NFL teams are facing crucial decisions and daunting conversations with their players in the hours ahead. By 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, all 32 NFL franchises are required to trim their rosters from a maximum of 90 players down to 53. A number of teams have already commenced this process, revealing their choices after completing the final preseason games in recent days. This deadline serves not only as a cut-off point for roster adjustments but also as an opportunity for trades. Among the various deals that have already been finalized, the Dallas Cowboys stand out for their acquisition of quarterback Trey Lance. Could there be more trades in the pipeline?
The Houston Texans are continuing their overhaul of the defense, as reports indicate the release of linebacker Christian Kirksey, along with defensive back Desmond King and defensive tackle Roy Lopez, the latter due to an injury designation. King, who started in 25 games over two years with the Texans, and secured five interceptions during that time, is making way for Tavierre Thomas to take the nickel position. Lopez, who had 29 starts in his two seasons with the Texans, was anticipated to serve as a backup this season.
The Houston Texans are further reshaping their roster as they enter the DeMeco Ryans era. Linebacker Christian Kirksey, who started all 17 games for the Texans last season and 12 games in 2021, is being released. Kirksey’s contributions included 124 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions. However, with Ryans taking over, Kirksey is now positioned behind Blake Cashman at strongside linebacker.
The Arizona Cardinals are also making significant moves regarding their quarterback strategy for the upcoming season. Kyler Murray will not be activated from the physically unable to perform list by the deadline, which means he will miss at least the first four games of the season. In addition, the Cardinals have released veteran quarterback Colt McCoy. These decisions appear to put Josh Dobbs in the spotlight to start for the Cardinals in Week 1.
- Advertisement -
In New York, the Jets are releasing running back Zonovan “Bam” Knight. Knight, who made four starts as an undrafted free agent last year, is making way due to the arrival of Dalvin Cook and other roster changes.
The Los Angeles Chargers have resolved their kicker competition and made a trade. Kicker Dustin Hopkins is being traded to the Cleveland Browns for a 2025 seventh-round pick, paving the way for second-year pro Cameron Dicker to take the lead in Los Angeles. Correspondingly, the Browns are set to cut kicker Cade York.
The Green Bay Packers have opted for first-year pro Daniel Whelan as their punter over veteran Pat O’Donnell, who has been released. Whelan demonstrated strong punting skills during training camp, with high hang times. O’Donnell’s consistent performance did not match the Packers’ expectations.
The Minnesota Vikings have carried out roster cuts, including quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and running back Abram Smith, both former XFL standouts. Ta’amu and Smith were part of the 2023 All-XFL Team, with notable performances in the league.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett is reportedly exploring the possibility of playing elsewhere to secure more playing time. Barnett, entering the final year of his contract, is gauging the market for potential opportunities.
- Advertisement -
As the NFL’s roster cut deadline approaches, teams are already making moves to adjust their rosters. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released several players, including Deadrin Senat, Nolan Turner, John Molchon, and Michael Niese. The Pittsburgh Steelers released linebacker Tanner Muse, while the Indianapolis Colts plan to release wide receiver Breshard Perriman. The Washington Commanders released wide receiver Marcus Kemp.
The Chicago Bears made cuts that drew attention, including the release of quarterback P.J. Walker, who signed with the team earlier this year. The Bears also waived offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood.
In an effort to reshape their offensive lines, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams engaged in a trade. The Steelers sent offensive guard Kevin Dotson to the Rams in exchange for draft picks. The Denver Broncos’ roster cuts included wide receiver Kendall Hinton, known for his unexpected appearance as a quarterback in 2020.
- Advertisement -
NFL teams must finalize their rosters with 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Although some teams have already revealed their initial cuts, the rosters aren’t truly final until Wednesday at noon, as teams can make claims on waived players until that time. This means that some players might find out they’ve been cut even after initially making the roster.