2019 Salary Cap Check -- Players Most Likely To Be Released or Traded, And The Fantasy Impact (NFC East)
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.
*Look at the fiscal restraint of the Dallas Cowboys!! Top 5 most salary cap space currently. Dallas used to have a deserved ‘bad rap’ for Jerry Jones’s wild spending, but now that Will McClay runs things behind the scenes…so the personnel is run much better, maybe the best in the league behind New England.
Dallas is going to flirt with danger ahead…as they are about to put money behind Demarcus Lawrence (already did), Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones, and Ezekiel Elliott. They can’t pay everyone…or if they do, they’ll be suffocating everywhere else.
Most impactful player who could be released: WR Allen Hurns
A huge disappointment for Dallas but they might as well pull the trigger -- $6.3M to keep, $1.3M cap hit to cut. He’s as good as gone.
Possibly traded: RB Ezekiel Elliott
Hear me out…
Let’s say Dallas is for sure going to pay Byron Jones and Dak Prescott ahead. It leaves Amari and Zeke left to be paid, among the big names. Do you want to put money into Ezekiel Elliott…the human or the football player, playing at a position that is flush with cheap talent?
Let’s say this season goes sideways for Dallas, and before the trade deadline they’re like sporting a 3-6 record and going nowhere. Could they trade Elliott for a huge package at the deadline…before they have to extend him or get into a franchise tag stalemate/war in 2020? If Dallas is losing with Elliott, why extend Elliott? He’s a bad human and plays at the least key position to consider extending among the ones Dallas has to deal with.
The more Dallas doesn’t move to extend him this offseason…as it sees how all the other big RB deals have blown up on team’s faces…the likelihood Dallas makes a bold move (moving Elliott at some point in 2019 or 2020) here increases.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: WR Jon’Vea Johnson
The rookie UDFA out of Toledo is impressing in rookie camps and OTAs…I recently took a deeper look and think he’s an NFL-starter in the future, possibly. He might be too tentative in his play/mindset but has all the skills otherwise. He may get caught in a number’s game and attempted to sneak onto the practice squad, and that move might be intercepted by another team. It will be interesting to see if JJ makes the 53-man or, if cut, gets grabbed by another team.
Fantasy action items here: Obviously, Elliott being traded would be a nuclear bomb of news in the NFL. If I’m Dallas, I’m on the phone to make a move for the perfect pairing – send him to Tampa Bay to be with Father Flanagan/attempted redeemer of lost souls/Bruce Arians. Non-Belichick teams lack the guts to make such moves, so likely this will never happen and Zeke and Dallas will just fight for a year+ about franchise tags like the Steelers and Le’Veon did.
*Not only have the Giants been messing up their top-side personnel decisions they’re also bottom 10 in cap space availability right now.
Looking through some of their suspect talent, and more costly players…what a mess. This roster looks like a child put it together. Dave Gettleman is in big trouble and Pat Shurmur is going down with him.
Most impactful player who could be released: CB Janoris Jenkins
I don’t know what the Giants are doing if they keep Janoris Jenkins. They’ve drafted nice young corners and they grabbed a good one from the supplemental draft last year (Sam Beal). This team is not a Super Bowl contender so they might as well ditch Jenkins and save some money -- $14.8M to keep, $7M hit to cut.
Possibly traded: CB Janoris Jenkins
If the Giants eat $7M to deal him…another team in desperate need might be inclined to take a shot on Jenkins as a one-year mercenary. The Giants need to act now, while Jenkins has value. Spoiler Alert: They won’t…because all non-Patriots’ NFL teams are run by people who display zero business acumen or guts.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: TE C.J. Conrad
I had to look up and down this roster to find some mildly interesting player they’d cut who might have value on the market. I settled very low on Conrad.
I thought Conrad showed a little spark as a receiving TE for Kentucky. He had a shoulder injury that kept him from participating at the NFL Combine. The Giants have good TE depth, so Conrad may not make the team and a tight end starved league may grab him before he goes on the practice squad.
