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5 big-name NFL players who could be roster cuts ahead of Week 1

NFL roster cuts are going to be a major theme ahead of the start of the regular season in roughly three weeks.

Teams need to cut down from 85 players, meaning some big names will end up being given their walking papers. Below, we look at five household names who could fall victim to roster cuts here within the next couple weeks.

Landon Collins, safety, Washington Football Team

nfl roster cuts: landon collins, washington football team
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Despite his bloated contract, Washington could save roughly $8 million against the NFL salary cap if the team were to release this former Pro Bowler. Since signing a six-year, $84 million contract with Washington back in 2019, Collins simply has not lived up to expectations. He recorded 41 tackles and a mere one interception during an injury-plagued 2020 campaign.

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Washington also has an in-house replacement for Collins in that of 2020 seventh-round pick Kamren Curl. The former Arkansas standout was surprisingly good as a rookie, registering 88 tackles and three interceptions. Simply put, there’s no real reason to keep Collins in the nation’s capital.

Sony Michel, running back, New England Patriots

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An enigma during his three-year run in New England, this former first-round pick is squarely on the NFL roster bubble. Michel recorded a mere 449 rushing yards in nine games last season. He continues to fall in and out of head coach Bill Belichick’s dog house, which is never a good sign for a fringe player.

As for the Patriots, they have third-year back Damien Harris more than capable of shouldering the load in 2021. The Alabama product led New England in rushing yards last season with 691 yards while averaging 5.0 yards per rush.

Taven Bryan, defensive tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars

nfl roster cuts: taven bryan
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Yet another former first-round pick to make this list, Bryan has been a downright bust during his time in Duval. The 29th pick back in 2018, this Florida product has started a combined 17 games in three seasons. He’s also recorded all of 71 tackles and 3.5 sacks.

While the release of Tim Tebow made waves in Florida earlier this week, Jacksonville’s new brass opting to move off Bryan would have a much larger impact from a broader NFL perspective. Still only 25 years old, some team would obviously take a chance on the defensive tackle.

Nate Solder, offensive tackle, New York Giants

nfl roster cuts: nate solder
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Talk about a NFL free-agent bust. The 33-year-old Solder is clearly on the roster bubble after just three seasons with New York. Solder opted out of the 2020 campaign due to COVID-19 and has not regained his starting left tackle job since. In fact, Matt Peart is slated to start over the high-priced veteran at right tackle.

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There’s absolutely no reason for the Giants to keep Solder aboard as a swing tackle at this stage in his career. Despite signing a four-year, $64 million contract back in 2018, New York can save a ton against the NFL salary cap by releasing Solder. Expect that to happen in short order unless the team can surprisingly find a trade partner.

Nick Foles, quarterback, Chicago Bears

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears
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To say that Chicago has been desperately attempting to trade this former Super Bowl MVP would be an understatement. Andy Dalton is the likely Week 1 starter in the Windy City. Meanwhile, rookie first-round pick Justin Fields has performed well during both training camp and the early stages of the preseason. At the very least, Fields will be QB2 for the bears to open the season.

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Where does this leave the nine-year NFL veteran? Well, Foles is pretty much out of options. He’s going to have to take a backup job somewhere. Short of a team losing a quarterback to injury in the coming weeks, that will likely happen via the free-agent market. While Chicago would take a hit against the NFL salary cap by releasing Foles, there’s just no room for him on the roster.

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