Serviceable at the point of attack, Loverne
does not possess the strength and overall skill to make an impact at the
guard position. Plays smaller than his size, can be overpowered by larger
defensive linemen. Could be a starter on some teams and should receive some
attention once free agency commences.
Cory Raymer (Washington) At the initial point of attack Raymer is a
sufficient interior lineman, the issue for Raymer is his limited mobility
and lack of athleticism. Displays the ability to compete with some success,
but should not be counted upon as the long-term answer at center for a team
in need. Still, he should receive some attention and land with an
organization needing immediate help and depth along the interior line.
Kevin Mawae (Jets) Was playing at a high level prior to a left
triceps injury which cost him the majority of the 2005 season. Tough and
highly respected, Mawae remains a solid center who can generate better than
average results in the run and passing game, but should not be counted on to
be an elite player at this advanced stage of his career (35-years old;
Joe Iorio (Giants) Deep backup, special teams type player.
Duane Clemons (Cincinnati) Rather undersized as a true defensive end
and lacks overall strength. Clemons plays hard is displays sufficient
quickness to put pressure on the quarterback at times, though inconsistent.
Clemons is average against the run and is an average talent at this point in
his career, but productive enough to garner attention in the free agent
Trevor Pryce (Denver) The one-time dominating player is that no
longer. Injuries and age have robbed Pryce of some of the speed, quickness,
and power for which elevated him to the elite pass rusher standard. Still
displays the ability to compete, but should not be expected to produce more
than average numbers for a defensive end or tackle. Due to his track record
and team necessities in the game today, Pryce could command more than the
standard for a player at his position.
Kenard Lang (Cleveland) Was a better than average defensive end for
the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns, prior to the 2005 season. In
2005, Lang dropped weight and learned a new position (outside linebacker),
all which played into his lackluster season of a year ago. If Lang can add
weight, he can be a viable mid-range option for a team seeking a steady
player heading towards the closing chapter of his career.
Brady Smith (Atlanta) A foot injury sidelined this high-motor, lanky
defensive end. Plays every play like it's the last one and is a solid team
player in the locker room. If healthy, Smith has the ability to help a team
looking for run support and with a moderate pass rush. The Falcons were
seeking some salary-cap relief and this move falls into that category. Will
command serious attention in the free agent player signing period, if
Brandon Noble (Washington) A classic overachiever that plays every
play as if it is the last. Plays the run well, showing ample strength to
fight and clog the interior of the point of attack. Somewhat of a liability
as a pass rusher, due to his ordinary speed and quickness, but gives all he
has. Noble will garner some interest in free agency due to his consistent
play and realistic approach to the game.
Brentson Buckner (Carolina) Age, injury, salary-cap issues, and a
drop in production all played into Buckner's release. While still displaying
the strength and ability to play the defensive tackle, he has lost mobility
and quickness. Struggles against quicker, physical offensive linemen and
could be at the end of the road.
Sam Adams (Buffalo) Remains a solid run-stuffing defensive tackle,
but age and wear/tear on his large frame appear to be taking their toll. Not
as dominant at the point of attack in 2005 and appeared to wear down as the
season went on. Should have a few miles left in the tank, but don't expect
the same stellar Adams of years gone by.
Ted Washington (Oakland) Much like Adams, Washington is on the
short-end of his career. Not nearly as effective in 2005 as in the past,
Washington struggled. A few short years ago, one blocker rarely could get
the best of Washington, in 2005 age and years of punishment at the point of
attack appears to have caught up to him. Still can be effective in a spot
role, but shouldn't be depended upon to play 35-50 plays a game any longer.
(Signed with St. Louis) - La'Roi Glover (Dallas)
Glover simply is not a good fit in the Dallas defensive scheme. Released for
that and salary-cap reasons, Glover can expect to draw some significant
interest from teams looking for a defensive lineman that plays the run well
and can get to the quarterback on occasion in the right scheme (needs
athleticism around him).
Lance Legree (Jets) Legree is a serviceable defensive tackle that
will give effort, but is not physical or athletic enough to make an impact.
Due to his desire and effort, Legree will play somewhere on Sunday's, though
as a backup.
Willie Blade (Dallas) Was unable to endear himself to head coach Bill
Parcells due to his inconsistency and lack of overall performance. Though
athletic for an interior defensive lineman, Blade is easily manhandled and
lacks intensity. Should land in another team training camp for depth and
could surprise if ever utilizing his physical attributes.
