Former Badgers With The Most At Stake During NFL Training Camp

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Jared Abbrederis hauls in a catch on the opening day of Green Bay Packers training camp Saturday, July 26. Jim Oxley photo

This year, there are 32 former Wisconsin Badgers on NFL Training Camp rosters.

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Some of them are there with only one purpose: Not getting hurt. The Texans aren’t going to bench J.J Watt for not getting enough pre-season sacks. The Seahawks sure aren’t going to cut Russell Wilson for throwing a few training camp interceptions. And something tells me that Joe Thomas, who hasn’t missed a snap in his 8-season pro-bowl career, isn’t going to be relegated to the bench by the Browns. Although you never know what that mess of a franchise will do.

Another large group of the former Badgers in the NFL aren’t quite the stars as those first three, but they still are going to be sleeping easy at night. Deandre Levy, Nicholas Hayden and Travis Frederick, among others, have pretty secure starting jobs.

Aug 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots running back James White (28) against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Scott Tolzien (Packers) and Chris Maragos (Eagles) aren’t going to be starters any time soon, but their roster spots are safe. Owen Daniels was just signed to a hefty new deal with Denver, so he also has nothing to fret.

Unfortunately, many of the former Badgers don’t have the luxury of job security. In fact, for some of these players, this year’s training camp can make or break their careers. Former Badger standout Jared Abbrederis has an uphill battle to make the Packer’s roster. Wide receiver Nick Toon has a chance to earn significant snaps for the first time in his pro career, in his contract year no less.

Former Heisman candidate Montee Ball has a good chance to win the Broncos starting running back job. But unfortunately, he has an equally good chance of getting cut altogether. His ex-sidekick, James White,  has a massive position battle of his own.

For these former Badgers, training camp is essential. A good performance could lead to glory, stardom, and money. A bad performance could send them searching for a new team, or riding the pine.

Next: Abbrederis