Saturday, August 30, 2014

3 former UConn products let go on NFL cut-down day

The roster cuts for all 32 NFL teams are starting to trickle in and by the looks of things there will be 16 former UConn players on opening-day rosters.

The biggest news could be that rookie Shamar Stephen beat out veteran Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Fred Evans for a roster spot. Evans has been with the Vikings since 2007 recording 97 tackles and three sacks. Stephen, a seventh-round pick, finished as Minnesota's fourth-leading tackler during the preseason with 12 stops.

Three former Huskies were let go as teams got down to the 53-man maximum for the regular season.

The news that Yawin Smallwood, also a seventh-round selection in this year's draft, was  cut actually came out yesterday. Fellow linebacker Lawrence Wilson was waived by St. Louis while receiver Nick Williams was let go by Washington. Williams was tied for third on the team with six receptions and had two of the team's eight TD receptions during the preseason. I would say that of the trio, he would seem like the most likely to get picked up by another team.

While no longer a surprise based on the tremendous work he did during the preseason, it is still a great story that linebacker Danny Lansanah, who has been bouncing around the league  in the hopes of landing a roster spot not only will make the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad but is primed to play a key role. Lansanah, who played in the 2013 season finale for Tampa Bay, was third on the team with 16 tackles in the four preseason games.

It looks like the Detroit Lions have opted to keep three quarterbacks so both former UConn star Dan Orlovsky as well as Kellen Moore will backup Matthew Stafford. With the release of T.J. Graham, it pretty much solidifies that Marcus Easley will remain with the Buffalo Bills due to his tremendous work on special teams.

Here is the list of UConn players to make the cut
Will Beatty, OT New York Giants
Tyvon Branch, S Oakland
Donald Brown, RB San Diego
Darius Butler, CB Indianapolis
Marcus Easley, WR Buffalo
Dwayne Gratz, CB Jacksonville
Ryan Griffin, TE Houston
Danny Lansanah, LB Tampa Bay
Robert McClain, CB Atlanta
Sio Moore, LB Oakland
Dan Orlovsky, Detroit
Kendall Reyes, DT San Diego
Anthony Sherman, FB Kansas City
Jordan Todman, RB Jacksonville
Shamar Stephen, DT Minnesota
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB Tennessee


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