NFL teams enter training camp with 90 players, and they have a little more than a month to cut that that roster down to 53 men. Some of those decisions are easy, but some are agonizing choices. Here are 15 stars, impact players, Pro Bowlers, or high draft picks that are on the edge ahead of the NFL’s Aug. 30 forced cut to 75 players.
Cordarrelle Patterson - WR - Minnesota Vikings
He’s all but lost any chance at being a wide receiver for the Vikings — is he worth keeping around as a full-time kick returner?
Colin Kaepernick - QB - San Francisco 49ers
After missing Training Camp, Kap has a week to win the starting quarterback job from Blaine Gabbert. Given how Christian Ponder and rookie Jeff Driskel have played, the Niners have to consider just moving on from the drama, even if it means eating $11 million.
Victor Cruz - WR - New York Giants
It’s been almost two years since Cruz last played in a game — he’s missed two weeks of preseason. He’s all but cut unless he shows in the next couple of days that he was worth the wait.
Alfred Blue - RB - Houston Texans
A steady performer for the Texans over the last two years, Blue might have lost a roster spot while he was rehabbing from a shoulder injury.
Geno Smith - QB - New York Jets
Smith appears to have fallen behind Bryce Petty as Ryan Fitzpatrick’s No. 1 backup, and with Christian Hackenberg on the roster, there’s not much reason to carry Smith around this season.
Terrance Knighton - DT - New England Patriots
Pot Roast’s contract says he sticks around, but his poor play so far in the preseason and the Patriots’ depth at DT makes him a candidate to his the open market for the second time this year.
Ladarius Green - TE - Pittsburgh Steelers
Green’s relationship with his new team appears toxic, as he reportedly didn’t tell the Steelers about the headaches that have kept him out of camp before signing a $20 million deal this past offseason. Cutting him in the preseason might allow the Steelers to recoup his signing bonus.
Darren McFadden - RB - Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have a crowded backfield, and Alfred Morris has looked excellent in the preseason. McFadden hasn’t practiced since he reportedly fractured his elbow — will the Cowboys guarantee him a job when he’s healthy?
Kyle Love - DT - Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are stacked at DT, and Love looks to be the odd man out. He won’t be out of work long — that’s for sure.
Ronnie Hillman - RB - Denver Broncos
C.J. Anderson is the starting running back — we knew that — but rookie running back Devontae Booker has stolen Hillman’s backup role this preseason. Practice squader Kapri Bibbs appears in a tight battle with Hillman for the final running back job — a battle Hillman might lose.
Eddie Royal - WR - Chicago Bears
He sustained a concussion on Aug. 1, keeping him out of camp. The Bears value his veteran leadership, but if he can’t produce players like Daniel Braverman might force the team’s hands.
Josh Huff - WR - Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles need Huff to find himself in his third year, but so far in camp, reports have it that he’s continued to struggle. Saturday is the biggest game of his career.
Marcus Cooper - CB - Kansas City Chiefs
He’s fallen further and further down the depth chart since he came out of nowhere in 2013 to be a standout performer in the place of Brandon Flowers. It’s hard to see him reversing course.
Bishop Sankey - RB - Tennessee Titans
He’s the third-string running back at best, but he hasn’t shown that he’s worth keeping over David Cobb, or even Antonio Andrews or Dexter McCluster. One carry in the Titans’ second preseason game all but guaranteed the first running back taken in the 2014 Draft will be cut.
Justin Gilbert - CB - Cleveland Browns
The eighth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft keeps losing playing time, and his preseason thus far has him on the wrong side of the bubble — if not for the 75-man cut, then the 53-man.