The games in the NFL may stop for a while, but the business never does.
Here we are, just days removed from Super Bowl XLVII, and organizations (hopefully) are already back to work. Teams have about a month to get under the cap and as such, before franchise tags are doled out rosters must be restructured and players must be released.
We've already seen the Detroit Lions rid themselves of polarizing wide receiver Titus Young and the New York Giants surprisingly release Ahmad Bradshaw, but many more big names could just as easily be on the way out.
Let's take a look at the latest buzz.
Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers
I called Titus Young polarizing, but that might make Finley polarizingly polarizing.
And according to sources (via CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora), the Packers could be done putting up with the young tight end:
At some point Aaron Rodgers is going to get a contract in line with how exceptional he is. Finley has proven to be a controversial figure and this team finds pass-catchers in all regions of the draft. League sources expect Finley to be elsewhere.
The 25-year-old has always had an unreal combination of size, speed and athleticism. He was supposed to be another chapter in the new breed of tight ends: a pass-catching juggernaut who was really a wide receiver in a tight end's body.
He's shown flashes of that brilliance. In 2009, he pulled in 55 of his 71 targets for 676 yards and five scores. In 2011, 55 more catches for 767 yards and eight touchdowns. This season, he recorded a career-high 61 receptions.
But the former Texas stud has been riddled with inconsistency (despite the career high in catches, he tallied a career-low yards-per-reception mark and scored just twice), banana hands (he was second in the NFL among tight ends with seven drops) and the propensity to disappear from games.
While Finley ended the 2012-13 season on an encouraging note, Aaron Rodgers can get production out of anyone, and the often-criticized tight end may not be worth the money.
New York Jets' Linebackers
We knew the Jets' roster was a complete mess when it was reported last month that they would explore trading lock-down cornerback Darrelle Revis—they are obviously willing to do anything to clear up space.
They even cut two of their most productive linebackers, Bart Scott and Calvin Pace (via ESPN's Rich Cimini):
Rich Cimini @RichCimini
When #Jets get around to making cuts, it'll be major salary dump. Calvin Pace, Bart Scott, Jason Smith, Eric Smith will save $30.8M on cap.2/6/2013, 9:26:57 PM
According to La Canfora—who says sources believe both Scott and Pace will be released but New York will make a strong push to restructure the latter's contract—the two linebackers have a combined base salary of nearly $13 million.
The pair of 32-year-olds combined for 70 individual tackles, 5.5 sacks, an interception and two fumble recoveries in 2012, but Scott just underwent toe surgery and Pace struggled to consistently get pressure on the quarterback.
There just aren't many other options here for the Jets, who badly need to save money and get younger.
Carson Palmer, QB, Oakland Raiders
In your unsurprising news of the day, sources believe that there is "no way" Oakland will pay the 33-year-old QB the $13 million base salary he is set to earn in 2013 (via CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora).
That being said, the veteran QB didn't have as bad of a year as his critics would have you believe.
He threw for 4,018 yards, and while that was partly a product of his staggering 565 pass attempts, a 7.1 yards-per-attempt average is nothing to dismiss. He also tossed for 22 touchdowns to just 14 interceptions and compiled a 85.3 QB rating, which was his best mark since 2007.
Nevertheless, Palmer is on a gargantuan contract through 2016 (the last two seasons are voidable) and it's clear the Raiders are trying to get younger at the position, whether it be with Terrelle Pryor or a future draftee.
If Palmer doesn't take a large pay cut, don't be surprised if Oakland says "child, please."
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