2019 Salary Cap Check -- Players Most Likely To Be Released or Traded, And The Fantasy Impact (AFC North)
I’m doing a new research piece for 2019 – looking at all the salary caps and salary situations team-by-team and seeing if there is going to be any fantasy-impactful cuts coming up…a cut where a good player could wind up cut and goes right into a better fantasy spot, and/or the cut opens up a younger player for an opportunity for Week 1 that doesn’t seem as possible in the summer.
Additionally, I’m looking at the same for possible players to be traded…will it help the player and/or open up an opportunity.
I don’t want to get caught by surprise by moves, nor do I want to trust any ESPN, etc., type article on a similar topic – because what the hell do they know about any of these talents anyway? I’ll do my own research and pass it on for us to consider.
We’ll go through division-by-division and just see what might be happening in the months ahead and players to watch out for who are most impacted.
*Middle of the pack in salary cap but could use more room to breathe in case they need to pounce on something in an emergency this preseason.
Looking through their contracts…I see too many ridiculous deals with mediocre players and the Ravens can’t get out of most of these deals in 2019, and some can’t get out of in 2020 either. The Ravens roster and contracts, to me, looks like a mess that will blow up on them in the next few years.
Most impactful player who could be released: WR Willie Snead
Most impactful, I guess, for fantasy. CB Jimmy Smith could be dropped too…but Snead is almost for sure -- $7.2M to keep, $1M to cut. The Ravens have no need for Snead’s style in the Lamar Jackson offense/passing game. Bad fit…and an expensive bad fit.
Possibly traded: RB Kenneth Dixon
I see Dixon on a lot of ‘to be cut’ lists, but his salary isn’t crazy -- $800K for this year, and just a $100K hit if released. Not a huge savings. But, I agree, the Ravens do not need Dixon and he will be gone…but I think it will be via trade. A great, cheap RB to trade for – Dixon’s fantasy value is in getting away from the Ravens.
Don’t be surprised to see Dixon traded to a team that has a major injury hit in the preseason and they make a play for Dixon in crisis…and he might end up landing great, for FF, by total random chance.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: PK Kaare Vedvik
Arguably the best young kicker prospect out there on a roster, who is not a current starter…and he has no chance of kicking for the Ravens while Justin Tucker is alive.
This is a situation best played by the Ravens holding Vedvik through the preseason, making sure Tucker doesn’t get hurt, and then at the last second with some team that is dying at kicker – make the best deal possible.
If that happens, Vedvik could go from ‘who?’ to a PK1 prospect overnight in fantasy.
Fantasy action items here: Kenneth Dixon and Kaare Vedvik have little-to-no FF-value for anyone today, but that could change in the blink of an eye. Willie Snead may matter as a guy who gets his freedom to sign with a team who needs what he had to offer…Snead is a talented NFL WR but went to the Ravens at the wrong time (now) with Lamar Jackson taking over.
*The Bengals are like the Ravens – middle of the pack with cap space. Not under pressure to make space through dumping bad contracts but considering they are going nowhere in 2019, they might just want to save some money for the owner to spend on a yacht or some diamond cuff links or something.
Looking over all their contracts…what a terribly run organization. It’s unbelievable really. This organization is a mess from the front office to the coaching staff to the players and contracts.
Most impactful player who could be released: RB Gio Bernard
There is absolutely no reason to keep Bernard ($4.5M to keep, $750K hit to cut). The Bengals drafted Trayveon Williams to be the #2/receiving back (he has ties to a coach on the new staff). They also drafted Rodney Anderson as well. Gio is as good as gone and all it means is Trayveon is more valuable, but just as a Mixon ‘handcuff’.
Possibly traded: WR A.J. Green
Smart NFL teams realizing they are going nowhere would use this as the perfect time to deal an aging star WR.
Idiotic NFL teams (about 30-31 of them) will sign the beloved long-time star because they don’t want to disappoint the 37 fans that still care on social media. Why do these people care about A.J. Green being a Bengal for life and don’t care that their team is an utter embarrassment that never wins a playoff game? That’s who management will play to, the emotional dopes, and…because management is more emotional/silly than the diehard fans.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: QB Jeff Driskel
Likely cut because Ryan Finley was drafted, but Driskel is a capable NFL QB…with tools to be groomed. If Driskel is cut, he could really help as a backup in case of emergency for a good NFL team. More likely, Driskel gets cut and doesn’t sign. He should call Vince McMahon.
Fantasy action items here: I guess watch where Gio lands…if he might be moved to a team that has a dire RB need? That’s about the only value he’d have. Green will not get traded, although he should. Driskel won’t matter aside from helping an NFL team upgrade from ridiculous backups like Kizer, Bortles, etc.
Not only a team on the rise, but one of the top three for available in salary cap – the Browns are so set to be a dominant force in the NFL from here on in (in = as long as Baker is there).
The Browns have a lot of silly contracts, but they can get out of a bunch them relatively pain-free in 2020. Man, they are in great shape ahead if they don’t botch it.
Most impactful player who could be released: WR Odell Beckham and WR Jarvis Landry
Hold your horses…I know they aren’t getting cut this year.
(1) The Browns really don’t have anyone to urgently release and have no need for extra cap space to force anything, so I had to put something here.
(2) The Browns could dump OBJ and Landry next year and take a $4M hit…or pay them to stay for $28M. OBJ basically can be cut with no cap hit next year.
Just food for thought if things don’t work out on this WR-duo.
Possibly traded: RB Duke Johnson
He’s going to get traded…it’s just a matter of when.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: WR D.J Montgomery
The athletic UDFA rookie out of Austin Peay – great measurables and I saw a better than I expected receiving talent on tape…not just athletic, but good hands and concentration, etc. He was more a technician than an athlete…but his Pro Day says he could be a great athlete. It will be interesting to see if he forces his way onto the 53-man.
Fantasy action items here: Not much. If you think Duke Johnson lands in a great spot for his receiving talents, you might have some fantasy-PPR heat. I could see him going to Tampa Bay or Minnesota.
*The Steelers are currently the #32/bottom team in cap space available. They definitely will make some moves in the coming weeks.
The thing is, when I look at it…the Steelers don’t have obvious cuts to make that will give them big cushion. There will be a lot of restructuring of contracts the next few weeks.
Most impactful player who could be released: CB Artie Burns
A failure 1st-round pick. The Steelers can keep him for $3M or cut and take a $1.3M hit. That smaller amount of money does mean something in dire times for the Steelers salary cap right now.
Possibly traded: CB Artie Burns
Or they could just trade him? Some team will want the depth or have the desperate need…and all the new team is on the hook for is $1.7M difference. A team with a ton of cap space can make this deal for a conditional late-round pick.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: QB Joshua Dobbs
I think Dobbs is a terrible NFL QB prospect, but the Steelers seem to think otherwise. What my interest is in Dobbs – if they cut him it means they know Mason Rudolph is ready to step in as needed and that Rudolph is far superior to Dobbs. I want to see that ‘statement’ made for Rudolph, who I really like a lot.
Fantasy action items here: Not much. No one cares about Artie Burns. If you’re a Rudolph holder in dynasty…we watch for signs of the Steelers commitment here.