Tuesday was the final cut-down day in the NFL, and multiple former South Florida Bulls made their respective teams’ 53-man roster ahead of week one next week. Let’s find out who made the cut
Jason Pierre-Paul (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): The two-time Super Bowl champion, and best USF alum to ever play obviously made the team as he teams up with Tom Brady to #GoForTwo. JPP has recorded 89 sacks for his career, and is 11th among active players in the NFL in sacks.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Green Bay Packers): MVS solidified himself as a starter opposite Devante Adams this preseason, and by all accounts looks to have breakout year written all over him. He caught six touchdowns last season, and added another one in the NFC Championship game versus the Bucs.
Marlon Mack (Indianapolis Colts): While this one may not have been as much of a “duh” as the first two, Mack made the Colts again. He’ll be competing for playing time behind Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines, and rookie Jordan Wilkins. Mack tore his Achilles in week one last year, but re-signed with the Colts in March. Reports out of training camp were that he was looking close to his usual shifty self.
Pretty Close to DUH
D’Ernest Johnson (Cleveland Browns): The Junkyard Dog continues to carve out a role in the NFL. Johnson will fight for scraps behind running backs Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt, but has done well for himself as a solid special teams contributor. He averaged 25.1 yards per kick return in 2020. He also recorded four special teams tackles in two games during the playoffs last year.
OMFG LET’S GOOOOOOO
Mitchell Wilcox (Cincinnati Bengals): Money Mitch turned in a solid preseason to earn the third tight end spot for the Bengals. He’ll likely contribute mostly on special teams this year, but after hanging around on the practice squad all season in 2020, this is an exciting step in the right direction for the #BayMade kid. He will have to recover from the concussion he suffered in the final preseason game, but he’s bounced back from worse (see: Gilbert, Sterlin).
Rodney Adams (Chicago Bears): Adams captured the NFL’s attention early in the preseason with a solid debut in week one catching four passes for 57 yards. He captured the NFL’s heart after hauling in a circus catch for a 73-yard touchdown the day after he welcomed his first child into the world. It was clear he had an instant connection with first round pick Justin Fields, and it helped him land on the 53-man roster just a year after coming out of a three-year retirement.
Cut on the final days
Defensive end Mike Love was one of the final cuts by the Buffalo Bills. Cornerback K.J. Sails was cut by the LA Chargers, and defensive tackle Bruce Hector was cut by the Detroit Lions. Hector had a great preseason for the Lions, and should quickly find work.
Congrats to all the former Bulls, and keep plugging along to those who haven’t found a home yet.