The 5 NFL’s Worst Preseason Cuts of the Last 5 Years

NFL's Worst Preseason Cuts of the Last 5 Years

The NFL’s Worst Preseason Cuts of the Last 5 Years: Rasul Douglas, CB, 2021- Taysom Hill, QB/TE, 2017- Taylor Heinicke, QB, 2019- Sidney Jones, CB, 2020- Breshad Perriman, WR, 2018

Here are The 5 NFL’s Worst Preseason Cuts of the Last 5 Years

1. Rasul Douglas, CB, 2021

Due to the positional value of quarterbacks, it was difficult to place cornerback Rasul Douglas’ pitch in 2021 at the top of the rankings. However, his highs were so high with the Green Bay Packers last season that this became the logical choice.

Douglas, who was released by both the Las Vegas Raiders and Houston Texans nearly a year ago, took the time to find the right situation.

A 2017 third-round pick by the Eagles, Douglas also spent time with the Panthers before landing in Las Vegas. The Raiders released Douglas in late August of last year and the Texans released him after less than a week with the team. He also landed on the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad before Green Bay drafted him.

However, after joining the Packers, Douglas shined. He ended up appearing in 12 games with nine starts last season and finished with 57 tackles, 13 passes defensed, five interceptions and two defensive touchdowns.

In coverage, Douglas allowed an opposing passer rating of just 44.5. Although his resume with the Packers is limited, Douglas performed at the Pro Bowl level in 2021. This earned him a new three-year, $21 million deal in the offseason, per Spotrac.

Douglas is now set to be a defensive centerpiece in Green Bay.

“He’s such an instinctive, conscientious football player. I think you could put ‘Sul anywhere on the back end and he’d find a way,” defensive coordinator Joe Barry said, according to Mike Spofford of the team’s official website.

It’s disconcerting to think that the Raiders or Texans couldn’t have found a home for Douglas last season. Las Vegas finished the year ranked 26th in scoring defense, while Houston finished 27th in scoring defense.

This means that two teams that could have used defensive help criticized Douglas, who became one of the best storylines of 2021.

2. Taysom Hill, QB/TE, 2017

To be perfectly fair, the Green Bay Packers haven’t had to worry about quarterback depth often over the past 30 years. Brett Favre just didn’t miss games, starting a record 297 contests in a row, and Aaron Rodgers has missed just 17 games (including late-season seats) since he took over in 2008.

Taysom Hill was also a project that came out of BYU, so it wasn’t a total surprise to see the Packers cut the undrafted rookie before the 2017 season.

Still, Green Bay missed out on Hill’s athletic advantage, and he has since developed into a quality player for the New Orleans Saints. While not a traditional quarterback like Heinicke, Hill is 7-2 in his starts as a quarterback and has contributed as a tight end and as the proverbial Swiss Army knife.

In four seasons with the Saints, Hill has amassed 1,183 rushing yards, 34 receptions, 388 receiving yards, and 23 combined rushing and receiving touchdowns. He has also thrown eight touchdown passes.

Even with Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton leading the quarterback room in 2022, Hill is providing value by moving predominantly to tight end.

“I don’t think what I’ve been doing is going to change, it’s just expanding that role,” Hill said, according to Michael Hull of the team’s official website. “They’re trying to give me the best chance to succeed.”

Green Bay has managed without Hill, but could have benefited from his multi-position value. Just about any team could use a guy who runs, catches and provides quarterback insurance. The Saints have benefited from Hill’s presence over the past four years, and he has arguably become the most prolific subpackage player in the league.

3. Taylor Heinicke, QB, 2019

The Carolina Panthers are still trying to find a long-term replacement for former franchise quarterback Cam Newton, who was cut in 2020. Baker Mayfield, who was recently named the Week 1 starter, is the latest quarterback to have an opportunity.

Last season Carolina underwent the Sam Darnold experiment and it was a disaster. Darnold won just four games and posted a 71.9 quarterback rating. The Panthers could have potentially avoided Darnold entirely if they had only kept Taylor Heinicke two years earlier.

To be fair, Newton was still available in 2018, and the Panthers had used a third-round pick on Will Grier in the 2019 draft. However, Heinicke has since shown that, at worst, he can be a high level support.

