NFL Analysis

February 20, 2024

14 min read

2024 NFL Free Agency: 1 Potential Cap Casualty For Each Team

While most fans already are looking at the coming free agent class, it’s important to remember more names will join the mix as teams make cuts before the new league year.

Whether the player is too expensive, is a bad scheme fit for an incoming coaching staff or the team is tight to the cap, these moves are made every offseason, and the free agent pool expands.

Let’s take a team-by-team look at some players who could end up being cap casualties this offseason.

1 Cap Casualty For Each Team

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Cut: RB Nyheim Hines

Cap Savings: $4.6M | Dead Money: $500K

Nyheim Hines missed all of last season due to a non-football season-ending knee injury. The Buffalo Bills are expected to move on this offseason and clear nearly $5 million in much-needed cap space. 

Miami Dolphins

Cut: OLB Emmanuel Ogbah

Cap Savings: $13.7M | Dead Money: $4M

Emmanuel Ogbah had a diminished role this past season, playing less than 40 percent of snaps in every game. He finished the year totaling 20 tackles and five sacks. 

The Miami Dolphins have a bunch of players on big contracts and some key players to pay this offseason, so keeping Ogbah and his big cap number is unlikely.

New England Patriots

Cut: CB J.C. Jackson

Cap Savings: $14.3M | Dead Money: $0

The New England Patriots traded for J.C. Jackson after his disappointing stint with the Chargers. He appeared in eight games before being placed on the reserve/non-football illness list due to reported mental health issues. 

Once New England moves on from him, his entire $14.3 million cap number will be cleared, putting the Patriots near the top of the league in cap space.

New York Jets

Cut: TE CJ Uzomah

Cap Savings: $5.3M | Dead Money: $5.9M

C.J. Uzomah is a great locker room presence for the New York Jets, but he has been a disappointment on the field. He totaled just eight catches for 58 yards and a touchdown this past season. 

The Jets are set to move forward with Tyler Conklin and Jeremy Ruckert at tight end in 2024.

AFC North

Batlimore Ravens Edge Tyus Bowser celebrates a sack.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Tyus Bowser (54) signals a sack. (Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union.)
Baltimore Ravens

Cut: OLB Tyus Bowser

Cap Savings: $5.5M | Dead Money: $2M

Tyus Bowser missed all of 2023 because of a knee injury and had just two sacks in nine games in 2022. The Baltimore Ravens have some big decisions to make on several impending free agents. 

They will have to make some tough calls moving forward, especially with the big quarterback contract eventually kicking in.

Cincinnati Bengals

Cut: RB Joe Mixon

Cap Savings: $5.75M | Dead Money: $2.75M

Joe Mixon was on this list last year, as well, but he decided to take a pay cut to stay with the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished the season with more than 1,000 rushing yards and 12 total touchdowns. 

However, just like we said last year, teams have found other avenues to acquire running backs for cheaper. The Bengals could approach Mixon again about taking a pay cut, or else he'd join a loaded free-agent running back group where getting a good deal could be difficult. 

Mixon is due a $3 million roster bonus on March 18, so that's a key date to watch.

Cleveland Browns

Cut: RB Nick Chubb

Cap Savings: $11.82M | Dead Money: $4M

After the season, Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry said the team will work on keeping Nick Chubb for next season, essentially confirming some change is necessary. 

One of the best running backs in the league, Chubb suffered a major knee injury in Week 2, requiring multiple surgeries to repair damage to his ACL, MCL and meniscus. Chubb has a non-guaranteed salary of $11.775 million for the 2024 season. 

Chubb is coming off a significant injury, so Cleveland could approach him to adjust his deal. If Chubb declines, things could get interesting.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Cut: WR Allen Robinson

Cap Savings: $10M | Dead Money: $1.91M

The Pittsburgh Steelers would like to retain Allen Robinson, who had 34 receptions for 280 yards in his first year with the team. His $10 million non-guaranteed salary will need to be adjusted for that to happen.

Pittsburgh is expected to make changes on both sides of the ball, with pressure mounting after another season without postseason success. Patrick Peterson, Mason Cole and Keanu Neal are cut candidates, as well.

AFC South

Houston Texans SAF MJ Stewart tackles Taysom Hill
New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) runs the ball as Houston Texans safety MJ Stewart (29) defends during the second quarter at NRG Stadium. (Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Texans

Cut: SAF MJ Stewart

Cap Savings: $2.75M | Dead Money: $750K

The Houston Texans are in a pretty decent cap situation and don’t have any clear-cut cap casualties. MJ Stewart missed the final eight games of the season due to a shoulder injury and was primarily used as a special-teamer when he was on the field. 

His entire base salary is non-guaranteed next season, so Houston could move on and potentially bring him back on a lower salary if it wants him to stick around.

Indianapolis Colts

Cut: TE Mo Alie-Cox

Cap Savings: $5.9M | Dead Money: $0

Mo Alie-Cox had just 13 catches for 161 yards, the lowest of his career since 2019. Indianapolis Colts coach Shane Steichen appears to have settled on Kylen Granson as his tight end, and the team should also get Jelani Woods back healthy next season.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Cut: OT Cam Robinson

Cap Savings: $17.2M | Dead Money: $3.8M

Cam Robinson missed four games last year due to suspension and then another four games due to injury. The Jacksonville Jaguars have first-round pick Anton Harrison at right tackle, and Walker Little could handle the left side if the team moves on from Robinson. 

