ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – During the NFL offseason, there are roughly 2,880 players fighting for a roster spot. Following the pre-season, that number drops to 1,696. All NFL teams were required to trim down their rosters on Tuesday, and among the cuts were four New Mexican players — Zach Gentry, Jordan Byrd, Keshawn Banks and Grant Hermanns.
Gentry, a former Eldorado Eagle, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a tight end in the 5th round (141 overall) in 2019. He remained in Pittsburgh for each of his first four seasons in the league and racked up 39 receptions for 303 yards. He was also the recipient of Ben Roethlisberger’s last career pass in 2021-22. As a four-year veteran, he is now free to sign with any team.
Byrd, a former Manzano Monarch, joined the Pittsburgh Steelers immediately following the NFL draft as an undrafted free agent in May. A quarterback in high school and running back in college, Byrd made the transition to wide receiver in Pittsburgh and also competed for a job as a return specialist. As a rookie, he is now subject to waivers. If unclaimed, he is free to sign with any team.
Story continues below:
- Community: What’s happening around New Mexico September 22 – September 28
- Education: APS explains decision behind no snow days policy
- Crime: Two suspects arrested in 11-year-old’s fatal shooting outside Isotopes Park
- New Mexico: New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approves $115 in credits to PNM customers
Banks, a former Rio Rancho Ram, joined the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent this off-season. During the Packers’ three preseason games this month, Banks recorded a total of five tackles at linebacker.
On Wednesday Banks returned to the Packers as a member of the practice squad.
Hermanns, a former Rio Rancho Ram, joined the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2021. The offensive tackle also spent time with the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While all three players did not make the initial 53-man roster for their respective teams, that does not mean they will necessarily sit out this season. NFL rosters are fluid and more changes are expected in the coming days. All three players are also eligible to sign on any team’s practice squad.
Another notable New Mexico connection from Tuesday’s roster transactions around the NFL includes former UNM safety Jerrick Reed. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 6th round (198 overall) in the 2023 draft and was announced on the team’s initial 53-man roster.