Inside linebacker Danny Trevathan remembers his first cut day six years ago with the Broncos.
He was an uncomfortable rookie sixth-round pick.
“Nobody told me, ‘You’re all right,’ ’’ he said.
He saw his teammates get picked off by a staffer — “The Grim Reaper,” he said — who sent them down the hallway to be cut.
“It’s never a nice day,” Trevathan said. “It’s never an exciting day.”
This season, the most brutal part of the NFL is being condensed into one big bloodbath.
New rules allow teams to carry up to 90 players until Saturday, then cut all the way down to 53.
In recent years, teams had to cut down to 75 players before the last preseason game. Bears coach John Fox likes the rule because it gives teams a chance for “a little bit longer evaluation with more guys.’’ The rule change was made in May to give those 15 players on each team — 480 overall — an extra week to try to make the team.
The resulting final cut will be a flood.
Theoretically, if all 32 teams cut from the full 90 roster to 53 players, they’ll put 1,184 players out of a job — enough to field another 23 full teams — before filling up their practice squads.
The Bears already have begun making cuts — they axed two players Tuesday — but the majority of the damage will be done between the end of the exhibition finale Thursday night and the 3 p.m. deadline Saturday.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz had one word for Saturday: “Hectic.”
“I’m used to the gradual process, but when you start to see all these names flying around when that day comes, it’s going to be a little different than what you’re used to,” Cruz said. “It’s a day we all hate because you become friends and brothers with so many guys on this team, and [you] know that some of them might not be here when it’s time to go.”
Trevathan will try to boost the spirits of those who get the ax.
“I’ve seen guys who didn’t make it here make it somewhere else and play well,” he said.
Wide receiver Kevin White already is bracing himself for when he has to say goodbye to friends.
“It’s going to be tough,” White said. “This is a really tight group, very close-knit. Hopefully, I don’t get emotional. It’s just a part of the business that I don’t like. I’m sure everyone doesn’t like it.”
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