INDIANAPOLIS — Labor Day Weekend regularly serves as the unofficial start of the NFL season, and the week before is typically when teams are forced to make cuts to trim their roster down to 53 players.
While many of these players ultimately end up on practice squads, it's a sad day in the industry as many see their professional dreams come to an end.
Most of the moves made across the league are predictable, but every season there are a handful of moves made, or not made, that make headlines.
Locked on NFL Scouting hosts Kyle Crabbs and Joe Marino broke down some of the biggest head scratchers of the last few days on a recent episode of the podcast.
Five of those moves are highlighted here. For more, check out the episode.
1. Colts do not trade Jonathan Taylor
The Colts did not find a trade package to their liking, instead deciding to keep 24-year-old running back Jonathan Taylor while placing him on the PUP list - which will keep him out for at least the first four weeks of the 2023 NFL season. The team will have until October 31 to trade him before he becomes a free agent next offseason, assuming an extension is not reached.
2. Patriots cut quarterbacks Bailey Zappe and Malik Cunningham
Both quarterbacks already returned to New England on the team's practice squad, but exposing Zappe - a fourth round pick by the team in 2022 - to waivers proves how confident coach Bill Belichick is in in the team's presumed starter, and only quarterback on the active roster, Mac Jones.
3. Texans cut cornerback Desmond King
King ran with Houston's first team defense during training camp and the preseason, but the ongoing youth movement meant the 28-year-old was expendable even as a former All-Pro performer. King was quickly scooped up by Pittsburgh and should contribute as a situational corner and core special teamer.
4. Cleveland cut wide receiver Anthony Schwartz
Schwartz has not panned out the way Browns fans hoped he would when the team made him a third round pick in the 2021 NFL draft, but it was still a surprise to see the team move on so early into his career. At 22 years old and with speed to burn, whoever signs Schwartz will get a change of scenery candidate who could find plenty of success going forward.
5. Bears cut quarterback P.J. Walker
On paper Walker seemed like a great backup to Justin Fields in Chicago, and considering he is owed over $2M in guaranteed money it makes his release all the more surprising. The former XFL star latched onto the practice squad in Cleveland and could play his way back into a backup role in the near future.