Florida Today -
In past years early June cuts had more to offer than this
year, we have had the free agency and the draft. Now, the NFL offseason is about to enter Stage 3, when teams hoping to rebuild or just find an extra
missing piece will start sifting through the names of players that will be cast off beginning this week.
But unlike past years, when post-June 1 cuts produced productive players like wide receiver Jerry Rice, guard Ray Brown and even running back Antowain
Smith, this year's crop doesn't appear to have a lot of impact potential. The list of players expected to be cut after June 1, when teams can spread
their salary impacts against the cap over the next several years instead of this one, include St. Louis quarterback Kurt Warner, who could be heading
to the Giants to help groom Eli Manning.
While the Giants would certainly have a better chance of making the playoffs with a veteran at the helm instead of a rookie, Warner has more to prove
as a former two-time NFL MVP than he did when he was a former grocery clerk/NFL Europe/Arena League QB just trying to make it into the league. Others
expected to be tossed onto the post-June 1 heap include Tennessee running back Eddie George, who is clearly not the same every-down back he was a few
years ago. While he's not completely shot, he will need to go to a team that has a deep stable of backs who can spell him from time to time.
Former Dolphin Daryl Gardener is not only expected to get released by Denver, but it's been widely reported he already has a deal in place to go to
Cincinnati to be reunited with Marvin Lewis, who coached him briefly in Washington.
The Browns, unable to work out a trade for quarterback Tim Couch, will probably release him instead. Couch isn't past his prime. He's still searching
Green Bay could send defensive linemen Joe Johnson and Jamal Reynolds packing, and the Bears could say so long to wide receiver David Terrell.
The most intriguing potential June 1 cut could be Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon. Even though he has been told he is still the Raiders' starter
following the signing of Kerry Collins, the team would like Gannon to restructure a contract that calls for him to make $7 million this season. Gannon
has refused to reduce his salary, which could mean he could be jettisoned. If that happens, the immediate speculation will be that Gannon will surface
in Tampa Bay with his former coach, Jon Gruden. But even if Gruden does bring in his old quarterback to compete with Brad Johnson for a starting job
this year, don't expect it to be a long-term deal.
There might still be a surprise move before the start of the season. Teams looking for some real help between now and then had better hope so.