Roundtable (Most shocking NFL Roster cut)

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Trace McSorley looks to pass against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

With the NFL about to kick off next week, teams across the league have reduced their roster numbers to the maximum of 53. This was not without controversy, as many big names got released, from former Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton to both kickers for the Detroit Lions. So, who was the most shocking NFL roster cut this year? Our team of writers have their takes: 

Evan Rodriguez 
Title: Campus Correspondent 

Travis Fulgham, WR

Response: I’m going to go with Travis Fulgham as my pick for the most shocking roster cut. It’s a really surprising move to release the wide receiver, a player who just came off a 2020 season that included 38 receptions for 539 yards and four touchdowns. While Fulgham did only catch 58 percent of his targets and struggled a bit through the end of last season, it comes to a bit of surprise regardless, especially with 2019 second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside getting the nod over Fulgham. While he has the chance to be on the practice squad after clearing waivers, it still marks a remarkable fall from grace for the young 25 year old wide receiver and a long climb back up to his former status. 

Stratton Stave 
Pronouns: he/him 
Title: Campus Correspondent 

Trace McSorley, QB 

Response: I know this move isn’t illogical from a pure football standpoint, but from the perspective of PR, I was surprised that the Ravens cut Trace McSorley. After going viral on social media last year, McSorley became an instant fan favorite when he came in to play after injuries to Baltimore quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III. As proven in his career at Penn State and his nascent NFL career, McSorley is a capable second or third string quarterback, especially when you have someone like Jackson as the number one guy. Once again, not a shocking move from a pure game standpoint, but I think keeping him around would only have helped from a marketing perspective to keep the fans excited and engaged. 

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is shown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J., in this Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, The Patriots released quarterback Cam Newton on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Cole Stefan
Pronouns: He/him/his 
Title: Campus Correspondent 

Everson Griffen, DE 

Response: People aren’t talking about this enough, the Vikings cut Everson Griffen. Griffen was a critical part of the Vikings defense for around a decade with three years of 10 or more sacks and five years with 10 or more tackles for losses. The four-time Pro Bowler also does not miss many games and consistently has a winning mentality, even if he spent last season on teams with a combined record of 11-21 (Dallas went 6-10, Detroit went 5-11). Sure, his numbers in 2020 may have dipped from 2019, but his return to Minneapolis might reignite Griffen’s spark and lead to another career year. Perhaps this move was made so the Vikings could sign him to a new contract, but without Griffen in a defensive core led by Danielle Hunter and newly extended safety Harrison Smith, the Vikings will likely miss the playoffs this year. 

Jonathan Synott 
Pronouns: he/him/his 
Title: Associate Sports Editor 

Cam Newton, QB 

Response: Perhaps the biggest shock this week came when the Patriots cut 2020 starting quarterback Cam Newton. Not only did the former MVP start 15 games for the team, but he recently signed a one year extension for just over three million dollars, half of which was already paid. He was on a team friendly contract and could have been a mentor to rookie quarterback Mac Jones if he didn’t play. Having that kind of mentorship in the building is worth Newton’s contract alone and then some. In terms of quarterback prospects in this year’s draft, there was a steep drop-off between the first tier of players and the second, where Jones resided. With the Patriots recently signing big money to mediocre wide receivers and tight ends, Jones already isn’t in a great position to excel, so why not have a former MVP show him the ropes? 

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