1. Doug Martin, Buccaneers
Cap Saved: $6.75 million, Cash Saved: $6.75 million
There was always a ton of risk involved with Martin whose history in the NFL is filled with ultra high highs and ultra low lows. Since signing his big contract two years ago Martin has averaged under 3 yards per carry and missed games because of suspension. The Bucs had a chance to escape this contract in 2017 but decided to roll the dice one more time hoping that a “contract year” would bring out the best. Don’t expect them to be fooled again.
2. Chris Ivory, Jaguars
Cap Saved: $3.68 million, Cash Saved: $6 million
One of the worst values in the NFL, Ivory only played in 26.4% of the Jaguars offensive snaps despite being the 7th highest paid player in the NFL. Leonard Fournette established himself as the top runner while Ivory fell to third on the depth chart by seasons end.
3. Matt Forte, Jets
Cap Saved: $3 million, Cash Saved: $3 million
Forte is probably the best representation of the Jets overconfidence off a 10 win 2015 season when they decided it made sense to guarantee two seasons for the older running back. Forte hasn’t really fit in with the Jets and didn’t even crack 400 rushing yards this season.
4. Mike Gillislee, Patriots
Cap Saved: $2.18 million, Cash Saved: $2.4 million
Most of us were all guilty of thinking that the Patriots stole away Gillislee from the Bills but the last laugh was on the Patriots who paid close to $4 million for 15% playtime and a bunch of deactivations. Gillislee was basically invisible after week 2.
5. Adrian Peterson, Cardinals
Cap Saved: $2.88 million, Cash Saved: $3.5 million
Peterson has some moments for the Cardinals but they will be getting back David Johnson and Peterson looks like his career should be over. Peterson has finished three of the last four seasons on IR and missed 34 out of 64 games in that time. He has had a hall of fame career but the time has come for the league to move on.
6. Charcandrick West, Chiefs
Cap Saved: $1.7 million, Cash Saved: $1.75 million
West was expected to be a contributor this season but with the emergence of Kareem Hunt became a non-factor. West saw action in just 22% of the Chiefs snaps and was pretty much phased out of the offense down the stretch. With the team facing cap problems and this being the most West will earn in a year it makes him a likely candidate for release.
7. DeMarco Murray, Titans
Cap Saved: $6.5 million, Cash Saved: $6.5 million
Murray probably still has value to a team, perhaps even the Titans, but not at a $6.5 million price tag. Murray was the inferior player to Derrick Henry and is probably now best suited to spell a younger player taking maybe a third of the snaps, particularly in passing situations. He could just take a pay cut to stick in Tennessee but it would be very surprising if he was back at this dollar figure.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.