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Nine former Wildcats fail to make rosters in final round of NFL cuts

It’s an especially tough year without the preseason for players trying to prove themselves.

New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Everything about this NFL season is rushed. In July, there were debates on whether this season would even take shape. But since then, teams reported to camp and eventually began full-contact practices in mid-August following an acclimation period.

With so much uncertainty, the players’ association and league agreed to cancel the preseason. That decision may not affect your fantasy team, but it threw a wrench in the plans of many players on the fringes of rosters who need the exhibitions to show their skills and work ethic. But instead of having a litany of offseason activities followed by four weeks of preseason, players had just two weeks to dog it out for some of the last spots on 53-man rosters. Many former Wildcats are just these types of players, fighting to make NFL rosters and bouncing between teams and practice squads.

Austin Carr, WR, New Orleans Saints: Practice Squad

Carr is entering his fourth year with the Saints, but he won’t be suiting up for opening night. The top four receiver slots were sealed, leaving five receivers fighting for one spot, with undrafted free agent Marquez Callaway earning the job. After a forgettable 2019 in which Carr caught just one ball for nine yards, New Orleans signed him to the practice squad.

Trevor Siemian, QB, Tennessee Titans: Practice Squad

After recovering from a torn ACL, Siemian made another stop in his journeyman career after he signed with the Titans this spring to compete with former Toledo signal caller Logan Woodside to backup Ryan Tannehill. Siemian lost the battle but earned a spot on the practice squad to make it on his fourth team in six years. With what’s expected to be a fluid roster situation this year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see another team bring Touchdown Trevor on as a backup or third-stringer. The Titans are only rostering two quarterbacks currently.

Nate Hall, ILB, Houston Texans: Practice Squad

Hall will join Houston’s practice squad for the second year in a row, backing up a strong linebacking core for the Texans. Hall first signed with the Texans’ reserve unit last December following cuts by both the Cowboys and Bills.

Clayton Thorson, QB, Dallas Cowboys: Cut

Thorson competed with seventh-round draft pick Ben DiNucci for the third-string job, but Dallas opted for the younger option from James Madison. Thorson has now been cut by two NFC East teams and has yet to find a stable situation.

Blake Hance, OT, Jacksonville Jaguars: Cut

Hance joined the Jaguars this year hoping to make it on one of the league’s worst units. The Jacksonville, Ill., native was eventually cut for the third time in just over a year. This is most likely the end of line for Hance, whose best shot at a roster spot was probably on a poor Jacksonville squad.

Ibraheim Campbell, S, Tennessee Titans: Cut

Campbell had emerged as a solid defensive back in his three years in Cleveland and two with Green Bay (a breeding ground for former Wildcats as of late), playing in 49 games over five seasons. He signed a one-year deal with Tennessee this offseason, but now the Siemian-Campbell bond we were all looking forward to is gone, as the 28-year-old looks for another shot.

Joe Gaziano, DL, Los Angeles Chargers: Cut

Reports out of camp were high for Gaziano. The Wildcats’ all-time sacks leader showed a lot of promise, and when star edge-rusher Melvin Ingram began contract disputes with the Chargers, it looked like his chances to snag a roster spot along a strong defensive line had grown. But Ingram returned, Gaz was injured most of training camp and his chances as an UDFA during COVID training camp were already slim. This may not be the last we hear from him.

Garrett Dickerson, TE, New York Giants: Cut

Dickerson hardly had a stable job with the Giants over the past two seasons, being released on four different occasions before resigning this offseason hoping to secure the third TE role on the squad behind Evan Engram and Kaden Smith. Despite a promising display at camp, Dickerson was cut for the fifth and possibly final time, putting an end to the hometown dream for the Jersey kid.

Montre Hartage, S, New York Giants: Waived

Hartage walked into training camp this summer with a lot of hope. He performed well for the Dolphins and was rewarded with a contract from New York, whose new defensive coordinator comes from Miami. Unfortunately, the safety suffered a lower body injury late in camp and was waived a few days later. Fortunately for Hartage and for the Giants, he passed through waivers and was able to be transferred to the injury reserve.