The post-draft roster cuts are coming around the league as teams make room for their draft picks and undrafted free agent signings.
The Texans made four of those cuts on Monday in addition to making the signing of running back Alfred Blue official. They cut tight end Zach Conque, cornerback Bryce Jones, tight end Ryan Malleck and linebacker Gimel President.
One of the most effective receiving backs and return aces of his generation, Sproles currently sits eighth in career all-purpose yards.
Sproles needs just 528 yards to enter the top five on that list. Now he will get another chance this season.
The challenge for Martin, however, will be earning a roster spot over the likes of Marshawn Lynch, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard and undrafted free-agent Chris Warren. With the exception of Lynch, these other backs are younger and potentially have a brighter future. If new head coach Jon Gruden doesn’t see some of the old Doug Martin on the field in camp, he’ll likely be the odd man out.
Even Lynch could make for a difficult cut to swallow, as he’s owed $4.5 million in guaranteed money this season. None of Martin’s contract is guaranteed.
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks is a fantastic player. He had 77 tackles, 2.0 sacks and six passes defended last season. Yet, the defending Super Bowl champs don’t seem too keen on keeping him around.
In the case of the Saints, however, it may make sense: Brees gave the Saints a hometown discount with his contract this offseason, when he easily could have played hardball with them and made more money, either in New Orleans or elsewhere. When you have an elite quarterback taking less money than his market value, it makes sense to use all of your resources to try to build a team around him. Using two first-round picks on his heir apparent might help the franchise in the long run, but it wouldn’t help them win with Brees this year. And winning with Brees this year is the Saints’ only priority.
The Patriots utilized Gillislee early in the 2017 season, but they lost confidence in him toward the end of the year. He played only once during the final eight games of the regular season.
While Gillislee has the talent to help out a backfield this season, the Patriots may not want to pay to make it theirs. Instead, they could save more than $2 million by releasing him.
New Orleans Saints safety Chris Banjo isn’t a star, or even a starter. However, he has a lot of value as a depth player and a special teams ace, which is why he has lasted in the NFL since 2013 despite making only two career starts.