Practice Squad Elevation Tracker: Week 11

Troy had a pretty interesting question regarding practice squad elevations this week where he wondered just how much teams are actually spending on elevations since this is a new thing teams will have to budget for in the future. Since we track standard elevations (Covid elevations hopefully will just be a one year deal) we can run through each team and see how much they have spent over the players practice squad salary this year.

TeamElevation Salary
Football Team$518,129

Prorating for the season it would seem that teams should set aside somewhere between $700,000 and $750,000 in elevation salary. Also in looking at the numbers the current split between elevations for those making $204K vs $142.8K is about 110 to 325 this year.

Here are the players who have been elevated so far this year.

NameTeamTimes Elevated
David IrvingRaiders2
Trevon ColeyCardinals2
Jordan RichardsRavens2
C.J. ProsiseTexans2
Chris SmithRaiders2
Austin CarrSaints2
Bennie FowlerSaints2
Margus HuntSaints2
Jayrone ElliottSteelers2
Johnathan Cyprien49ers2
Hroniss Grasu49ers2
Joe Walker49ers2
Kevin White49ers2
Joshua GarnettFootball Team2
Jared NorrisFootball Team2
Kenjon BarnerBuccaneers2
Billy WinnPackers2
Deon LaceyBills2
Torry McTyerBengals2
George IlokaVikings2
Devante BondBears2
Marcus JohnsonColts2
Alfred MorrisGiants2
Damarious RandallSeahawks2
Damon HarrisonSeahawks2
Matt OvertonTitans2
Bryan WitzmannChiefs2
Brett JonesVikings2
Quinton SpainBengals2
Alex CollinsSeahawks2
Jamal CarterFalcons1
Bryan Cox Jr.Bills1
Cairo SantosBears1
Brandon CarrCowboys1
Kenny WigginsLions1
Jonathan WilliamsLions1
Greg ManczTexans1
Mike GlennonJaguars1
Caraun ReidJaguars1
Kyle EmanuelRaiders1
Datone JonesRaiders1
Theo RiddickRaiders1
Ryan GroyChargers1
Nick FolkPatriots1
Xavier WilliamsPatriots1
Johnny HoltonGiants1
Ross TravisJets1
Trevor WilliamsEagles1
Dontae Johnson49ers1
Chad WheelerSeahawks1
Jordan DeveyBills1
Caleb BenenochPatriots1
T.Y. McGillEagles1
Daren BatesTitans1
Rashard RobinsonCowboys1
Marcus MartinLions1
Ross CockrellBuccaneers1
Jahleel AddaeChargers1
Corey LiugetTexans1
Aldrick RosasJaguars1
Ken CrawleySaints1
Jordan MillsCowboys1
Marcus GilchristRavens1
Jamar Taylor49ers1
Nigel BradhamBroncos1
Lamar MillerBears1
Curtis RileyCardinals1
Jabaal SheardJaguars1
Tanzel SmartJets1
Ray-Ray ArmstrongSeahawks1
Jamon BrownEagles1
Bryce HagerJets1
Dez BryantRavens1
Tony Bergstrom49ers1
Dwayne HarrisBears1
Cooper RushCowboys1
Daryl WorleyBills1
Donte MoncriefPatriots1
Mohamed SanuLions1
Eric KushBears1
Luke WillsonRavens1
Ryan GlasgowSaints1
Andrew DePaolaVikings1
Jonathan WardCardinals2
Jace WhittakerCardinals2
Edmond RobinsonFalcons2
Terrell BondsRavens2
Khalil DorseyRavens2
Kristian WelchRavens2
Dane JacksonBills2
Andre SmithBills2
Justin ZimmerBills2
Reggie BonnafonPanthers2
Bruce HectorPanthers2
Chris OrrPanthers2
Freedom AkinmoladunBengals2
Trayvon HendersonBengals2
Kahlil McKenzieBengals2
Robert JacksonBrowns2
Marcus HenryCowboys2
LeVante BellamyBroncos2
Jeremy CoxBroncos2
Derrek TuszkaBroncos2
Josh WatsonBroncos2
Frank HerronLions2
Isaac NautaLions2
Henry BlackPackers2
John LovettPackers2
Jake EldrenkampColts2
De’Michael HarrisColts2
Ben EllefsonJaguars2
Joe Giles-HarrisJaguars2
K.C. McDermottJaguars2
Gehrig DieterChiefs2
Darius BradwellChargers2
Tae HayesDolphins2
Benito JonesDolphins2
Mark FieldsVikings2
Tashawn BowerPatriots2
Terez HallPatriots2
Nick ThurmanPatriots2
Isaiah ZuberPatriots2
