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 Texans are in a great spot with the salary cap…dry powder ready to fire when needed. Right now, only the Colts are in a better position with current space in 2019.
Most impactful player who could be released: RB Lamar Miller
I want to say Miller is almost a guaranteed cut…$7.2M to pay for his final year of his contract or cut for an easy $1M. It should be the easiest decision of the offseason, but the Bill O’Brien has an odd affinity for Miller. I’d guess there’s as much a chance that he gets cut that he gets restructured and kept, or just retained for this one last year.
50-50 this is it for Miller as a Texan…probably a lot riding on how well D’Onta Freeman is testing for his speed/agility a year+ from achilles surgery.
Possibly traded: DE Jadeveon Clowney
This is like Mario Williams 2.0…Clowney doesn’t really want to play football (my opinion), but he will take your millions if you’ll give it to him. The moment Houston gives him a long term deal they’ll regret it. They already made him a franchise tag at $16M for 2019…franchise tag, probably because they know what will happen if they layout a mega-deal. Clowney just hasn’t been as great as advertised…he flashes in stretches and then disappears.
I doubt Houston deals him. It’s easier for them to just run him out there for one more season…hoping he ‘gets it’ one of these days.
The Texans really should trade Will Fuller while the value is up. Cheap this year but going to be expensive to give a 5th-year option to. There’s 0% chance that happens…too much forethought for the NFL. I’m not being a jerk; I just see the history of all non-Belichick’s for the past 10+ years in this league. When are there bold trades? It’s always trades of bad contracts, near-over-the-hill veterans, and malcontents. Not young talent for young talent to help both teams…or get a year ahead on contracts exploding on 5th-year former 1st-round picks.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: RB Damarea Crockett
If Houston keeps Miller, the rookie UDFA Crockett is going to get cut before the 53-man roster announcement…and hoped to be put on the practice squad. I want to see if a team swipes him before he does go on the P-Squad. I’m more interested to see if he makes the team, without Miller there.
Fantasy action items here: If Miller goes, D’Onta Foreman’s value will skyrocket for fantasy and it puts Crockett a Foreman misstep away. It could get REAL interesting, for fantasy, if Miller is jettisoned…including Houston landing some other veteran RB to take over.
Indy is sitting at the, currently, #1 best salary cap situation. They will be able to pounce on an opportunity when necessary…and are under no pressure to force-cut anyone.
Most impactful player who could be released: WR Chester Rogers
If this is the most impactful player to be moved, then you know they’re in a good situation. I’m pointing Rogers out because him going likely means Parris Campbell is planned to be a starting trio WR, and that either Deon Cain or UDFA rookie Penny Hart have impressed enough to make the roster…and I’m rooting for Hart.
Possibly traded: QB Jacoby Brissett
I’m not sure any one player in the NFL is talked about being traded/not available in trade more than Brissett. His value has been talked up so much the Colts would be fools not to cash in on it, but they’re fools for keeping him and bringing in Chad Kelly as the next option. The Colts are doing a lot of good things, but they have zero plan behind Andrew Luck. Brissett is a bad Tyrod Taylor and the Colts should sell that when some starting QB gets a season-ending injury in the preseason.
They should deal Brissett on the hype, but I think they’re the most bought into the hype…so, it likely will not happen.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: LB E.J. Speed
The 5th-round rookie out of Tarleton State…a very interesting, athletic LB prospect who may get into a number’s game and the Colts try to get slick to move him to the practice squad. Another team might pounce on that opportunity and it be a loss for Indy of a neat, raw prospect.
Fantasy action items here: The Colts are in such good shape…the only thing to really watch for is if they deploy that money on a suddenly available running back and cause some turmoil to the Marlon Mack story. Likely, the Colts stay pretty much ‘pat’ from here unless injury forces their hand.
*Jacksonville is in the bottom half of the league in available salary cap, as of this writing, but not a bad spot…about the average of the league. But they are a team with playoff aspirations, so they might make some space to fill needs that could emerge.
Looking over their deals, the Jags have mostly good/smart contracts and depth of talent…and a lot to deal with ahead – Ramsey, Fournette, Ngakoue, etc.
Most impactful player who could be released: DT Arby Jones
If the Jags want to save $4M here, they can…$4M pay/$0 hit to cut.
Possibly traded: WR Dede Westbrook
It would be so brilliant of the Jags to trade Westbrook while people still think he’s some kind of great/starting WR for the NFL. He’s a very average/OK WR…hyped by playing with Baker Mayfield for a year. The Jags are deep at WR and they cannot dump Marqise Lee’s contract. If I were the GM here, I’d make this trade and cash out while NFL people get suckered by OK WRs who happened to play with Mayfield-Murray…like Marquise Brown.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: SAF Zedrick Woods
The Jags are loaded with young safety prospects. The rookie UDFA Woods could be a casualty they try to slip onto a practice squad – but I wonder if the 4.3+ running Woods would be better served as a convert to corner/slot corner.
Fantasy action items here: Not much. Westbrook gone would help unlock the logjam of WR talent with Chark-Cole-Conley. Doubtful the Jags, any team but NE, would ‘sell high’ on a player from their depth.
*The Titans are top 10 most salary cap space, right now…but man, do they have a lot of crappy contracts. However, they also have some guys they can ditch to save money this season, if they wanted…but they don’t really need too. It’s just the deals they have given, by and large, are not good. This just isn’t a great top-side roster…not a lot of top-end talent and overpaid for most of it.
Most impactful player who could be released: CB Logan Ryan
I don’t think they’ll do this because they have the space to keep him this one last season, before free agency…but $10.7M for 2019 or $0.7M hit to cut. If they wanted to save money for money’s sake…there it is.
Possibly traded: WR Taywan Taylor
It was hard to find anyone that made sense for the Titans to trade. They either have radically overpaid starters or up-and-coming/good-great, young, cheap talent. Why they signed Adam Humphries, I have no idea. All these ex-Patriots coaches want their ‘Edelman’ but fail to realize Edelman only exists because of Brady.
Taylor isn’t starting but should be a #2 starter. Maybe, some team is smart and makes a move on asleep Tennessee. Doubtful.
Young player cut to watch where he lands: WR Cameron Batson
Highly athletic (4.4 speed with 6.7s three-cone) and looked really good last preseason. The Titans keep adding other WRs, though. Batson would be a steal if the Titans try to put him on the practice squad.
Fantasy action items here: Almost nothing. None of the options above are likely to happen. The Titans are likely to stand pat going into the regular season. Batson is the one to watch/hope he gets cut and another team is savvy and grabs him.