I refer to the NFL's offseason as the "business season", and it's a very appropriate moniker, as now is the time many realize how much of a business the league actually is during the offseason.
In the business season, loyalty doesn't matter. Tenure doesn't matter. How much a player has contributed to a team's success doesn't matter. All that matters is what's good for business, and that means tough decisions have to and will be made.
Over the next few months, players will be released in shocking fashion. Fans will wonder how it's possible that their favorite team could part with an impact player.
The answer, of course, is money.
It all comes down to dollars and cents and navigating the salary cap. Overpriced veterans will be shown the door in favor of younger and cheaper labor. It happens each and every year.
In this column, I predict eight players who could end up being surprising releases this offseason, and explain the reasons why for each.
Don't be stunned if these players are in fact released, and it's likely that many more will join them.
In this period of the NFL calendar, that's just business as usual.
(All salary cap information courtesy of Spotrac.com)