Garrett GriffinSaints2
Josh AdamsJets2
Lawrence CagerJets2
Lamar JacksonJets2
Josh MaloneJets2
Grayland ArnoldEagles2
Deontay BurnettEagles2
Elijah RileyEagles2
Antoine BrooksSteelers2
Trey EdmundsSteelers2
Jared Mayden49ers2
Jayson StanleySeahawks2
Cyril GraysonBuccaneers2
Jeremy McNicholsTitans2
Cam SimsFootball Team2
Jaryd Jones-SmithRaiders2
Sean ChandlerGiants2
Cameron BatsonTitans2
Eric SmithCowboys2
Michael DogbeCardinals2
D.J. FosterCardinals2
Steven ParkerCowboys2
Jeff BadetFootball Team2
Temarrick HemingwayFootball Team2
Troymaine PopeChargers2
Tyler HallFalcons2
Jordan KunaszykFootball Team2
Jason CroomEagles2
Michael JacquetEagles2
Mike WhiteJets2
Marcus KempChiefs2
Adam RedmondCowboys2
Trent HarrisGiants2
Jalen DavisBengals2
Montre HartageGiants2
Troy FumagalliBroncos2
Sergio CastilloJets1
Reggie WalkerCardinals1
Delrick AbramsFalcons1
Trystan Colon-CastilloRavens1
Will HoldenRavens1
Cameron LewisBills1
Josh ThomasBills1
Duke WilliamsBills1
Woodrow HamiltonPanthers1
Natrell JamersonPanthers1
Marken MichelPanthers1
Tyler BrayBears1
Badara TraoreBears1
Amani BledsoeBengals1
Stanley MorganBengals1
Elijah BentonBrowns1
Michael DunnBrowns1
A.J. GreenBrowns1
Johnny StantonBrowns1
Deante BurtonCowboys1
Sewo OloniluaCowboys1
Quinn BaileyBroncos1
Alijah HolderBroncos1
P.J. LockeBroncos1
Patrick MorrisBroncos1
Jake RodgersBroncos1
Kevin StrongLions1
Dee VirginLions1
Tipa GaleaiPackers1
Willington PrevilonPackers1
Stanford SamuelsPackers1
Nate HallTexans1
Jonathan OwensTexans1
Scottie PhillipsTexans1
Farrod GreenColts1
Nathan CottrellJaguars1
Terry GodwinJaguars1
Braxton HoyettChiefs1
Keelan DossRaiders1
Madre HarperRaiders1
Javin WhiteRaiders1
Cole ChristiansenChargers1
Tyron JohnsonChargers1
Gabe NabersChargers1
Cole TonerChargers1
Marquise CopelandRams1
Juju HughesRams1
Derrick MoncriefRams1
Natrez PatrickRams1
Antonio CallawayDolphins1
Chris MyarickDolphins1
Tyshun RenderDolphins1
Aviante CollinsVikings1
Juwan JohnsonSaints1
Austin MackGiants1
Jimmy MurrayJets1
Elijah HolyfieldEagles1
Iosua OpetaEagles1
Raequan WilliamsEagles1
Caleb WilsonEagles1
Deon CainSteelers1
River Cracraft49ers1
Darrion Daniels49ers1
JaMycal Hasty49ers1
Shaquem GriffinSeahawks1
Gavin HeslopSeahawks1
Ryan NealSeahawks1
Stephen SullivanSeahawks1
Tanner HudsonBuccaneers1
Jeremiah LedbetterBuccaneers1
Josh PearsonBuccaneers1
Mazzi WilkinsBuccaneers1
Kareem OrrTitans1
David QuessenberryTitans1
Wyatt RayTitans1
Nick WestbrookTitans1
Ross PierschbacherFootball Team1
David SteinmetzFootball Team1
Chad SladeGiants1
Jordan ThomasCardinals1
Jake KumerowBills1
Kevin Toliver IIBroncos1
Danny IsidoraChiefs1
Hardy NickersonVikings1
Kristian WilkersonPatriots1
Ryan LewisGiants1
De’Jon HarrisPackers1
Anthony RushSeahawks1
Dexter WilliamsPackers1
Jaleel ScottJets1
Joey IvieBrowns1
Brian Allen49ers1
Brandin BryantBills1
Dieter EiselenBears1
Eric SaubertJaguars1
Josh NurseJaguars1
Breon BordersTitans1
Austin Walter49ers1
Luther KirkVikings1
Evan BaylisCardinals1
Joe GazianoChargers1
Deion CalhounBengals1
Devaroe LawrenceFootball Team1
Elliott FryFalcons1
Alex BachmanGiants1
Doug MiddletonJaguars1
Kalen BallageChargers1
Geno StoneRavens1
Will ClappSaints1
Hercules Mata’afaVikings1
Pita TaumoepenuFalcons1
Dan SkipperLions1
Saivion SmithCowboys1
Daniel Helm49ers1
Jason MooreChargers1
Ben BradenPackers1
KeiVarae RussellPackers1
Daurice FountainColts1
Trevor DanielTitans1
Mike WeberPackers1
Bo ScarbroughSeahawks1
Cassh MaluiaPatriots1

