Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Possible Cap Casualties - AFC East Edition

By Justin Worsley

One of the more exciting thing about NFL salaries is that player contracts are not fully guaranteed, allowing teams to rid themselves of poor decisions earlier than the initial contract ends, Teams like the Eagles (Nnamdi Asomugha), Redskins (Donovan McNabb) and Jets (Jason Smith) have released high end signings or trades over the past few seasons and below are several options teams will explore to open up cap room in 2014.

The 2014 salary cap is projected at $126.3 million.

AFC East:

Buffalo Bills

2014 Projected Salary Cap: $114.8 Million
Projected released players:

Kevin Kolb (Team saves $3.1 million)

Kolb suffered a severe concussion in the preseason and it was rumored that it would be career-ending.  While, Kolb refuted the severity of the injury, Buffalo has moved on without him and could seek salary relief by releasing him.

Fred Jackson ($2.7 million)

Jackson was healthy for the first time since 2010 last year, but he is on the decline and could be expendable if the Bills bring in a younger, cheaper option through the NFL draft.

Miami Dolphins
2014 Projected Salary Cap: $106.5 Million
Projected released players:

Matt Moore ($4 million)

With Ryan Tannehill clearly taking over as the team's franchise quarterback, Miami could look for a cheaper alternative at backup quarterback.

Dimitri Patterson ($5.4 million)

Patterson's age (30) and the fact that he has only played 15 games over the past two seasons  will likely force the Dolphins to release him.  Patterson has only played one full season in his career.

New England Patriots
2014 Projected Salary Cap: $116.6 Million
Projected released players:

Vince Wilfork ($8 million)

Head coach Bill Belichick is a big fan of Wilfork, so he may talk the defensive tackle into restructuring, but I can't see New England allowing a 32-year-old coming off of an Achilles injury to return with that big of a cap number.

Adrian Wilson ($1.2 million)

Wilson was place on injured reserve last August for an Achilles injury and turned 34 during the season.  His best days are behind him and New England will likely look to move on from him.

New York Jets
2014 Projected Salary Cap: $110 Million
Projected released players:

Santonio Holmes ($8.3 million)

Holmes has only played one full season in four years with the Jets and was just awful last season in 11 games, only recording 23 receptions and one touchdown.  The Jets will move on from Holmes in the offseason.

Mark Sanchez ($8.3 million)

Last year, the rumor mill had Mark Sanchez getting the axe, an ill-advised move as cutting him last year would have cost the cap-strapped Jets $4 million, after waiting a season, they are now able to release him and get $8.3 million returned to them.  The second Sanchez was placed on injured reserve in August, it was apparent that the team was moving on without him.

Antonio Cromartie ($9.5 million)

Cromartie has already told the media that he thinks he will be released.  Last season, Cromartie had arguably the worst year of his career and was ranked 103 out of 110 cornerbacks according to Pro Football Focus, which ranked him 16th last year.

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