When the players and the owners soon come to an agreement on the new CBA, teams will have to spend at least ninety percent of their salary cap. Despite more teams being significantly under the cap, there will still be many roster cuts to take place for underachieving or just overpaid veterans. Here are some notable players that will likely be released, but look for many more veterans to be cut, beyond those listed here.
Jerry Jones Will Have More Work to Do
The Cowboys already have Miles Austin and Dez Bryant as their top two receivers to begin with, and it doesn't help that Williams has shown declining speed on top of declining skills. He's the oldest out of the three receivers and the highest paid. The price the Cowboys are paying him doesn't hurt as much as what they've already paid in draft picks (first, third, and sixth round selections). To make this move happen, the Cowboys need cap room. This won't be the first Roy Williams Dallas rids themselves of, and it may not be the last seeing how Jerry Jones spends money.
Newman, along with the entire secondary of the Cowboys, had a disappointing year in 2010. This move would definitely happen if Dallas is fortunate enough to bring in Nnamdi Asomugha. While Newman played better than Mike Jenkins, he didn't have a good enough year for the Cowboys to justify a pay increase for Newman, considering he's on an athletic decline at age 32.
While Barber is an aging running back, it shouldn't be this noticeable at age 28. His 3.3 yards per carry average represents his 2010 performance. It's even more painful to watch him run or jog. With Tashard Choice and Felix Jones on the team, the Cowboys won't miss Barber's performance. His cap number hurts more than his actual projected 2011 salary because his cap number is higher and the Cowboys need more flexibility.
Minnesota's 2008 free-agent acquisition from NFC North rival Chicago has seen his production decline significantly in his three seasons with the Vikings. The six year, $42 million contract isn't as bad as it seems because it was front loaded. It counts against the cap worse than what it is to pay Berrian. With the Vikings looking to sign Sidney Rice to a long term deal, Minnesota will not want that much money committed to Berrian.
Another Minnesota Viking, Williams signed for six years and $33 million. His production has not warranted that deal, as Williams's tenure with Minnesota has been plagued with injuries. There isn't a great amount of depth at the safety position for Minnesota and, for that reason, it will probably end up keeping Williams in 2011.
Twenty-four total tackles and zero sacks for a pass rusher drafted eleventh overall doesn't add up. Much of the money on his deal is already spent and the Bills need pass rushers. Maybin has played so poorly in his first two seasons that Buffalo may choose to cut him because his skill doesn't warrant a roster spot. Note to AFC East teams: Avoid taking Big-10 pass rushers early in the draft (see Gholston, Vernon).
It's a sure bet that the Ravens will not keep McGahee and his $6 million contract for next season with LeRon McClain as a free agent and Ray Rice with an upcoming pay day. The Ravens will miss his presence at the goal line if they are unable to resign McClain. McGahee isn't likely to take a pay cut either. He'll take his skills elsewhere.
It would seem odd on first thought that the Giants would release Jacobs when Ahmad Bradshaw is a free agent. However, New York could choose to release Jacobs and try to resign Bradshaw or another free agent like DeAngelo Williams. Since the Giants rewarded Jacobs with a 4 year, $25 million deal, he's rushed for 835 and 693 yards. The money could be used to resign more important offensive players like Steve Smith and Kevin Boss.
While many may think the Redskins will drop Haynesworth from their roster, it should be noted that most of his money has already been paid. Washington will want whatever they can get for him and teams are always in favor of adding interior defensive line help. Suitors for Haynesworth are hard to distinguish as of now, but some team will step up with draft picks for the Redskins. If not, Shanahan will let Haynesworth rot on the inactive list.
Evans is still a good receiver but he may not be worth the salary he's owed, as part of the 4 year, $37 million contract extension he signed. Steve Johnson emerged as the team's number one threat, but there is little else outside of Evans and Johnson. The Bills will most likely hold onto Evans for his last season despite the high cap number.
Al Davis will give his players enough opportunities to show that they were worth where Davis selected them in the draft. Heyward-Bey is going into only his third season but he was listed eight on the highest paid players of 2010. He's the fourth best receiver on a team that isn't exactly stacked at the position.
His cap number for 2011 is north of $11 million and the Saints will want to keep their other guys. Mark Ingram was added to their stall of running backs that includes Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas. Bush will get more money elsewhere, even if New Orleans looks to resign him. Many teams are in the market for a change-of-pace player in the backfield.
Brown is barely in the picture, which is a fitting metaphor for his career in Arizona, as he's been a major disappointment after being selected fifth overall in 2007. What he has going for him is that the Cardinals are severely under the cap and Brown is in the last year of his $62 million rookie contract. The Cardinals need a lot of upgrades on their offensive line, but look for Levi Brown to play out his deal.