You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Mixed day for Aussies on NFL cut day

AAP logoAAP 3/09/2016 Peter Mitchell

It was a mixed day for Australians in the NFL, with offensive lineman David Yankey cut by the Carolina Panthers and defensive end Adam Gotsis making the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.

The Panthers announced on Saturday they had released Yankey, a 198cm tall, 141kg Sydney-born guard.

It came just days after the San Francisco 49ers cut another Australian offensive lineman, Blake Muir.

NFL teams had to reduce their squads from 75 to 53 on Saturday, ahead of Thursday's opening of the regular season.

Yankey's release spoils an Aussie against Aussie match-up in Thursday's Super Bowl repeat to start the season between Gotsis' champion Broncos against the runner-up Panthers.

Australia will still be well represented in the NFL this season with Gotsis and punters Brad Wing (New York Giants), Jordan Berry (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Lachlan Edwards (New York Jets).

Gotsis, a 195cm tall, 127kg rookie defensive end, is a rising star in the NFL, surviving Saturday's cuts to cement a place in the Broncos, who were ranked the No.1 defensive team in the NFL last year.

Another Panther player cut on Saturday and well known to Australian sports fans was Eric Wallace, an American who made the jump from US college basketball to the AFL in 2012, where he was signed by North Melbourne.

Wallace was attempting to make the Panthers as a tight end.

Yankey was a two-time All-American selection during his four-year stint with Stanford University, but struggled after being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2014 and waived by the team ahead of the 2015 season.

The Panthers signed Yankey to a futures contract in January, but he faced a tough task to make the team as cutting the Australian did not cost the team money and eat into their salary cap compared to other contracted players.

A year ago Australia's main focus at the 53-man roster deadline was NRL convert Jarryd Hayne, who made the 49ers.

Hayne, who quit the 49ers in the off season in a failed attempt to make the Fiji rugby sevens Olympic team before returning to the NRL with the Gold Coast Titans, may have made the NFL team again.

Hayne's biggest rival at the 49ers for punt and kick return, Bruce Ellington, was ruled out for the season earlier this week with a torn hamstring.

In the off season Australia had 10 potential NFL players, but Hayne defected and Yankey, Muir, punter Tom Hackett (New York Jets), kicker Brad Craddock (Cleveland Browns) and former AFL player and cornerback hopeful Joel Wilkinson (Arizona Cardinals) were cut.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon