The Turk Looms

RB Reuben Droughns

By 6PM Saturday night, hundreds of NFL players will lose their roster spots. Adam Caplan looks at who's safe and who's not as teams careen towards this weekend's deadline...

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Name Players on the Bubble: Keon Lattimore

Ray Lewis' little brother won't make the final roster unless the team decides to keep four backs on the roster.

Should be Safe: Bobby Carpenter

Despite speculation to the contrary, the team is happy with the progress he made in training camp. They also don't have enough at linebacker to risk cutting their former first-round pick from the 2006 draft.


New York Giants

Name Players on the Bubble: Reuben Droughns, R.W. McQuarters

Unless the team decides to keep four backs, Droughns won't make the final roster. And even then, he's being pushed by Danny Ware.

This team has solid depth at cornerback so McQuarters may have trouble sticking around past this weekend.

Should be Safe: Sinorice Moss

Despite his ups and downs and the emergence of Domenik Hixon, the former second-round pick has shown the coaches enough in practice to warrant a roster spot at receiver.


Philadelphia Eagles

Name Players on the Bubble: Ryan Moats

The former third-round pick has run out of chances at the running back position since he's languishing at No. 4 on the depth chart and would be No. 5 had Tony Hunt not been moved to fullback.

Should be Safe: Chris Clemons

While local reports have Clemons on the bubble because of a lingering calf injury, Philadelphia has next to no safer solutions to replace him.


Washington Redskins

Name Players on the Bubble: Erasmus James

The former first-round pick of the Vikings still is far from a lock to make the roster but it helps that his defensive line coach, John Palermo, coached him in college.

Should be Safe: James Thrash

While Washington has better depth at receiver this season, Thrash is too valuable to get rid of as he's able to fill a variety of roles.


NFC North

Chicago Bears

Name Players on the Bubble: Mark Bradley

Bradley was once an up and coming receiver with a good upside. However, nagging injuries have curtailed a once promising career. The only thing in his favor the fact that the team lacks quality depth at the position.

Should be Safe: Garrett Wolfe

While Wolfe struggles to find a role, he still has too much talent to give up on.


Detroit Lions

Name Players on the Bubble: Darnell Bing

You may recall the former fourth-round pick of the Raiders was moved to linebacker in his rookie season. He's still trying to learn that position at the NFL level.

Should be Safe: Tatum Bell

Bell hasn't been too impressive in the pre-season but the team lacks quality veteran depth at running back so he should stick around.


Green Bay Packers

Name Players on the Bubble: Noah Herron

The versatile back is still No. 4 on the depth chart at the position.

Should be Safe: Tramon Williams

While he got abused by Denver WR Brandon Marshall last week for a long score, Williams has enough upside at cornerback to keep around.


Minnesota Vikings

Name Players on the Bubble: Robert Ferguson, Brooks Bollinger

Ferguson is being pushed for the No. 5 receiver role but Martin Nance who has made some decent plays in some of the pre-season games.

Bollinger hasn't been very impressive during the pre-season so his roster spot could be in jeopardy.

Should be Safe: John David Booty

Booty is a developmental player that the coaches see as a decent fit for the No. 3 quarterback role.


NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Name Players on the Bubble: D.J. Shockley

Unless the team decides to keep four quarterbacks, he could be out of a job.

Should be Safe: Brian Finneran

One of the main reasons why Finneran will make their final roster is because he's a solid special teams player.


Carolina Panthers

Name Players on the Bubble: Troy Fleming

Fleming was an up and coming player but sixth-round pick of the Titans might be out of a job unless the team decides to keep two fullbacks.

Should be Safe: Dwayne Jarrett

Despite speculation to the contrary, we're told Jarrett almost certainly be on the roster this fall.


New Orleans Saints

Name Players on the Bubble: Martin Gramatica, Aaron Glenn

We would imagine the Chiefs are watching the kicker battle between the veteran Gramatica and the rookie Tyler Mehlhaff.

Glenn is a long-shot at this point to make the final roster as it appears at least five other cornerbacks are ahead of him.

