**UPDATE SAT. 5 PM** Final cuts have been made. Head here.
Of course, the 53 players on the team after 5 PM central time tonight won't be the exact roster for opening day. After the NFL roster deadline hits this evening, expect the Kansas City Chiefs to pick up one or two players off of the waiver wire.
I've run through the roster and made my decisions on who I think will be cut. Interestingly enough, while researching this and reading others cut lists, most of them are in agreement about 95% of the time.
The only differences I've seen in people's cut lists are the tail ends of the linebacker and line rotations. A little LeRue Rumph here. A little Anthony Alabi there. Maybe throw in some Sippio. (Update: Sippio apparently has been cut)
There isn't anything groundbreaking in this post because it's pretty easy to pick about 90% of this roster with about that same certainty.
QB: Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen and Damon Huard
No surprises here. The Chiefs will carry three quarterbacks on the final roster no matter what and these are almost assuredly the three they will keep.
RB: Larry Johnson, Kolby Smith, Jamaal Charles, Jackie Battle and Dantrell Savage
Dantrell Savage hopefully makes this team as a kick returner but I've included him in the running backs section. LJ, Kolby and Jamaal Charles are all 100% safe. Battle may not make it because of roster numbers but he's probably safe too.
WR: Dwayne Bowe, Devard Darling, Will Franklin, Maurice Price and Jeff Webb
Despite not catching a pass this preseason, Devard Darling is still accomplished enough to get the nod over Arthur, Joachim, McMahan and Sippio. If you make an argument against Darling, you have to make an argument for one of those guys making the team and I don't think you can. Maybe you can make an argument for Bobby Sippio but I think you're splitting hairs at that point.(Update: Sippio has apparently been cut)
Cut: Jabari Arthur, Sergio Joachim, Kevin McMahan and Bobby Sippio
FB:Mike Cox and Chris Manderino
Word on the street is that the Chiefs like Manderino's special teams play, which is great for him because Mike Cox has the starting fullback spot nailed.
TE: Tony Gonzalez, Brad Cottam and J.P. Foschi
TG and Cottam are locks to make the roster and we'll give Foschi and his GA Tech roots the nod over the injured Mike Merritt and Michael "What happened to people being excited about me?" Allan. Allan may spend his final year on the practice squad before permanently falling off into obscurity. My future money says this is another D3 experiment that will not succeed.
Cut: Michael Allan and Mike Merritt
O-Line: Branden Albert, Brian Waters, Rudy Niswanger, Adrian Jones, Damion McIntosh, Herb Taylor, Barry Richardson and Wade Smith
I think those first eight offensive linemen I listed are definitely going to make the team. Beyond that, I think we could see another player dropped at a different position in favor of another offensive linemen. That linemen may not even be on the team right now and there is no way the Chiefs are satisfied with the depth they have on the offensive line.
Cut: Travis Leffew, Tre Stallings, Will Svitek, Anthony Alabi, Edwin Harrison and Rob Smith
D-Line: Turk McBride, Tank Tyler, Glenn Dorsey, Tamba Hali, Alfonso Boone, Ron Edwards. T.J. Jackson and Brian Johnston
After Ron Edwards, you're entering a pretty blurry area on the defensive line. TJ Jackson and Brian Johnston both had their names called more than a few times last Thursday against the Rams and that may be enough to distinguish themselves from the other defensive linemen.
Cut: Johnny Dingle, Jason Parker and Derek Lokey
LB: Derrick Johnson, Pat Thomas, Donnie Edwards, Demorrio Williams, Weston Dacus and Nap Harris (Int'l player Aden Durde will be on the practice squad but not count for a spot)
Nap Harris seems to be on everyone else's cut list and he certainly is a possible roster casualty. One of the cuts listed below could out value Harris on special teams, making the decision to keep him even more difficult. Donnie Edwards of course makes the final cut but how durable will he be in his 13th season? He's already tweaked a hamstring.
Cut: EJ Kuale, Steve Octavien and LeRue Rumph
CB: Patrick Surtain, Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr, Dimitri Patterson, Tyron Brackenridge and Maurice Leggett
The first four CB spots are taken with Brackenridge, Barksdale and Leggett battling for the final one or even two spots. Can't say I've seen much of any of those three this preseason, making my analysis a bit strained. Brackenridge will probably get the nod because the Chiefs liked him enough last year as an UDFA to play him a bit and neither Barksdale nor Leggett has distinguished themselves.
Cut: Rashard Barksdale>
S: Jarrad Page, Bernard Pollard, Jon McGraw and DaJuan Morgan
The safety position isn't difficult to figure out. Page and Pollard will start with McGraw and Morgan rotating in and out. The Chiefs don't need five safeties on the team.
Cut: Khayyam Burns
Special Teams: Nick Novak, Dustin Colquitt and J.P. Darche
Again, no surprises here. The Sams v. Savage competition is pretty much even but I'll throw my support behind the younger, less Drummond-like Dantrell Savage. My gut says Sams makes the team though but I can't bring myself to post that.
Cut: BJ Sams and Connor Barth (he's still on the roster so we'll include him for good measure)
We've already had a few threads about the roster cuts so use this spot to make any last minute predictions. I'll update you on the cuts as soon as I hear about them.