NFL teams just went through the process of trimming their rosters down to 80 players, as per league rules.
For some franchises, knowing who to let go is a no-brainer.
Players that are deemed unfit of what they’re trying to build are let go.
This is not the difficult stage of finalizing an NFL roster yet because they must reduce the list from 80 to 53.
That will occur on the last day of August 2021.
Fringe players often don’t make it beyond that point.
However, shocking cuts were already made in the second phase of releases.
Here are some players who are surprisingly on their way home or to another NFL team if they get lucky.
3. Kamal Martin
The former linebacker for the Green Bay Packers did show flashes of brilliance last season.
The fifth-round selection from Minnesota had 24 tackles, four pressures, and a sack.
He also allowed four receptions on five targets for 36 yards.
Mobility was not an issue for the 23-year-old linebacker because his speed allowed him to make a difference at the line of scrimmage.
Here’s a bit of a surprise: the Packers are releasing 2020 fifth-round pick Kamal Martin, a source said.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 23, 2021
However, that eagerness exposed his inconsistency in reading the plays and making the right tackles.
Kamal Martin could have been an asset for Green Bay if not for his battle with injuries as well.
With Martin out, the Packers saved $780,000 in cap space.
2. Taco Charlton
The former first-round draft pick had seven tackles and two sacks for the Kansas City Chiefs last season.
Unfortunately, an ankle injury ended his run after seven games.
He competed for a roster spot this year and could have gotten one given the Chiefs’ shallow defensive line rotation.
Andy Reid said it was a tough decision to cut Taco Charlton, mentioning that younger defensive ends had performed better.
“I hope he hooks on somewhere,” Reid said of Charlton.
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) August 23, 2021
But even if Taco Charlton had two sacks during the preseason, the Chiefs still released him.
Head coach Andy Reid described it as a tough cut and that Charlton has the talent level to be with another team.
However, Kansas City will be moving forward with young defensive ends Tim Ward and Mike Danna as backups to Jones and Clark.
Charlton has $137,500 in guaranteed money by the time of his release.
1. Don Muhlbach
He was the longest-tenured player on the Detroit Lions roster prior to his release.
Worse, the team’s veteran long snapper received the news during his 40th birthday.
He also served as team captain for multiple years and played all Lions games from 2010 to 2019.
It’s a shock for the players and die-hard Lions fans to see a legend end his stint in a snap.
Since arriving in Detroit in 2004, LS Don Muhlbach carved out a legendary career with the @Lions.
A team captain and leader off the field, Muhlbach leaves Detroit as one of the most accomplished players in both team and @NFL history.
Read more about his legacy below: pic.twitter.com/Jf6bKV13d5
— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) August 17, 2021
However, the new regime of principal owner Shiela Ford Hamp and head coach Dan Campbell felt that it was time to move on.
The waiving of Don Muhlbach also sends a message to everyone still fighting for a roster spot that no one is safe.
Only time can tell if this decision will pay dividends or backfire.