Josh Gordon, Phillip Lindsay among players released

For players on the bubble across the NFL, a phone call on Tuesday could bring either very good news or very bad news.

That’s the reality as 32 teams are whittled down from 80 players to 53 by 4 p.m. ET, shaping their initial regular season rosters and parting ways with hundreds of players in the process.

The process of downsizing the roster isn’t always straightforward – there will be roster trades and maneuvering to account for injuries – but it’s always difficult, as is a sign that the start of the season is finally upon us.

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This year, franchises can sign back 16 players — including more veterans than ever before — to practice squads starting Wednesday.

In the meantime, here are some of the most valuable players around the league who were let go before Tuesday afternoon’s deadline.

Harris started 14 games in Philadelphia last year and before that started 47 games over six seasons for the Minnesota Vikings. Last year, he had 72 tackles (two for loss) to go along with one interception. Harris is a veteran, so his release means he’s a free agent instead of having to clear waivers before signing with another team — or returning to the Eagles.

— Parker Gabriel

Bucs WR Tyler Johnson

A third-year receiver out of Minnesota, Johnson had 36 catches on 55 targets for 360 yards in 2021 but did not catch a touchdown. Even so, Tampa letting him go is, according to many reports, a surprise. The Bucs have depth at their position, headlined by Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as well as Jolio Jones in the offseason.

— Parker Gabriel

Colts RB Phillip Lindsay

With star running back and reigning rushing leader Jonathan Taylor and backup Nyheim Hines firmly entrenched atop the depth chart, the Colts are reportedly moving on from 2018 Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay. Indianapolis signed Lindsay to a one-year deal in May, but he has struggled to find a footing in Indianapolis, carrying the ball 16 times in the preseason for just 55 yards.

Lindsay, 28, played for two teams last season, the Texans and Dolphins. Houston released him in November before sticking with Miami for the final four games of the season. Overall, he rushed for 249 yards and a touchdown and also hauled in 45 receiving yards and a receiving score. Lindsey was an undrafted rookie for the Denver Broncos, where he played his first three seasons. His most productive campaign was his rookie year, when he totaled 1,278 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns.

— Lorenzo Reyes

Vikings QB Kellen Mond

The Vikings have released backup quarterback Kellen Mond, their third-round pick in the 2021 draft, a person familiar with the situation confirmed. The person asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.

The move comes as no surprise since Mond has struggled this season and the Vikings recently acquired Nick Mullens via trade from Oakland.

Mond was a draft pick of the previous regime, but he didn’t fit as well with the type of offense that new head coach Kevin O’Connell wants to run. Mullens, meanwhile, played in a similar system with the 49ers and gives Minnesota a backup with game experience, having started 17 games over four seasons.

— Mike Jones

Bills TE OJ Howard

Howard signed a one-year deal worth more than $3 million with Buffalo this offseason, but will not make the team’s roster, according to multiple reports Tuesday morning. Howard caught 15 touchdowns and had 119 catches for 1,737 yards during his first five NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but had just 25 total catches in 21 games over the past two seasons. Howard was a 2017 first-round draft pick out of the University of Alabama.

— Parker Gabriel

Chiefs WR Josh Gordon

Wide receiver Josh Gordon

Wide receiver Josh Gordon

The veteran wide receiver was released Tuesday after catching a pass in the preseason. Gordon played in 12 games for Kansas City in 2021, catching five passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. The veteran wide receiver, of course, burst onto the scene in 2013 when he had 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore. From there, though, he was suspended several times for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy, and his best statistical season came in 2018 when he caught 40 passes for 720 yards and three scores in New England. Gordon tweeted Tuesday, “Excited to see where the next part of my football journey takes me.”

— Parker Gabriel

Dolphins RB Sony Michel

Michel joined Miami in May on a one-year, $2.1 million contract after playing well for the Super Bowl champion Rams last year. The fifth-string back rushed for over 900 yards in each of his first two pro seasons with the New England Patriots in 2018 and 2019 to go along with 13 total rushing touchdowns. The Dolphins, however, will head into the regular season with a backfield led by Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert.

— Parker Gabriel

49ers WR Willie Snead

The 49ers are parting ways with Snead, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.

The veteran wide receiver signed a one-year contract with the 49ers in early August and has made a good impression with the team. The 49ers are interested in signing Snead to their practice squad, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

Snead entered the league in 2014 as an undrafted free agent. He has 279 receptions, 3,431 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in 95 career games with the Saints, Ravens, Panthers and Raiders.

— Tyler Dragon

Jaguars WR Laquon Treadwell

Treadwell, a former first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings, was released Monday after catching 33 passes for 434 yards in Jacksonville last year. The Jags had an active Monday as they also traded receiver Laviska Shenault to Carolina. Treadwell (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) had his best year in 2021, but has just five career touchdowns in 70 games. Maybe another team thinks they can get more out of him this fall.

— Parker Gabriel

Lions LB Jarrad Davis

A first-round pick of Detroit in 2017, Davis had spent four of his five pro seasons with the Lions before being cut Monday. He started 41 games for the franchise in his first three seasons out of the University of Florida. But he then had just nine in 23 appearances over the past two seasons — in 2020 with the New York Jets and last year back in Detroit, when he had a career-low 25 tackles in nine games. The Lions have plenty of options at inside linebacker, including Alex Anzalone, Derrick Barnes and sixth-round pick Malcolm Rodriguez.

— Parker Gabriel

Bills RB Duke Johnson

Johnson is coming out of Buffalo. The Bills decided to cut Johnson after the team signed the veteran running back in March. The well-traveled running back spent his first four years in Cleveland before making stops in Houston, Miami and Buffalo.

The 2015 third-round pick has 530 carries for 2,261 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns in 96 career games.

Buffalo’s top options at running back are expected to be Devin Singletary, Zack Moss and rookie James Cook.

— Tyler Dragon

Punter Sam Martin (Denver) and Brett Kern (Tennessee)

A pair of veteran players hit the market Monday when the Broncos and Titans released Martin and Kern, respectively.

Martin has appeared in 139 career games, the last two seasons worth in Denver, but keeping Corliss Waitman over him for the regular season will save the Broncos $1.425 million from their salary cap.

Kern, meanwhile, was cut by Denver in 2009 and went on to play for the Titans for more than 12 seasons. He lost a camp battle to rookie Ryan Stonehouse from Colorado State.

— Parker Gabriel

Jets DB Javelin Guidry

A former free agent, Guidry played in all 17 games for the Jets last year, including three starts. He has appeared in 28 contests during his first two NFL seasons. He had four tackles in 2020 and totaled 48 tackles last year.

— Parker Gabriel

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL cuts live updates: Josh Gordon, Tyler Johnson among those released

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