The deadline to get your roster down to the maximum of 53 players has passed, and with that came a total of 21 cuts, and 1 move to the injured reserve. There were 75 players on the active roster coming into Saturday, and as of right now, that number is down to 53.
The speculation of who would get cut was very great. The biggest question came along with wide receiver Charles Rogers, who was originally the #2 overall pick of the 2003 draft. When the week started it appeared that Rogers would get a lot of playing time in the final preseason game to prove that he deserved one of those coveted roster spots. After 60 minutes of football passed against the Bills, Rogers had barely seen the field and now was expecting to receive his walking papers.
All of the cuts became official today, and there were a few surprises in there. Before getting to the list, it should be noted that Idrees Bashir was placed on the injured reserve. If it weren't for that, an extra player would've been released.
Here are the players that were released today:
- RB Artose Pinner
- WR Charles Rogers
- WR Glenn Martinez
- WR Devale Ellis
- TE Sean McHugh
- TE Dave Pearson
- T Kelly Butler
- T Clint Stickdorn
- G Fred Matua
- C Brock Gutierrez
- DE Claude Harriott
- DE Marcus Parker
- DT Damian Gregory
- DT Lynn McGruder
- DT Cleveland Pinkney
- LB James Davis
- LB James Hargrave
- CB Dee McCann
- CB LaMarcus Hicks
- CB Harrison Smith
- S Marcus Demps
Obviously you notice that Charles Rogers was in fact on the list of released players. Who would've thought that a former #2 overall pick in the draft would be cut just three short years after he was picked up. Rod Marinelli's all about hard work and not being lazy during practice. Charles Rogers' work ethic isn't very good, which is most likely the main reason behind him being let go.
Another wide receiver that was released today was Glenn Martinez. Some thought that Martinez had a good chance of making the team. The roster spot that he was battling for came down to him, Charles Rogers, and Shaun Bodiford. Rogers was taken out of the list when it became obvious on Thursday that he would be cut. Between Glenn Martinez and Shaun Bodiford it was the fact that Bodiford had more versatility that led to the decision to release Martinez. Bodiford not only catches the ball as a receiver, but can return kicks on special teams. That versatility is just too much to pass up.
Casey FitzSimmons must be progressing well with his injury as two tight ends were let go. Sean McHugh and Dave Pearson, who were added for depth at the position, both depart from the roster. That only leaves two tight ends that are injury free as of right now on the roster, so the Lions will have to be careful with how they use them.
Moving onto the offensive line, a few recognizable names are on the list of released players. First, Kelly Butler, who was the starting right tackle in 2005, is no longer on the roster. Fred Matua, one of the 7th round picks of the 2006 draft for the Lions, was also cut. Finally, Brock Gutierrez, who was the backup center, will have to find a new team. This was a questionable move at first as that only left one center on the team. So, Rick DeMulling, who is a utility backup o-lineman, will move into the backup center role.
Other notes from the rest of the list of players released are that 6th round draft pick Dee McCann, Marcus Parker, and Harrison Smith were all released. Parker and Smith had just been resigned earlier this week, but now will be forced to sign somewhere else.
Now, we will have to go through the round of waiver deals. Players released have a chance to be signed by another team. So, some of the now former Lions could end up on a different team's active roster.
It'll be very interesting to see where some of the players cut by Detroit end up. The Lions may also be on the lookout for some of the players cut from other NFL teams, but even if there is some interest, a signing would be doubtful. It was such a hard decision in deciding who would make the 53-man roster that another signing would force another player to be released. So, I wouldn't expect it.