Posted: 02/20/2013 7:27 AM
tuesday's flurry of cuts by the new york jets was a reminder that the chopping block looms for veterans with bloated contracts. let's take a look at the afc salary cap casualty candidates for the next few months.
1. carson palmer, oakland raiders quarterback: the jets get much-deserved attention for their bloated contracts, but former owner al davis left general manager reggie mckenzie in a salary-cap hell of his own. the most egregious example is the nearly $14 million in dead money left behind from free agent richard seymour's contract. scheduled to earn $13 million himself, palmer has no chance of returning as the starter unless he takes a pay cut. in full-blown rebuilding mode, the raiders might find that it makes more sense to give terrelle pryor a one-year trial run.
2. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback: Benched twice for Brady Quinn last season, Cassel has reached the point in which a change of scenery is needed for himself as well as Chiefs fans. Due $7.5 million, he has no chance of returning. It will be interesting to see if he reunites with Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels in New England, allowing the Patriots to shop backup Ryan Mallett.
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills quarterback: New head coach Doug Marrone could find a hiccup in his quarterback competition. Fitzpatrick is due a $3 million roster bonus in March on top of a $4.25 base salary. It will actually cost the Bills more to keep him than to cut him loose.
4. James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker: Although coaches still are counting on Harrison opposite LaMarr Woodley this season, the front office is expected to balk at his $6.57 million salary. Unless all three sides can find middle ground, the declining star will be in another uniform for his age-35 season.
5. Jared Gaither, San Diego Chargers tackle: Local and national observers expect Gaither to be history in San Diego after alienating coaches and teammates alike last season. Coined "Big Lazy," Gaither has earned a reputation with both the Chargers and the Ravens for malingering. The Bolts will take a $6 million cap hit to release Gaither.
6. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders wide receiver: The No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 draft has flashed at times, but he hasn't shown the consistency to merit $7.721 million this season. McKenzie can find the much-needed salary-cap relief of $5.341 million by releasing Heyward-Bey.
7. Tyson Jackson, Kansas City Chiefs defensive end: The No. 3 overall pick in the 2009 draft has failed as a pass rusher, and the Chiefs can field a poor run defense with or without Jackson's whopping $14.72 million salary.
8. D.J. Williams, Denver Broncos linebacker: The Broncos sported one of the NFL's stingiest defenses with Williams watching from the sidelines for the majority of the season. John Elway can save $6 million against the cap by releasing the 30-year-old coming off a pair of suspensions in 2012.
9. Rolando McClain, Oakland Raiders linebacker: The No. 8 overall pick in the 2010 draft would have been axed this past season if not for salary-cap implications. A massive draft bust, McClain won't see his $4.005 million salary after disappointing on the field, off the field, and in the locker room.
10. Willie Colon, Pittsburgh Steelers guard: Colon keyed a mid-season resurgence in the running game, but his $5.5 million salary is untenable after ending the season on injured reserve for the third consecutive year.
The key to knowing where you're going is knowing where you've been, with a chance to look back and forward with equal clarity.
Posted: 02/20/2013 6:38 PM
Posted: 02/20/2013 10:53 PM
Posted: 02/22/2013 6:38 PM
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