Rosters have been slashed across the NFL, and a few Bruins got the short end of the stick when teams announced their 53-man squads.
One of the most active days on the NFL calendar arrived Tuesday as all 32 franchises had to reduce their rosters down to the maximum 53 players. UCLA football has alumni spread across the league, and numerous former Bruins have worked throughout the preseason to try and secure a regular-season roster spot.
Rookies Qwuantrezz Knight, Alec Anderson, Ethan Fernea and Brittain Brown, as well as multi-year pros Devin Asiasi and Josh Rosen, were among those awaiting their fates before the 1 p.m. deadline struck. Of the six most notable fringe Bruins, only Brown made his team’s roster.
Brown spent the preseason with the Las Vegas Raiders after being selected in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Playing in the final three preseason contests, Brown rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries.
The 6-foot-1 tailback will add a contrasting style to Josh Jacobs and Ameer Abdullah in the Raiders’ backfield as he tries to earn carries against both NFL veterans. New head coach and former New England Patriots Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has routinely carried six running backs in the past, and he is expected to rotate them heavily as the year goes on.
The Patriots picked Asiasi in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, when McDaniels was still on the staff in Foxborough. Since then, however, the tight end has only hauled in two receptions and one touchdown across two seasons and 10 games of action.
Asiasi appeared in one game during the preseason and snagged three catches for a total of 32 yards. However, his efforts were not enough to make the Patriots’ final cut, and the former All-Pac-12 honorable mention tight end was released on Tuesday.
The Cleveland Browns were searching for answers at quarterback following the suspension of Deshaun Watson, and Rosen appeared to have a shot at backing up Jacoby Brissett to begin the season.
Rosen completed 17 of his 33 pass attempts for 186 yards through three preseason games with the Browns, but was unable to toss a touchdown. As the preseason neared its close, Josh Dobbs started to take most of the second-string snaps, while Rosen was given end-of-the-game clean up duties.
Scroll to Continue
The former four-year UCLA signal caller could not beat out Dobbs for the final quarterback slot remaining and was ultimately released. Rosen – a former first-round selection – will now have to search for his seventh NFL team.
Knight – who was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Francisco 49ers – appeared to have a shot at making the 53-man roster despite not being selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The 24-year-old nickel cornerback appeared in all three preseason games, but only tallied tackles in the first two. Knight grabbed three of his four total tackles during the 49ers’ 17-7 preseason Week Two victory over the Vikings.
On Tuesday, Knight was waived by San Francisco, but he is a prime candidate to clear waivers and end up back on the 49ers’ practice squad.
Anderson and Fernea were waived by the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts, respectively, but similarly to Knight, the recent undrafted free agent additions are likely to return to their teams’ practice squads.
Fernea was a notable special teams standout after catching a pass in his preseason debut, preventing a kickoff return touchdown in Week 2. Anderson saw action in all three of Buffalo’s contests.
Sixth-round rookie Quentin Lake was placed on the physically unable to perform list by the Los Angeles Rams to begin the regular season. The Carolina Panthers placed defensive end Jacob Tuioti-Mariner on the injured reserve earlier in training camp, saving him from getting cut as well. Defensive tackle Eli Ankou, meanwhile, is working on an injury settlement from the Bills and rejoin the roster or practice squad in three weeks, according to WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio.
Defensive back Nate Meadors and offensive tackle Conor McDermott were both let go by the New York Giants and New York Jets, respectively. Quarterback Brett Hundley was cut by the Baltimore Ravens back on Aug. 17.