2019 Salary Cap Check -- Players Most Likely To Be Released or Traded, And The Fantasy Impact (NFC South)
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.
*The Panthers are on ‘OK’ shape on their salary cap. They have some regrettable contracts but what team doesn’t…the worst of their contracts are not in a position to get out of easily to save money (Greg Olsen, Dontari Poe).
Most impactful player who could be released: WR Torrey Smith
Most impactful for fantasy, I guess. Smith being gone opens up, for sure, the starting WR-trio of Moore-Samuel-Hogan.
Smith is set to make $3M this year, or no hit if he’s cut. His career has been over for a year or two now, so it doesn’t matter where he lands.
Possibly traded: DE Mario Addison
Will be 32 years old this season. He will be a free agent after the season. $10M+ to keep, $2.6M hit to cut or trade. If Carolina shifts to a 3-4 and/or if Brian Burns feels ready right away, perhaps Carolina makes a bold move…and he could impact an NFL team/a DST in need if/when the time comes.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: WR Terry Godwin
The 7th-round pick out of Georgia is a solid, professional WR. Not a superstar but useful, capable. In the right situation he could make some noise in PPR for fantasy. Likely, he’ll be cut to be put on the practice squad.
Fantasy action items here: If Addison goes it would be semi-big news…and what the Panthers might get in return for it. Not a huge amount of intrigue here for fantasy with this team’s preseason personnel moves. The biggest thing I’m looking at is – do they pick up a running back of note to backup/help spell Christian McCaffrey?
*The Falcons are not in the greatest salary cap spot right now, but they’re OK. They could use some freeing up to take advantage of any opportunities that fall their way. They’re stuck – they’re good enough to compete for the playoffs, but not a Super Bowl team…too good to blow up and start over, too weak to make a run at a title.
This coaching staff is on life support, so they’re all-in on 2019 because there will likely not be a 2020 without a great 2019.
Most impactful player who could be released: WR Mohammed Sanu
Atlanta will probably not make this cut or trade him, but $7.7M to keep and $2.8M to move on from, which would boost Calvin Ridley’s target share in theory.
I’m guessing Atlanta keeps Sanu for this critical season, because of his experience, and as a hedge if Julio gets hurt.
Possibly traded: DE Takk McKinley
Virtually a high draft pick bust pick so far. Mental issues off the field have been cause for concern. A fresh start, a trade to a new team who’d want to buy in on the cheap might be in order.
Actually, you know it’s the perfect time to deal? Julio Jones. Don’t extend his contract and if Atlanta is ‘out of it’ by the trade deadline…why not leverage Julio’s remaining value for the pending rebuild and new staff coming in? Will NEVER happen because all teams but the Patriots are ‘softees’ for their long time ‘names’…until it’s way to late then they dump them for almost nothing in return, missing the prime window to move them.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: WR Devin Gray
I’m a fan of his work back to scouting him in college (Cincinnati). He’s a player. He could work in the NFL. He just needs a shot. If Julio is extended and Sanu is kept, etc., then there isn’t much room for the likes of Gray as you continue down the depth chart.
Fantasy action items here: Sanu moved would have some ripple effects. McKinley with a fresh start would be worth watching but he’s a bit overrated as it is. Devin Gray is not a superstar, just pretty solid if he gets the opportunity. His best case is continuing to work his way up the ladder with the aging Falcons’ WR group and make an impression on the new coaching staff in 2020 or 2021.
*The Saints are in the bottom 10 among teams with salary cap space right now. They aren’t in terrible shape but considering they’re a prime destination for veteran talent/those cut due salary cap…the Saints need to be ready to have flexibility to move on an item because their Super Bowl clocking is ticking. They’re the 3rd best team in the NFL, and the 1st-most unlucky the past two seasons.
They are a ‘player away’ type of team…whether that’s a player not getting hurt, a player stepping up, and a player falling into their laps from the salary cap moves ahead.
Most impactful player who could be released: WR Ted Ginn
$3.5M to keep, $1M to cut…the Saints don’t really need Ginn, and I think he’s had a generally terrible connection with Brees. Ginn has been underutilized to some degree. The Saints could save a little cash and walk away from the aging veteran.
Possibly traded: CB Ken Crawley
At one point, Crawley was an emerging cornerback. He looked great back in 2017 and then was a flop/trade rumor in 2018. Eli Apple was acquired, and Crawley has been somewhat forgotten. Crawley is the type of corner who flashed at one time, so there will be a market for him from some team who thinks they can fix him (like the Saints are trying with Apple).
Young player cut to watch where he lands: RB Dwayne Washington
I’ve been a fan for years. Week 17 last season, Washington finally got an extended look…and responded with a 100+ yard game. Rushing for 100+ in a Week 17 affair is no real confirmation of anything, but it’s a little ‘hope’.
What I’m watching here is – if the Saints keep him, then they like him more than I think and he’s one poorly-timed injury above him away from being a ‘playa’ on a great offense for fantasy RBs.
Fantasy action items here: Ginn could be interesting if he went to a team that needed him due to an emergency, etc., but is 34+ years old and not seen as a weapon more than as a warm body decoy for occasional deep throws. He could shock a little, for fantasy, maybe, with the right opportunity.
I’m also always watching Dwayne Washington; hoping he gets a real opportunity so we can see if something more than ‘backup’ has been sitting here all along – a former good college WR with excellent measurables who became a power-speed RB. He has things to offer in the Ingram/Murray role and in the Kamara role.
*Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league for salary cap space right now…they’re not in a terrible position, but not overflowing either. They’re not a serious playoff contender, but I’m not sure they agree. Hard to say what approach they’ll take this preseason…but the Gerald McCoy dump is potentially a small sign of them ready to gut the team for building for the future.
Most impactful player who could be released: LB Lavonte David
I’m not sure the Bucs will make this move in the preseason. I’m betting it’s more of an ‘at the trade deadline’ move. Davis is set to make $9M this season but could be ditched for no cap hit. Arians could see how the team starts out, and if they falter, they can start purging the roster and David is a prime suspect.
When David goes, Devin White has even more IDP opportunity and it will hurt the Tampa defense for the moment/2019…a DST no one cares about anyway.
Possibly traded: CB Vernon Hargreaves
It could also be Ronald Jones and/or Noah Spence, but Hargreaves has had the most negative press since his rookie season. But that’s also the problem…everyone knows Hargreaves was a terrible draft pick and is flopping in the NFL; they’ve seen it for a while now. However, if they could just find one sucker team…maybe they get a late/conditional draft pick and rid themselves of him. One way or the other, I think he’s gone. TB has plenty of better, young CB prospects/talent to work with.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: WR Anthony Johnson
The rookie WR out of Buffalo. He’s a solid, useful WR talent. A little poor man’s Andre Johnson flashes from him. Not sure the Bucs will have the space/need to keep him.
Fantasy action items here: Lavonte David released and landing where a team is in great need, would affect the team that gets him…it would also signal the Bucs going young in 2019, and not serious about making a playoff run, per se.
I’d watch Anthony Johnson getting cut but claimed by the Buffalo Bills if rookie QB Tyree Jackson makes the Bills main roster as their #2 QB/impresses all preseason. The two worked well together in college.