Chiefs’ Cut Day Watch

Tomorrow, the Kansas CIty Chiefs have their first home game of the 2013 season when they host the San Francisco 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium. While we are all watching for key positional battles, the larger personnel picture is as follows:

  • Currently 90 players
  • August 27: Reduce to 75 players, after third preseason game
  • August 30: Reduce to 53 players, after fourth and final preseason game

That means 37 current Chiefs will be cut in the next two weeks. In order to get a sense of how successful teams divide up their talent, I looked at the final 2012 rosters for the four final teams in the playoffs last year: the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons. Here’s how they divided up their final, 53-man rosters:

Position

Ravens

49ers

Patriots

Falcons

Quarterbacks

2

3

2

3

Running Backs

4

6

4

5

Wide Receivers

6

6

4

5

Tight Ends

3

3

4

4

Offensive Linemen

8

8

8

9

Defensive Linemen

7

7

11

10

Linebackers

9

7

6

5

Defensive Backs/Safeties

11

10

11

9

Special Teams

3

3

3

3

Total

53

53

53

53

Below, I took an overall average of the four best teams from last year, compared to the Chiefs’ current 90-man roster, to give us a rough guideline of how many players the Chiefs will need to cut before Labor Day:

Position

Average

Chiefs

To Cut

Quarterbacks

3

4

-1

Running Backs

5

8

-3

Wide Receivers

5

12

-7

Tight Ends

4

5

-1

Offensive Linemen

8

15

-7

Defensive Linemen

9

11

-2

Linebackers

7

13

-6

Defensive Backs/Safeties

10

19

-9

Special Teams

3

3

0

Total

53

90

-37

Here’s my first cut at the cuts, based on these numbers. The one significant area for wiggle room is between linebackers and defensive linemen, depending on whether you run a base 3-4 or 4-3. Remember, in addition to the final 53, the Chiefs can keep 8 players on the Practice Squad, which means these players can practice with the team but cannot play in games. The Chiefs can also place players with injuries on a variety of Reserve Lists.

Quarterbacks (keep 3, lose 1): Sorry Ricky, but every time you drop back to pass, I get PTSD from the 2012 season.

Running Backs (keep 5, lose 3): I think we’ll keep just one fullback: Anthony Sherman. That means that both Toben Opurum and Braden Wilson will be gone. Joining them, I fear, will be rookie Jordan Roberts, leaving Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis and Shaun Draughn. The average for backs is to keep five; I think we keep four and also cut Cyrus Gray because…

Wide Receivers (keep 5, lose 7): Wow, how do you cut 7 wide receivers?! Dwayne Bowe, Dexter McCluster, Jonathan Baldwin and Donnie Avery are a lock. That leaves us with just 1-2 more slots, depending on whether we keep 5 or 6 receivers. Terrance Copper is a keeper because of his special teams play. Junior Hemingway has had a great camp, but remains injured. Devon Wylie may make it based on his special teams play and slot potential. Rico Richardson had a couple of nice catches last week, although he did have one drop. Frankie Hammond had a nice, 17 yard reception. Josh Bellamy and Jamar Newsome did nothing to impress me. Tyler Shoemaker tried to return a punt from his own end zone. This is tough but I think we keep Hemingway and Wylie, put Richardson on the practice squad, and cut Hammond, Bellamy, Newsome and Shoemaker. These moves would put us two over on receivers now, which explains why I think we cut Cyrus Gray.

Tight Ends (keep 4, lose 1): Anthony Fasano looks great, Travis Kelce is promising and Tony Moeaki is a known producer if he can stay injury-free. I think we cut Kevin Brock and place Demetrius Harris on the Practice Squad, allowing us to keep seven wide receivers.

Offensive Linemen (keep 8, lose 7): A bunch of offensive linemen are locks: Branden Albert, Eric Fisher, Jon Asamoah, Rodney Hudson, Jeff Allen, Geoff Schwartz and Donald Stephenson. Eric Kush impressed me last week. In the first quarter, Chase Daniel was hit as he released the ball. The ball hit the ground and could have been ruled a fumble. Kush seemed like the only lineman who immediately dove for the ball. Cuts may include Tommie Draheim, Ryan Durand, Hutch Eckerson, A.J. Hawkins, Rokevious Watkins, Matt Reynolds and Steven Baker.

