With the news that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to sign former Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones to a one-year contract for the upcoming 2022 NFL season, there were two things that should have stood out to Crimson Tide fans.
First, the great headline on the FanNation site Packer Central: "Buccaneers Sign Julio Jones; Packers Signed Someone from USFL."
To explain, after trading Davante Adams to the Raiders for first- and second-round selections in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Packers opened training camp with Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins topping the depth chart at wide receiver for Aaron Rogers. Moments after the Jones joining Tom Brady news broke the Packers made official their signing of USFL receiver Osirus Mitchell.
Second, with Jones there are 75 former Alabama players on various NFL rosters as camps get underway around the nation.
That's an average of 2.3 per NFL team.
Not all will make their final 53-man rosters, but most will. At least 42 are projected starters.
On Tuesday, the FanNation NFL sites released their roster projections for the 2022 season, and, if accurate, 61 former Crimson Tide players are on target to make their teams out of training camps, with three more on their respective rosters but not active.
They're all wide receivers with Jameson Williams coming off knee surgery, John Metchie III diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, and Calvin Ridley suspended.
Last year, Alabama led all schools with the most active players on NFL rosters for Week 1, which is the only time over the calendar year the league does a full breakdown (rosters are otherwise always in flux), with 54. It also had the most during the three previous seasons: 2020 (53), 2019 (56) and 2018 (44).
Regardless, there's a lot still to be determined prior to the Sept. 8 season opener, and both contracts and injuries often come into play when teams make cuts.
A good example was reflected in the headline from the Washington Football site "Daron Payne vs. Phidarian Mathis: Commanders Biggest Training Camp Position Battle?" as Payne is due to get a contract extension or become a free agent after this season.
Per the FanNation projections, 11 former Crimson Tide players would probably be on the outside looking in if teams had to announced their final rosters today. A few other players appear to be on the bubble.
Among them is Tony Brown, who is trying to lock down a roster spot with the Indianapolis Colts.
Per Horseshoe Huddle: "The top four are all but locked in, so the question becomes, "Who is the fifth corner between Tony Brown, Anthony Chesley, Marvell Tell III, and Rodney Thomas II?" Brown is a great athlete with some special teams and starting corner ability in his background
Another is tight end Miller Forristall with the Cleveland Browns.
From Browns Digest: "Miller Forristall received early reps in OTAs and was with the team last year. He could be the third tight end. The Browns also have four other tight ends with one year of experience or less. Maybe one of them can warrant a roster spot, but the Browns could keep their options open and sign a veteran let go by another team in September if they aren't satisfied."
Players who get released can always make practice squads, although they're not considered active on the roster. Some former players still looking for new NFL homes this season include Landon Collins, Dont’a Hightower, AJ McCarron and Reggie Ragland.
The team-by-team rundown:
San Francisco 49ers: No one on roster
Chicago Bears: #4 Eddie Jackson, S*
Cincinnati Bengals: #73 Jonah Williams, LT*
Buffalo Bills: #8 O.J. Howard, TE
Denver Broncos: #22 Kareem Jackson, S*; #10 Jerry Jeudy, WR*; #2 Pat Surtain II, CB*. Active/Non-Football Injury: #45 Christopher Allen, LB
Cleveland Browns: #2 Amari Cooper, WR*; #86 Miller Forristall, TE; #33 Ronnie Harrison Jr.; S, #71 Jedrick Wills, Jr., LT*
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: #TBD Julio Jones, WR*
Arizona Cardinals: #22 Deionte Thompson, S
Los Angeles Chargers: #16 JK Scott, P*
Kansas City Chiefs: No one on roster
Indianapolis Colts: #38 Tony Brown, CB; #78 Ryan Kelly, C*
Dallas Cowboys: #7 Trevon Diggs, CB*
Miami Dolphins: #98 Raekwon Davis, DT*; #1 Tua Tagovailoa, QB*; #17 Jaylen Waddle, WR*
Philadelphia Eagles: #69 Landon Dickerson, OL*; #1 Jalen Hurts, QB*; #6 DeVonta Smith, WR*. Projected cuts: #38 Josh Jobe, CB; #41 Jared Mayden, S
Atlanta Falcons: #54 Rashaan Evans, LB*; Suspended: #18 Calvin RiRadley, WR
New York Giants: #29 Xavier McKinney, S*; #70 Evan Neal, OT*. Projected cut: #82 Robert Foster, WR
Jacksonville Jaguars: #74 Cam Robinson, LT*
New York Jets: #57 C.J. Mosley, LB*; #95 Quinnen Williams, DL*. Projected cut: #66 Ross Pierschbacher, OL
Detroit Lions: #50 Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB. Projected cuts: #19 Saivion Smith, CB; #98 Isaiah Buggs, DT. Active/Non-Football Injury: #18 Jameson Williams, WR (will begin season on PUP list).
Green Bay Packers: #90 Jarran Reed, DT*
Carolina Panthers: #56 Bradley Bozeman, G/C*. Projected cuts: #77 Deonte Brown, OG; #46 Thomas Fletcher, LS
New England Patriots: #90 Christian Barmore, DT*; #37 Damien Harris, RB*; #10 Mac Jones, QB*; #30 Mack Wilson, LB. Projected cuts: #59 Anfernee Jennings, LB, #65 LaBryan Ray, DL
Las Vegas Raiders: #29 Anthony Averett, CB; #67 Lester Cotton Sr., G*; #23 Kenyan Drake, RB; #28 Josh Jacobs, RB*; #70 Alex Leatherwood, OT*
Los Angeles Rams: #52 Terrell Lewis, OLB; #94 A'Shawn Robinson, DT*
Baltimore Ravens: #5 Jalyn Armour-Davis, CB; #44 Marlon Humphrey, CB*. Projected cut: #82 Slade Bolden, WR
New Orleans Saints: #14 Mark Ingram II, RB
Seattle Seahawks: No one on roster
Pittsburgh Steelers: #39 Minkah Fitzpatrick, S*; #22 Najee Harris, RB*; #60 J.C. Hassenauer, C; #29 Levi Wallace, CB*. Projected cut: #79 Chris Owens, OL
Houston Texans: #48 Christian Harris, LB*. PUP list: #88 John Metchie III, WR
Tennessee Titans: #36 Shyheim Carter, S; #78 Da'Shawn Hand, DE; #22 Derrick Henry, RB*
Minnesota Vikings: #84 Irv Smith, Jr., TE*; #94 Dalvin Tomlinson, DE*
Washington Commanders: #93 Jonathan Allen, DT*; #98 Phidarian Mathis, DT; #94 Daron Payne, DT*; #11 Cam Sims, WR; #8 Brian Robinson Jr., RB
* expected starter
For more check out:
The Bama in the NFL Database
Alabama Crimson Tide Players in the NFL
Tracking Active Alabama Crimson Players in the NFL
Alabama Crimson Tide Players in the NFL: Breakdown by Team
Active Alabama Crimson Tide Players in the NFL by Position
All-Time Alabama Crimson Tide Players in the NFL
All-Time Alabama Crimson Tide Players in the NFL By Team
Former Alabama Crimson Tide Players Selected in the NFL Draft
All-Time Alabama Crimson Tide Players Drafted by Round
NFL Draft: All-Time Alabama Crimson Tide Selections by NFL Teams
Alabama Crimson Tide Players Selected in the NFL Draft by Position