I awoke this morning to a link from fellow SCB writer Chris projecting end-of-Training Camp cuts for all 32 teams from walterfootball.com. As I scrolled through the page, I couldn’t help but notice the big names they had potentially getting released from across the league.
I find walterfootball.com to be a solid source of information and they do a great job with many facets of the NFL but as always, I take all sites with a grain of salt because there are always things to disagree with. Regardless, I found this intriguing especially in regards to the Steelers.
Charlie Campbell, who you can follow @draftcampbell on Twitter, is projecting that Bruce Gradkowski, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Mike Mitchell, Will Allen and Sean Spence will all be looking for work elsewhere prior to the start of the regular season.
The two I can absolutely agree with are Will Allen and DHB. The one I can buy is Sean Spence because of the depth at the inside backer position, but I have an extremely hard time buying Mitchell and Gradkowski being cut.
Let me start there first. Campbell cites the presence of Tajh Boyd as a reason that Gradkowski could be released and he also says that at 32 years old, Gradkowski offers “zero upside.” While that is certainly true as a starter, I couldn’t disagree more about his status as a back-up.
Give me Bruce Gradkowski a million times over Boyd if either were forced into action. Experience and knowledge are Gradkowski’s friends and that’s who I’m riding with at that spot.
As for Mike Mitchell, there were certainly man of us who were less than pleased with his performance last season after signing a free agent deal. We later learned he was dealing with injuries throughout the entire season but that excuse wont fly in 2015.
In order for both Mitchell and Allen (who I do believe will be released) to be cut, then that means Rob Golden, Alden Darby and rookie Gerod Holliman will have stepped up among others. Not sure we’ve seen enough for this to happen yet.
Spence is an emotional cut after all he’s been through but at the end of the day football is a business and the possibility does exist for his departure.
Lastly is DHB who is an excellent special teams player and a good veteran presence. Still, is that important enough to keep him around as a fifth receiver instead of say… C.J. Goodwin? Only time and one more camp will tell.
Campbell obviously knows his stuff and did some homework for this piece. Check out his cuts for other divisional teams. You might like what you see.