NFL Leaders in Salary on Injured Lists

With teams about to take the turn to the halfway point I wanted to take a snapshot of how much teams are currently impacted by injury. What we did here was look at how much in terms of salary cap dollars and annual contract value were on reserve lists associated with being injured- IR, PUP, and NFI (Covid lists are not included) and what percent of a teams allocation on the season is sitting there.

There team most hurt by injuries is the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have 30% of their salary cap sitting on reserve with just under 29% of the their total contract value sitting on the sidelines. Both are NFL highs. While Dallas is certainly having a disappointing year injuries are playing a big role.

The 49ers and Broncos are neck and neck for the next spot and both have done a good job overcoming adversity this year. Both squads are right around 27% of their roster value on IR and between 28 and 29% of their salary cap values on IR. The Broncos were higher earlier this year but did get their QB back. The teams rank 1st and 2nd in players on reserve the 49ers having 16 players hurt and the Broncos having 12 hurt. If I had to say which has it worse Id lean San Francisco who lost bigger value players whose impact is understated using salary metrics since they are on rookie contracts.

The Panthers are fourth with about 23% of their roster values hurt but they should take a big turn for the better next week when Christian McCaffrey is activated.

The Bengals have 19% of their roster value on IR and 17% of their cap value on IR while the Eagles are 4th in the NFL with $4M in contract value on IR but their roster value is so high it only makes up 18%, which puts them at 6th.

The Falcons are the healthiest team in the NFL which just makes their terrible start even more mind boggling. Usually a healthy roster leads to over-perfoming if anything. he Bills have some players on the sidelines but none hurt enough to land on IR. They have just 1.2% of their roster value on reserve.

The Lions and Rams have 2.1% and 2.2% respectively hurt. The Rams number went down yesterday with the activation of A’Shawn Robinson who had a questionable NFI designation. Teams should study what the Rams do because every year their team is generally healthy and its too consistent to just be dumb luck. The Chiefs round out the top five.