After one season with the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks, Heinicke landed with the Washington Commanders and former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera in 2020. While he only appeared in one regular-season game that year, he started against the Buccaneers in the playoffs. him, he threw for 306 yards and fought back to a close 31-23 loss.

Heinicke replaced an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip) in Week 1 of the 2021 season and was Washington’s starter for the rest of the year. He finished with a starting record of 7-8, 20 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 85.9. While the results weren’t good enough to prevent Washington from trading for Carson Wentz this offseason, they showed that Heinicke belongs in the NFL.

The Panthers didn’t think Heinicke was good enough, and that was a mistake. Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL, and Heinicke has shown that he can handle himself as a starter.

4. Sidney Jones, CB, 2020

Like the Ravens, the Philadelphia Eagles gave up on a promising player after only three years. Cornerback Sidney Jones wasn’t a first-round pick like Perriman, but he was a second-round pick. The Eagles ranked Washington product 43rd overall in 2017.

Injuries played a role in Jones’ early struggles, as he suffered a torn Achilles tendon on professional day in Washington. He dealt with hamstring issues in Year 2 and only ended up playing 10 games in his first two seasons.

Jones appeared in 12 games in 2019, but again missed time with a hamstring injury. The constant health issues were apparently too much for Philadelphia, who released Jones before the 2020 season.

However, Jones reinvigorated his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars that season, appearing in nine games with six starts. He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks before the start of the 2021 season and flourished in Seattle.

Last season, Jones appeared in 16 games with 11 starts and finished with 66 tackles and 10 passes defensed. He allowed an opposing passer rating of just 84.3 in coverage. At just 26 years old, Jones may still have a brilliant career ahead of him.

Jones beats Perriman for one simple reason. While Perriman has been a dangerous complementary player, Jones appears to be a quality starter that Philadelphia just gave up on too quickly.

Meanwhile, the Eagles ranked 20th in yards per pass attempt allowed in 2020 and a 13th (tied) in 2021.

5. Breshad Perriman, WR, 2018

Wideout Breshad Perriman hasn’t had a stellar career since he was released by the Baltimore Ravens before the 2018 season. However, he has shown that he deserves to be in the NFL.

Perriman landed with the Cleveland Browns and showed the potential that made him a first-round pick in 2015. He caught 16 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns, proving to be an excellent complementary deep threat.

The next season, Perriman showed even more with the Buccaneers. He appeared in 14 games, caught 36 passes and had 645 yards and six touchdowns. Perriman had 505 receiving yards and three touchdowns with the New York Jets in 2020 before returning to the Buccaneers in 2021.

While Perriman saw limited playing time in Tampa’s loaded receiving corps last season, he caught an overtime touchdown pass from Tom Brady in Week 14 to beat the Buffalo Bills.

What makes this a bad preseason cut, however, is the fact that Perriman was waived by Baltimore after just two seasons: He spent his rookie year on injured reserve with a PCL injury. The Ravens invested in the 26th overall pick in Perriman and then dropped him the same year they drafted quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Jackson has consistently worked with one of the most disappointing wide receiver groups in the league ever since. Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman are the only Ravens wide receivers to top 500 yards in any season in the past three years. Bateman had 515 receiving yards last year.

It’s hard to believe that Perriman, who has racked up 1,657 yards and 12 touchdowns in the four years since he left Baltimore, couldn’t have been an asset to the Ravens’ franchise quarterback.

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The NFL’s Worst Preseason Cuts of the Last 5 Years

Cuts to the NFL’s preseason roster can be difficult to manage. On August 30, teams will have to hit the 53-play regular season threshold, and in the process, some quality players will inevitably be let go.

Over the years, we’ve seen some all-time mistakes during the preseason slicing process.

In 1982, the Buffalo Bills released kicker Gary Anderson, who made four Pro Bowls and became the Pittsburgh Steelers’ all-time leading scorer. In 1992, the Arizona Cardinals released rookie center Jeff Christy. He went on to make two Pro Bowls with the Minnesota Vikings and a third with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to help Tampa win Super Bowl XXXVlI.

While teams are generally better now at scouting for future stars, mistakes still happen during cutbacks. Here, we’ll examine and rank the five worst preseason cut decisions of the last five years based on factors like roster composition, player production, and results.

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