“The annual league players churn here again, and some top players will not be so lucky.”
Many national football league teams will be adjusting contracts and releasing players to clear up as much salary cap space as possible in the time before the new league year arrives. As a result, the free-agent market will see additional talent. Here are six of the big names that could most likely be released leading up to the start of free agency.
Some of the players that could be released and why;
- Cleveland Browns Defensive end Oliver Vernon. The browns NFL hoped that with Oliver in play, the team could show more consistent health and production even though they knew they were getting a bad contract. Well, it was not so. Defensive end Oliver Vernon made an appearance in 10 games last season, with a record of 26 tackles and a three and a half sacks, which was not so great and nothing to write home about. Vernon has $15.25 million on his head in 2020, but the Browns could still cut him loose regardless. But a more likely scenario is that they try to unload him on a contender looking for a hope-and-prayer pass -rusher, but if it fails, he can be cut off as soon as possible.
- Jacksonville Jaguars NFL cornerback AJ Bouye. Bouye was, without doubt, one of the best emerging cornerbacks in the league when he got signed, but over the past seasons, he has seen a sharp decline in his production, which was capped off in 2019 with 58.4 pro football focus score, following 52 receptions on 80 targets. Currently, he was two years and almost $31 remaining on that deal. Bouye would have to account for a dead cap hit of $4 million in 2020 if released. But it seems much less serious in comparison to the nearly $11.5 million in cap savings the Jacksonville Jaguars would receive if they cut their losses. Ultimately, expect the Jaguars to attempt to swing a trade before releasing Bouye outright — assuming they find no takers, of course.
- New York Giants inside linebacker Alec Ogletree. In 2018, the New York Giants sent two draft picks to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Ogletree when they needed a linebacker and a defense leader desperately, however, he did not perform as they had expected, he made a good defense leader, but his on-field play was not so good. His run defense was lowered, and he struggled in coverage. Now nearing 30 and with projected cap hits of $11.75 million and $10.75 million over the next two seasons, it seems inevitable that the Giants let Ogletree go and reinvest the savings elsewhere. Parting ways with Ogletree would leave the Giants with a $3.5 million dead cap hit, but the savings would be in favor of the team substantially, according to Yardbarker statistics.
- Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Andy Dalton. Andy Dalton has only one year remaining on his contract with the Cincinnati Bengals and will count for $17.7 million against the cap in 2020 if he is retained, and that’s not on the list of options for Cincinnati. And with none of that salary guaranteed, Dalton’s release almost seems inevitable unless a team is unexpectedly willing to take on his payroll. That seems very unlikely, so the team ready to take Louisiana State University’s Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall is more likely to part ways with their starter of the last nine years.
- New Orleans Saints cornerback Janoris Jenkins. It would come as no surprise at all that the saints would want to part ways with Jenkins this year, but he is making so much at the moment, $11.25 million in 2020. The Saints have an out, however, as long as Jenkins does not have any guaranteed money on his deal and, his dead cap hit would be a huge zero. Rather than release Jenkins outright, it would seem somewhat reasonable that the Saints request he takes a pay cut, and If he agrees, then the problem goes away. But Jenkins has, from the onset, bet on himself, so he may balk at such a request and instead opt to be released and test free agency. According to Yardbarker.
- And finally Tennessee Titans’ tight end Delanie Walker, who not too long ago was one of the league’s best tight ends. But after a few injuries sustained, its no longer the case. And the Titans have an exciting tight end prospect in Jonnu Smith ahead of him on the depth chart. Unless Walker concedes to a pay cut, his days with the Tennessee Titans are likely numbered.