Looking Ahead to Potential EDGE Cuts in 2023

Last week we looked at possible cuts at wide receiver in 2023 and this week we will take a look at the EDGE position and see who could be some of the names on the move next season. For the most part pass rushers get paid to pressure the QB so what we did here was take a look at QB pressures as tabulated by PFF, adjusted it out to 17 games, and compared it to a players salary cap savings if they were to be cut. To limit the pool of players, only players who have at least a $5 million cap charge are shown. Here are the results as a graph.

The center lines represent the average pressures expected for players with at least a $5M cap charge and the difference between positive and negative cap savings.

If you are located in the top half of the chart odds are you are safe for next season unless you play on a really bad team that is looking to revamp or is facing massive cap troubles. Those in the top right are the ones who would have been the most in danger of release in 23 and odds are that their 2022 performance has protected them.

In the bottom right quadrant we have the underperformers, whether because of injury or ineffectiveness, who offer cap savings to a team. These are probably the names to watch closely. In the bottom left we have underperformers whose contract structures likely protect them at least somewhat from being cut.

To try to order the players a bit better I calculated the pressures per 2023 cap charge to see the value level of the player. Here were the 10 worst values based on 2022 (as you will quickly see this is a position where injury seems to be a high risk):

Romeo Okwara, Lions– Okwara has spent the entire season on PUP and was just activated this week. He has a $14.5 million cap hit next season and his guarantees have run out. Releasing him will save the Lions $7.5 million on the cap and given that the Lions will have multiple first round picks eating up cap room this would be a good place to save some money.

Harold Landry, Titans– I didn’t include Landry in the chart since he has no chance of being cut but this was certainly bad luck for the Titans as Landry missed the entire season with a torn ACL. Landry has signed a $17.5 million  per year contract in March and will have his 2023 and 2024 salaries protected so the Titans need to make sure his rehab really goes well.

Joey Bosa, Chargers– The Chargers have been decimated by injury this year and Bosa has only appeared in 3 games this season before suffering a torn groin. The four time Pro Bowler is not going anywhere but they can’t have a repeat of this next season when his cap charge umps to $31 million.

TJ Watt, Steelers– Essentially the same story as Bosa with Watt appearing in just 5 games so far this season. Like Bosa he is not in any danger you just hope if you are a Steelers fan that the injuries are a thing of the past next year.

Emmanuel Ogbah, Dolphins– Ogbah is currently on IR but only generated 15 pressures over 9 games as he had dramatically tailed off from his last two seasons. Miami opted to bring him back this year on a four year $65.4 million contract despite turning 29. His salary is fully guaranteed next year but we have seen the Dolphins in the past be willing to eat salary to make a move. At this level of play the Dolphins would be facing paying about $800K per pressure.

Cameron Jordan, Saints– Jordan is still a solid football player but his pressure numbers have dropped big from last season probably in part because the Saints are not very good this year and his opportunities have diminished due to that. Jordan will be 34 years old in 2023 and has a $23.7 million cap charge. The Saints don’t save much by releasing him unless they modify his deal soon but this is probably the right time for the two sides to split and Jordan to see if he can land with a contender.  

Tyus Bowser, Ravens– Another injured player making the list here with Bowser only appearing in 4 games so far. He has a $6.5 million cap charge next year and his release would save the team $2.5 million in cap room and $4.5 million in cash. He can help himself with a solid finish.  

Shaquil Barrett, Buccaneers– This could be a fascinating decision for next year. Barrett is coming off a torn Achilles and will have a $21.65 million cap charge. While his numbers have been impacted by missed games his pressures were still on track to be down by 40% and this will mark back to back years with declines in this category. They actually lose cap space with a standard release but would avoid a $15 million salary. There could be a lot of options here including a pay cut.

Bud Dupree, Titans– Dupree is more or less the EDGE version of Kenny Golladay. This has been a disaster signing since day 1 for the Titans. Dupree has been injured and ineffective and there is really no value in bringing him back. The Titans would save $9.35 million if they cut him and will get a chance to earn back another $1.25 million on their 2024 salary cap if he signs with another team.

Frank Clark, Chiefs– Clark took a pretty big pay cut to come back to the Chiefs in 2022 and he would need to do the same to come back next season. Clark’s current salary for 2023 is $21 million and his cap charge is $28.7 million. The Chiefs save $19.6 million on the cap by cutting him.

Though not among the worst values I think some names to keep an eye on will be Carl Lawson, Khalil Mack, Preston Smith, and Leonard Floyd.

Here is the full list of players. You should be able to sort them by clicking on the column header.

