- John Clayton, NFL senior writer
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With NFL teams collectively needing to make more than 700 roster moves to get to the 53-man limit Saturday, the action in front offices was fast and furious.
The Patriots surprised everyone by keeping defensive end Richard Seymour on the physically unable to perform list, knocking him out for the first six weeks of the regular season. And, unable to pull a quick trade, the Jaguars terminated the contract of quarterback Byron Leftwich.
Here's are some of the highlights and trends from Cutdown 2007.
• A few more draft choices were released than usual. A total of 49 picks have been cut since the start of training camp in July. (In 2006, 40 draft choices were cut, 37 were cut in 2005 and 45 were released in 2004.) The surprises this year were the first-day cuts. The Cardinals cut third-round middle linebacker Buster Davis. Raiders third-rounder Quentin Moses, a defensive end, was released even though he had a partial guarantee to his contract. The Steelers cut fourth-rounder Ryan McBean, a defensive end. The Saints whacked fourth-rounder Antonio Pittman, a running back from Ohio State.
• Don't be surprised if multiple teams put in waiver claims on Pittman. He looked pretty good in New Orleans' early preseason game, and a team such as Indianapolis could scoop him up, although it's likely a team with a higher claiming priority could get him. You have to wonder why the Saints drafted Pittman because they have Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister. Pittman wasn't able to unseat veteran Aaron Stecker as a No. 3 and the surprise of camp, undrafted Pierre Thomas, made it over Pittman.
• The Patriots apparently didn't like this draft. Only two choices -- safety Brandon Meriweather and defensive end Kareem Brown -- made the 53-man roster. The Patriots cut four second-day choices and placed two more on injured reserve; another was waived because of injury. From the start of camp, teams were hearing the Patriots weren't going to keep many of their second-day selections. For them, it's wait until next year.
• One of the biggest stories of cutdown day was the decision by the Patriots to place Seymour on the PUP list. He's out six games, and safety Rodney Harrison will miss four games because of a league suspension. That's a tough blow to a team that has one of the toughest starts to the schedule. In the first six games, the Patriots face the equivalent of four playoff teams -- the Jets, San Diego, Cincinnati and Dallas. With that schedule, it might be hard to get off to a 4-2 start without Seymour for six games and Harrison for four.
• The Ravens aren't tipping their hand whether they are going to make a move for Leftwich. His agent, Tom Condon, had some conversations with the Falcons, but Atlanta has only moderate interest. The Ravens wanted to draft him five years ago, but they have some reservations about upsetting the chemistry at quarterback. Steve McNair is clearly the starter. Even though Baltimore doesn't plan to re-sign Kyle Boller next year, the Ravens like what they see in him as a backup for now. Still, don't discount the chances of Boller's being re-signed. The team definitely will be interested in him during the offseason.
• You have to wonder what's going on with the Broncos on the defensive side of the ball. They cut Jimmy Kennedy, whom they acquired in a trade with the Rams. They had hoped Kennedy was going to be a starter, and they cleared the path for him to make the roster by releasing Gerard Warren. With Kennedy gone, the Broncos are picking up talks with defensive end Simeon Rice, who is also under consideration in St. Louis.
• The Raiders didn't want to wait for safety Donovin Darius to get healthy, so they cut him. They thought Darius would be a good run-stopper and fit in well when they used a three-safety package against the tight-end-heavy Chargers and Chiefs. Darius never seemed to shake his injuries, so the Raiders moved on.
• It was a little surprising that Rams quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ended up with the Bengals and not the Lions. Mike Martz liked Fitzpatrick when he drafted him a couple of years ago. Plus, the Lions probably could have offered a better conditional seventh-round pick than the Bengals, who hope to be a playoff team. For the moment, Detroit has J.T. O'Sullivan and Dan Orlovsky as the backups to starting quarterback Jon Kitna.
• The Buccaneers kept four quarterbacks on their roster, showing they might want to keep Chris Simms away from the Falcons. For the moment, Simms is the fourth quarterback in Tampa Bay, but the team knows the Falcons probably would sign him if he got cut. With no trade in the works, it will be interesting to see whether the Bucs continue to keep Simms. They have the cap room to go with four quarterbacks, but the team has until Sunday to sort out its depth chart at QB.
• More and more teams continue the trend of having just two quarterbacks on the roster, saving a spot for other players. Fifteen teams kept just two QBs.
• The Steelers traded for cornerback Allen Rossum for help on their return game. Rossum has the ability to fill in at quarterback, as well. Pittsburgh had to give up only an '08 conditional seventh-round choice to Atlanta, so if the Steelers don't like what they see, they could cut Rossum before the end of the week and save the pick.
• The Seahawks were the most active team on the trade front, making two of the five. Seattle received value for safety Michael Boulware, a former second-round pick, by trading him to Houston for defensive end Jason Babin. The Seahawks can look at Babin as a fourth defensive end and maybe a pass-rusher. They also picked up running back Alvin Pearman from the overloaded backfield in Jacksonville. In making that trade, the Seahawks released third-string quarterback David Greene.
Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com.
John Clayton summarizes the highlights and trends from a fast and furious cutdown Saturday around the NFL.