Monday's water cooler sessions at your suburban office park could be interesting. NFL teams are making a first wave of roster cuts, slashing the list from 90 to 75 players. It gives you and your coworkers the chance to wear the break room general manager hat, identifying the least necessary members of your favorite team and offering up potential reinforcements.
Most of the players getting pink slips this week are on the fringes of the NFL talent pool. Undrafted free agent rookies make up a big chunk of the population, a few of them undrafted from the year before and hoping that a year of working out on their own or in one of the anonymous football leagues dotting the landscape has improved their chances at a pro career.
There are also plenty of veteran players among the group. Some are guys looking trying to prove that they are recovered enough from past injuries to be useful. Other players entered camp eyeing a shot at redemption for other reasons.
Like Terrell Owens. The Seattle Seahawks canceled his new lease on life over the weekend, freeing up the 38-year-old to pursue other reality television opportunities or teary-eyed public counseling sessions with Dr. Phil. Oddly enough, Owens' name is likely to be hotly discussed by more than a few armchair general managers on Monday.
Can Owens help a football team at this point in his career? Probably not, no more than a younger, cheaper wide receiver who can also play special teams and not invite distraction. Nevertheless, Owens and other older receivers whose brand still has some staying power will be forced into the conversation by television and talk radio.
Skip Bayless is already pointing to a conspiracy in Seattle.
Very surprised PCarroll already cut T.O. Raved about him. Pranked team w/ him. Couldn't have just been drops in his 1st 2 preseason games.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) August 26, 2012
They pranked them, you guys! Who cuts a prankster? Clearly T.O. has evidence that Pete Carroll's "Win Forever" moonlighting gig is just Nietzsche and Zig Ziglar repacked with football analogies.
I wish I had an easy answer why it's so hard for some to let go of the idea that Owens, Chad Johnson and Plaxico Burress could still be superstars. I suspect you need a heavy dose of Freud and Marshall McLuhan to understand it.
Owens may not be the answer a team is looking for, but the right front office can find some important last-minute assistance on the August cut list. Just ask the Buffalo Bills or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In 2010, the Bills snagged Kraig Urbik after the Pittsburgh Steelers waived their 2009 third-round pick. He played in 10 games for Buffalo in 2010, and started in 13 last season, filling in across the offensive line.
Tampa Bay made the most high-profile, last-minute pick up in recent years when it took a flyer on running back LeGarrette Blount. Oregon's prized pugilist went undrafted in 2010, only to be given a chance by the Tennessee Titans, sort of a halfway house for wayward players under Jeff Fisher. The Buccaneers grabbed him when Tennessee tried to sneak him onto the practice squad.
Cuts are still rolling in as we speak. Already, there are a few names out there that could be of benefit to teams.
One veteran receiver who might get some attention is Donte Stallworth. The Patriots took a flyer on the journeyman receiver this year. He was released Monday morning from a roster crowded with veterans at the position. Reports out of camp were positive, but the 31-year-old is probably nothing more than an experienced ranch hand to have around at this point.
Any team concerned about its kicking situation will be excited to see former Pro Bowl leg Billy Cundiff available for work. The Ravens gave one of the league's top kickers the old heave-ho over the weekend. Over the last two years, as pointed out by Peter King, Cundiff has made 90 percent of his field goals under 50 yards.
Offensive line depth is usually a popular pickup for teams, and with so many terrible offensive line situations in the league right now, a few of this week's roster cuts could get a shot at redemption somewhere.
Keep an eye on Alex Barron. The former first-round pick has bounced around the league since being dispatched by the St. Louis Rams in 2010. Injuries nixed his shot at redemption last year, but his background and the demand for offensive tackles will most certainly get him some looks. If a team thinks it can iron out his consistency issues and penalty proclivity, it might have an adequate fill-in.
Offensive guard Deuce Lutui also got the boot in Seattle, which really was a surprise cut (sorry T.O. fans). Lutui is a power blocker who could be an important addition for a team needing help in the middle of its line, especially teams that still like to run the ball.
Do not be surprised if some team takes a flyer on cornerback Cliff Harris. Philadelphia released the former Oregon player, who had his off-field troubles with marijuana. A speedy former All-American will appeal to teams.
Keep an eye on this StoryStream throughout the week as more cuts happen. Who else is out there that could be a good pick up for teams?