As teams begin to pare down their rosters for the 53 men needed for the NFL regular season, you’ll begin to see more and more familiar names gracing the Twitter feed or NFL headlines. And a few more have made their way through the official announcements early this afternoon in the form of linebacker Niko Koutouvides, wide receiver Sinorice Moss and offensive lineman Max Jean-Gilles.
The Patriots’ loss of Koutouvides frees up a solid special teams performer for another franchise, while Moss has enough talent despite his middling stats year after year to land with a team dealing with wideout injuries. Jean-Gilles should also land a new team given his versatility along the offensive line and the fact he’s still only 27-years-old.
Others cut might not be so fortunate. Ed Wang was just chosen last year by the Buffalo Bills, but even with the team’s major needs at offensive tackle, he was still let go. The former Virginia Tech star might have a difficult time if he can’t land with the Bills o-line.
A team can never have enough good defensive linemen and the Chiefs have already identified that they need help at linebacker, specifically inside. This is why two names popping up on today’s NFL chopping block wouldn’t surprise if Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli checked into them further. Both Igor Olshansky of the Dallas Cowboys and Tarvares Gooden of the Baltimore Ravens were told they’re being cut today (along with over 800 others), yet both offer the kind of value that would be at home on the 2011 Chiefs roster.
Olshansky will be familiar to Chiefs fans from his years along a dominating defensive front for the San Diego Chargers. Olshansky has tremendous size at 6-5, 315 lbs and he’s very familiar with the 3-4 scheme since he played it in both San Diego and Dallas. Now that the Cowboys have moved from Wade Phillips 3-4 mold, he’s lost his starting spot. That means he’s prime for the taking and could play inside and out.
The Chiefs lost Shaun Smith and his size and versatility, so adding Olshansky could provide a strong veteran presence along most of the line. While young players like Allen Bailey will also be around, the Chiefs are in need of one more anchor player there and Olshansky would be a nice addition.
As for Gooden, he’s been plagued by health concerns for the Ravens and, consequently, has lost his starting inside linebacker slot. But Gooden is still young and could use a fresh start, and the Chiefs could be an ideal landing spot. The former Miami Hurricane would immediately provide competition for Jovan Belcher — the role that Brandon Siler was supposed to play before a season-ending injury — and Gooden could compete for playing time from the outset.