Fantasy action items here: The Giants seem to be headed nowhere fast in 2019 and losing any of the players above would not matter. The biggest takeaway is where Jenkins might land, and how much he could help his new team’s DST…if his head is even in it anymore.
*The Eagles are in decent shape on the salary cap space right now. Upper half of the league in space available. Not flush with space, but not pressed to force any cuts.
Looking over the various roster/contracts the Eagles have…it’s confirmation of my suspicion this team is an arrow pointing downward. Fortunately, they play in the worst division in football with two extremely poorly run franchises (NYG and WAS).
Now, onto the all-RB edition of Eagles likely on the move…
Most impactful player who could be released: RB Wendell Smallwood
The crime of this is…the Eagles drafted Smallwood, but treat him like the last option when they’ve run out of any other options. He’s stepped in and played well in spots but has never had consistent work. He should be in the rotation, but he could be ditched in the numbers game if the Eagles keep Josh Adams and/or Boston Scott instead.
Possibly traded: RB Josh Adams
Why the Eagles would keep him after signing Jordan Howard and drafting Miles Sanders, I don’t get it. You may know what I think of Adams since 2018 when he was a UDFA no one cared about – he’s the best RB on the Eagles roster. He should be a part of their RBBC, but he may be dumped in the numbers game as well. If I were GM of another NFL team, I’d trade nothing for Adams in a heartbeat…I think Adams is one of the 10-15 most gifted RBs in the NFL and he’s going to waste here.
I pray some team steps up and deals for him – I still say it will be Jacksonville. Please let it be Jacksonville for my over/under win total bet on the Jags/Fournette insurance.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: RB Boston Scott
He should be the Eagles 2019 Darren Sproles, but the 2019 Darren Sproles may be the actual 100-year-old Darren Sproles. If it is…Scott is unnecessary for the roster. Scott is a very talented role-playing RB who could be a shock PPR guy in the right place, but not here.
Fantasy action items here: At least two of Smallwood-Adams-Scott-Clement are going in 2019, and whomever gets cut will be nice pickups for an NFL team in need/paying attention. Smallwood and Adams in new place, in good circumstances, could be fantasy news…and you know it will be for me if/when it is Adams.
*Shocker… Washington is the bottom 10 for cap space. They’re not in terrible shape, but not great either. A projected $20M hit in 2019 for Alex Smith is not helping…
Looking over their contracts…I mean, there is little to no hope here. It will take a great GM years to dig out from this mess, but the Redskins are run by buffoons from the owner to the President and GM. Jay Gruden has been decent despite this, but he has fallen down some since Sean McVay left…but Gruden has dealt with a ton of injuries as well. It’s a cluster…it’s a shame.
Most impactful player who could be released: TE Jordan Reed
$9.7M to keep and $3.6M to release/move. How can the Redskins pay for another year of this? The thing is…Vernon Davis should be dumped as well--$6.3M to keep and $1.3M to release.
Possibly traded: LT Trent Williams
He’s very good, and very unhappy with the Redskins’ management and medical staff over a diagnosis and treatment issue. He’s trying to force his way out of Washington. He might do so by opening day or if the Redskins implode (likely) then he’d be a good move at the trade deadline. The Redskins are signaling the white flag on 2019 when Williams is moved.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: RB Samaje Perine
Never got a fair shake in Washington, and these personnel people with Washington don’t know what they are doing. I’m not saying Perine is the next great RB in the NFL, but he should be a solid part of some backfield – he has size, power, and very good hands at his size. He should be a contributor+ instead of buried.
Fantasy action items here: The Redskins are like a Jenga tower that’s a piece or two away from collapsing. Could be Josh Norman trouble…or Trent Williams troubles…or Derrius Guice blows up in their face…or losing all their TE depth on top of a cluster at QB.
All we can do is sit back and wait to see where Jordan Reed might wind up and that might launch Jeremy Sprinkle too. Perine could be promising in the right spot but I have a feeling the NFL has turned a permanent blind eye to him. He needs a lot of luck to become FF relevant again. Watch for him going to the Browns with Baker (former teammates), as Cleveland eventually moves Duke Johnson to make space.