Breaking down NFL roster cuts and Jonathan Taylor’s tough situation. Plus, U.S. Ryder Cup team is here

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🏌 Good morning to everyone but especially …

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On a day when NFL teams had to narrow down their roster, golf reminded us its team selections can be dramatic, heartbreaking and controversial, too. U.S. captain Zach Johnson made his six captain’s picks to round out the roster he’ll bring to Italy in less than a month:

  • Brooks Koepka 
  • Jordan Spieth 
  • Collin Morikawa 
  • Rickie Fowler 
  • Sam Burns 
  • Justin Thomas

They join automatic qualifiers Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Brian Harman, Wyndham Clark and Max Homa as the U.S. looks to win in Europe for the first time since 1993.

The first five captain’s picks were pretty straightforward. The sixth was anything but. Thomas, frankly, has played poorly this season. He missed the cut in three of the four majors, didn’t even make the FedEx Cup playoffs and didn’t win a single event for the first time since 2014-15. Compare that to …

  • Keegan Bradley, who won twice this year and doubled Thomas’ top 10s (6-3), or …
  • Lucas Glover, also a two-time winner this year, or …
  • Cameron Young, who had two top-10s at majors and five overall …

… and the Thomas selection is a huge risk.

But Thomas is also 6-2-1 in his Ryder Cup career and, more than that, “has been, without question, the heart and soul of Team USA at Ryder Cups” according to Johnson. The U.S. captain also said Thomas was “born for this” and added, “You just don’t leave J.T. at home.”

As Kyle Porter opines, Thomas fills a crucial role the team needs to end its losing streak.

  • Porter: “Go up and down the roster. Who’s rallying the troops on Saturday night when the U.S. trails by three and Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are running downhill looking for the dagger? There’s not a player who can fill that role. Plenty of golfers on this team have experience. Many of them are major champions. But there is no lightning rod — someone who wants to be looked to when it turns bleak late. … All that matters is whether you want to be in the arena. And they picked one of the few guys who truly does.”

👍 Honorable mentions

😐 Not such a good morning for …


There was plenty of interest in Jonathan Taylor — just not enough in the Colts‘ mind to warrant a trade. Now, not only is Taylor stuck in Indianapolis for the time being, but he won’t even be able to prove his worth for a while.

After Taylor was not traded before the team-instituted 4 p.m. ET deadline Tuesday (same as the 53-man roster deadline), the Colts kept their star running back on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he is out until at least Week 5.

Cody Benjamin has more on what this means for the Colts and for Taylor moving forward.

👎 Not-so-honorable mentions

🏈 NFL cut day: Most surprising cuts and best fits

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NFL roster cut day is arguably the worst day on the sports calendar. For all of the preseason standouts who overcame odds to make squads, there are many who are now looking for a new job on a practice squad, elsewhere in the NFL, in another league or not in the sport at all. With roughly 1,000 cuts coming in, it was a tough — and in some cases, surprising — day.

Some names and moves were more notable than others. For example, after waiving Bailey Zappe, Trace McSorley and Malik Cunningham, the Patriots have just one quarterback on the roster: Mac Jones. Tyler Sullivan has the biggest names looking for new homes … and where those new homes might be, including Jones’ potential new backup.

  • Sullivan: “Whether it’s bringing back one (or more) of those players via the practice squad or not, New England will, of course, add a quarterback to the roster. If the Patriots go outside of the organization, Colt McCoy would be a solid veteran to pair with Jones in Bill O’Brien‘s offense.”

This makes a ton of sense to me. McCoy would help on the field and off it, too. It feels like Jones could really benefit from the presence of a veteran in the quarterbacks room, especially after his disastrous second season.

We also got a ton of trades, including…

  • The Dolphins and Cowboys swapped cornerbacks.
  • The Panthers added Chiefs preseason Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
  • The Giants acquired Boogie Basham from the Bills.
  • The Broncos were prepared to waive Albert Okwuegbunam before the Eagles swooped in and traded for him.
  • Kickers count, too: The Saints sent Wil Lutz to the Broncos (reuniting him with Sean Payton) and the Titans acquired Nick Folk from the Patriots.

Cody has 20 big takeaways from a busy day.

⚾ Angels cut a half-dozen players in salary cap dump

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Tuesday was clearly a big day for teams to get rid of players. And for the Angels, whose season has gone completely (and sadly) off the rails, that meant six players heading to the waivers.

  • SP Lucas Giolito
  • RP Matt Moore
  • RP Dominic Leone
  • RP Reynaldo López
  • OF Hunter Renfroe
  • OF Randal Grichuk

Now, if you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, didn’t some of these guys just get there?” you’re right. Giolito, Leone, López and Grichuk were all trade-deadline acquisitions expected to help the Halos make a playoff push. Then the losses piled up, Shohei Ohtani‘s season as a pitcher ended ahead of his free agency, and Mike Trout‘s return lasted all of one game.

So, basically, within the span of a month, the Angels tried to become a contender, failed miserably, saw their two biggest stars get injured and then decided to blow it up completely. Oh yeah, and their likely MVP is leaving for almost nothing in a few months. Sorry, Angels fans.

But why would they get rid of these guys, too? R.J. Anderson explains:

  • “To save money. Provided other teams claim these players, the Angels will essentially trim their big-league payroll as well as their luxury tax number. That second part is likely crucial to owner Arte Moreno, since going over the tax line means that the team in question has to pay an overage fee. (Teams who pay the luxury tax are also penalized when it comes to compensatory draft picks, an important point if the Angels lose Shohei Ohtani in free agency.)”

R.J has potential landing spots as well.

Those six weren’t the only notable names to hit waivers, per reports. Among those joining them:

  • Harrison Bader, CF, Yankees
  • Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Mets
  • Mike Clevinger, RHP, White Sox
  • José Cisnero, RHP, Tigers

🏈 How many teams can actually make the College Football Playoff?


For the last time before expanding to 12 teams, the College Football Playoff has just four open slots. And while 133 FBS teams are technically in the running, we know almost all of them won’t be competing for one of those four.

So, who actually has a chance? Barrett Sallee has 14 teams with a realistic shot at the CFP, and all offseason he’s been high on …

  • Florida State: The Seminoles are back — at least as a CFP contender. They have a phenomenal offense led by quarterback Jordan Travis, running back Trey Benson and a talented — and extremely tall — wide receiving corps. What’s more, the top recruiting job of the offseason was when Seminoles coach Mike Norvell convinced defensive lineman Jared Verse to come back to school. They have a massive Week 1 game vs. No. 5 LSU in Orlando as well as the trip to play Clemson on Sept. 23.”

Speaking of contenders with talented wide receivers, I loved Dennis Dodd’s feature on Ohio State offensive coordinator (and wide receivers coach) Brian Hartline, who is among the nation’s highest-paid assistants and top recruiters. Hartline is in charge of a WR room led by Marvin Harrison Jr., who may just win the Heisman Trophy in 2023.


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