Defensive Linemen (keep 9, lose 2): Dontari Poe looks awesome! Tyson Jackson is here to stay, as are Mike Devito, Jerrell Powe and Anthony Toribio. Austen Lane has looked good in camp, Marcus Dixon seemed quite active in the Saints game and Miguel Chavis had some nice, aggressive tackles as well. I’ve also always loved Allen Bailey. We will likely cut more defensive lineman than the stated average and keep more linebackers, since we run a 3-4 base. The short end of the stick may go to Rob Lohr, Brad Madison and then either Dixon or Chavis, though we may want to keep one of those two on the Practice Squad.

Linebackers (keep 7, lose 6): Here to stay are Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, Nico Johnson, Akeem Jordan and Edgar Jones. Jones is my absolute favorite special teams player and had great penetration against the Saints as an outside linebacker last week, including an impressive stop on 4th and 1. That leaves 1-2 slots left. Rookie Mike Catapano was out for the Saints game with an injured calf. Darin Drakeford was all over the field in the second half, as was Orie Lemon and Josh Martin. My cuts would be Zac Diles, Frank Zombo, Ridge Wilson and Mike Catapano (maybe send him to the Practice Squad). The Chiefs will have to cut one more – let’s see how Lemon, Martin and Drakeford perform to win the last slot.

Defensive Backs/Safeties (keep 10, lose 9): Locks include Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, Eric Berry, Dunta Robinson, Kendrick Lewis, the injured Sanders Commings, Tysyn Hartman, Neiko Thorpe and Husain Abdullah, who has had a great camp and performed well against the Saints with five solo tackles. That leaves – gulp – just one slot left. Vince Agnew is gone for sure. Otha Foster and Bradley McDougald played well, with McDougald forcing a drop from Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. Quintin Demps returned a kickoff for 26 yards and lined up as the starting kick returner. Jalil Brown looked absolutely miserable in pass coverage but downed a punt inside the five yard line. We just picked up Kennard Cox this week. For the final DB/Safety spot, the front runners are Demps and Brown for their special teams play, and perhaps McDougald or Foster if they can show some consistency. Cuts will likely include Malcom Bronson, Greg Castillo, Agnew, Kamaal McIlwain and Semaj Moody. When it comes right down to it, the lost spot may be a one-on-on battle between Demps and Brown, unless Cox shows he can play.

Special Teams (keep 3, lose 0): With Ryan Succop kicking, Dustin Colquitt punting and Thomas Gafford snapping, we’re set here!

For the 49ers game then, I’ll be watching:

  • Wide receiver: Hemingway vs. Wylie vs. Richardson

  • Tight end: Demetrius Harris vs. himself

  • Defensive line: Marcus Dixon vs. Miguel Chavis

  • Linebacker: Drakeford vs. Lemon vs. Martin

  • DB/Safety: Will Demps or Brown show their value beyond special teams? Demps may be in trouble since Knile Davis performed so well returning a kickoff.

Addicts, what do you think? Who’s on the cut list for you?!

Topics: Kansas City Chiefs

Want more from Arrowhead Addict?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • ladner morse

    Miles, that was an excellent breakdown.

    I really like DB Otha Foster but he hasn’t had the standout camp that I thought he would. I think he ends up starting for some team eventually.

    D. Harris is going to be an excellent TE someday too. Note: Kelce could have won the first preseason game for the Chiefs when a Tyler Bray pass hit him in the hands but he dropped it… at the four yard line and two steps to pay dirt. Kelce has had a good camp but I need to begin to see it consistently in games. Of course he’s in no danger of being cut this year.

    Knile Davis was excellent in his kick return but with RB depth an issue and I don’t know if Reid places him in that kind of constant jeopardy so that may be Demps inroad to making the roster.

    I think Dixon and Bailey will be numbers 7 and 8 and the last of the DL to make the roster.

    On cut down day to 53, if another team cuts a good and experienced OL then the Chiefs will likely move Kush to the practice squad and sign that vet OL. Then again, there’s going to be all those other team’s practice squads to mill over. I don’t expect Dorsey to go on vacation that week.

    Excellent post!

    • scomstock55

      I saw more than one drop from Kelce that night…but nobody wants to talk about them. He definitely had a TD on that one pass that hit him in the wrong spot…the hands…but that being said, I think he was just nervous

  • Clint Moran

    Love the post! My dark horse on your list has to be mcdougald. Yes, I am a jayhawks fan, but he was all over the field, and even racked up some quality minutes against the saints starting offense. If you can defend well against a deadly passing offense like the “Brees to graham” matchup he was forced to defend….. in his first ever action vs a pro offense, there has to be a place on this team for him, given our lack of depth at the safety position and with the oft-injured Kendrick Lewis. He has a couple games to prove it wasn’t a fluke. Agnew is gone, I haven’t seen a corner beat like that, again and again, ever.