Tennessee Titans

Cut: OT Andre Dillard

Cap Savings: $2.88M | Dead Money: $7.79M

The Tennessee Titans enter the offseason near the top of the league in salary cap space, and there aren’t many glaring cap casualties on their books. Andre Dillard signed a three-year, $29 million contract last offseason, a deal many questioned at the time, but the Titans felt he could be their answer at left tackle. 

Things didn’t work out, and he had his fair share of struggles. The thing is, Dillard already has $3 million of his base salary guaranteed for 2024, and he has another $3 million that becomes fully guaranteed on March 13. 

Tennessee could swallow the mistake and just move on or could give him another try with the well-respected Bill Callahan now coaching its offensive line.

AFC West

Denver Broncos WR Tim Patrick scores a touchdown
Denver Broncos WR Tim Patrick (81) celebrates his touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Empower Field at Mile High. (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
Denver Broncos

Cut: WR Tim Patrick

Cap Savings: $9.5M | Dead Money: $6M

The Denver Broncos are expected to move on from Russell Wilson this offseason, taking on an NFL record $85 million in dead money. Aside from Wilson, Denver has several players it needs to make decisions on, including SAF Justin Simmons and OT Garrett Bolles. 

Tim Patrick is a little more straightforward, as he’s missed each of the last two seasons due to season-ending injuries suffered at practice. His $9.5 million base salary is non-guaranteed, and there’s no chance Denver will keep him on that price tag.

Kansas City Chiefs

Cut: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Cap Savings: $12M | Dead Money: $2M

Marquez Valdes-Scantling had his downs this past year, but he fully redeemed himself down the stretch and into the postseason as the Kansas City Chiefs won their second consecutive Super Bowl. 

The Chiefs are likely to revamp their receiver room this offseason, and keeping Valdes-Scantling when they can clear $12 million in space is highly unlikely. 

Las Vegas Raiders

Cut: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Cap Savings: $11.2M | Dead Money: $17M

Jimmy Garoppolo was going to be cut regardless. Still, he recently got hit with a two-game PED suspension, which will void $11.25 million in 2024 guarantees, giving the Las Vegas Raiders even more breathing room to get out of his contract. 

The previous regime signing Garoppolo was questionable from the start, especially with his injury history, and the experiment was quickly shut down as soon as Josh McDaniels was fired. 

The Raiders are also likely to move on from WR Hunter Renfrow, a move that would save another $8 million.

Los Angeles Chargers

Cut: WR Mike Williams

Cap Savings: $20M | Dead Money: $12.4M

The Los Angeles Chargers have four players — Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams — with cap hits over $32 million for next season. 

New general manager Joe Hortiz and coach Jim Harbaugh will have some major decisions to make to fix a messy cap situation. They will have to do something with at least one of those players. 

Williams is coming off an ACL tear and has just one year remaining on his deal. Multiple people around the league believe Harbaugh would prefer Allen over Williams if that’s what it comes down to.


Dallas Cowboys

Cut: LB Leighton Vander Esch

Cap Savings: $2.14M | Dead Money: $2.25M

Leighton Vander Esch missed the final 12 games of the season because of another neck injury, which could put his playing career in jeopardy. 

The more interesting name for the Dallas Cowboys could be WR Michael Gallup, who has underperformed since signing a five-year, $62.5-million deal in 2022. He has a $4 million injury guarantee trigger on March 18.

New York Giants

Cut: G Mark Glowinski

Cap Savings: $5.6M | Dead Money: $1.5M

Mark Glowinski was in and out of the starting lineup this past season because the coaching staff believed he wasn’t a dependable starter anymore. 

The New York Giants' offensive line will again undergo reshuffling, and Glowinski is not expected to be part of that group anymore.

Philadelphia Eagles

Cut: S Kevin Byard

Cap Savings: $13M | Dead Money: $1.3M

Kevin Byard was acquired from Tennessee before the trade deadline and ended up starting 10 games for the Philadelphia Eagles

While he didn’t play poorly, Byard also wasn’t the All-Pro player he once was, making letting him go an easy call for Howie Roseman to clear $13 million.

Washington Commanders

Cut: TE Logan Thomas

Cap Savings: $6.54M | Dead Money: $1.75M

New Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters is taking over a team that will have more than $70 million in salary cap space this offseason, so he doesn’t have to make any immediate moves. 

It’s fair to wonder what type of role — if any — Logan Thomas would have in a Kliff Kingsbury–led offense, so Thomas would be a logical cut candidate.

NFC North

Chicago Bears RB Travis Homer jumps over defender
Chicago Bears running back Travis Homer (20) is tripped up by Tennessee Titans defensive back Eric Garror (33) in the second half at Soldier Field. (Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears

Cut: RB Travis Homer

Cap Savings: $1.88M | Dead Money: $225K

The Chicago Bears have already released SAF Eddie Jackson and OG Cody Whitehair, who were the easy cap casualties. 

