The current market leaders could run into some challengers.
Aug. 30--The Chiefs cut their roster down from 75 to 53 men on Saturday. Here's the opening-day roster, as of Saturday.
Quarterbacks (3): Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Aaron Murray: The knee and ankle injuries to Tyler Bray were fortuitous, allowing the Chiefs to keep all four of their quarterbacks. They just couldn't pass on the chance to keep developing that rare arm talent.
Running backs (5): Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, De'Anthony Thomas, Joe McKnight, Cyrus Gray: The Chiefs are keeping five running backs, which is unorthodox. McKnight offers a greater offensive ceiling, but Gray is a valued special teamer. Not sure how long they can reasonably keep five, though.
Fullbacks (1): Anthony Sherman: The Chiefs cut fullback Jordan Campbell, but he is eligible for the practice squad.
Receivers (5): Donnie Avery, Frankie Hammond, Albert Wilson, Junior Hemingway, A.J. Jenkins: Dwayne Bowe gets placed on the reserve-suspended list, while slot receiver Kyle Williams gets placed on injured reserve. Wilson and Hemingway earned most of the reps in the slot during the preseason, so it will be interesting to see how that shakes up.
Tight ends (4): Anthony Fasano, Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris, Richard Gordon: The decision to keep four tight ends says a lot about the need for more offensive weapons. It's also an indication they feel they need insurance for the first three guys, due to injury history or inexperience.
Offensive line (9): Eric Fisher, Mike McGlynn, Rodney Hudson, Zach Fulton, Jeff Allen, Eric Kush, Jeff Linkenbach, Ryan Harris, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif: The Chiefs essentially jettisoned guard Ricky Henry in favor of the raw sixth-round rookie in Duvernay-Tardif. Henry is eligible for the practice squad, however.
Defensive line (5): Allen Bailey, Dontari Poe, Mike DeVito, Jaye Howard, Vance Walker: This was a surprise, especially when you consider that DeVito missed the entire preseason slate with a fractured hand, and two guys who were cut -- Kyle Love and Dominique Hamilton -- played reasonably well during the preseason. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts, though the need to have a bunch of interior linemen is diminished by the rate teams are now throwing the ball.
Outside linebacker (5): Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Josh Martin, Frank Zombo: No one was cut here. Zombo's ability to play both inside and outside helped him.
Inside linebacker (4): Derrick Johnson, Joe Mays, Josh Mauga, James-Michael Johnson: The Chiefs didn't place Joe Mays on injured reserve, at least not yet. Stay tuned. They cut 2013 fourth-round pick Nico Johnson. Johnson simply couldn't surpass Mauga and James-Michael Johnson on the depth chart.
Cornerback (5): Marcus Cooper, Sean Smith, Ron Parker, Chris Owens, Phillip Gaines: It would have been nice if DeMarcus Van Dyke didn't suffer a high ankle sprain against the Packers. He played well enough to merit roster consideration, but he was cut.
Safety (4): Eric Berry, Husain Abdullah, Daniel Sorensen, Kelcie McCray: The Chiefs make a slightly surprising move to cut Malcolm Bronson, a second-teamer, in favor of McCray, who was recently acquired in a trade. Bronson is eligible for the practice squad but he'll keep his options open.
Specialists (3): Cairo Santos, Dustin Colquitt, Thomas Gafford: The biggest cut of the day goes to veteran kicker Ryan Succop, who likely lost his job to the comparable Santos due to money. Succop won't be out of the NFL long.
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.
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