There was good and bad news for Tar Heels on cut day in the NFL

By R.L. Bynum

There were triumphs and frustrations for Tar Heels on Tuesday as NFL teams cut their rosters down to 53 players.

Among the positives were Mack Hollins, M.J. Stewart Jr., Andre Smith and Charlie Heck making rosters. Some of the negatives were the Dazz Newsome and six other former UNC players being waived. In addition, there is recent bad injury news for Jalen Dalton and Ryan Switzer.

Seventeen Tar Heels are either on NFL rosters or on injured reserve.

Hollins made the Miami Dolphins roster as a second-stringer and one of six wide receivers. This is his fifth NFL season and third in Miami after his first two seasons were with the Philadelphia Eagles. In 16 games last season, he had 16 catches for 176 yards and one touchdown.

Stewart made the Cleveland Browns roster as their third-string right cornerback. This is his fourth NFL season and second with the Browns. Last season, he had 22 tackles, two interceptions and a sack in 16 games.

Smith made the Buffalo Bills roster as their third-string weakside linebacker behind Matt Milano and A.J. Klein. This is Smith’s fourth NFL season and second with the Bills after playing two seasons with the Carolina Panthers. In 12 games last season, he had nine tackles, including eight solos.

Heck will be the Houston Texans’ backup left tackle behind Laremy Tunstil. Heck (No. 67) made some nice blocks during Houston’s 23–16 exhibition loss last weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Listed as starters are Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron, Washington outside linebacker Cole Holcomb and Chicago Bears strongside linebacker Robert Quinn.

Tar Heels listed as backups are Washington wide receiver Dyami Brown, Hollins, New Orleans Saints left tackle James Hurst, Minnesota Vikings strong safety Myles Dorn, Vikings weakside linebacker Chazz Surratt, Buffalo Bills quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams.

Gio Bernard is listed as the Tampa Bay Bucs’ third-string running back but is expected to still see a lot of action, particularly as a pass catcher.

Michael Carter is listed as the fourth-string running back for the New York Jets.

Newsome, the Chicago Bears’ sixth-round pick, had been listed as a third-string wide receiver but was considered as possibly a kick-return specialist. If he clears waivers, the Bears are expected to add him to the practice squad.

He was targeted twice in Chicago’s 27–24 exhibition win last weekend over Tennessee and had one nice catch for a 19-point gain.

Newsome suffered a shoulder injury during an early-June OTA practice and was on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list when training camp started.

After being listed as the fourth-string running back during camp, Buffalos waived Antonio Williams, who the team plans to add to their practice squad if he clears waivers.

Other Tar Heels waived Tuesday were offensive tackles R.J. Prince (by the New England Patriots; had been listed as third string) and William Sweet (Atlanta Falcons); defensive tackle Aaron Crawford (Baltimore Ravens; had been listed as third string nose tackle but got injured); defensive end Jason Strowbridge (Miami Dolphins; was listed as third string); and fullback Jake Bargas (Minnesota Vikings; was listed as backup).

The Seattle Seahawks waived Anthony Ratliff-Williams on Aug. 16 (was one of four fourth-string wide receivers) and the Bills waived tight end Bug Howard on Aug. 24.

Dalton had been listed as the likely starter for the New Orleans Saints at defensive tackle before he suffered a season-ending triceps injury Monday.

The Cleveland Browns placed Switzer on injured reserve Aug. 16 and the wide receiver had successful ankle surgery on Aug. 20.

Former UNC players who were on NFL rosters last season but were not in an NFL camp include defensive back Tre Boston (released by Carolina Panthers on March 17), center Russell Bodine (released by Detroit Lions on March 8), running back T.J. Logan and defensive end Kareem Martin.

How Tar Heels fared in NFL camp

Jake Bargas, fullback
— Minnesota Vikings waived him after he was listed as the backup but he could be added to the practice squad 
Giovani Bernard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back
— Listed as third string behind Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II
Dyami Brown, Washington wide receiver
— Listed as one of the three second-string WRs
— Picked in third round of the 2021 NFL draft
Michael Carter, New York Jets running back
— Listed as fourth string
Aaron Crawford , defensive tackle
— He’s injured but the Baltimore Ravens waived him after he was listed as the third string nose tackle behind Brandon Williams and Justin Ellis
Jalen Dalton, New Orleans Saints defensive tackle
—  Suffered season-ending triceps injury Monday
Myles Dorn, Minnesota Vikings safety
— Listed as backup strong safety
Cole Holcomb, Washington linebacker
— Listed as starter at outside linebacker
Mack Hollins, Miami Dolphins wide receiver
— Made roster, listed as second string and is one of six WRs
Bug Howard, tight end
— Buffalo Bills, who signed him July 30, released him Aug. 24.
James Hurst, New Orleans Saints offensive tackle
— Listed as backup left tackle
Dazz Newsome, wide receiver
— Chicago Bears waived him Tuesday after being listed as a third-string WR
— If not claimed off waivers, Chicago likely to add him to practice squad
R.J. Prince, offensive tackle
— The New England Patriots released him Tuesday after he was listed as third-string right tackle
Austin Proehl, wide receiver
— Didn’t make Los Angeles Chargers roster
Robert Quinn, Chicago Bears linebacker
— Listed as starting strongside linebacker
— In 15 games, 13 as a starter, he had 20 tackles
Anthony Ratliff-Williams, wide receiver
— The Seattle Seahawks waived him on Aug. 16 after he was listed as one of three fourth-string WRs
Andre Smith, Buffalo Bills linebacker
— Made roster as the third-string weakside linebacker behind Matt Milano and A.J. Klein
M.J. Stewart Jr., Cleveland Browns cornerback
— Made roster as third-string right cornerback
Jason Strowbridge, defensive end
— Miami Dolphins waived him Tuesday after he was listed as third-string left defensive end behind Emmanuel Ogbah and Adam Butler
Chazz Surratt, Minnesota Vikings linebacker
— Listed as second string weakside linebacker
William Sweet, offensive tackle
— Waived Tuesday by the Atlanta Falcons
Ryan Switzer, Cleveland Browns wide receiver
— Placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury, had surgery Aug. 20
Mitchell Trubisky, Buffalo Bills quarterback
— Listed as back up to Josh Allen
Antonio Williams, Buffalo Bills running back
— The Buffalo Bills waived him Tuesday after he was listed as fourth string. If he clears waivers, he’ll likely be added to the Bills’ practice squad.
Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos running back
— Listed as backup behind Melvin Gordon III

Mack Hollins photo via his Twitter account


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