Ahead of the start of the 2022 NFL regular season, there are three cutdown days where names across the league will be released as teams trim their rosters. Tuesday was the second of those days, with teams needing to get down to 80 players. There were a few notable players let go across the league (see full list of cuts), including:
TE Kendall Blanton, L.A. Rams
Blanton was a undrafted free agent signing for the Rams in 2019. He was on and off the Rams’ practice squad for 2019 and 2020, but was activated in Week 7 of 2021 and remained on the active roster for the rest of their season. Blanton recorded a crucial touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round and started for the Rams in Super Bowl LVI.
RB Kenyan Drake, Las Vegas Raiders
Drake was a former third-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2016. Miami traded him to Arizona in 2019, where Drake played until signing with the Raiders in 2021. The Raiders signed Drake to a two-year, $11 million deal, but the new Raiders regime released him just one year into that new deal. Drake amassed 254 yards on 63 attempts and two touchdowns last season.
CB Harrison Hand, Minnesota Vikings
Hand was a fifth-round pick of the Vikings in the 2020 NFL Draft. Despite starting several years at Temple, Hand remained primarily a special-teamer for the Vikings. Hand appeared in nine games last season.
K Lirim Hajrullahu, Dallas Cowboys
Hajrullahu was a major part of the Cowboys’ kicker battle this year. Hajrullahu has been kicking in the CFL and NFL since 2014. He appeared in one game for the Cowboys in 2021, making all five of his extra point attempts. Hajrullahu getting cut suggests the Cowboys are going back to Brett Maher, who kicked for the Cowboys in 2019.
TE Chris Herndon, New Orleans Saints
Herndon was a former fourth-round pick of the New York Jets in 2018. He played for the Jets for three seasons before they traded him to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Herndon caught four passes for the Vikings for 40 yards and a touchdown, and signed with the Saints in the offseason. New Orleans has been looking for stability at tight end, but the release of Herndon signals its belief in Taysom Hill’s conversion over to tight end full-time.
TE Dalton Keene, New England Patriots
The Patriots selected Keene with the 101st overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft after trading two fourth-round picks in that draft and a sixth-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft to move up to select him. Despite the move up, the Patriots cut Keene after he spent all of the 2021 season on injured reserve.
WR Dazz Newsome, Chicago Bears
The former North Carolina receiver was a sixth-round pick of the Bears in the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite his downfield proficiency at North Carolina, Newsome never saw the field outside of special teams as a rookie. With the Bears thin at receiver, Newsome was a young player many thought could have a solid role this year for the team.
LB Joe Schobert, Denver Broncos
The Broncos signed the veteran linebacker just a few days after their preseason opener against the Cowboys. The team needed linebacker depth with an injury to Jonas Griffith. After playing just 34 snaps for the Broncos in their Week 2 preseason game versus the Buffalo Bills, Schobert was released. Schobert has recorded 478 tackles and 10 interceptions in his six-year career.
S Vernon Scott, Green Bay Packers
The Packers released Scott despite Scott’s experience in camp. He had lined up with the starting unit at safety for weeks, with Darnell Savage missing time. A recent shoulder injury seems to have been the deciding factor. After being a key special-teamer for the team last year, Scott figured to be the third safety on the team. Green Bay tried Rasul Douglas at safety on Tuesday after cutting Scott.
WR Auden Tate, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta’s wide receiver room has drawn the criticism of many throughout the offseason. The team signed Tate and traded for Bryan Edwards to add some size to that room. The former seventh-round pick was originally penciled in for a decent role for the team this season, but the emergence of younger players like Frank Darby and preseason darling Jared Bernhardt was enough for the team to move on from the 6-foot-5 target.