Should be Safe: Deuce McAllister

McAllister seems healthy enough to handle at least a short-yardage role at running back.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Name Players on the Bubble: Chris Simms, Michael Clayton

Simms is almost a lock to be jettisoned by Saturday considering he's no better fourth on the depth chart at quarterback. He's also set to make $2 million in base salary this season.

A league source notes that Clayton has a cap number of close to $3 million which is a high price to pay for a backup receiver.

Should be Safe: Antonio Bryant


NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

Name Players on the Bubble: Ralph Brown

The journeyman cornerback fits in a dime role but Arizona has other younger players who can handle that role.

Should be Safe: J.J. Arrington

The former second-round pick should make the final roster since the team released veteran RB Marcel Shipp a few weeks ago.


San Francisco 49ers

Name Players on the Bubble: Ashley Lelie

Lelie offers great speed but he missed almost all of August due to a calf injury. The rapid development of rookie Josh Morgan could also push Lelie off of the roster.

Should be Safe: Mark Roman

Even if Roman loses the free safety job to Dashon Goldson, he's almost a lock to make the team.


Seattle Seahawks

Name Players on the Bubble: Floyd Womack, T.J. Duckett, Jason Babin

The often-injured Womack is one of their most versatile offensive linemen but can he really be counted on to be available for backup duty each week?

Duckett does one thing well and that's overpower defensive players in short-yardage. But is he worth keeping over promising rookie back Justin Forsett who offers more verstility?

Babin is pushing for a roster spot at defensive end but the former first-round pick of the Texans is being pushed by Baraka Atkins

Should be Safe: Larry Tripplett

Because Seattle is thin on depth at the defensive tackle position, Tripplett has a good shot at the making the final roster.


St. Louis Rams

Name Players on the Bubble: David Macklin, Reche Caldwell

The team is deep at cornerback so the journeyman Macklin might be on the outside looking in soon.

With the team high on rookie receivers Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton, Caldwell may be out of a job by the weekend.

Should be Safe: Dane Looker

He's had a long tenure with the team and he's offers good enough versatility that the coaches seem to always want him around. It doesn't hurt that he can hold on kicks.


AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Name Players on the Bubble: Aston Youboty, Courtney Anderson

It's not a secret that the former third-round pick Youboty's job is tenuous. A team source said the team is still considering keeping six cornerbacks so Youboty has a shot to stick--but not a good one.

Anderson was once highly thought of by the Raiders but the veteran tight end could be a long-shot to make the final roster.

Should be Safe: William James

With the team expected to keep at least five cornerbacks, there's a decent chance James will be one of them.


Miami Dolphins

Name Players on the Bubble: Josh McCown, John Beck

Plenty of teams will be keeping an eye on what happens at the quarterback position with this team.

With Chad Pennington starting and second-round pick Chad Henne expected to make the final roster, either McCown or Beck will likely be cut.

Should be Safe: Ernest Wilford

Wilford has been beaten out for a starting job by Derek Hagan but since the team has little depth at receiver, he should still make the team.


New England Patriots

Name Players on the Bubble: Ray Ventrone, Chad Jackson, Kelley Washington, Sam Aiken

Ventrone, who is trying to make the conversion from safety to receiver, is a true bubble player. His competition for a job is against the three other players listed next to him.

Jackson, a former second-round pick, still trails veteran Jabar Gaffney for the No. 3 role and the third-year player hasn't established a role yet.

Washington and Aiken are solid special teams players. Whether they make the final roster or not could come down to the coaches deciding whether to keep five or six players.

Should be Safe: John Welbourn, John Lynch

Because veteran OL Russ Hochstein is expected to miss a few more weeks due to a groin injury, Welbourn should stick around a while longer.


New York Jets

Name Players on the Bubble: Erik Ainge, David Barrett, Ahmad Carroll

Ainge is being pushed by Brett Ratliff for the No. 3 quarterback job. And the fact that Ratliff may have a better arm than the rookie Ainge could push Ainge off the final roster.

Carroll, a former first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers, is thought to be a long-shot to make the team since the team has decent depth at cornerback.