Chris Claiborne (St. Louis) Though being athletic, Claiborne just
doesn't make plays and can't stay healthy. Claiborne was believed to be one
of the special type linebackers when entering the league out of USC, but has
been relatively average at the professional level. Runs well, tackles
adequately, but doesn't make plays with any consistency. After a
non-descript career with the Lions, he moved to the Rams and continued his
trait of being average.
Jeremy Loyd (St. Louis) Special teams/backup type player.
Na'il Diggs (Green Bay) Definitely the type of linebacker that plays
better in space. Diggs is much better in coverage than at the point of
attack. Teams like linebackers that display speed and quickness, Diggs will
garner his fair share of interest due to his athletic ability.
Barry Gardner (Jets) Marginal backup inside linebacker type and
special teams ace.
Willie McGinest (New England) Despite getting up in age, McGinest
continues to play the game at a high level. Plays the outside linebacker /
stand-up defensive end positions equally well and is an excellent
run-stopper. McGinest can pressure the quarterback when called upon and is
an excellent leader. May not be as successful in a system change at this
point in his career, which lends credence to the notion he could remain in
New England, or sign with the Cleveland Browns (Romeo Crennel) or Dallas Cowboys (Bill Parcells). If McGinest hits the open market, the interest will
Junior Seau (Miami) Age and injuries have slowed this one-time
perennial All-Pro linebacker. Seau was never able to equal his dominant play
as a member of the San Diego Chargers when arriving in Miami. Due to
physical issues over the past few seasons, he should not be counted on to be
a major factor for a defense, but can provide experience and leadership in a
LaVar Arrington (Washington) Athletically gifted, Arrington has
displayed to be a disruptive force when healthy and in the right mindset.
Knee injury slowed his progress in Washington's defensive scheme of Gregg
Williams, and was not open to adapting to the new scheme in place. As the
2005 season progressed, Arrington began to surface as a player in the
scheme, it didn't hurt that he also tuned down his attitude (was not getting
along with the coaching staff). Has the ability to rush the passer and play
the run effectively, at times is too aggressive, but should improve with
experience and confidence in the defensive scheme. A definite salary-cap
related release, but issues with the staff helped solidify his release. Will
command immediate attention in free agency and will be expected to be a
(Signed with Philadelphia) - Shawn Barber (Kansas
City) Injuries have robbed this very athletic player from
significant parts of seasons throughout his career. Still runs well and is
coming off knee surgery. Barber is a serious medical risk and should only
receive a very team friendly contract (one-year deal) to see if he can play
an entire season, which is questionable at best at this time in his career.
Gary Stills (Kansas City) Very good special teams player.
Brandon Short (Carolina) Productive linebacker that has had some
issues with teammates and coaches in the past, Short is on the outside
looking in. While this release can be acknowledged as a salary-cap cutting
move, his overall play was inconsistent and the team is looking for a more
balance and chemistry. Short will draw interest in free agency due to his
ability to play at a better than average level at times.
Jamie Sharper (Seattle) Salary-cap cutting move, though performance
and injury plays into the equation. Sharper was a disappointment for the
Seahawks, as he was unable to regain a starting role after recovering from
injury. Sharper appears to have slowed down, but that may be attributed to
injury. Once was a very durable and tough linebacker, in the 2005 season he
was easier to neutralize. If healthy (knee surgery), he could command some
looks in free agency, but there should not be a large payday offered.
Walt Harris (Washington) Played reasonably well with the Redskins in
the 2005 season and could be attractive to a team seeking a dependable (not
spectacular) cornerback at a good price. Pretty solid in pass defense,
Harris is average at best in run support and shouldn't be expected to
improve entering his 11th season in the league. With the number
of teams seeking help at the corner, Harris should have no problem finding a
new team in 2006 (if he doesn't resign with the Redskins).
Brandon Williams (Atlanta) Special teams, deep reserve type player.
Brandon Payne (Detroit) Special teams, deep reserve type player.
Eric Warfield (Kansas City) Very inconsistent and does not do a good
job in positioning himself between the ball and receiver. Can be easily
fooled and does not play to his size. Could get a look as a starter
somewhere, but the odds are he will be a backup in 2006.
Dexter McCleon (Kansas City) McCleon doesn't cover well, is better in
run support, but a cornerback is paid to cover and execute. Can still
contribute, but is not starter material any longer.
Reggie Howard (Miami) Appeared to have the ability to become a better
than average cornerback when with the Panthers. In two-seasons with the
Dolphins, Howard was a complete bust. Free agency should be relatively quiet
for him, as he is a depth type player at this point.