The following table has the full list as of this morning.

TeamPlayersCap on ReserveContract Value on Reserve% Cap on Reserve% Contract Value on Reserve
Football Team11$26,518,658$29,623,71015.9%16.4%

NFL Week 6 Player Valuations

The valuations for week 6 are now updated for all players. This week’s values are available for free on the valuations page and the full season numbers as well as results from week 1 through 5 are available for premium subscribers.

Top player of the week went to Ryan Tannehill on offense with Jason Pierre-Paul getting the top nod on defense. Here were this week’s top valued players.

PositionPlayerPositional ValueTotal Value
QBRyan Tannehill$37,912,000$37,912,000
RBClyde Edwards-Helaire$16,244,000$16,244,000
WRJulio Jones$19,860,000$19,949,000
WRA.J. Green$19,429,000$19,429,000
TETravis Kelce$12,089,000$12,089,000
LTLaremy Tunsil$18,400,000$18,892,000
RTMike McGlinchey$16,482,000$16,941,000
CTrey Hopkins$12,046,000$12,576,000
GGreg Van Roten$13,080,000$13,124,000
GBrandon Scherff$12,700,000$13,159,000
EdgeJason Pierre-Paul$25,057,000$25,057,000
EdgeEmmanuel Ogbah$24,497,000$24,955,000
IDLLeonard Williams$19,031,000$19,524,000
IDLStephon Tuitt$18,614,000$19,187,000
LBJamie Collins$16,118,000$16,162,000
LBDeion Jones$15,955,000$16,414,000
CBJason Verrett$19,686,000$19,686,000
CBJonathan Jones$17,941,000$18,809,000
CBTroy Hill$17,802,000$17,802,000
SBudda Baker$17,705,000$17,838,000
SMinkah Fitzpatrick$14,625,000$14,669,000
PSam Koch$2,762,000$2,762,000
KYounghoe Koo$4,195,000$4,195,000
LSMorgan Cox$1,973,000$1,973,000

View Week 6 Player Valuations

Add OTC to Your Google News Feed to stay up to date with our updates

What Can the Vikings do With Kirk Cousins

Cousins is in the middle of an implosion game that comes 6 games into what looks like an implosion season and I am getting a number of questions about how the Vikings can escape his contract. So I’ll put together here a brief explanation as to how Cousins contract works and what they would need to do to move on from him.

The Vikings in need for some salary cap relief surprisingly extended Cousins this past March rather than seeing how things would play out this year and then offering an extension. The new contract gave Cousins a $10 million raise in 2020 and guaranteed him $21 million for 2021. He was paid a $30 million signing bonus this year as well. Those numbers right now are set in stone.

Things get trickier next year. If they were to cut Cousins they will have to cut him a check for $21 million, basically meaning they paid an extra $31 million for whatever performance you are getting on the field this year. In my mind that kind of mistake puts you as a GM on the chopping block with ownership no matter what your track record is. However if they do not cut him by the 3rd day of the league year then his 2022 salary will become fully guaranteed. That salary is worth $35 million.

The cost to cut Cousins on the salary cap in 2021 is $41 million, $10 million higher than Cousins $31 million salary cap figure. The Vikings already project to be about $14 million over the cap after futures signings so that would push them to $24 million over. No salary figures would be left for Cousins in 2022 if cut this way.

A trade is a more viable option. In a trade the guarantee travels from Minnesota to the acquiring team so the dead money is just $20 million. Cousins $21 million salary in 2021 would be acceptable to a team trading for him if they believe they can rehab him as $20 million is low end money for a starting veteran. The 2022 guarantee for $35 million could be problematic and would require a team to be pretty bullish on Cousins. There is also the possibility of reworking the contract to make it easier for another team.

