NFL roster cuts kick start the season with surprise switch-ups
New York, New York - All 32 NFL teams made trims to get their roster down to 53 members on Tuesday, and along the way came unexpected releases and surprising trades ahead of the 2022 season.
It's every NFL player's dream to make the cut to be part of the league's 53 active member squads. And on Wednesday morning, over 800 athletes found themselves back on the job market.
For the Bengals' Keandre Jones, who spoke to TAG24 about his high hopes for this year, the dream of making the active roster is still alive. The Super Bowl linebacker was announced as a member of Cincinnati's 16-man practice squad on Wednesday.
For others, including young pass-catchers and well-accomplished veterans, the goal of making the final roster has almost certainly slipped away following the franchises' announcements and the release from their respective teams.A last glimmer of hope remains. While final rosters are set, players who have been cut can still be added to another team's 16 member squad – and can potentially be bumped up to that team's 53 member list once the season starts.
On the final day of NFL cuts, here's a look at the top unexpected roster switch-ups of the season.
Buffalo Bills shock NFL fans with the release of OJ Howard
One of the more shocking cuts in the NFL is former first-round draft pick OJ Howard's release from the Buffalo Bills.
Howard signed to the Bills this past spring and was believed to be an excellent complement to teammate Dawson Knox in the tight-end department.
After five months and what appeared to be a slow start to the preseason, Howard couldn't impress the Bills' top management and was outplayed by rival position players.
During 78 exhibition snaps in preseason, the 27-year-old caught just three passes on four targets with one touchdown
Howard leaves Buffalo with a guaranteed $3.2 million, which the star player was contracted to in the spring.
Denver Broncos cuts punter Sam Martin after payout refusal
It's quite rare for a punter in the league to make the NFL cut list, but veteran Sam Martin found himself unemployed late Tuesday.
In an unexpected move, the Denver Broncos opted to release the 32-year-old after he refused to take a pay cut.
The stellar punter finished as a top five position player in 2021 and set a Broncos all-time record for net punting.
Without a doubt, Martin will be one of the biggest losses for the Broncos this year, who will look to use punter Corliss Waitman or bring on another outside candidate to replace him.
Yet, all hope may not be lost for the kicker. On Wednesday, Martin reportedly headed to New York to visit with the Buffalo Bills, and could potentially sign a new contract to make the Bills franchise his home.
The NFL season officially begins on September 8 at 8:20 PM EDT with the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams, hosting the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium.
Cover photo: TOM PENNINGTON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP