A Look at the Alabama Alumni to Lose NFL Roster Spots

Getty MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 11: Alex Leatherwood #70 of the Alabama Crimson Tide holds the trophy alongside head coach Nick Saban following the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship game.

Tuesday marked the annual cutdown day in the NFL where teams are tasked with slimming down their rosters from 80 to 53 players as they start gearing up for the fast-approaching regular season. Per usual there was a flurry of activity throughout the day as teams had to make difficult decisions as to which positions had their biggest need versus where they might have a surplus.

The Crimson Tide alumni came through with another strong showing to see only seven former players get waived. The good news is that this is not necessarily the last call for those players as they still have the chance of getting picked up off of waivers to be added to another team’s roster. Should players not get picked up for an active roster spot they will also have the possibility being added to a team’s practice squad in hopes of being elevated to the active roster as the season progresses.

Offensive Players

Ross Pierschbacher – The All-American offensive lineman who has the ability to play at both guard and center was waived on Tuesday by the New York Jets. Pierschbacher was a standout in his time with the Crimson Tide as he tied the record for most starts by a position player at 57. He was drafted in the fifth-round of the 2019 NFL draft by the Washington Commanders. After playing in a handful of games with Washington, Pierschbacher spent the 2020 season in Philadelphia with the Eagles franchise where he saw action in only three games. After the 2020 season he was dealt to the Jets where he spent the year on the practice squad.

Alex Leatherwood – It’s a bit early in his career to make any final assessments, but as a surprising first round pick of the Las Vegas Raiders in the 2021 draft, the bust-label has been getting thrown around when it comes to evaluating his ability as an offensive lineman. The good news for Leatherwood however, is that he didn’t have to wait long to find another job as he has already been claimed by the Chicago Bears.

Deonte Brown – The offensive guard was selected in the sixth-round of the 2021 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers. Brown showed enough in camp to make the initial 53 man roster, however injuries plagued his season and he only ended up seeing action in three of Carolina’s games.

Miller Forristall – As an undrafted rookie in 2021, Forristall found a home with the Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately for Forristall, he struggled to crack the active roster and as a result spent the majority of his time on the practice squad. This year turned out to be less fruitful as the Browns waived Forristall on Tuesday.

O.J. Howard – As the first round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017, Howard saw regular action in his five seasons with the Bucs. He was able to haul in 15 touchdown passes while tallying nearly 1800 yards through the air. Howard signed with the Buffalo Bills in the spring of 2022, however the Bills sent him to the waiver wire on Tuesday as well. Howard looks to already have another team lined up though, as he is expected to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals as reported by NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.

Defensive Players

Saivion Smith – In 2019 the cornerback began his NFL career as an undrafted rookie. He bounced around to three different teams since then, most recently landing in Detroit where he played two games for the Lions last season. Smith was less fortunate this season as the Lions have dropped him from their active roster.

LaBryan Ray – As another undrafted rookie, the 2022 season was looking to be Ray’s first year in the NFL. Ray was trying to land a spot on the New England Patriots roster. Unfortunately for Ray, that attempt came to a close on Tuesday as the Patriots left him off their final version of the roster as they made their cuts to get down to 53 players.