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NFL Offseason Rumors: 10 Players Who Could be Cut to Clear Salary

Sam Bradford, Miles Austin, Nate Burleson, Mark Sanchez, and other potential salary cap casualties are the focus of the latest NFL offseason rumors.

Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford

Charlotte, NC, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) is taken from the field on the cart in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Every NFL offseason is filled with surprise cuts to the game’s highest paid players. What once looked like a big payday could often become a player’s death sentence with that team once the front office starts to look at their cap room entering the following season. There are many NFL offseason rumors flying around about possible upcoming salary cap cuts, so let’s look at 10 players who could be on the chopping block.

Sam Bradford: Bradford missed nine games this season after tearing his ACL, his second major injury in the last four years. Over the last three seasons, he has played in just 33 games and won a mere 11 of them. The Rams have already paid Bradford most of his guaranteed $51 million and the former top pick will cost the Rams $17.6 million in 2014. It would cost the Rams $7.19 million to cut him, although that could be spread out over two seasons if they wait until June 1. If they do cut him, they would clear $10.42 million in cap room.

Mark Sanchez: After two disappointing seasons and a season-ending shoulder injury suffered in the preseason this year, Mark Sanchez is almost a lock to be cut. Sanchez is due a $2 million bonus in March and a $9 million salary next season. The Jets would have to take a $4.8 million cap hit to cut him but ridding themselves of the former first-rounder would save the team $8.3 million in 2014. Definitely expect Sanchez to be cut.

Matt Schaub: Schaub has clearly worn out his welcome in Houston but would give the team a huge cap hit if they cut him. If they wait until June 1, however, they would only have to take a $3.5 million cap hit in 2014 and another $7 million in 2015. That means instead of clearing $4 million in cap room next season, they could save $10 million.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis: The Bengals leaned on the Law Firm a lot this season so they may look to extend the 29-year-old back but cutting BJGE from the books would only result in a $500,000 cap hit while saving the team $2.5 million.

Michael Bush: Bush is also 29 but, unlike Green-Ellis, was barely used this season. He’s due $2.8 million in 2014 and is highly likely to be cut although the Bears would have to absorb a lot of that cap hit anyway just to save some cash.

Miles Austin: If the Cowboys wait until June 1, they can save $5.5 million in 2014 by cutting Austin and split his dead money by taking a $2.75 cap hit next season and $5.1 million in 2015. The emergence of Terrance Williams should make this move easier.

Nate Burleson: The Lions could look to keep Burleson after a solid season but there is no way the team will pay the 32-year-old the $7.5 million he’s due next season. Cutting him would only take a $2.03 million cap hit while saving $5.5 million.

Lance Moore: The 30-year-old receiver didn’t make much of an impact this season and is due to make $3.8 million next season. The Saints would have to swallow a $2.35 million cap hit to rid themselves of him but they’d also save $2.7 million for 2014.

Heath Miller: The Steelers will certainly look to keep Miller but his $9.47 cap hit in 2014, the highest among all tight ends, makes that highly unlikely. There’s a good chance the Steelers work out a restructured contract with Miller but a flat out cut would cost them $3.44 million in dead money while saving more than $6 million.

Jermaine Gresham: With the Bengals drafting Tyler Eifert in the first round of last year’s draft, it seems unlikely that the Bengals would be willing to keep Gresham at his current salary. Cutting Gresham would cost $1.2 million in dead money while saving Cincy a cool $3.1 million.

Jacob Tamme: Tamme is hardly a big name but cutting the second-string tight end would only cost $834,000 while saving the team $2 million in cap room.

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