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.
*Chicago is in the top 10 for salary cap space…a great position for them – a contender with money to spend. Green Bay and Minnesota are near the bottom for cap space as of now.
Looking over the contracts, one thing jumped out at me – man are they getting off cheap right now/they are going to have to pony up some cash for Trubisky, Cohen, James Daniels, Whitehair, etc., over the next 1-2-3 years. Now is the window for a ‘run’…so expect them to add more players (on short term deals) not cut them with this salary cap space.
Most impactful player who could be released: LB Danny Trevathan
I don’t think the Bears will cut him, but he’s the only obvious candidate -- $7.7M to keep, $1.8M hit to release. The Bears have no real reason to dump him for cap reasons, but if Chicago did go on a spending spree in July-August, Trevathan is a source of savings.
Possibly traded: WR Taylor Gabriel
The Bears have mostly young and cheap, and a few young and expensive. There are no real candidates to sell out ahead on or dangle in exchange for a need to fill.
I say Gabriel as a candidate because they might want to move him out now $6.5M pay this year, or $8.5M to move to get him out of the way to make room for Miller-Ridley, which would be a huge mistake but if the Bears’ GM follows the media…he might go that way.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: WR Javon Wims
One of the most impressive young WRs I saw last preseason…and I had no idea he was as talented. Totally missed him during my pre-draft scouting. He’s great, but the Bears keep adding WRs via free agency and draft – it might mean Wims is cut/tried to put on the practice squad and that would mean a big opportunity for any NFL teams paying attention.
Fantasy action items here: My guess is, the three things I listed, none of them will happen. The one I’m keeping my eye on – Wims. He should be a #2 starter, but he may be released to quietly stuff on the P-Squad.
*Currently top 3 in the NFL in cap space available. No pressure to cut anyone at this stage.
Looking over the contracts, Detroit doesn’t have too many crazy deals…just a lot of average/decent talents not a lot of ‘wow’ on the roster. That Trey Flowers deal ($56M guaranteed) could really haunt them.
Most impactful player who could be released: RB Theo Riddick
Probably the most guaranteed to be released ‘name RB’ in the NFL…$4.6M to keep and $1.0M to move on. The Lions have no need of his services and he’s been an overrated waste of a target for years. Good hands, but then who cares…if you can’t do anything with the ball once you have it?
Possibly traded: WR Marvin Jones
Maybe the most guaranteed ‘name WR’ to be dealt soon. Matt Patricia thinks he’s Bill Belichick, so he’s going to dump anything from the previous regime and anyone who doesn’t pledge undying loyalty. Jones is chirping and Patricia will act…soon.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: RB Ty Johnson
6th-round pick, possible 4.2s speed. He should make this team as a 3rd-down weapon, but we’ll see. This GM and HC are not bowling me over with their personnel brilliance…they like grinders over athletes. If Riddick and/or Zenner stay…Johnson could try to get slipped onto the practice squad, and then stolen away (I hope) by another team.
Fantasy action items here: Marvin Jones could land great and bump his FF value, we’ll see. Being the #2 for Detroit isn’t that bad for FF.
I’m interested to see if Zach Zenner or Ty Johnson make this team…really, I want Zenner to land somewhere where he’s appreciated.
*In the bottom 10 for salary cap space, but they have 2-3 contracts they could/will clear and make up a ton of space. They’re in good shape once they ditch 2-3 of them.
Cutting Mike Daniels, Tramon Williams, and Mason Crosby would save them/create $15M+ in cap space if needed.
Most impactful player who could be released: PK Mason Crosby
$4.9M to keep, $1.3M to cut…a holdover from the McCarthy era – he’s the kind of guy a new coach cuts just to put his stamp onto the roster. Plus, Crosby has been up and down good. The Packers added Sam Ficken for a reason.
I mention this because – don’t grab Crosby as ‘any old kicker’ in your various drafts…he may not have a job in 2019.
Possibly traded: DB Josh Jones
Jones and management are battling already about what position he’s going to play. Jones has always struck me as a great athlete/lazy football player. The Packers should trade him while the trading market would yield something.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: WR Allen Lazard
I thought Lazard was one of the top 10 WR prospects from the 2018 NFL Draft…and I wasn’t alone in my like for him. However, he oddly did not get drafted…and then he signed with JAX, and then they cut him, and the Packers have been sitting on him since…and he’s on the one team with multiples of WRs like him on their depth chart as backups. I could see Lazard getting cut and looking for work again. He might be an issue off the field, although there were no signs of it in college.
Fantasy action items here: I’m a Lazard fan, and I also wonder if he could be a TE-convert…so, for fantasy, I’m tracking him. And as I wrote above…don’t fall for Crosby as your kicker, he might be done in Green Bay.
*Minnesota is in the bottom five in the NFL in cap space available, so they will be looking hard at the moves to make to get some additional space.
Looking over the contracts, the Vikings are beholden to Cousins-Thielen-Diggs and Hunter-Rhodes. All good players but if they don’t come through with a winning/successful season this year – Zimmer could be gone and this whole team may need to be scrapped over a 2-3 year time period and rebuilt. This is a big year for this management team and roster.
Most impactful player who could be released: DE Everson Griffen
He’s the best source of quick cash -- $7.9M to keep, $1.2M to cut…they could add $6.7M in space to move him. He flaked out on them last year, he’s 31+ years old. Now, is the time to act.
Typically, NFL teams (except the Pats) paralyze with fear to make a bold decision with former stars/ Safe bet is Griffen stays put.
Possibly traded: WR Laquon Treadwell
Somewhere in this league, there’s a sucker for Laquon. You know Laquon, right? The guy EVERY NFL analyst and scout had the top WR prospect in his class, a proposed top 10 overall pick. You know…the guy THEY were all wrong about by not a little but by a massive expanse? You know…the football people you still trust for NFL Draft scouting and beat writer training camp reports on ‘who looks good’?
Some NFL GM(s) thinks Laquon is still that guy. A team with a GM that lives in the past…like the current Chiefs GM or fixer-of-troubled-souls Bruce Arians, maybe?
Young player cut to watch where he lands: QB Kyle Sloter
You might know how I feel here…one of the best young QBs in the NFL, just hiding away/wasting away on an NFL depth chart. In another universe, Sloter would be an NFL star right now.
You might think I believe Sloter should be cut and grabbed by someone else. Actually, I’d like him to stay #2 here and be a Cousins concussion away from getting his shot. He’d have to start all over again if he were cut…because NFL people, you’d think they’d scout all these guys through the preseason…they don’t. SO, a cut Sloter would be begging for work. If he wins the #2 job in Minnesota…he’s a hiccup away.
Fantasy action items here: I only care about Sloter among this group. Let’s see how dumb the Vikings’ GM and coaching staff are. Do they keep Sean Mannion over Kyle Sloter or do the right thing…the opposite of that?