(Signed with NY Giants) - Sam Madison (Miami)
Has slowed over the past two-seasons, but still regarded as a quality
cornerback. Madison reads and reacts well and is smooth in coverage. He
relies more on experience and instincts, rather than speed and quickness,
though Madison possesses adequate speed. Still, despite some slippage,
Madison can still play the position at a high level of consistency, but has
not shown the ability over the past couple seasons to be the shutdown
cornerback he once was.
Denard Walker (Oakland) Smallish stature and a loss of speed and
quickness make Walker a nickel or dime type cornerback at this point in his
Andre Dyson (Seattle) Salary-cap cutting move after a very
disappointing 2005 season for the Seahawks. Injuries and inconsistency
hampered Dyson throughout the season and he was replaced when relatively
healthy. Based on his history, Dyson will get an offer to start in the
league in 2006, but may have to prove the 2005 season was a fluke. Must do a
better job against bigger receivers to taste success, is aggressive, and has
a nose for the ball.
Duane Starks (New England) This one-time big-time cornerback has
struggled since suffering a serious knee injury a couple years ago. Whether
the knee isn't healthy or the player is suffering from confidence issues,
Starks is far from the player he was just a few seasons ago. Relatively
young, Starks may still have a place in the game, but will have to start
from the bottom up.
Michael Lehan (Cleveland) Has shown some coverage ability, but is
always injured. At this time a player which should not be counted on to be
anything more than a special teams / reserve type player.
Ahmed Plummer (San Francisco) When healthy, Plummer is a very solid
cornerback. The past two seasons have been difficult for the former Ohio State star, neck and ankle woes have limited his playing time, which helped
lead to his release (as well as the salary-cap savings). Again, if healthy,
Plummer can be a significant player at the corner position, but that is a
big "IF". Will draw serious interest as teams are always seeking cornerback
that can cover, and Plummer does that well, when healthy.
Ty Law (Jets) Coming off a serious foot injury, Law played his way
into shape during the 2005 season and was named to the Pro-Bowl. A truly
outstanding cornerback and playmaker in the defensive backfield, Law will
command significant interest in free agency. Still can man-up with the best
of them, positions and handles himself well against large receivers, and
displays consistency getting between the ball and receiver.
Michael Harden (Seattle) Could be a reserve and special teams type
Willie Williams (Pittsburgh) The Pittsburgh Super Bowl victory could
be the final farewell for Williams. Smallish is stature, he has lost the
speed and quickness necessary to play the cornerback position. The
Pittsburgh defensive scheme helped minimize deficiencies. A definite
salary-cap move, production also plays a factor in his release. A backup at
best now and may end his career with the `ring'.
Matt Bowen (Washington) Possesses solid recognition skills, but lacks
speed and quickness, which limits his productivity and worth. Aggressively
plays the run and is much better in support. Can start on a team with a need
at the position if surrounded by athletic type players in the defensive
backfield to minimize his average athletic ability.
Russell Stuvaints (Pittsburgh) Reserve, special teams type player the
Steelers really like.
Mike Logan (Pittsburgh) Adequate run and pass defender, has the
ability to help a team as a depth player. Should not be deemed a serious
starting quality safety, but can step in and fill a gap in the short-term.
Lawyer Milloy (Buffalo) Not the dominant defensive back he once was,
Milloy can still play the game at a high level and provides a great deal of
experience. Over the years Milloy has lost a step and may not cover as much
ground, but he makes up for this due to his ability to be in position. Any
team looking for a safety for a couple years will seriously consider this
former New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills standout.
Tebucky Jones (Miami) Jones has never played to the level expected
when he was a first-round draft selection. Poor fundamentals and a lack of
urgency leaves Jones on the sideline.
Marcus Coleman (Houston) Was starting in Houston until he violated
team rules and fell out of favor with the coaching staff. Coleman still has
the ability to be a serviceable safety if above average talent surrounds him
in the defensive backfield, due to questionable pass coverage skills at this
point in his career.
Brent Alexander (Giants) Considering retirement and coming off a poor
season with the New York Giants, this option may be best served, as
Alexander appears to have nothing left.
Oliver Celestin (Jets) Reserve player with potential. A definite
special teams player which should play on Sunday somewhere in the 2006
Jerry Wilson (San Diego) A step slow, average at best in coverage,
and will not intimidate a receiver, Wilson's days of starting in the league
are over. At best, now a backup and special teams type contributor.