The only type of team to be willing to trade for Cousins would be a team that envisions itself as a good football team with no avenue to obtain a starting QB. Those teams would include teams like the Colts and possibly the Bears and 49ers. Perhaps the Broncos would at least throw a feeler out there as well.

If those routes do not exist then the next out would be to force themselves to part with a high draft pick in return for someone taking on the salary. The Jets, Jaguars, and perhaps the Patriots would be the teams that would be in a position to do it next year. The Vikings, who would also be leaving themselves without a QB in such a trade, may be able to get the Jets or Jaguars young QBs as part of a trade if either of those teams winds up with the 1st pick in the draft. Given the guarantee at play I would think it would require including a 1st round pick.

If a trade is not an option and they decide they want to eat the cost and move on there is probably only one path. What the Vikings would have to do in that case is designate Cousins a post June 1 cut at the start of free agency. That would allow them to keep Cousins on the books at $31 million for the entire 2021 season and defer $10 million to 2022.

There are some ways to potentially change that split a bit more with a restructure but that would have to occur before the end of this season. The Vikings lack of cap room this year make this much harder to do but it may not be a bad decision if they are willing to eat salary in a trade anyway.

Barring a big turnaround over the next 10 games this extension with Cousins is probably going to be one of the bigger stories of this year and next offseason.

Practice Squad Elevation Tracker: Week 5

Here is the updated list of practice squad elevations on the season. The Steelers finally made an elevation this week so now everyone has used the rule at least once.

