15 NFL veterans on the bubble entering training camp
7. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, New York Jets
Teddy Bridgewater faces an interesting situation with the Jets. The team has brought back last year’s starter, Josh McCown, and they traded up to select Sam Darnold at No. 3 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. They hedged their bets by adding Bridgewater, but the reality is, there are only so many spots available, and it’s unlikely Bridgewater will end up a third-string inactive. He could come out of camp as the team’s starter or he could find himself released or on the trading block. It’s a fluid situation in New York and for Bridgewater, for whom the entire football world is rooting.
6. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baltimore Ravens
After a year out of football, it will be interesting to see what Robert Griffin III can bring to the table in Baltimore, but him landing there alongside Lamar Jackson is no accident. The Ravens want their rookie quarterback to learn from a man who’s been in his shoes. Still, Joe Flacco is the leading man, and with roster spots at a premium, Griffin will need to bring a little more to the table than just tutelage. But even then, he runs the risk of being released or traded as the No. 3 QB.
5. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
Ameer Abdullah is talented and it’s difficult to give up on talent, but he hasn’t appeared in a full 16 games since his rookie season and saw his yards per carry drop to a career-low 3.3 in 2017. With LeGarrette Blount, rookie Kerryon Johnson, and Theo Riddick also taking up space in a crowded backfield, it could spell trouble for the inconsistent Abdullah. And while there would be no real financial reason to cut Abdullah ($1.32 million cap hit in 2018), there’s also be no crippling penalty in sending him on his way.
4. Matt Schaub, QB, Atlanta Falcons
Matt Schaub is a quality and experienced backup, but at 37 years old, his playing days are fading. Beyond that, Schaub is on the books for a cap hit of $4.5 million in 2018, which could be money better spent elsewhere — even with only limited talent left on the free agent market. Atlanta also has has a pair of youngsters — Kurt Benkert and Garrett Grayson — on the roster they may not be willing to part with, and carrying four quarterbacks in today’s NFL is unlikely.
3. Doug Martin, RB, Oakland Raiders
Doug Martin had completely fallen off the map in his final two seasons with the Buccaneers, missing 13 games and appearing like a shell of his former self. Now in Oakland, Martin will need to not only prove he’s healthy, but also that he warrants playing time over Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington as the team’s No. 2. If Martin fails to do either of those things, his non-guaranteed contract makes him an easy cut for Jon Gruden.
2. Mike Gillislee, RB, New England Patriots
It seems crazy that Mike Gillislee would be considered on the bubble after New England signed him to a two-year, $6.4 million deal as a restricted free agent only a season ago, but he lost his job to Dion Lewis in 2017 and New England appears poised to move on without him. Rex Burkhead and James White are both roster locks, and the Patriots also added first-round pick Sony Michel to the fold. Unless Gillislee, who is also competing with Jeremy Hill, does something amazing during camp and changes the tide, he could soon be looking for his third team in three years.
1. Brandon Marshall, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Brandon Marshall seemed like an ideal addition for the Seahawks in the wake of Jimmy Graham leaving via free agency, but at 35 years old and coming off of a lost season that was shut down early by ankle and toe injuries — both of which required surgery — there are some legitimate concerns to be had. Add in that Marshall hasn’t recovered and progressed like many had hoped, and his one-year deal with only $90,000 guaranteed seems like something easily escaped from. Keep in mind that Pete Carroll has already said Marshall’s spot is in question.