2020 Edition: List Of Veterans Who Might Get Cut/Traded For Salary Cap Purposes

The offseason is here and it’s time for teams to look at their rosters and decide which players aren’t worth holding on to anymore. 

Some cuts/trades could come as early as this week. There will be more during the combine and more right before and during free agency.

I make this post every offseason and this year’s list has several big names. I also made a podcast version on this topic and it’s all in this week’s episode of the MySportsUpdate Football Podcast (listen HERE).


Cam Newton

There’s a new head coach in town and Cam’s injury history is a bit concerning. Newton is still rehabbing and the team remains adamant that they’re in wait and see mode. Carolina clears $19.1M if they move on. 

Andy Dalton

Dalton’s entire $17.7M cap number clears if the Bengals move on. With Joe Burrow likely coming in with the No. 1 overall pick, Dalton’s days are numbered.

Joe Flacco

Drew Lock is the future in Denver and keeping Flacco around at his cap number is simply too expensive.

Derek Carr

Carr doesn’t have another dollar guaranteed on his deal, and the Raiders have him under contract for another three years. If the Raiders are serious about Tom Brady or any other quarterback, moving on from Carr would leave just $5M in dead money.

Dion Lewis

The Titans have a big decision to make on Derrick Henry, but they’ll also have to make a decision on the other back on the roster. The Titans would save a little over $4M by moving on from the former Patriot.

Jerrick McKinnon

McKinnon has not played a regular season snap with San Francisco since signing a four-year deal in 2018. The 49ers would save $4.55M by moving on. Meanwhile, Tevin Coleman is another cap casualty for San Francisco. 

Devonta Freeman

Freeman hasn’t produced since signing his large contract. He’s dealt with a number of injuries and Atlanta discussed trading him before the trade deadline. The Falcons are in a cap mess and moving on from Freeman would save $3.5M in cap but also leave $6M in dead money.

Mike Davis

The Panthers claimed him during the season knowing that he’s a rental. They’ll move on and clear $3M in cap.

Sammy Watkins

His regular season numbers never stood out but Watkins came up big when it mattered most in the postseason. But the Chiefs want to re-sign Chris Jones and Patrick Mahomes is eligible for a record contract extension. Moving on from Watkins would create a whopping $14M in cap savings.

Albert Wilson

The Dolphins will be busy this offseason with a ton of cap space and draft capital. Moving on from Wilson would create another $9.5M in savings.

Marqise Lee

Lee has not lived up to his contract and the Jaguars are in a tight cap situation. Moving on saves $5.2M.

Paul Richardson

Richardson was a big free agent pickup in 2018, signing a 5-year, $40M deal. With a new regime taking over, the Redskins might consider moving on from him especially considering his lack of production. In two seasons with Washington, Richardson has appeared in 17 games and has recorded 48 receptions for 507 yards and 4 TDs.

UPDATE 2/14/20: Redskins released Richardson.

Jordan Reed 

The concussions are a serious concern and there were reports during the season that Reed might retire. New coach Ron Rivera recently said that he doesn’t think their starting tight end is on the roster and Greg Olsen took a free agent visit. Moving on from Reed would save $8.5M.

UPDATE 2/20/20: Redskins released Reed.

Cameron Brate

The Bucs would save $6M in cap space with no dead money left over. Bruce Arians doesn’t utilize tight ends much in his offense and OJ Howard is still around.

Jimmy Graham

Graham is not the same player he once was and the Packers used a 3rd-round pick on Jace Sternberger last year. Cutting Graham would create $8M in cap savings.

Delanie Walker

He’s a fan favorite in Tennessee but Walker is aging and can’t stay healthy. Tennessee would save over $6M if they moved on.

Rhett Ellison

Ellison finished 2019 on IR after appearing in 10 games. Kaden Smith emerged as a cheaper replacement for Ellison during the final 5 games of the year. The Giants would save $5M if they were to move on.

Cordy Glenn

The Bengals swapped first round picks a couple years ago to get Glenn from Buffalo. He hasn’t panned out and this past season was a complete mess. The Bengals would save $9.5M in cap space with no dead money left over by moving on. 2019 first-rounder Jonah Williams will take over in 2020.

