Dwayne Allen, Patriots
Cap Saved: $7.4M; Cash Saved: $7.4M; Dead Money: $0
Allen has earned around $8.5 million from the Patriots in the last two seasons. For that the Patriots have gotten a total of 13 receptions for 113 yards and one touchdown while playing around 35% of the teams snaps. Even if Allen was the best blocking tight end in the NFL he would have zero percent chance of playing next year for $7.4 million. This contract he signed with the Colts should go into the players Hall of Fame for great contracts.
Dion Sims, Bears
Cap Saved: $6M; Cash Saved: $6M; Dead Money: $333K
Chicago gave this one a second shot last season and it proved to be a bad idea. Sims was injured and missed half the season, though it is not as if he was doing much before that. In those 8 games Sims put up 2 receptions for 9 yards while playing under 20% of the team’s offensive snaps. Cutting Sims will help the Bears open up some space to re-sign some players.
Charles Clay, Bills
Cap Saved: $4.5M; Cash Saved: $4.5M; Dead Money: $4.5M
Clay was signed pretty much the height of the insanity that was the Bills front office a few years ago. It was a bizarre contract that paid Clay nearly $25 million in the first two years because they were fearful that the Dolphins were going to match an offer. The structure was such that Clay was pretty much protected through four years. Clay was at least an average player in his time with the Bills but the bottom dropped out this year and they should be moving on now.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jaguars
Cap Saved: $4.5M; Cash Saved: $5.25M; Dead Money: $1.6M
The Jaguars already informed Seferian-Jenkins that he will have his option declined and not be brought back in 2019. ASJ is a talented player that could really help a team if he could stay healthy.
Vernon Davis, Redskins
Cap Saved: $5M; Cash Saved: $5M; Dead Money: $1.33M
Davis is always capable of stringing a few good games together and even at 35 should be able to be part of an offense if he wants to keep playing, but the Redskins are in a strange spot because of their QB situation and can probably use the cap space. With Jordan Reed at such a high cap figure there is no real way to justify carrying both at their current numbers.
Jermaine Gresham, Cardinals
Cap Saved: $2.5M; Cash Saved: $4.25M; Dead Money: $5.75M
Essentially a lesser version of the Allen contract, Gresham’s deal makes him one of the higher paid tight ends on the NFL despite little in the way of production. Last season Gresham failed to reach 100 receiving yards despite playing in 13 games. Maybe they simply bring his salary down but there is no real reason to have him on an $8.25 million cap charge this season.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
Cap Saved: $7.63M; Cash Saved: $7.63M; Dead Money: $0
If the Vikings cut Rudolph it is likely a salary cap inspired move more than anything else. Rudolph is still a productive part of the offense so the more likely outcome here is a three eyar extension that brings his cap figure down while keeping his salary the same.
Jimmy Graham, Packers
Cap Saved: $5.33M; Cash Saved: $9M; Dead Money: $7.33M
If Graham was not on the Packers I’d have him much higher on this list, but since he is on Green Bay I consider a release pretty unlikely. Graham is still paid as if he is an elite receiving tight end when he simply is no longer that kind of player. He has finished with less than 650 yards in three of his last four seasons and last year just had two touchdowns.