Should be Safe: Kellen Clemens

There has been speculation by some of the local media that Clemens' spot could be in jeopardy but we don't buy it. If Brett Favre got hurt and Clemens was off the roster, they wouldn't have anyone left who has ever started an NFL game.


AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Name Players on the Bubble: Gary Stills

Stills is a solid special teams player but he's had knee problems the past few seasons.

Should be Safe: Lorenzo Neal, Frank Walker

With FB Le'Ron McClain seeing more time at running back lately, Neal has a better chance at making the team.

While Walker's play in the pre-season has been up and down, he still has a good chance to make the team. Keep in mind nickel CB Fabian Washington has to serve a one-game suspension.


Cincinnati Bengals

Name Players on the Bubble: Antonio Chatman

Chatman does offer a veteran presence at the receiver position but he's had a lot of injury problems the past few years. The coaches are expecting two rookies, Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell, to push for playing time this season to Chatman's roster spot could be in jeopardy.

Should be Safe: Rudi Johnson

Despite huge speculation, the team really would be taking a risk if they let him go. Johnson really is the only true power runner on a team that runs a power rushing scheme on offense. Keep in mind Chris Perry, who some believe is all the way back from ankle problems, has only played in six games since the 2005 season.


Cleveland Browns

Name Players on the Bubble: Seth McKinney, David McMillan

If starting RG Ryan Tucker shows that he's ready for the start of the regular season, McKinney could be out of a job.

McMillan has zero sacks in three seasons of play and hasn't flashed any significant other than solid special teams play. And the fact that seventh-round pick Alex Hall had a stellar training camp could be a reason why McMillan doesn't hang around too much longer.

Should be Safe: Syndric Steptoe, Travis Wilson, Jerome Harrison

Steptoe has been a pleasant surprise for the team. The second-year receiver should make the final roster considering the uncertainty at the position behind starters Braylon Edwards and Donte' Stallworth. Steptoe also could fill in on kick returns for Josh Cribbs who is out with a high ankle sprain.

Wilson appeared to be a lock to make the final roster a few weeks ago but his play of late in their last two pre-season games leaves a lot left to be desired. But because the team has next to no depth at the receiver position, he'll likely make the team.

Harrison clearly has the best speed at the running back position and he's getting better as an inside runner. However, being asked to block in passing situations and a role on special teams are still issues in him making the final roster. And the fact that rookie Travis Thomas, who was impressive in training camp, is still on the roster is interesting.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Name Players on the Bubble: Willie Reid, Orpheus Roye

Reid burst on the scene as a rookie but a broken foot set him back and he's been languishing on the roster since 2006. He's being challenged by second-year pro Dallas Baker.

Roye just signed last week so the coaches have to justify keeping a 35-year old player on the roster who probably would only be available for limited snaps.

Should be Safe: Mewelde Moore, Gary Russell

While Pittsburgh is deep at the running position, Moore offers solid versatility on special teams and in passing situations. Moore is also the fastest back on the roster.

Russell is a solid inside runner and should make it as their fourth back.


AFC South

Houston Texans

Name Players on the Bubble: Chris Brown, Marcel Shipp, Darius Walker

Brown has been dealing with back problems for the past two weeks and has a long injury history so he can't be counted on.

Shipp is a decent special teams player but he was beaten out in Arizona by a fifth-round pick for a backup RB job.

Walker hasn't really been too impressive and has been surpassed by rookie RB Steve Slaton on the depth chart.

Should be Safe: Rosevelt Colvin

Houston has a poor pass rush to begin with so whatever they can get from Colvin is a plus.


Indianapolis Colts

Name Players on the Bubble: Courtney Roby, Jared Lorenzen, Quinn Gray, Kenton Keith

Roby was once well thought of by the Titans but he was out of the league last season and he faces an uphill battle to beat out Roy Hall for the fifth receiver job.

Lorenzen or Gray will most likely be released. What gives Gray a possible small advantage over Lorenzen is his starting experience from last season with Jacksonville.

Hart probably offers more versatility than Keith.

