After the draft, teams have a clearer picture of their needs and how the current players on their roster can fill those needs. Money becomes even tighter, giving teams more clarity about whether a player is truly worth their 2012 paycheck. Here's a look at four veterans who should be cut if teams are being honest about their value:
Chad Ochocinco, WR, New England: Ochocinco took a pay cut all the way down to one million dollars, but after the team signed Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch and Jabar Gaffney, he is unnecessary even at a discount. Ochocinco had plenty of chances to make a mark competing with less experienced wideouts last year and couldn't. He shouldn't make the opening weekend 53.
Donald Driver, WR, Green Bay: Driver can not possibly justify his 2.6 million dollar check and $1.5 million roster bonus before the season. Even if he takes a pay cut, he'll be nothing more than the fifth wide receiver because Randall Cobb needs to get on the field more for this offense. If Driver is kept out of deference, he'll either languish on the bench or take snaps away from more dynamic players. The Packers should follow the Steelers' lead and cut their legendary but past-his-prime wide receiver.
Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta: What can Turner give the Falcons in exchange for a five million dollar salary? Jason Snelling was re-signed, and he has already shown that he is solid between the tackles. Jacquizz Rodgers is ready to take on more of the workload in the backfield. Turner is the kind of back who needs a lot of work to be effective, but I'm not sure it's wise for the team to give him a feature back load after he wore down last year.
Every year, we see good running backs stay on the street until well in the season, so Turner is replaceable. The only question is whether loyalty will keep the Falcons from acknowledging that.
Larry English, OLB, San Diego: The Chargers righted the wrong of taking English in the first back in 2009 by drafting OLB Melvin Ingram No. 18 overall this year. Now it's time to finish the job and let English go. With Ingram, free-agent signing Jarret Johnson, stalwart starter Shaun Phillips and pass-rush specialist Antwan Barnes on the roster, English is not needed.
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