The Labor Day Weekend Carnage Has Begun for NFL Roster Cuts

In this weekend's Hot Clicks: NFL teams are reducing their rosters down to 53 players ahead of Week 1, Mike Malone on the NBA's family policy and more.
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Labor Day Weekend Carnage

“Look, you can never have enough quarterbacks,” Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores said after the team released Josh Rosen because...they had too many quarterbacks. The move, one of hundreds across the NFL as teams reduce their rosters from 80 players to 53 in advance of Week 1, comes only 16 months after the Dolphins traded second- and fifth-rounds picks for the former first-rounder.

“On the surface, releasing an 'immensely talented' young quarterback on a very reasonable rookie contract seems difficult to explain,” Palm Beach Post's Joe Schad noted. “We are about to enter a season in which COVID-19 could impact a team as much as injury.”

Here’s a tracker for all roster cuts this weekend.

Criminal in Nature

That’s how Nuggets’ head coach Mike Malone described the NBA’s policy on family restrictions within the bubble.

As the bubble shrinks with only eight teams remaining entering this weekend’s games, the league has allowed players’ families to enter the restricted confines in Orlando. Coaches’ families, however, are still not allowed.

During a media session Friday, one day before the Nuggets face the Clippers in Game 2 of their Western Conference Semifinals series, Malone blasted the policy, calling it “criminal in nature.”

“I say, 'Shame on you, NBA.' This is crazy," Malone said. "I miss my family, and I think I speak for me, for my coaches and probably all the coaches down here. Sixty days and not being granted the privilege of having my family come here, to me, is criminal in nature, and that shouldn't be."

Even referees are allowed to bring one guest into the bubble.

Another Holistic Decision

“This is a holistic decision,” Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said Tuesday, Aug. 11, while announcing the cancellation of fall sports. “There is too much uncertainty now for us to feel comfortable to go forward and have fall sports in the Big Ten. We just need to constantly do the right thing from a medical standpoint to make sure that our student-athletes have an environment that remains both healthy and safe.”

It was a perfect choice of words for the first-time commissioner. Warren deserves criticism for baffling messaging, lack of transparency, and the contentious process behind canceling fall sports, but he doesn’t deserve criticism for explaining the decision three weeks ago. It was holistic, in the philosophical sense, not the medical sense, obviously.

The big picture for Big Ten athletics is more than the sum of the thousands of small pictures within and surrounding the 14 member institutions. The decision, we hope, was made in the best interest of the athletes, not those who make millions of dollars off unpaid college athletes. The decision was made in the best interest of a country pissing on itself during a global pandemic. Three weeks later, Warren has another “holistic” decision to make, though this one is far easier and far more important.

Odds & Ends

Cincinnati has a playoff path with 40% of Power 5 teams sidelined … MLB Power Rankings entering the weekend … Bargain value rookies to target in your fantasy football draft … The TCU-SMU game in Week 1 was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests … MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife, is now the richest woman in the world … Great college football thread from Pat Forde … It’s been five years since Bartolo Colon did this … Puma’s Super Mario shoe could’ve been awesome (it’s not) … 10 best non-conference college football matchups this season.

Emily DiDonato

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