Over in Yank land, the NFL is just over a week away from the bounce of the 2017 – 2018 season.
Unlike in past years, where teams were compelled to make a cut to their rosters down to 75 men following the second pre-season game, they have been permitted to carry full rosters throughout the exhibition season, meaning that the headman’s axe will need to be extra sharp when the teams have to reduce down to 53 men for the start of the season proper.
Thirty-two teams will have to dispose of 37 players each, from 90 to 53, meaning that in a couple of days, almost 1200 hopefuls will be unemployed in professional football.
There were eight Australian hopefuls when training camp and pre-season play started. Three are safe without question, those being kicking specialists Jordan Berry of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Brad Wing of the New York Giants and defensive end Adam Gotsis of the Denver Broncos, who will be carrying a heavy load this season as the Broncos’ defensive line has been decimated by injuries.
Another candidate for the job of punter, Cameron Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles is trying to take the job away from veteran Donnie Jones, which is a decision that could ultimately come down to economics. Observers say Johnson has a sneaky chance to taking Jones’ job.
Sam Irwin-Hill is another punter hoping to secure steady NFL work with the Dallas Cowboys, but it appears that his hopes are forlorn, as Dallas gave a healthy contract extension to punter Chris Jones.
Irwin-Hill has the versatility to kick field goals as well as punt, but the Cowboys have Dan Bailey, one of the most reliable legs in the NFL.
It would seem that Irwin-Hill’s best opportunity is to impress scouts, and then hope another team finds itself in need of a punter or placekicker.
Lachlan Edwards seems to have the punter’s job sewed up with the New York Jets.
Offensive guard Blake Muir has spent time with four different NFL squads, but as an undrafted free agent, his prospects are not promising.
Another offensive guard, David Yankey of the Carolina Panthers has not gotten on the ground since the first week of preseason and if he does not get some snaps against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he may be one of those looking for new opportunities.