The NFL salary cap is top of mind for every NFL organization this offseason. These 25 veteran players could be cut as their teams look to save cap space.
Alonso tore his ACL for the third time, in the Saints playoff loss. The veteran linebacker was already a strong cut candidate entering the final season of his contract with a cap hit of nearly $8.7 million in 2020. He's also entering his age 30 season.
The Bears defense regressed somewhat last season, and part of that regression was the play of their secondary, including Amukamara. He managed to start 15 games in his age 30 season, but his play tailed off slightly. With a cap hit of $10 million in the last year of his contract, Chicago can save $9 million against the cap.
Barron saw regular snaps in his first season with Pittsburgh, but he's set to see a significant raise in the second and final year on his contract. At age 30, Barron's cap hit will be over $8 million and count more than $5 million against the cap, likely too much for the Steelers to stomach.
New England has enjoyed Burkhead's versatility since he joined the team, but the oft-injured running back also has been used sparingly. The Pats have plenty of depth in their backfield without him, so they'll likely consider moving on from Burkhead's salary, which counts nearly $3 million against the cap.
With the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, the Bengals seem destined to take LSU star and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. That would likely result in the end of Dalton's career with the team after nine seasons. Dalton's cap hit in the final year of his contract is $17.7 million.
Still a capable run stuffer, Dareus played only six games last season due to injury. He has a massive cap hit of more than $22 million in 2020 and almost all of that money counts against the cap, which should make it an easy decision for Jacksonville to either cut or renegotiate his contract.
The Jets rightfully want to surround Sam Darnold with as many weapons as possible, and No. 1 wideout Robby Anderson is a free agent. Still, the injury-plagued Enunwa missed all of 2017 and played only one game last year. He has three years remaining on his deal, and New York would save only $2.4 million against the cap next season. But that number goes up substantially in the last two years.
Denver effectively signed Flacco as a placeholder for Drew Lock last offseason, and the former Super Bowl MVP struggled before getting hurt. Now that Lock has taken the reins, Denver can save more than $10 million against the cap by cutting Flacco this offseason.
Freeman returned from an injury-shortened 2018 season but wasn't quite the same last year, averaging only 3.6 yards per carry. It's fair to ask if Freeman's early seasons have taken their toll. The Falcons don't have a clear replacement, but their $3.5 million in savings in 2020 would help a squad with major cap issues.
Cincinnati had made an effort to shore up their offensive line over the last two years, but Glenn has struggled to stay on the field. He played only six games last season, and his entire salary ($9.5 million) counts against the Bengals' cap if they keep him next year.
Graham's signing has been a disaster for the Packers now two years into a three-year, $30 million contract. The former Saints star had only 447 yards receiving and three scores last season, and Green Bay can save $8 million against the cap by cutting Graham.
Griffen has been an important part of Minnesota's defense for the last 10 season, and he was still productive in 2019 with eight sacks. Still, the Vikings cap situation isn't great, and the team can save more than $13 million against the cap by moving on from the 32-year-old sack-artist.
New Orleans added Jenkins off waivers from the Giants last season, and he played well down the stretch. It still remains to be seen if the Saints are willing to withstand a cap hit of more than $11 million in the final season of Jenkins' contract.
Houston traded a conditional fourth-round pick to Cleveland for Johnson's services prior to last season, but the team didn't utilize him very much, with only 127 touches in 2019. Johnson has two years remaining on his contract, but the Texans can save more than $4 million next season and more than $5 million in 2021 against the cap by moving on.
Just a few years ago Lee looked like a budding star, but injuries have made him an afterthought in Jacksonville. After missing all of 2018 and playing only six games last season, the Jags have reason to move on this offseason, which would save them more than $5 million against the cap.
Lewis had a timeshare with Derrick Henry in 2018 after signing a big contract, but he rarely saw the field last season, finishing with only 79 touches. He's heading into his age 30 season, and the Titans can save about $4 million by cutting him as they try to find funds to re-sign Henry and Ryan Tannehill, among others.
Regardless of whether the Panthers bring back Newton, it's clear they're an organization in transition with new head coach Matt Rhule. Newton missed most of 2019 with a foot injury and is going into the final year of his current contract. The Panthers can save more than $19 million against the cap if they opt to go in another direction and cut Newton.
Norman is potentially reuniting with former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera in Washington, but things might not work out that way. The cornerback has generally been regarded as a bust since earning a big contract from Washington, and the Skins can save more than $12 million against the cap in the final year of his contract if they cut Norman.
Reed has long history of concussions and didn't play a down in 2019. His football future is in doubt, so it would be a surprise if Washington didn't cut him to save $8.5 million in cap space.
Formerly one of the top corners in the NFL, Rhodes made his third Pro Bowl in 2019 but had a subpar season by his standards. While Rhodes has three years remaining on his contract, the cash-strapped Vikings can save more than $8 million in 2020 by releasing him.
Richardson is one of many free agent signings by Washington over the years who hasn't worked in their favor. The former Seahawk has three years remaining on his deal, but even a negligible cap savings of about $2.3 million in 2020 could be worthwhile after Richardson had only 28 catches for 245 yards in 10 games last season.
New England traded a second-round pick for Sanu at the trade deadline last season, but injuries limited the veteran wideout down the stretch. It would be somewhat of a surprise if the Pats move on after what they invested in the trade, but the team would also save $6.5 million against the cap in the final year of Sanu's contract if they did opt to go in another direction.
Is Walker at the end of the road? The veteran tight end missed nearly all of 2018 due to injury and played only seven games last season, with 215 yards receiving and two scores. Entering his age 36 season, cutting Walker would save Tennessee nearly $6.5 million in cap space.
Watkins was one of the Chiefs' playoff heroes, so they'd certainly like him back. However, the financials simply might not work, as the team has to find room to sign Patrick Mahomes and possibly Chris Jones long term. Cutting Watkins would save the Super Bowl Champs a whopping $14 million in cap space.
Wilson was brought to Miami for big money during the Adam Gase regime, but the speedy wideout has played a total of 20 games over the last two seasons. Wide receiver is one of the few positions where the Dolphins have depth, and they could save $9.5 million against the cap by cutting Wilson going into the final year of his contract.
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