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I Love the Smell of Roster Cuts in the Morning

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Smells like...training camp!

The Kansas City Chiefs currently have 86 players on their roster, meaning they'll have to cut six by the time training camp starts on Thursday. Until this season, the minimum used to be higher than 80 players but with the folding of NFL Europe, teams now have on average eight players less to take to camp. Before, teams could take those extra eight players and ship them off to NFL Europe before the regular season roster deadlines would hit.

By August 26th, teams will have to trim their roster to 75 players and by August 30th the roster has to be down to the regular season maximum of 53 players.

So, six need to go. Who are they? Who knows, really. Here's a rundown by position, using a blogger's best friend - a list! I've also put the number of cuts next to each position. Predicting cuts is a terribly inexact science, so I'm hoping for a lively debate. In fact, you can make solid arguments against some of my choices below.

Quarterback (0) - The Chiefs only have three quarterbacks on the roster now, which means they're almost assuredly taking all three currently on the roster to camp with them. You'd even like to have four QBs but it doesn't appear that's going to happen before camp. No cuts from this group.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: None

Fullback (0) - I think the Chiefs will take all four fullbacks to camp but only one will be on the regular season starting roster. They're all safe for now.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: None

Offensive line (1) - Of the fourteen offensive linemen on the roster, five of them will be starters and we know who they are - McIntosh, Albert, Jones, Niswanger and Waters. That leaves nine and we'll need at least one backup in each spot for the regular season. That leaves four guys out and here's a guess on who they are - Tre Stallings, Ken Shackleford, Travis Leffew and LJ Anderson. Stallings has been on a couple of practice squads before so maybe he has a chance to make it but I don't think so. The Chiefs probably take almost all of these guys to camp but four will likely have to go for the regular season. One possible cut here but I doubt it.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: Travis Leffew, Ken Shackleford, Tre Stallings, Edwin Harrison, L.J. Anderson or Rob Smith.

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Tight End (0) - Of the five tight ends on the roster, Tony Gonzalez is a definite yes, followed by Brad Cottam and maybe Michael Allan to make the final roster. The Chiefs will have at least two tight ends on the active roster and may keep another one on the practice squad. In fact, we'll likely end up with three on the final roster, with the last spot going to a big time blocking tight end. For now, I think all of them make it to training camp because of the uncertainty surrounding who will be our blocking tight end.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: None

Wide Receiver (2) - We have a glut of wide receivers now (nine total) and I think two of these guys are definitely gone. This is an expendable position because of the preference of defensive players over offensive ones to play on special teams. A couple of these guys won't be able to hang on as a special teamer. I think Kevin McMahan and Jabari Arthur bite it from this group because of their "Who the hell am I?" status. You can also throw Bobby Sippio in there as well. The guy didn't catch a pass last year and sat on the practice squad for a little over a week with no interest from other NFL teams who were allowed to sign him at any point during that time.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: Jabari Arthur, Kevin McMahan or Bobby Sippio.

Running back (0) - Johnson, Battle, Smith, Charles, Savage and McCrae all make the training camp squad but only three make it to the regular season. Savage, Battle and McCrae will be the odd men out come September. The Chiefs have solid #1 and #2 backs with Charles and Johnson but I think they're unsure beyond that. That explains the glut of solid backups.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: None but leaning toward one of these guys being let go this week. That's a lot of running backs.

Corner back (1) - There are nine CBs on the squad now and a lot of uncertainty after Surtain, Flowers and Carr on the depth chart. Herm and co. will probably take all but one of these guys to River Falls, with a few others being cut by September. Expect some to stick around strictly as special teamers.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: Will Poole, Jason Horton or Maurice Legget.

Linebacker (1) - There are ten linebackers on the roster and two tiers have clearly developed. The top tier is Derrick Johnson, Donnie Edwards, Demorrio Williams and Nap Harris. Below that are a half dozen special teams/backup types, almost all of whom will be on the practice squad or strictly special teams. The numbers don't require the Chiefs to cut many here, so just one probably goes from this group.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: Steve Octavien, E.J. Kuale, Nate Harris, Weston Dacus or LeRue Rumph.

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Defensive Ends (1) - The Chiefs haven't settled on their Jared Allen replacement because they have seven defensive ends currently on the roster. Because of the large number of players at this position, I think one of these guys doesn't make it to River Falls. Turk McBride, Tamba Hali and Alfonso Boone are locks to make the team, with UDFAs rounding out the rest of the crop.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: Trevor Johnson, Johnny Dingle or Jason Parker.

Defensive Tackles (0) - All six d-tackles will be going to River Falls, considering that six isn't really that many to have on the roster at this point. The rotational nature of the position means you'll always have a few extra around, making it easier to slip into camp as an UDFA. Dorsey, Edwards and Tank likely make up the starting three.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: None

Kicker (0) - Do you think Herm Edwards will ever go into camp with less than two kickers after the disappointment Justin Medlock was last year? Novak and Barth both go and I'm not sure which one makes it out as the starter.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: None

Safety (0) - Safety is another good position for filling special teams. Page and Pollard are the starters and Herm's boy John McGraw is also a lock to make the team. DaJuan Morgan is another lock and a future starting contender.

Potential pre-training camp cuts: None

Those are my general positions that I think the cuts will come from. They're based on a mixture of number at that position, stability of the starters and historical precedent.

Your thoughts on who stays and who goes this week before camp starts?