1. Mike Glennon, Bears
Cap Saved: $11.5 million, Cash Saved: $12.5 million
One of the worst, if not the worst, signings of last year, Glennon only lasted four games before being benched. He does have a $2.5 million salary guarantee so the Bears will actually realize close to $1 million more in savings once he finds another job as a backup.
2. Tyrod Taylor, Bills
Cap Saved: $9.44 million, Cash Saved: $15 million
This is the kind of decision that can sink a front office if they get it wrong. They already tipped their hand during the season that they don’t think Taylor is the guy and as an organization they tried to find a way out last year too. From a cost standpoint this is ok for a starter, but if you think you are benching him then its too expensive. Taylor has a big roster bonus due early in the offseason so a decision will come quick here. They will get an added $1 million in cash and cap relief after the year if they cut him.
3. Eli Manning, Giants
Cap Saved: $9.8 million, Cash Saved: $16 million
If the Giants keep Eli for the season it probably has more to do with sentimentality than anything else. Manning looked bad for the Giants this past year and is a better fit on a team that looks more poised for the playoffs. New York has the 2nd pick in the draft and should be drafting their QB of the future. Is there a chance that they have Eli play half the year and then bench him with him taking the Kurt Warner role? Sure, but in todays NFL I think its extremely hard to bench the starter if the team is on the fringes of the playoff hunt. I tend to think that doing a nice sendoff makes more sense for both sides.
4. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
Cap Saved: $15.2 million, Cash Saved: $17.5 million
With two knee injuries in two years I do not believe it’s a given that the Dolphins can roll with Tannehill at least on his current contract. This contract never really was about the Dolphins belief in Tannehill and was more about trying to get him on a lower cost contract if he took the step towards being a franchise QB, which he hasn’t done. The Dolphins wont have a need to move him early and can wait to see if they can find someone in free agency or the draft or they can even look to rework the deal with some incentives based on health. I think the odds would be in favor of him sticking with the Dolphins but Id be surprised if the contract remains as is.
5. Blake Bortles
Cap Saved: $0; Cash Saved: $0
Bortles would have been number two on my list except he is going to have his salary protected because he is hurt and the Jaguars surprisingly picked up his option last season which gave him $19 million in protection. His salary is so high that I cant imagine a team cutting him or eating 95% of the cost and trading him, but this is the Jaguars and they don’t seem to have the same budgetary restraints as other teams. Lets just say I don’t think that the contract will be a barrier to signing a premier free agent if they think that free agent will get them to the Super Bowl.