With the meetings in Indianapolis underway there are the typical rumors that come out about “take it or leave it” offers made by teams to players whose salary cap numbers far exceed their performance on the field. Lets take a look at some of those players (players are linked to their cap pages).
RB Michael Turner– This certainly seems to be a very likely move and the Falcons did little to quiet the discussion when asked about it. When Turner was signed in 2008, he was going to be the centerpiece of an offense expected to turn the reigns over to a young QB. Now that young QB is a veteran and Turner is not a major part of the offense and has significantly slowed down. Cutting Turner saves the team $6.9 million.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick– I discussed this one the other day and while its a cap neutral move for 2013 it frees up $7.5 million in cash as well as cap room in 2014. Fitzpatrick’s extension is one of the worst contracts I can recall given in the last few seasons and the Bills are paying for it now.
CB Nnamdi Asomugha- Set to earn $15 million in compensation in 2013 there is zero chance of him sticking in Philadelphia. His contract contains $4 million in fully guaranteed money with no offset provisions so the Eagles need to work from that base to reach a compromise, but I dont see his value being very high if released. Andrew posted more details on Asomugha yesterday.
QB Kevin Kolb– Speaking of bad signings this was a real cap killer. Kolb was supposed to be the person to rescue the Cardinals offense but he is always injured and when he isnt injured he doesnt play well. Arizona probably should have cut ties last year rather than chasing a sunk cost but they gave it another try. For as bad as their QB situation is they won’t make the same mistake and pay him $11.5 million to remain a Cardinal. He needs to take a major paycut or he will be released. Kolbs release saves Arizona $7.5 million in cap room.
LB James Harrison– The Steelers already seem to be talking about the soon to be 35 year old Linebacker as if he is off the team so this may be it for Harrison. His sack totals have steadily declined and his release saves Pittsburgh $5.105 million in cap room. The Steelers are in a salary cap pinch due to a large number of contract restructures in recent years where money due in the present is pushed off to future caps via bonus mechanisms and now they have run out of room to continue to do that. Harrison is one of the few they can release and create significant space making him a likely casualty of the cap.
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.