• Andy Hanson

Top 10 Potential NFL Cap Casualties

Updated: Feb 11


With the NFL’s salary cap expected to be decreased this year due to the pandemic, how teams manage their cap will be more critical than ever. Decisions made in the coming weeks will have major ramifications.


As teams look to clear some space to have money for free agents, there may be some prominent names that will be cut – either due to declining performance, too big a salary or both.


Based on teams with tight cap situations and players with big cap numbers, here are the 10 best players we expect to become cap casualties:


1. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 39ers

Team Savings: $23.6 million

Dead Money: $2.8 million

2020 Starts: 6

Age as of 9/1/21: 29

Reasoning: Jimmy G's next stop will be as a starter, so for better or worse he will make a big impact next year for whoever he plays for.


2. John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills

Team Savings: $7.93 million

Dead Money: $1.6 million

2020 Starts: 11

Age as of 9/1/21: 31

Reasoning: Brown is a good starter but is currently on a roster that already has a lot of talent at the receiver position.


3. Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets

Team Savings: $10.38 million

Dead Money: $1 million

2020 Starts: 7

Age as of 9/1/21: 28

Reasoning: Crowder can make an impact on his next team but his current contract is too much for his production in New York.


4. Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans

Team Savings: $12 million

Dead Money: $0

2020 Starts: 15

Age as of 9/1/21: 27

Reasoning: Cooks is on a team that needs the cap space his contract is currently eating, and they can part ways without any penalty. New General Manager Nick Caserio is familiar with Cooks from their time together with the Patriots when Caserio both traded a first-round pick to the Saints for Cooks and traded Cooks for a first-round pick to the Rams.


5. David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns

Team Savings: $6.3 million

Dead Money: $0

2020 Starts: 6

Age as of 9/1/21: 25

Reasoning: After the Browns signed Austin Hooper and with the emergence of talented rookie Harrison Bryant, Njoku is expendable.


6. David DeCastro, G, Pittsburgh Steelers

Team Savings: $8.75 million

Dead Money: $5.5 million

2020 Starts: 14

Age as of 9/1/21: 31

Reasoning: DeCastro could stay with Pittsburgh, but they may need to extend him due to their tight cap situation.


7. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

Team Savings: $17.5 million

Dead Money: $0

2020 Starts: 16

Age as of 9/1/21: 32

Reasoning: Watt is past his prime but can still be an impact player depending on where he lands. By publicly voicing that he wants out of Houston, it gives the Texans an excuse to put this money to better use.


8. Henry Anderson, DT, New York Jets

Team Savings: $8.2 million

Dead Money: $1.3 million

2020 Starts: 8

Age as of 9/1/21: 30

Reasoning: Anderson saves the Jets significant amount of money if he is cut, though he could still be a productive starter solidifying the edge.


9. Carlos Dunlap, Edge, Seattle Seahawks

Team Savings: $14 million

Dead Money: $0

2020 Starts: 11

Age as of 9/1/21: 32

Reasoning: Dunlap played very well for Seattle but may be too expensive to keep on the roster for this price at his age.


10. Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots

Team Savings: $7.49 million

Dead Money: $8.9 million

2020 Starts: 11

Age as of 9/1/21: 30

Reasoning: Gilmore might be a surprise to some, but it is doubtful he is willing to play on the final year of his contract, and the Patriots have moved on from high-profile CBs who are frustrated with their contract in the past.