by Andrew Cohen
Release season is officially upon us. In the past couple of weeks, teams have begun cutting players in preparation for the 2014 season. In some cases these moves are made out of necessity (all teams must be under the cap by the start of the league year on March 11th). In other cases, teams are simply making smart football decisions in order to create cap space before the start of free agency (which also begins on March 11th). In the next two weeks, many more guys will be cut loose. Below, I break down who will be the next to go…
AS GOOD AS GONE
Name Team 2014 Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Mark Sanchez NYJ $13,100,000 $4,800,000 $8,300,000 Antonio Cromartie NYJ $14,980,000 $5,480,000 $9,500,000 Santonio Holmes NYJ $10,750,000 $2,500,000 $8,250,000 Julius Peppers CHI $18,183,333 $8,366,668 $9,816,665 Miles Austin DAL $8,249,400 $7,855,600 $393,800
While it’s possible that a player on this list ends up playing for their listed team at the start of 2014, it’s virtually impossible that any of them will be doing so under their current cap number. And I’m not talking about a simple restructure—these guys will all be cut unless they’re willing to take a pay cut (if they’re even given that option).Note: Notice that Miles Austin will only generate $393,800 in cap savings. But due to Dallas’ awful cap situation and Austin’s lack of production the past few seasons, he’s still a virtual lock to be cut. The Cowboys will likely designate him as a June 1st cut, and his increased cap savings will be used to help Dallas sign their rookie class.
Name Team 2014 Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Matt Schaub HOU $14,125,000 $10,500,000 $3,625,000 Chris Johnson TEN $10,000,000 $4,000,000 $6,000,000 DeMarcus Ware DAL $16,007,503 $8,571,500 $7,432,250 Levi Brown PIT $6,250,000 $0 $6,250,000 Carlos Rogers SF $8,094,531 $2,989,063 $5,105,468 Jason Avant PHI $3,960,000 $710,000 $3,250,000 Dimitri Patterson MIA $5,400,000 $0 $5,400,000 Kevin Kolb BUF $3,600,000 $500,000 $3,100,000 Adam Carriker WAS $6,510,416 $3,520,834 $2,989,582 Chris Clemons SEA $9,666,668 $2,166,668 $7,500,000 Zach Miller SEA $7,000,000 $2,000,000 $5,000,000 Osi Umenyiora ATL $4,750,000 $1,250,000 $3,500,000 Cortland Finnegan STL $10,000,000 $6,000,000 $4,000,000 Chris Snee NYG $11,300,000 $4,500,000 $6,800,000
Most guys on this list (and possibly even all of them) will be with a new team at the start of 2014. Some of them (like Chris Snee & DeMarcus Ware) may agree to pay cuts in order to stay with their respective teams. But in each of case here, it’s highly unlikely that a player will play the 2014 season under his current cap number.Note: I listed Matt Schaub here as opposed to the first section because of the catastrophic dead money hit he’d cost Houston. However, they’ll almost certainly cut him loose (probably with a June 1st designation).
50/50 (OR BETTER)
Name Team 2014 Cap Number Dead Money Cap Savings Troy Polamalu PIT $10,887,500 $2,637,500 $8,250,000 Heath Miller PIT $9,466,500 $3,446,500 $6,020,000 Earl Bennett CHI $2,450,000 $0 $2,450,000 Letroy Guion MIN $4,300,000 $300,000 $4,000,000 DeMeco Ryans PHI $6,900,000 $0 $6,900,000 Brent Celek PHI $4,075,000 $0 $4,075,000 Tramon Williams GB $9,500,000 $2,000,000 $7,500,000 Eddie Royal SD $6,000,000 $1,500,000 $4,500,000
With these guys, it’s at least a possibility that they’ll play with their current teams under their current 2014 cap number. But given the cap situation of each player/teams listed here, cutting the guys on this list or renegotiating their deals would be the smart move.Andrew Cohen @ajcohen03 firstname.lastname@example.org