Saturday September 3, 2011 is a day that will always be remembered by some NFL players. Today might have been the day that you realized your dream. Or instead, this day may mark the end of your NFL career. For some, it just means a different team or a restructured contract, but there is little doubt that the final roster cut is the most important day of the preseason.
The Minnesota Vikings made their 53-man roster public late this afternoon and there weren’t any huge surprises. The Vikes did have a couple of guys on the cut list that have been with the team for quite some time. Both TE Jeff Dugan and LB Heath Farwell failed to make the team. Dugan doesn’t surprise me as much as Farwell. Heath has been almost like an institution on special teams for Minnesota. This is how today works though. Other guys like Lorenzo Booker, who has shown flashes during his career, made the team(and should have). This has to be one of the toughest jobs for Head Coach Leslie Frazier. He is in his first full year as the head guy and he is going to have to let guys go that he genuinely cares about. There will always be fans that like to second guess a team’s front office, but they can’t possibly envy the position that those in power have on this day.
Imagine spending your whole life working towards one goal and making it successfully through several stages, only to fail at the very last test. Maybe you spent your college years at a huge program like Oklahoma(Juaquin Iglesias), or a much smaller school like Jackson State(Jaymar Johnson). Either way, a day like today is a huge dissappointment. I watched the NFL Network and listened to Warren Sapp basically poke fun at some of the guys that won’t make the cut, because as he said, he was never cut from any team. While I normally really like Sapp, this really struck me as a little arrogant. A little humility can be a good thing Warren. Some players weren’t born with incredible size or speed. They weren’t given a free ride to a top-tier college like Miami, Florida, or USC. Any player that has made it as far as an NFL training camp deserves some respect.
The good news for a lot of players is that even if they were cut today, they might sign with a different team, or sign on as a practice-squad member of the team that cut them. For some though, today is the end. These guys got to do something that millions of kids have wanted to do; put on an NFL jersey. For that, we should smile and remember that there was a time that we wanted to see our name on the back of the uniform
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).