I spent the last 2 days watching HBO’s Hard Knocks from last season and while watching the cut day episodes, I got to thinking, who is going to be the cut this year that surprises us?
I asked the staff and based on how few different names showed up, they might not really be surprises if they happen.
Richard Wade: Does Darrell Stuckey even count as a surprise at this point? His cap figure is too high. He's lost time on special teams already. He is going to be pushed out thanks to a numbers game at safety.
Michael Peterson: Tenny Palepoi, mostly because I don’t like him. Really though, he has been one of those "coach's favorites" for a while due to his ability to stay healthy and not royally screw the pooch in important moments. However, the talent level needs to grow and Tenny's skillset doesn't really fit into the new 4-3 scheme. Short and undersized at 6'1 and 298, he won't be a DE and we have a good 3 or 4 DT's that can rotate without taking too much of a step back in talent. Isaac Rochell is an upgrade, in my opinion.
Jamie Sewell: Stuckey is going, no doubt. Craig Mager could be in trouble, but I think the lack of depth at CB will give him another year. Carrethers should go, but I wouldn't consider that a surprise. My big surprise cut is Darius Philon. I'm not saying it's definitely going to happen, but it's a crowded group at DE, and he didn't exactly shine when he was given the starting job last year while Bosa was out. I think Chris McCain or Chris Landrum (or both) could leapfrog him and force him out.
Who knows what's up with Jeremiah Attaochu as well, he could either be seeing 25 snaps a game or not be on the roster Week 1 and I wouldn't be surprised at either.
Garrett Sisti: I think most starters are set so I don't believe there'll be any cuts that'll shake the foundation of Chargers fans but while Darrell Stuckey might be the easiest conclusion I'm going to say Craig Mager might be a surprise cut. Mager, Trovon Reed, Trevor Williams, UDFA Michael Davis and a handful of other UDFA corners are all fighting for two spots. With a new coaching staff and system in place there are no ties to past draft picks/free agent acquisitions (see Franklin, Orlando) if they don't fit and/or succeed in this system, they have no place on this roster. Craig Mager is on the roster bubble.
Kyle Posey: So nobody is gonna mention Rivers then, huh?
(Author’s Note: I think Kyle deep down really loves Philip, he’s just dealing with it poorly)
Thomas Herd: This might not be a high-profile choice, but I think Adrian Phillips' time is done with the Chargers. Phillips played in 14 games last year, starting in 6 of them without showing much at all. New additions Tre Boston, Desmond King and Rayshawn Jenkins will all be competing for playing time in the secondary ahead of Phillips. There's also some potential in Dexter McCoil, who will hopefully be played in a better-suited position this year, and Adrian McDonald, who spent a year on the practice squad. Overall, the position isn't strong, but there's enough potential there for Phillips to become expandable.
Louis Gorini: Craig Mager will be the "surprise" cut this offseason. Mager was the previous regime's guy and it is clear Lynn and Bradley don't see him in their future as they have been talking up every other cornerback except Mager. Mager constantly looks lost and overmatched all the time and his poor performance won't go unnoticed by the new coaches.
Jamie Hoyle: I think Thomas is kind of on the right track but picked the wrong guy. I don't think Stuckey getting cut would come as a huge surprise at this point, but Dexter McCoil would. I think the Chargers are prepared to head into camp with Addae, Lowery, Boston, and Jenkins locked in at safety, which means Adrian Phillips, Adrian McDonald, and Dexter McCoil are competing for one or two spots. I think Phillips wins out, which means McCoil and McDonald could both be on the outside looking in if the Chargers only opt to carry five safeties.
Cody Young: I'm going out on a limb here and saying Dwight Lowery is the biggest surprise cut. He's more experienced than the rest of the safety group, but is he really providing anything more than that? Lowery didn't play particularly well last season, to say the least, and I just think the team will opt to keep one of the younger guys on the roster in hopes of developing them further.
Matthew Stanley: I think it’s going to be at the Safety position, and it will be Stuckey. He has been an outstanding special teams contributor, but he’s never really put it together on defense. With the team having gotten younger and faster, he just isn’t worth $3.33M. Unless the player is Devin Hester in his prime or an automatic kicker like Adam Vinatieri you don’t pay a special teams player like that. Stuckey is a great person, and I’m thankful for his contributions to the team, but it’s time to move on.
Who do you think will be the biggest surprise cut this year? Let us know in the comments.