NameTeamPositionTimes Elevated
Jonathan WardCardinalsRB2
Khalil DorseyRavensCB2
Jordan RichardsRavensS2
Reggie BonnafonPanthersRB2
Freedom AkinmoladunBengalsEDGE2
Trayvon HendersonBengalsS2
Kahlil McKenzieBengalsRG2
Robert JacksonBrownsCB2
LeVante BellamyBroncosRB2
Derrek TuszkaBroncosDE2
John LovettPackersTE2
C.J. ProsiseTexansRB2
Ben EllefsonJaguarsTE2
K.C. McDermottJaguarsLT2
Darius BradwellChargersRB2
Mark FieldsVikingsCB2
Nick ThurmanPatriotsDE2
Bennie FowlerSaintsWR2
Margus HuntSaintsEDGE2
Josh AdamsJetsRB2
Lawrence CagerJetsWR2
Lamar JacksonJetsQB2
Josh MaloneJetsWR2
Grayland ArnoldEaglesS2
Deontay BurnettEaglesWR2
Hroniss Grasu49ersC2
Joe Walker49ersLB2
Cyril GraysonBuccaneersWR2
Jeremy McNicholsTitansRB2
Joshua GarnettFootball TeamLG2
Jared NorrisFootball TeamLB2
Cam SimsFootball TeamWR2
Sean ChandlerGiantsS2
Cameron BatsonTitansWR2
Eric SmithCowboysLT2
Kenjon BarnerBuccaneersRB2
Billy WinnPackersDE2
Deon LaceyBillsLB2
Torry McTyerBengalsCB2
George IlokaVikingsS2
Devante BondBearsLB2
Tyler HallFalconsS2
Damarious RandallSeahawksS2
Jace WhittakerCardinalsCB1
Delrick AbramsFalconsCB1
Jamal CarterFalconsLB1
Edmond RobinsonFalconsLB1
Terrell BondsRavensCB1
Trystan Colon-CastilloRavensC1
Cameron LewisBillsCB1
Andre SmithBillsRT1
Justin ZimmerBillsDT1
Woodrow HamiltonPanthersDT1
Chris OrrPanthersLB1
Tyler BrayBearsQB1
Cairo SantosBearsK1
Amani BledsoeBengalsDT1
A.J. GreenBrownsWR1
Deante BurtonCowboysCB1
Brandon CarrCowboysS1
Marcus HenryCowboysC1
P.J. LockeBroncosS1
Jake RodgersBroncosRT1
Josh WatsonBroncosLB1
Kevin StrongLionsDT1
Dee VirginLionsCB1
Kenny WigginsLionsRG1
Jonathan WilliamsLionsRB1
Tipa GaleaiPackersEDGE1
Willington PrevilonPackersDE1
Scottie PhillipsTexansRB1
Farrod GreenColtsTE1
Nathan CottrellJaguarsRB1
Mike GlennonJaguarsQB1
Braxton HoyettChiefsDE1
Keelan DossRaidersWR1
Kyle EmanuelRaidersLB1
Madre HarperRaidersCB1
Datone JonesRaidersDT1
Theo RiddickRaidersRB1
Javin WhiteRaidersLB1
Ryan GroyChargersC1
Tyron JohnsonChargersWR1
Gabe NabersChargersTE1
Cole TonerChargersRG1
Marquise CopelandRamsDE1
Juju HughesRamsS1
Natrez PatrickRamsLB1
Tae HayesDolphinsCB1
Tyshun RenderDolphinsEDGE1
Nick FolkPatriotsK1
Xavier WilliamsPatriotsDT1
Isaiah ZuberPatriotsWR1
Garrett GriffinSaintsTE1
Johnny HoltonGiantsWR1
Austin MackGiantsWR1
Jimmy MurrayJetsC1
Iosua OpetaEaglesLG1
Elijah RileyEaglesS1
Trevor WilliamsEaglesCB1
Trey EdmundsSteelersS1
JaMycal Hasty49ersRB1
Dontae Johnson49ersCB1
Kevin White49ersWR1
Shaquem GriffinSeahawksLB1
Gavin HeslopSeahawksCB1
Ryan NealSeahawksCB1
Chad WheelerSeahawksRT1
Tanner HudsonBuccaneersTE1
Josh PearsonBuccaneersWR1
Mazzi WilkinsBuccaneersCB1
Nick WestbrookTitansWR1
Chad SladeGiantsRG1
Jordan ThomasCardinalsTE1
Kevin Toliver IIBroncosCB1
Hardy NickersonVikingsLB1
Ryan LewisGiantsCB1
De’Jon HarrisPackersLB1
Anthony RushSeahawksDT1
Joey IvieBrownsDT1
Steven ParkerCowboysS1
Brian Allen49ersC1
Temarrick HemingwayFootball TeamTE1
Marcus JohnsonColtsWR1
Ross CockrellBuccaneersCB1
Jahleel AddaeChargersS1
Aldrick RosasJaguarsK1
Ken CrawleySaintsCB1
Evan BaylisCardinalsTE1
Jason CroomEaglesTE1
Marcus GilchristRavensS1
Elliott FryFalconsK1
Jamar Taylor49ersCB1
Mike WhiteJetsQB1
Curtis RileyCardinalsS1

Practice Squad Elevation Tracker: Week 4

Last week Troy brought up an interesting point about use of the elevation rule and the use on vets vs non-vet players so I thought we could look that up this week. Thus far there have been 113 players who have been elevated. Of those players 34 are veterans, so about 30% of call ups are veterans and 70% are those who would be eligible for waivers. This is pretty much right in line with the typical NFL roster construction. Thus far the ratio of 1 time to 2 time call ups is about 2 to 1 for each group so both groups are being treated equally which I think debunks my theory that termination pay could be a reason for the use on some veterans.

Thus far the NFL average is to have used the elevation 4.6 times per team. The teams who have used it the most are the Jets and Broncos at 8 (they are the only max out teams) with the 49ers, Bengals, Chargers, and Jaguars all tied at 7. The Steelers are the lone team to not use it while the Dolphins and Chiefs have only used it one time. The teams most likely to use it on veteran players have been the 49ers, Saints, and Football Team. The 49ers lead the way with 6 veteran elevations (4 different players), with the Saints at 5 elevations (3 players) and the Football Team with 4 elevations (2 players). 11 teams do not have a veteran elevation this year.

