With the preseason underway, it’ll soon be time for NFL teams to cut their roster down to 53.
Every offseason, a litany of veterans, no matter how long they’ve been with a team, find themselves on the chopping block.
Whether a team is just looking to go younger or needs the cap space, just because you’re a veteran doesn’t guarantee you a spot on the team.
With the 2021 NFL season closely approaching, it seems unlikely that any of these three will make the final roster of their current teams.
3. Sony Michel
It wasn’t long ago that Sony Michel was a first-round pick of the New England Patriots.
He was taken No. 31 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft to be exact.
Throughout his tenure in New England, Michel has rushed 535 times for 2,292 yards and 14 scores.
While he received over 200 carries his first two seasons with the Patriots, he appeared in just nine games in 2020, carrying the ball just 79 times.
Michel’s roster spot could be in jeopardy due to the emergence of Damien Harris.
Harris was selected by the Patriots in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
He broke out onto the scene last season, appearing and starting in 10 games for New England, rushing 137 times for 691 yards and two scores.
Heading into the season, Harris looks like he is going to be the number one running back for the Patriots.
— Joe Dolan (@FG_Dolan) June 25, 2021
New England also has Rhamondre Stevenson, who they selected out of Oklahoma in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, Stevenson could challenge Michel for his roster spot.
New England has already declined Michel’s fifth-year option on his rookie deal.
With Harris on the rise, it appears Michel’s stay with the Patriots is going to be a short one.
2. Nate Solder
Nate Solder was supposed to be a big signing for the New York Giants.
The G-Men signed Solder to a four-year, $62 million deal in 2018.
Coming into New York, Solder was supposed to solidify the offensive line as he was a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots.
However, heading into the 2021 NFL season, Pro Football Focus ranks the Giants as having the worst offensive line in the NFL.
Solder opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID, but played all 32 games for the Giants from 2018-2019.
Now 33 years old, Solder hasn’t played an NFL snap in over 18 months.
Solder might be able to help the offensive line, but it now looks like he is battling Peart for both the starting role and a roster spot.
The Giants can save $10 million by releasing Solder.
If New York feels they could better use that money, Solder might be looking for a new team Week 1.
1. Jimmy Graham
Jimmy Graham was surprisingly efficient for the Chicago Bears last season.
At 34 years old, he caught 50 passes for 456 yards and eight touchdowns.
His eight scores actually led all of Chicago’s pass catchers.
While Graham looks like he could still provide some value, the Bears seem committed to the growth of sophomore tight end Cole Kmet.
The Bears selected Kmet with the No. 43 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
As a rookie, he caught 28 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games and nine starts.
Heading into his sophomore season, Kmet was named the starting tight end on the Bears’ first unofficial depth chart.
Kmet’s draft pedigree certainly played a role in that decision, but his work throughout the offseason has helped him earn the starting nod as well.
— ✶ Sports Mockery ✶ (@sportsmockery) August 12, 2021
The Bears will be counting on Kmet to take a big step forward in year two.
As rookie Justin Fields gets acclimated to the starting quarterback role, his connection with Kmet could really help revitalize the Bears offense.
Graham might still be a valuable weapon for the Bears, but releasing him would give Chicago $7 million in cap space.
Much like Solder, if the Bears feel they could use that money elsewhere, Graham’s time in Chicago could be over.