11) The Bears cut veteran cornerback Desmond Trufant in a surprise move. The team’s defense — especially its young cornerback group — hasn’t received a lot of attention because of Justin Fields‘ arrival. It’s safe to say Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay will be eager to test young starters Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley in Week 1.
14) Benardrick McKinney was traded from the Texans to the Dolphins for Shaq Lawson in a deal of expensive misfires early in the offseason. Neither wound up making their team, with Lawson traded to the Jets and McKinney released.
15) Jordan Howard isn’t going to be Miles Sanders‘ goal-line caddy after all. The veteran was cut, with rookie Kenneth Gainwell earning a major role alongside Sanders and Boston Scott. The bigger surprise in Philadelphia was the decision to waive Travis Fulgham. The Eagles kept J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who has never remotely produced like Fulgham did a year ago. Look for Fulgham to find a job elsewhere.
18) Trace McSorley was waived by the Ravens. This isn’t a surprise for anyone who watched Tyler Huntley‘s preseason, but for the rest of you: Tyler Huntley is good! The Ravens will have a chance if Lamar Jackson misses a game or two.
20) The new regime in Houston does not have the same patience with wide receiver Keke Coutee. The 2018 fourth-round pick caught 83 passes in three injury-plagued seasons. The slot receiver ultimately lost his spot on the roster to Anthony Miller, but figures to get another opportunity.
21) John Brown‘s release from the Raiders answers the question: What veteran free agent was paid the most guaranteed money this offseason without making the team?
Brown was paid $3.24 million guaranteed, but general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden still chose to keep Zay Jones over him. Brown clearly didn’t impress at camp, but I’m stunned considering the tape he put up in Buffalo last year.
22) While the NFL world focused on roster construction, the long process of rebuilding one of our greatest cities began again in New Orleans. My heart breaks for everyone impacted by Hurricane Ida and the assessment from Sean Payton that the Saints would plan to be away from the city for the first month of the season couldn’t help but bring up painful memories of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Payton arrived the season after, and it appears the team will follow a different playbook this time around. Payton indicated the team is leaning toward staying in the Dallas-Fort Worth area over the next month. The Saints have been practicing at the Cowboys’ facility this week and could use TCU’s or SMU’s campus eventually, while playing their games at Payton’s close friend Jerry Jones’ stadium. The Saints are scheduled to host the Packers in Week 1.
The displacement of the local football team cannot be compared to the real-life tragedies unfolding in Louisiana, but do not underestimate how disappointing it will be for a city that is mad for its football. The only bright side here is imagining how great it will be when the Saints are back playing in the dome, hopefully this season. It’s a city that doesn’t stay down for long and there’s a bond between city and team that is unbreakable.