It’s the arithmetic of the NFL: First you subtract, then you add. Tomorrow we’ll do the addition part. Today is about the minuses. And here, in alphabetical order, we go:
• Jamaal Anderson, defensive something-or-other: Time to pull the plug on this Rich McKay misfire. Anderson has been tried at end and tackle to no great effect. What’s left? Long snapper? Drafted eighth overall in 2007, he has 2 1/2 sacks in three seasons. That spells “bust” in any man’s league.
• Tyson Clabo, right tackle: The offensive line lost a heapin’ helpin’ of oomph this season, and Clabo has long been viewed as the weakest of the starting O-linemen. Conveniently enough, his contract is up. Conveniently enough, Thomas Dimitroff drafted Garrett Reynolds in Round 5 last season. He’ll get a long look at RT.
• Michael Jenkins, wide receiver: Another of McKay’s greatest whiffs. Drafted in Round 1 in 2004, Jenkins has never caught more than 53 passes in a season. He scored one touchdown in 2009. With Roddy White on the other flank and Tony Gonzalez commanding two defenders over the middle, Michael J. Pollard could have done better than that. Jenkins isn’t really a possession receiver and isn’t really a deep threat. He’s just a guy. Time to find a better guy.
• Stephen Nicholas, outside linebacker: His first season as a starter wasn’t terrible. Neither was it exceptional. (Three sacks, 80 tackles.) There will be free agents and draftees available who can do more.
• Jerious Norwood, running back: Three different coaching staffs haven’t yet figured a way to exploit Norwood’s talent. He has scored 10 touchdowns in four seasons; he scored one in 2009. (Yes, he was hurt. Still.) He averaged 3.3 yards a carry this season, which is terrible for a speed back. His longest run from scrimmage was 21 yards. When you’ve just completed your fourth NFL season and people are still talking about untapped potential, something’s wrong.