Sports

NFL Training Camp Cuts: Bengals, Ravens, Steelers, Browns

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With the draft finished and all of free agency’s biggest and best names off the market, each team’s roster is, more or less, set. Until, of course, training camp.

When training camp and the pre season rolls around there are always a series of cuts to every roster; most expected, others not so much. Predicting the obvious cuts won’t be much fun, what with them being obvious and all, and often requires absurd amounts of research as they aren’t generally what I’d consider “household” names. For a look at some of the less likely - yet, still all too possible - names that could be hitting free agency in August, division by division, take a gander down yonder.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens, FB Vonta Leach: If the Baltimore Ravens couldn’t find a way to justify keeping Anquan Boldin around for $6M, I’m not sure how they justify Leach’s 4. Yes, he is probably the best fullback in the NFL, but he’s still a fullback. Having that much money locked up in one of the more ignorable positions in football just isn’t all that logical - especially when you’re looking at as horrid a salary cap scenario as the Ravens are for the foreseeable future. They also used a fourth round draft pick on Kyle Juszczyk, who just so happens to play fullback.

Cincinnati Bengals, S Reggie Nelson/Taylor Mays: Pick your poison with these two. While Reggie Nelson is slightly more durable and just a little bit better than Mays, he is also more expensive. By that same token the Bengals aren’t exactly short on cap space. Could see them keeping one or both, but then again, Mays has been all kinds of bad. Might be time to move on.

Cleveland Browns, WR David Nelson: Much like the Bengals, the Browns have no shortage of cap space and don’t really need to make any extreme cuts - unless the CBA allows for a mulligan on the Paul Kruger signing. Since it doesn’t, my pick goes to David Nelson. I didn’t see him getting many reps in the slot before the Browns traded for Davone Bess, but now I see him getting even less. Never had the skill set to work out of the slot anyways, and good luck getting reps over Greg Little and Josh Gordon on the outside. This makes for Nelson being the odd-man out.

Pittsburgh Steelers, DE Brett Keisel: Consider this the biggest stretch of all the names I’ve thrown out there in the AFC North. Just don’t count it out. The Steelers have some depth at defensive end and lack it in several positions. Keisel’s play last season was also more average then I’m sure the Steelers expected it to be. They have the least salary cap space of any team in the league and Keisel’s cap number is $4.5M. It’s unlikely they’ll cut Keisel, as he is a defensive captain and key cog in their defense, but entirely possible. Also worth considering that Steelers brass would love to ge Cameron Heyward more reps.

You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV