It’s less than a week away from the start of the 2019 NFL season. As a result, the time has come and gone for teams to cut down their rosters to 53. Like all teams, the Los Angeles Chargers had some tough choices to make. With that came some non-surprises and a couple of actual surprises. Let’s take a look at some of the players that have found themselves short of the final roster after the Chargers roster cuts.
Looking at the 2019 Chargers Roster Cuts
Backup Quarterback Battle Ends
While the main backup role to starter Philip Rivers seemed firmly cemented by veteran Tyrod Taylor, there was still a third spot up for grabs. This came down between Cardale Jones and Easton Stick, and the question was whether Jones or Stick should go – or perhaps both. Ultimately, it was Jones. This is a very unsurprising move, as even though Jones had improved this preseason, Stick seemed to be getting drafted as a potential future project for the Chargers.
Some fans are skeptical about Stick as a future Rivers replacement; and fairly so, given that this doesn’t seem to be a particularly strong quarterback class and that Stick came out of the fifth round. Even so, it still makes more sense to keep him around rather than Jones. When you have a reliable backup like Taylor and a project like Stick, someone like Jones ends up being the odd man out.
Some Wide Receiver Cuts
Before Dontrelle Inman got signed, it was unclear as to who would be filling out the Chargers wide receiver depth chart after Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Travis Benjamin. First, there was some excitement over Dylan Cantrell – then he ended up on injured reserve. That left a potential spot which came down to Andre Patton and Artavis Scott, even with the signing of Inman. The winner was… surprisingly, neither.
Both Patton and Scott were cut on Saturday. Instead, the fifth and last receiver on the depth chart is Geremy Davis. This seems odd because Davis doesn’t contribute really anything to either receiving or returning. His role seems to be more on special teams. They did this last year too, but it seems ill-advised to have essentially only four pass-catching wide receivers. Having one more seems smart in case anything happens to one of the starters. However, they have both been added to the practice squad again.
Other Roster Cuts
Perhaps one of the more unexpected roster cuts was strong safety Jaylen Watkins. Sure, he spent all of last season on injured reserve, but he was a decent safety for the Philadelphia Eagles before that. And especially given the injury to Derwin James which leaves him out indefinitely, one would think the Chargers would want to keep whatever depth at safety they could. Evidently they liked what they saw out of undrafted free agent Roderic Teamer.
A similar situation occurred with defensive tackle T.Y. McGill, who has struggled to stay healthy as of late. He got passed over seemingly for another undrafted free agent – Chris Peace. Also, the punting competition got finished with Ty Long beating out Tyler Newsome. We’ll see if the recent CFL All-Star can play as well in the NFL.
The Chargers have their 53-man roster set. For the most part, there aren’t a ton of surprises – mostly just in backup roles. Some fans might be surprised to see long snapper Mike Windt no longer being around (replaced by Cole Mazza), but that decision was already made before Roster Cut Day. Beyond that, we got a couple of undrafted free agents that survived the final cuts. We’ll see if they, along with the other rookies, will be able to make good contributions – whether that be this year or later.
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