Here is the current list of players who have been elevated. For players who have been elevated two times with one team they are ineligible to be elevated a third time.

NameTeamPositionTime Elevated
Hroniss Grasu49ersC2
Joe Walker49ersLB2
Freedom AkinmoladunBengalsEDGE2
Trayvon HendersonBengalsS2
Deon LaceyBillsLB2
LeVante BellamyBroncosRB2
Derrek TuszkaBroncosEDGE2
Robert JacksonBrownsCB2
Cyril GraysonBuccaneersWR2
Kenjon BarnerBuccaneersRB2
Jonathan WardCardinalsRB2
Darius BradwellChargersRB2
Eric SmithCowboysLT2
Grayland ArnoldEaglesS2
Deontay BurnettEaglesWR2
Joshua GarnettFootball TeamRG2
Jared NorrisFootball TeamLB2
Cam SimsFootball TeamWR2
Sean ChandlerGiantsS2
Ben EllefsonJaguarsTE2
K.C. McDermottJaguarsLT2
Josh AdamsJetsRB2
Lawrence CagerJetsWR2
Josh MaloneJetsWR2
John LovettPackersTE2
Reggie BonnafonPanthersRB2
Nick ThurmanPatriotsDE2
Khalil DorseyRavensCB2
Jordan RichardsRavensS2
Bennie FowlerSaintsWR2
Margus HuntSaintsEDGE2
C.J. ProsiseTexansRB2
Jeremy McNicholsTitansRB2
Cameron BatsonTitansWR2
Mark FieldsVikingsCB2
George IlokaVikingsS2
JaMycal Hasty49ersRB1
Dontae Johnson49ersCB1
Jamar Taylor49ersCB1
Tyler BrayBearsQB1
Cairo SantosBearsK1
Devante BondBearsLB1
Amani BledsoeBengalsDT1
Kahlil McKenzieBengalsRG1
Torry McTyerBengalsCB1
Cameron LewisBillsCB1
Andre SmithBillsLB1
Justin ZimmerBillsDT1
P.J. LockeBroncosS1
Jake RodgersBroncosRT1
Josh WatsonBroncosLB1
Kevin Toliver IIBroncosCB1
A.J. GreenBrownsCB1
Tanner HudsonBuccaneersTE1
Mazzi WilkinsBuccaneersCB1
Jace WhittakerCardinalsCB1
Jordan ThomasCardinalsTE1
Ryan GroyChargersC1
Tyron JohnsonChargersWR1
Gabe NabersChargersTE1
Cole TonerChargersRG1
Jahleel AddaeChargersS1
Braxton HoyettChiefsDE1
Farrod GreenColtsTE1
Marcus JohnsonColtsWR1
Deante BurtonCowboysCB1
Brandon CarrCowboysCB1
Tae HayesDolphinsCB1
Iosua OpetaEaglesLG1
Trevor WilliamsEaglesCB1
Delrick AbramsFalconsCB1
Tyler HallFalconsC1
Johnny HoltonGiantsWR1
Austin MackGiantsWR1
Chad SladeGiantsRG1
Ryan LewisGiantsCB1
Nathan CottrellJaguarsRB1
Mike GlennonJaguarsQB1
Aldrick RosasJaguarsK1
Lamar JacksonJetsCB1
Jimmy MurrayJetsC1
Kevin StrongLionsDT1
Dee VirginLionsCB1
Kenny WigginsLionsRG1
Jonathan WilliamsLionsRB1
Tipa GaleaiPackersEDGE1
Willington PrevilonPackersDE1
Billy WinnPackersDE1
Woodrow HamiltonPanthersDT1
Chris OrrPanthersLB1
Nick FolkPatriotsK1
Xavier WilliamsPatriotsDT1
Isaiah ZuberPatriotsWR1
Keelan DossRaidersWR1
Kyle EmanuelRaidersLB1
Madre HarperRaidersCB1
Theo RiddickRaidersRB1
Javin WhiteRaidersLB1
Marquise CopelandRamsDE1
Juju HughesRamsS1
Natrez PatrickRamsLB1
Terrell BondsRavensCB1
Garrett GriffinSaintsTE1
Ken CrawleySaintsCB1
Shaquem GriffinSeahawksLB1
Gavin HeslopSeahawksCB1
Ryan NealSeahawksS1
Chad WheelerSeahawksRT1