PlayerTeamProjected PressuresCap/Pressure2023 Salary Cap ChargeDead MoneySaved if CutSaved if Traded
Romeo OkwaraLions0$14,500,000$7,000,000$7,500,000$7,500,000
Harold LandryTitans0$18,800,000$30,200,000($11,400,000)$3,600,000
Joey BosaChargers14$2,188,235$31,000,000$38,000,000($7,000,000)$17,000,000
T.J. WattSteelers14$2,073,084$29,368,694$48,106,082($18,737,388)$1,262,612
Emmanuel OgbahDolphins21$816,471$17,350,000$21,000,000($3,650,000)$11,350,000
Cameron JordanSaints33$787,257$25,737,250$23,486,500$2,250,750$2,250,750
Tyus BowserRavens9$764,706$6,500,000$4,000,000$2,500,000$2,500,000
Shaquil BarrettBuccaneers31$694,652$21,650,000$22,850,000($1,200,000)($1,200,000)
Bud DupreeTitans30$678,992$20,200,000$10,850,000$9,350,000$10,600,000
Frank ClarkChiefs45$632,537$28,675,000$9,075,000$19,600,000$19,600,000
Randy GregoryBroncos27$598,142$16,100,000$22,400,000($6,300,000)$7,700,000
Khalil MackChargers52$522,734$27,400,000$9,000,000$18,400,000$18,400,000
Charles HarrisLions16$512,620$7,988,333$3,976,667$4,011,666$4,011,666
Leonard FloydRams44$500,949$22,000,000$19,000,000$3,000,000$3,000,000
Demarcus LawrenceCowboys58$447,633$26,000,000$35,000,000($9,000,000)$6,000,000
Bradley ChubbDolphins54$412,337$22,197,488$30,189,956($7,992,468)$11,407,532
Myles GarrettBrowns74$396,056$29,176,120$45,171,360($15,995,240)($5,995,240)
Chandler JonesRaiders54$360,372$19,400,000$25,600,000($6,200,000)$9,800,000
Carl LawsonJets47$327,986$15,333,334$333,333$15,000,001$15,000,001
Preston SmithPackers43$302,175$13,040,000$9,760,000$3,280,000$3,280,000
Von MillerBills64$293,412$18,705,000$40,175,000($21,470,000)$3,885,000
Maxx CrosbyRaiders75$272,790$20,482,000$20,400,000$82,000$10,082,000
John Franklin-MyersJets47$265,241$12,400,000$7,200,000$5,200,000$11,200,000
Matthew JudonPatriots72$243,699$17,607,222$11,214,445$6,392,777$6,392,777
Trey HendricksonBengals68$227,941$15,500,000$5,000,000$10,500,000$10,500,000
Brandon GrahamEagles43$227,365$9,663,000$18,311,000($8,648,000)($8,648,000)
Rashan GaryPackers50$219,189$10,892,000$10,892,000$0$10,892,000
Uchenna NwosuSeahawks60$214,454$12,760,000$4,750,000$8,010,000$8,010,000
Travon WalkerJaguars40$214,129$8,493,778$30,577,602($22,083,824)($9,776,288)
Brian BurnsPanthers75$213,256$16,012,000$16,012,000$0$16,012,000
Nick Bosa49ers88$203,328$17,859,000$17,859,000$0$17,859,000
Danielle HunterVikings67$197,046$13,120,000$18,860,000($5,740,000)($5,740,000)
Montez SweatCommanders63$183,211$11,500,000$11,500,000$0$11,500,000
Za’Darius SmithVikings89$175,537$15,666,666$3,333,334$12,333,332$12,333,332
Josh AllenJaguars62$174,738$10,892,000$10,892,000$0$10,892,000
Sam HubbardBengals58$172,166$10,000,000$6,000,000$4,000,000$4,000,000
Dorance ArmstrongCowboys43$164,706$7,000,000$3,000,000$4,000,000$4,000,000
Kayvon ThibodeauxGiants45$157,114$7,122,509$25,641,033($18,518,524)($7,856,512)
Aidan HutchinsonLions52$154,849$8,116,679$29,222,045($21,105,366)($9,248,350)
Jacob MartinBroncos33$153,453$5,000,000$1,000,000$4,000,000$5,000,000
Denico AutryTitans62$148,396$9,250,000$2,000,000$7,250,000$7,250,000
Deatrich Wise Jr.Patriots57$127,059$7,200,000$4,400,000$2,800,000$2,800,000
Josh SweatEagles48$125,751$6,057,000$19,042,000($12,985,000)($12,985,000)
Haason ReddickEagles57$117,476$6,657,000$26,122,000($19,465,000)($18,385,000)
Jerry HughesTexans61$102,599$6,250,000$2,250,000$4,000,000$5,000,000

Questions about this article? Reach Jason Fitzgerald on Twitter at @Jason_OTC