NFL 53-man roster cuts: 10 veterans who could be traded before the 2019 regular-season opener

As all 32 NFL teams prepare to cut their rosters down from the maximum 90 to 53, there are plenty of notable players still playing the waiting game on their future. Some of the NFL’s biggest names are seeking a new home for the 2019 season, which could lead to an active trade market over the next two days, as teams look to make a major upgrade. 

Other players are caught in a numbers game at their position, opening them up as potential trade candidates. Those players could be easier to move, since they wouldn’t cost a team much to acquire. 

The following 10 players are ones to watch over the next few days, as they could have a new home for the 2019 season. 

The trade reports are buzzing about Clowney, as the Houston Texans have already granted the former No.1 overall pick permission to visit the Miami Dolphins, though apparently he doesn’t want to play for a non-contender. Clowney reportedly prefers to land with the Philadelphia Eagles or the Seattle Seahawks, while the Washington Redskins and New York Jets are two other teams the Texans have contacted.

The Texans are so eager to get rid of Clowney that they reportedly made a monstrous trade offer to the Dolphins that also included a first-round pick.

Clowney finished with 59 pressures, nine sacks, 47 tackles, 21 quarterback hits, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries in 15 games last year. He has 29 sacks in five NFL seasons with 67 quarterback hits, 205 pressures and three Pro Bowl appearances. 

Stills could be on the move based on his recent relationship with Dolphins ownership. Miami has parted ways with a lot of veterans over the past few weeks as the Dolphins rebuild their roster and Stills could be next in line with his $9.75 million salary. Stills is still only 27 years old and had 37 catches for 553 yards (14.9 yards per catch) and six touchdowns last year. Teams covet deep ball wide receivers, which Stills still has the ability to accomplish in a better offense. 

The New England Patriots are leaning toward Jarrett Stidham as their No. 2 quarterback behind Tom Brady, making longtime backup Brian Hoyer expendable. While New England would only save $1.3 million in cap space if they move on from Hoyer, many teams around the league could use a quality backup quarterback and are willing to give up draft compensation to get one. 

Hoyer has been around the NFL, going 16-21 in his 37 starts while throwing for 9,902 yards, 48 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. 

Williams may have played his last game in a Redskins uniform. Based on a report by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, Williams doesn’t trust general manager Bruce Allen or the medical team in Washington, and has made it known that he does not intend to play for the Redskins again. 

The Redskins have shopped Williams around but want a high price for the seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle, who just turned 31. Elite offensive linemen are hard to find in the NFL, which makes the price for Williams even greater. 

The Redskins are hoping to trade Doctson before the start of the season, as the former first-round pick has soured in Washington. If the Redskins don’t find a trade partner, they could just cut Doctson … who has just one catch for 16 yards in the preseason. Doctson had 44 catches for 532 yards and two touchdowns last season and a total of 81 catches for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons. 

The Vikings have been showcasing Treadwell to potential suitors this preseason, as the former first-round pick doesn’t have much value on the Vikings’ third team. Carrying $2.5 million in dead money isn’t ideal, which would go away if a team takes on Treadwell, who has 56 catches for 507 yards and a touchdown in his three seasons. 

There’s still a chance the Eagles could keep five running backs, but one of Smallwood or Adams will not make the team. Smallwood, who has always been plagued with health issues, was healthy throughout 2018, having 87 carries for 364 yards and three touchdowns (4.2 yards per carry) and 28 carries for 230 yards (8.2 yards per catch) and two touchdowns. Smallwood is a viable option at running back for a team looking for depth. He has 850 yards and five touchdowns (4.0 yards per carry) in three seasons. 

Adams has a shot of making the Eagles’ roster if they keep five running backs and has potential after a rookie season where the undrafted free agent was the Eagles’ leading rusher with 511 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per carry in 14 games. Adams had a stretch where he had 72 carries for 366 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Perhaps the Eagles can receive a draft pick for Adams if he doesn’t make the final roster. 

The writing appears to be on the wall for Alonso in Miami after three seasons. Alonso was stripped of Miami’s defensive play calling duties in the spring and hasn’t been with the first team all summer. Despite having seven forced fumbles and 10 interceptions in his five seasons, Alonso doesn’t appear to be favored in the Dolphins defense at all. The 28-year old Alonso is owed $8,272,500 this year and has two years left on his deal. A team that needs a starting linebacker could make a play for Alonso, or bank on the Dolphins cutting him. 

This one is a tricky situation given the leg injury to Gano. The Panthers owe Gano $3.68 million this year, the second year of a four-year deal he signed prior to the 2018 season, but he has been out since last year with a plant leg injury, making it harder to trade him.

Carolina has a kicker ready to take Gano’s place in Joey Slye, who has converted all six of his field-goal attempts, five of which have been over 40 yards (two over 50). The Panthers could just keep Slye on the roster and put Gano on injured reserve until his leg is better, but if Gano can kick by Week 1, a kicker-needy team could be calling. 

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