Should be Safe: Mike Hart

Hart is well liked by the coaches and might offer more upside than Keith.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Name Players on the Bubble: Jimmy Kennedy, Troy Williamson

Kennedy, a former first-round pick of the St. Louis Rams, is trying to handle the No. 5 role at defensive tackle--that's if they decide they want to keep five players at that position.

Williamson looked during off-season workouts but his play regressed a bit during training camp. The one reason why he might stick is because starting WR Jerry Porter likely won't be ready to play at the start of the regular season. If he's released, it will likely be due to the development of Mike Walker who the team is high on.

Should be Safe: Cleo Lemon

While Lemon had an inconsistent training camp by most accounts, their only other option is 36-year old Todd Bouman.


Tennessee Titans

Name Players on the Bubble: Roydell Williams, Chris Henry

Williams, who was a starter before breaking his ankle late last season, is still dealing with the injury and is no lock to make the final roster.

Incredibly, Henry, a former 2007 second-round pick, is in real danger of making the final roster. At the start of training camp, rookie RB Chris Johnson surpassed Henry on the depth chart. Henry is competing against Quinton Ganther for the No. 3 role.

Should be Safe: Brandon Jones

While there have been some rumblings out of the local media about the stability of his roster spot, Jones gives the team a badly needed physical presence at the receiver position.


AFC West

Denver Broncos

Name Players on the Bubble: Keary Colbert, Tyrone Poole

Colbert, despite getting a solid opportunity for playing time at the receiver position, hasn't taken advantage of it at all and is in serious danger of not taking it through the weekend. The emergence of rookie Eddie Royal probably has a lot to do with it.

Poole was out of the league in 2007 so the 36-year old cornerback has to prove he's worth taking up a roster spot.

Should be Safe: Niko Koutouvides, Darrell Jackson

Koutouvides lost the middle linebacker job to Nate Webster but he has an acceptable cap number of around $1.3 million. A league source points out that a roster bonus of nearly $1.8 million due next season could end Koutouvides' stay in Denver after just one season.

Jackson hasn't impressed anyone thus far but the fact that starting WR Brandon Marshall will be serving at least a two-game suspension to start the regular season could keep Jackson on the roster for awhile.


Kansas City Chiefs

Name Players on the Bubble: Nick Novak, Napoleon Harris

Novak is embroiled in a battle for the kicker job against rookie Connor Barth. Neither player has taken hold of the job but the veteran Novak hasn't taken advantage of his opportunities previously with the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, and Washington Redskins.

Harris has been beaten out for the middle linebacker job by the unheralded Pat Thomas. A league source notes what may keep Harris on the roster is the fact that he was paid a $1.7 million roster bonus earlier this year.

Should be Safe: Bernard Pollard, Jon McGraw

There were rumblings locally about Pollard being challenged by rookie DaJuan Morgan but that didn't happen so Pollard will keep the starting strong safety job at least for another season. He's also carrying a low cap number of just over $700,000.

McGraw has bounced around a bit in his six seasons of play but he should stick as FS Jarrad Page's backup.


Oakland Raiders

Name Players on the Bubble: Adam Archuleta

He signed only a one-year deal and is making the move from safety to weak-side linebacker. The problem is he's a bit undersized for the position.

Should be Safe: Kalimba Edwards

While Edwards hasn't made any headlines, they have no depth at end so it's hard to see them parting ways with him. Edwards' cap number is at an acceptable level for this season (about $1.3 million) but jumps up to about $3.2 million in 2009. So if he doesn't play well this season, he may not be back for his second season with the team.


San Diego Chargers

Name Players on the Bubble: Cory Withrow, Malcom Floyd

With veteran C Jeremy Newberry filling in for injured starter Nick Hardwick (foot), Withrow's roster spot isn't reserved just yet.

Floyd, who generally is regarded as their fifth receiver, might not make the final roster if the coaches decide that special teams ace Kassim Osgood will be in their receiver rotation this season.

Should be Safe: Derek Smith

Even though the team is high on some of their younger linebackers such as Brandon Siler and Anthony Waters, it's Smith who will fill in for ILB Stephen Cooper who miss the first four regular season games due to suspension.

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