Add OTC to Your Google News Feed to stay up to date with our updates

Looking at Potential Roster Turnover in 2021

Now that just about everyone has completed three weeks of the season some fanbases begin to panic about a team’s prospects for 2020 and immediately start looking toward 2021. One of the things that we often talk about is roster turnover and releasing players to overhaul a roster. In the last two years we have seen the Dolphins and Jaguars enter historic rebuilds where they dropped most veterans from their rosters to basically start over. That got me to thinking about just how much turnover is possible for each team in 2020.

One of the big impediments to releasing a player is dead money in a contract. While the cash component of it is usually a bigger consideration than the sunk cost aspect caused by bonuses those dead money numbers often can give us a gauge as to the likelihood of release of a player. In grouping the listing of dead money in every year since 2016 by salary range we had the following releases.

YearOver $15M$10-$15M$7.5-$10M$5-$7.5MUnder $5M

The numbers give us a reasonable idea of how dead money correlates with a release. The $15M category represents in the ballpark of 4% of all players whose dead money is that high in a given year. The next group jumps to about 7%, then 12%, then 20%. The under $5M numbers are huge (its about 45% if we broke it down to $2.5M as a floor) and I don’t think causes anyone to think twice. The 2020 under $5M aggregate numbers are lower than the other years for two reasons- UDFA signings were way down and a number of players will be released during the year.

Now part of the reason why the percentages are low for these releases is because the players with the most dead money are usually considered the best players and teams chase those performances after a bad year. Still this can provide a good guide as to what type of roster turnover can be expected simply based on the dead money we see in a contract.

What I did was look at every teams 2021 roster and broke their roster up by dead money ranges. Since we are looking at the “rock bottom” scenarios I added a few percentage points to the $5M+ category as to the likelihood of release and considered anyone under $5M to be a possible cut. The first set of numbers are based on players under contract in 2021. The second set is based on letting every free agent walk in 2021 to put roster size on a more equal footing. Here is the list I came up with.

Roster Turnover Index

TeamUnder ContractPotential TurnoverLikely ReturningPotential Turnover (inc. FAs)Likely Returning (inc FAs)
Football Team4388.0%12.0%92.0%8.0%
NFL avg38.387.0%13.0%92.1%7.9%

Based on this analysis the Eagles would have the least flexible roster in the NFL with 25% of the players under contract for 2021 most likely safe and a whopping 16.2% of their 2020 roster likely returning. That’s fine if the Eagles turn things around but a bad thing if they don’t. The Cardinals ranked number 2 at just under 20% with the high priced Chiefs and Falcons in the 17% range. I didn’t expect the Panthers to be number 5 but they did sign a lot of free agents last season. If we factor free agency into the equation the Saints jump into the top 5 as do the Steelers.

The Colts have the most flexibility in the NFL with really only 5% of their roster protected by contract structure. The Bengals are at 6.7% in part because they don’t do future guarantees. However, they also don’t usually release players that they recently signed. New England not surprisingly is in the third best shape while the Bucs are 4th and the Jaguars round out the top 5.

Based on the early season results I would imagine that the Colts, Patriots, Buccaneers, Bills, and Ravens have to be thrilled with their setup. The Eagles, Vikings, Texans, Giants, and Falcons all have to be more concerned for the future. If you are a bad team this year you at least have some hope if you are the Jaguars or Jets to continue to redo the roster.

Add OTC to Your Google News Feed to stay up to date with our updates