Travis Homer should be another one. He played mostly on special teams, which wasn't the expectation Chicago had for him when the team signed him to a two-year contract in 2023.

Detroit Lions

Cut: S Tracy Walker

Cap Savings: $5.5M | Dead Money: $7.3M

Tracy Walker signed an extension with the Detroit Lions after the 2021 season, but a torn Achilles limited him to three games in 2022. 

This opened the door for some younger players to prove themselves on the back end of Detroit’s defense, including Kerby Joseph and Ifeatu Melifonwu. Walker ended up playing in 50 percent of the snaps this past season. Detroit may want to keep him, but he might have to take a pay cut.

Green Bay Packers

Cut: OT David Bakhtiari

Cap Savings: $20.9M | Dead Money: $19M

David Bakhtiari has a huge $40 million cap number next year, and the Green Bay Packers could clear half of it if they release him. 

It’s been an unfortunate last few years for Bakhtiari, who has played in just 13 games in three seasons due to recurring knee issues. It’s unclear if Bakhtiari even wants to continue playing, but the only way he stays in Green Bay is if there is some sort of pay cut.

Minnesota Vikings

Cut: S Harrison Smith

Cap Savings: $11.3M | Dead Money: $7.8M

Harrison Smith took a pay cut last year to stick around with the Minnesota Vikings, and he could be presented with a similar situation again this offseason. 

His $14.45 million base salary is all non-guaranteed. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah started a mini teardown last year of some of the aging veterans, and he could look to finish it off this offseason.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons QB Taylor Heinicke throws a pass
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) drops back to pass against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. (Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports)
Atlanta Falcons

Cut: QB Taylor Heinicke

Cap Savings: $6.96M | Dead Money: $2M

The Atlanta Falcons are expected to hit the reset button at quarterback as new coach Raheem Morris and offensive coordinator Zac Robinson take over. 

Taylor Heinicke started four games this past year and could be a viable backup quarterback option, but with nearly $7 million in savings by cutting him, Atlanta could look elsewhere.

Carolina Panthers

Cut: WR Terrace Marshall Jr.

Cap Savings: $1.44M | Dead Money: $381K

The Carolina Panthers' salary cap situation is rough when you look at all the contracts they have on the books. They have guaranteed money owed to players such as Hayden Hurst, Andy Dalton, Miles Sanders and Shy Tuttle — all guys who would be easy cut candidates otherwise. 

Meanwhile, Terrace Marshall got permission to seek a trade last year, but nothing came to fruition. He and his agent want a fresh start elsewhere, and Carolina’s new regime could finally give it to him.

New Orleans Saints

Cut: S Marcus Maye

Cap Savings: $1.1M | Dead Money: $8.4M

As they are every year, the New Orleans Saints are way over the salary cap and will have to restructure a bunch of deals to get under the cap. 

Marcus Maye has missed a full season’s worth of games due to suspension and injury since signing in New Orleans two years ago. 

His entire $7 million base salary for 2024 is non-guaranteed, and New Orleans might decide to just pull the plug instead of kicking more dead money into the future.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cut: WR Russell Gage

Cap Savings: $6.4M | Dead Money: $6.9M

Russell Gage missed the entire past season with a knee injury suffered during training camp. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers found younger and cheaper options that helped replace him alongside Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. 

The Buccaneers have several key impending free agents they need to pay, so they are likely to move on from Gage.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals OL Dennis Daley blocks Houston Texans player
Arizona Cardinals guard Dennis Daley (71) blocks Houston Texans defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) in the second quarter at NRG Stadium. (Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports)
Arizona Cardinals

Cut: G Dennis Daley

Cap Savings: $1.6M | Dead Money: $175K

Dennis Daley appeared in five games with one start in his first season with the Arizona Cardinals but didn't play too well, allowing two sacks in 144 snaps. 

Budda Baker and DJ Humphries are some bigger names to keep an eye on in Arizona.

Los Angeles Rams

Cut: OT Joseph Noteboom

Cap Savings: $5M  | Dead Money: $15M

Joe Noteboom has struggled to stay on the field. When he is on the field, it hasn’t been great. 

The Los Angeles Rams ate significant dead money last year, and they might have to do it again if they part ways with Noteboom.

San Francisco 49ers

Cut: CB Isaiah Oliver

Cap Savings: $2.4M | Dead Money: $1.4M

Isaiah Oliver appeared in all 17 regular season games in 2023, but his role diminished as the season progressed; he didn’t play any snaps in the postseason. 

Oliver was considered a signing influenced by Steve Wilks. Wilks is no longer the team’s defensive coordinator, so it’s a safe bet Oliver will likely not be with the San Francisco 49ers next season.

Seattle Seahawks

Cut: SAF Jamal Adams

Cap Savings: $6M | Dead Money: $20.8M

The relationship between Jamal Adams and the Seattle Seahawks has soured in the last year, and it feels like both sides will be looking for a fresh start. 

Still just 28, Adams has played in just 10 games during the last two seasons and hasn't played a full season since 2018. He wants to continue playing.