Ron Leary

Leary signed a 4-year, $36M deal with the Broncos in 2017. He’s missed 19 games since arriving and moving on would save $8.5M in cap space.

UPDATE 2/25/20: Broncos declined Leary’s option, making him a free agent.

Brian Winters

The offensive line was the biggest weakness on the Jets roster in 2019 and Winters was a part of that problem. GM Joe Douglas will have some work to do this offseason. Cutting Winters clears $7.2M with no dead money left over.

Olivier Vernon

Vernon arrived in Cleveland in a trade which sent Kevin Zeitler to the Giants. Cleveland wishes they could have that one back. Vernon put up just 3.5 sacks last season and missed 6 games. He carries a whopping $15.5M cap hit in 2020 and cutting him would wipe all $15.5M off the books with no dead money.

Trent Murphy

The Bills signed Murphy to a 3-year, $22.5M deal in 2018 and he hasn’t put up eye-popping numbers during his two seasons there. His cap hit will be close to $10M in 2020 and Buffalo would save over $8M by moving on.

Marcell Dareus

The Jaguars need all the cap space they can find and cutting Dareus would save $20M. 

UPDATE 2/25/20: Jaguars declined Dareus’ option, making him a free agent.

Dontari Poe

Poe was a big pickup in 2018, signing a 3-year deal. With a new head coach and defensive staff coming in, it’s hard to see Poe back. The Panthers would save $9.8M by moving on.

Everson Griffen

Vikings almost moved on from Griffen last offseason but both sides struck a deal for him to remain with the team. Minnesota is in a tough cap situation and moving on from Griffen would clear over $13M in cap.

UPDATE 2/20/20: Griffen opted to void the remainder of his contract, making him a free agent.

Alec Ogletree 

Ogletree has had some good moments on the field, but also some glaring bad ones. The Giants could move on and save over $8M.

Christian Kirksey

Kirksey has played in just nine games over the last two years and the Browns would save $7.5M by moving on.

Leonard Floyd

The Bears hoped Leonard Floyd would take the next step in 2019 but that never happened for the former first-round pick. Chicago would save $13.2M in cap space with no dead money left over. The $13.2M becomes fully guaranteed on the first day of the league year.

Josh Norman 

It felt like a foregone conclusion that the Redskins would move on from Norman, but the Redskins hired his former head coach this offseason which makes this a bit more interesting. They won’t keep him at his current number but a restructured contract could be in play.

UPDATE 2/14/20: Redskins released Norman.

Xavier Rhodes  

Rhodes somehow made the Pro Bowl this season but he’s not the same player he once was. He was in some trade talks last offseason and as mentioned before, the Vikings are in a tough cap situation. Moving on from Rhodes would save $8M in cap space.

Trumaine Johnson

Johnson has turned out to be one of the worst free agent signings in recent years. The Jets want no part of him anymore. Cutting him means taking on $12M in dead money…. a hefty amount, but a move that has to be made.

 Janoris Jenkins

This one is pretty straightforward: Jenkins carries an $11.5M cap hit in 2020 and cutting him would wipe all $11.5M off the books with no dead money. The Saints liked Jenkins during his short time there, so a restructured contract is in play here.

Prince Amukamara 

If the Bears do move on and release Amukamara, they would save $9M towards the cap while taking just a hit of $1M. 

UPDATE 2/21/20: Bears released Amukamara.

Vernon Hargreaves

Hargreaves was a mid-season pickup for Houston, but his $9.5M cap hit (5th year option) is a bit too much. That number becomes fully guaranteed on the first day of the league year.

UPDATE 2/14/20: Texans released Hargreaves.

Tony Jefferson

Jefferson suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 5 and his replacement, Chuck Clark, just signed a 3-year extension. The Ravens will likely move on, saving $7M.

UPDATE 2/14/20: Ravens released Jefferson.

Antoine Bethea

At 35 years old and in his 14th NFL season Bethea started all 16 games and led the Giants with 110 tackles. But with a new coach and staff coming in, the Giants could look to get younger at the position. Moving on would save $2.7M.


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