By Jay Skurski
Five local players could not survive final roster cuts over the weekend, leaving a total of seven from Western New York on active rosters (or in one case, a physically unable to perform list) heading into the 2013 NFL season. Another two players from the University at Buffalo are also in the NFL. Here is an update on each of them:
Steven Means: The Buffalo native and Grover Cleveland and University at Buffalo product is listed as the backup right defensive end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who drafted Means in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft. Mean impressed the Bucs earlier in the preseason with his athleticism.
James Starks: The Niagara Falls native is entering his fourth season with the Green Bay Packers. He’s listed as the starter at running back on the depth chart, but has promising rookies in Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin behind him.
J.C. Tretter: The Akron product, a fourth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in April, will start the season on the team’s physically unable to perform list after he broke his ankle in May. He will miss at least the first six weeks of the season.
Rob Gronkowski: The Amherst native will start the season on the New England Patriots’ 53-man roster after offseason surgeries on a broken arm and his back. He is not expected to be ready for at least the first few weeks of the season, but when he gets back, should resume his position as one of the best tight ends in the league.
Dan Gronkowski: The Amherst native, a tight end, signed a reserve/future contract with the Cleveland Browns on Jan. 3, but was released Friday as part of the team’s final cuts.
Chris Gronkowski: The Amherst native, a fullback, signed with the San Diego Chargers on April 23, but was released with an injury settlement by the team on Saturday as part of final cuts.
Brett Kern: The Grand Island native is the starting punter for the Tennessee Titans. Kern, going into his sixth NFL season, had a career-best average of 47.6 yards per punt in 2012.
Mike Williams: The Buffalo native and Riverside product signed a contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in July. The wide receiver is heading into his fourth NFL season, and has 23 career touchdowns.
Corey Graham: The Buffalo native and Turner/Carroll product is the starting right cornerback for the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Graham had a breakout season for the Ravens in 2012, starting eight games with 60 tackles, eight passes defensed and two interceptions.
Doug Worthington: The Buffalo native and St. Francis product was waived with an injury designation by the Washington Redskins in June. The defensive end is currently a free agent.
Luke Tasker: The St. Francis product and son of the former Bills great Steve Tasker signed as an undrafted free agent with the San Diego Chargers on April 27, but was part of the team’s final cuts Friday.
Naaman Roosevelt: The Buffalo native and former Bills receiver signed with the Cleveland Browns as a free agent on July 23, but was part of the team’s final cuts Saturday.
Jeremy Kelley: The West Seneca native signed a reserve/future contract with the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 30, but was part of the team’s final cuts Saturday.
Josh Thomas: Entering his third season, he’s listed as the starting left cornerback on the Carolina Panthers’ depth chart. Thomas played in all 16 games and made four starts with Carolina last season.
Trevor Scott: Signed with Tampa Bay on Aug. 20 and is listed as a third string defensive end behind Means.
Jamey Richard: Currently a free agent after spending last season on the New England Patriots’ injured reserve.
If I missed anyone, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
taggedChris Gronkowski | Corey Graham | Dan Gronkowski | J.C. Tretter | James Starks | Jamey Richard | Jeremy Kelley | Josh Thomas | Luke Tasker | Mike Williams | Naaman Roosevelt | Rob Gronkowski | Trevor Scott