September 1st marks one of the roughest days of the year in the NFL. Teams have to cut down their rosters to 53 players, resulting in the dreams of hundreds of men being crushed. To get a sense of how hard it can be, take a look at this tweet from Donnel Pumphrey. Though these players are being cut, their careers aren’t necessarily over; they can still be picked up by other teams or join practice squads. Still, it’s a bad sign if you’re unable to crack a 53-man roster.
Here’s a look at 10 of the most notable players who were cut on Saturday.
Corey Coleman, WR, Bills
Coleman has been in headlines all offseason, but not for great reasons. The Cleveland Browns gave up on the 2016 first-round pick by trading him to Buffalo for a 7th-round pick. He got a late start with the Bills’ offense and only had one catch in the preseason while playing with some below-average quarterbacks. The former Baylor star’s NFL career is in no way over, but his chances of becoming an impact player do not seem to be too good. Coleman had just 23 catches for 305 yards and two touchdowns last season.
NFL superstars tend to receive many rewards, ranging from massive contracts to All-Pro nods and trips to the Pro Bowl. But in order to succeed at the highest level, all 32 teams still need role players and unsung heroes to help them along their journey.
Sometimes those role players receive the recognition they deserve — most often within the fan bases or cities in which they play. But frequently, they are not recognized the way they should be.
Each team has some hidden gems on their roster — here’s a look at one for each team.
Arizona Cardinals – Markus Golden, linebacker
Markus Golden is more overlooked than unknown, but at his current rate of development, he won’t be forgotten much longer. Golden finished the 2016 season with 53 total pressures, 41 run stops and 12.5 sacks. The 41 run stops were good for fourth-most among edge defenders in the NFL. Golden is in line for a Pro Bowl or All-Pro nod in 2017 if he continues at this pace. If that happens, the secret will be out.
Atlanta Falcons – Grady Jarrett, defensive tackle
Grady Jarrett was considered underrated in college and that remained true over his first two seasons with the Falcons. Even despite a strong performance in the Super Bowl, Jarrett hasn’t exactly seen his name in lights. If Atlanta didn’t choke the game away, perhaps that would be different, but for now, Jarrett and his 78.3 Pro Football Focus rating will continue to fly under the radar.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead on Sunday had a day he’ll never forget.
Following his team’s 26-20 overtime win over the Denver Broncos, Shead proposed to his girlfriend, Jessica Martinez.
The Seahawks’ official Twitter account says the entire Legion of Boom was there to witness the special moment:
Shead is in his third season in the league after playing college ball at Portland State. He made one tackle in Sunday’s game and served as the special teams captain.
Here’s a better picture of the happy couple:
Photo: Jessica Martinez