If loyalty is your thing, you probably shouldn’t follow the NFL. Savvy GMs run their teams more ruthlessly than Tony Soprano ran his New Jersey “family”. Thankfully, however, getting got in the NFL just means a cleaned out locker, a turned in playbook, and a ticket home, not one’s head in a duffle bag. (Well, it could also mean severe, debilitating, long-term brain trauma, but let’s leave that one alone for now.)
The biggest “got” name this year is fan-favorite fullback Michael Robinson. I love Michael Robinson. He’s got a great back story (How many guys go from college quarterback to Pro Bowl fullback?), he was developing into a capable pass catcher (no John L. Williams, but still), and he is tough as hell. But he missed some preseason games with a virus, and it sounds like Carroll & Co. just liked their other options at fullback better. Rookie Spencer Ware made the squad, and second-year man Derrick Coleman is the presumptive starter. It seems strange to me to hand over the starting fullback job to a 46-year old retired NBA player, but I’m not running the team.
Antoine Winfield also didn’t make the squad. He’s retiring, which signifies to me, he’s old and can no longer hack it. Or at least he can no longer hack it to the tune of $7.25 million. If that salary was chopped down by 90%, I suspect his old legs would be looking a lot younger. So the ‘Hawks will need somebody else to step up and play the role of Davone Bess stopper. Thankfully, Bess’ new team, the Cleveland Browns, aren’t on the schedule this year, but I have it on good authority that there are other slot receivers in the league who are just as good — perhaps even better, if you can believe it — than Mr. Bess.
The D-Line is looking a little (just a little) less the clusterfuck that it was a few days ago. Chris Clemons wasn’t put on the PUP, which means he will probably be available to play sometime in the next few weeks*. A bunch of D-tackles were cut, indicating the health of Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel probably aren’t huge issues. Also, some guy named D’Anthony Smith was brought in from Jacksonville to shore up the interior a bit.
Lastly, Brady Quinn is gone. Quinn is not a good NFL quarterback. He’s clearly worse than Tarvaris Jackson; cutting him is no big whoop. The only reason I feel compelled to mention it is because seven years ago he was a big-name college quarterback at a big-name college program. That’s a pretty silly reason, when you think about it.
*If he was placed on the PUP, he’d be out until after the sixth week, so the only way it makes sense to use a roster spot on him is if the team is confident he’s coming back sometime in the next three or four few weeks.