    • scomstock55

      I agree..he did look pretty good. I am a Jayhawker too…but not a homer. I think he has a very good chance to make it….but…a lot will be seen in the next few weeks…these lists could change dramatically

      • Clint Moran

        Oh, no. I’m not a homer either. I realize how bad their defense has been, and really, besides Stevie Johnson, mcdougald was the only bright spot on the defense.

    • Kyle ferguson

      I’m not a jayhawks fan but was very impressed and I’m pulling for him. That’s a lot coming from a guy who’s favorite college is anyone but Kansas

      • Clint Moran

        Well, he’s a chief (for now), so I guess we can all pull for him as chiefs fans. I’m not the biggest mizzou fan out there, but I sure am hoping chase Daniel can be a solid backup to as11. We haven’t had one since Damon huard, and with smiths injury history, we may see Daniel this season. Here’s to hoping.

        • Kyle ferguson

          Hopefully it’s just back up line issues. I’d like to see him work with the ones

  • berttheclock

    With the exception of a very short run on the full roster of the Seahawks, Cox has been on the practice squads of 4 NFL teams. His one claim to fame was blocking a punt against the Chiefs in that big Chiefs’ win at Seattle in 2010.
    The one back I will be watching will not be on the roster of the Chiefs, but, the Packers. Jonathan Franklin was on board when Davis was selected. He was, immediately, grabbed by the Pack. So, it will come down to which GM was the smarter one, Thompson or Dorsey. I’m betting on Dorsey to prove the many naysayers wrong about Davis becoming a NFL star.

  • berttheclock

    When considering cuts, remember the words of Jon Gruden who spoke of the money factor. He said when making decisions about the lower part of the roster, money comes into play in that should a player only be superior in one position, you might cut him and keep another who can fill two or more roles, such as adding talent to special teams.
    About Harris, possibly, going on the practice squad, I read sometime back where other teams might be very interested in him and pluck him from the Chiefs should he be added to the practice squad.

    • scomstock55

      they might pull a fast one and put him on the IR…like they did Tanney last year. I bet Tanney makes the team down in Dallas. I wish we wouldnt have given up on him so quickly. He is at least as good as Bray…maybe better with a little exp.

  • Chris Tarrants

    Wait Agnew is still on the team? JESUS, if I was Reid he would have taken a taxi straight from the dome in New Orleans back to where ever it is that he came from but he sure as heck wouldn’t have been coming back to Arrowhead!

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Yeah he got smoked bad. Crazy to think about because the guys is probably an unbelievable athlete and a really good football player but this is the NFL, man, the best of the best. He just doesn’t quite make it to that level.

      • Troy Utt

        I offered to pay for Agnew’s ticket home after his dismal outing last week! Not only was it clear, but blatantly obvious he was not up to task as both the 2nd & 3rd team/camp bodies targeted him. With potential cuts of at least 10 in the seconary I’m not sure why time is still being wasted on him, as if ever allowed on the field you know where the ball is headed!

    • scomstock55

      lol..i know right? he smelled of jelly and butter that night…

  • berttheclock

    Yes, Agnew was smoked by wide outs, although, he did make 7 tackles. Perhaps, his problem was in defending against Baldwin in practice, who, apparently, can never get open against anyone.

    • Troy Utt

      Maybe they had an agreement Bert…Go easy on me, I’ll go easy on you! As come game time neither really have anything to offer of value, and Agnew is just flat-out stealing for anything over minimum wage. (and I’m not talking about the NFL MINIMUM) thank-goodness it’s only a camp try-out!

  • Troy Utt

    Great read Miles! I really enjoyed it!

  • scomstock55

    nicely done. the only place I would differ is not cutting gray, and keeping one more WR

  • Montez K.

    I hope McDougald sneaks on the squad….He really impressed me going head to head against Jimmy Graham, TWICE. (and forcing a drop while we’re at it!) I believe in heart and the Chiefs need that in the secondary…I never want to see V. Agnew again and I think Jalil Brown would be safe on the practice squad

  • Jim Harper

    I think Brown has proven over and over again that he can’t cover a turtle with a blanket. Two previous years of under performing.

TEAMFeed More Chiefs news from the Fansided Network

Comments 3

The Morning Fix: Mike DeVito, Sleepers, Powder Alcohol

Chiefs John Dorsey: Man Of “Steal”

Comments 12

Report: Alex Smith Looking For $14 to $17 Million Per Season

Hot on the Web From kcchiefs.com