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Big-Name Players Fear Salary Cap Casualty Fate


hjerry
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No roster spots are safe in the NFL, and as 2014 draws to a close, many are coming to the realization that they may have only a few more weeks as active players on their current teams.


Players who were considered important at the start of the season could be looked at as liabilities in 2015. Some will have their spots protected by salary guarantees and/or excessive "dead money" charges. Others won't be so lucky and will get a call, informing them that their contract has been terminated.


Here's a look at some big-name players who may find themselves joining the free agent frenzy in March.



Larry Fitzgerald


Nobody has done a better job maximizing his earning potential than Fitzgerald, but the time likely has come for the Cardinals' future Hall of Famer to either accept a massive pay cut or be released. Fitzgerald is set to earn $16.25 million, which is about $4 million more than Arizona's next highest-paid receiver. He will miss the 1,000-yard mark for the third time in three years, making his true worth significantly less than his salary. Fitzgerald carries a $23.5 million salary cap charge in 2015, and releasing him would save Arizona $9.2 million in cap room.



Andre Johnson


Johnson is arguably the best wide receiver of his generation, but he's now 33 years old and averaging a career-low 10.7 yards per reception. He held out in the offseason to obtain either a contract extension or a trade, realizing he would likely be cut after 2014 due to his $11.5 million salary and $16.14 million salary cap charge. The Texans forced Johnson to honor his contract, and now he's likely to be released with 31 other teams questioning how much is left in the tank.



Adrian Peterson


Peterson remains suspended, but the NFL can only hold off his reinstatement for so long. When Peterson returns he brings a $15.4 million salary cap figure, tops at the position. He has indicated it may be time for a new start, and if the Vikings want to keep him they'll have to pay that salary. Minnesota should take the $13 million in cap savings and move on.



Sam Bradford


Bradford has landed on injured reserve for the last two seasons, and it should be a given that his $16.85 million cap charge will never happen. Bradford’s fate likely hinges on the Rams' risk tolerance. If they don’t have it, they'll save $12.985 million in both cash and cap.



Tamba Hali


288323-330-0.jpgAndre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Peterson (Getty Images)

Kansas City’s 2015 salary cap will be difficult to navigate at it attempts to retain Justin Houston. One way to alleviate that problem is to release Hali and his $11.96 million cap number. Barring an explosive finish to the season, Hali will finish with his lowest sack total since 2008. If you are in need of cap room and the release of a 32-year-old player will save you $9 million, that player will have a hard time staying on the team.



Marques Colston


No team in the NFL has a worse salary cap situation than the 2015 Saints, who will be about $20 million over. Colston has had a great run in New Orleans, but he's one of the more likely players to be released — he gives the Saints $4.3 million in cap savings that they desperately need.



Jake Long


The former No. 1 overall pick has been snakebit with injuries and has landed on injured reserve in each of the last four seasons. The Rams designed his contract so he could be released by the third year. Considering his struggles with injuries, the Rams should release Long to save $8 million in cap room and $9.25 million in cash.



Ahmad Brooks


Things fell apart this year in San Francisco, and now the 49ers will begin clearing out high-priced veterans. Brooks was benched at one point this season and has seen his playing time reduced, anyway. His $9.65 million cap hit is the third highest on the team, and releasing Brooks would save the 49ers $4.1 million.



Jahri Evans


Evans will be the NFL's highest paid guard in 2015 with an $11 million cap charge. But he hasn't had a good season, allowing the most pressures of anybody at the position. The Saints' salary cap issues might indicate the end of the line for Evans in New Orleans. His release would save the team $6 million in cap room.



Dannell Ellerbe


​The Dolphins made Ellerbe a top 15-paid inside linebacker when they signed him to a $35 million contract in 2013. Ellerbe was so ineffective, though, that Miami wanted to move him to the outside in 2014 ... but he ended up injured before the transition could occur. Ellerbe's cash salary is higher than that of any other inside linebacker in 2015. His cap charge is $9.85M and the Dolphins could save $5.65M by cutting him.


http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2014-12-17/nfl-salary-cap-casualties-2015-larry-fitzgerald-andre-johnson-adrian-peterson-sam-bradford-tamba-hali-free-agency-details


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AP if his price tag isn't too much. With his freak of athleticism he won't be a guy who slows down significantly because he is 30. He probably has 3 solid years left in him. Just my opinion.

Wouldn't mind adding Jahri Evans either. You add Jahri Evans and AP to this team then your run game just improved significantly, but that basically eats up a large portion of your cap as well. Then again, we are in great cap shape with carrying over 7m from this past offseason and the projected cap increase and players we can let go. The Julio deal is obviously will come in to play.

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a lot of no thanks guys on that list, but man...AP would look great in red and black...I know, I know, we need to stop signing vet RB's...but AP tho..would you 8 man box it to stop him or stop Julio+Co?

I agree, Let TD do the thing he does better than anybody else and the best thing he dose to contribute to this team.. Draft the best players available.. Say what you will about my man TD. But he knows how to draft and pick up the best FAs.

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AP if his price tag isn't too much. With his freak of athleticism he won't be a guy who slows down significantly because he is 30. He probably has 3 solid years left in him. Just my opinion.

Wouldn't mind adding Jahri Evans either. You add Jahri Evans and AP to this team then your run game just improved significantly, but that basically eats up a large portion of your cap as well. Then again, we are in great cap shape with carrying over 7m from this past offseason and the projected cap increase and players we can let go. The Julio deal is obviously will come in to play.

If we get AP and Jahri Evans we can go back to back pass rusher in the draft, no questions asked. BUT, we need to keep in mind rookie pass rushers don't always make an impact their first year, so I still think we need a vet in that room. I'd rather get a vet pass rusher over a vet guard as we stand.

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No team in the NFL has a worse salary cap situation than the 2015 Saints, who will be about $20 million over.

post-1-0-13801300-1401911450.jpg

I know Loomis does a good job down there with the money management, but it looks like he may be in over his head now.

Edited by cnastyy
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If we get AP and Jahri Evans we can go back to back pass rusher in the draft, no questions asked. BUT, we need to keep in mind rookie pass rushers don't always make an impact their first year, so I still think we need a vet in that room. I'd rather get a vet pass rusher over a vet guard as we stand.

I agree. Would rather take a pass rusher 1st and also get one in FA over a guard. Its not like Blalock was terrible.

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AP if his price tag isn't too much. With his freak of athleticism he won't be a guy who slows down significantly because he is 30. He probably has 3 solid years left in him. Just my opinion.

Wouldn't mind adding Jahri Evans either. You add Jahri Evans and AP to this team then your run game just improved significantly, but that basically eats up a large portion of your cap as well. Then again, we are in great cap shape with carrying over 7m from this past offseason and the projected cap increase and players we can let go. The Julio deal is obviously will come in to play.

I have some questions about Evans though. Despite being named to the probowl again this year, I've been hearing that he's been pretty bad this year.

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I have some questions about Evans though. Despite being named to the probowl again this year, I've been hearing that he's been pretty bad this year.

half the O-linemen that made it have been ?? for their own fan bases. Its kind of sad, a lot of them get to the Probowl on name alone and not merits.

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