San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams

One Player Every NFL Team Should Cut

With NFL free agency around the corner, teams will look to improve their rosters for a playoff run next season. Many will have to clear additional cap space to do so, which means cutting a player on the roster. There are other reasons to release a player too, including poor play. Here's a list of one player each NFL team should cut in the next few weeks.

1. Arizona Cardinals - S Tyvon Branch

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Arizona Cardinals

Branch dealt with a groin injury on and off throughout the 2016 season, but he now appears to be the odd man out in the safety group in Arizona, with Tyrann Mathieu and a resurgent D.J. Swearinger on the roster, especially if they can bring back Tony Jefferson.

2. Atlanta Falcons - DE Tyson Jackson

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons

Jackson hasn't recorded a single regular-season sack for the Falcons in three seasons with the team. There's no roster space for an overpaid lineman who can't do what is asked of his position, especially when the team needed to generate a pass rush during the Super Bowl.

3. Baltimore Ravens - LB Elvis Dumervil

Philadelphia Eagles v Baltimore Ravens

Dumervil missed half of the 2016 season with an Achilles injury. The Ravens would save $6 million by cutting him. With no guarantee about how he'll recover from his injury for next season, it's the obvious personnel move for Baltimore.

4. Buffalo Bills - DT Kyle Williams

Buffalo Bills v Houston Texans

The defensive tackle made his fifth Pro Bowl this season, but injuries have derailed most of his recent campaigns. He should retire as a member of the Bills or risk getting cut as the team looks for youth on the defensive line.

5. Carolina Panthers - TE Ed Dickson

Kansas City Chiefs v Carolina Panthers

Dickson is pretty much an afterthought in the Carolina offense, a result of Greg Olsen being one of the best tight ends in the NFL. There's little point of paying him $2.7 million when there are cheaper options available to largely sit on the bench or block.

6. Chicago Bears - QB Jay Cutler

Chicago Bears v New York Giants

It's time. Cutler was always better than the critics suggested, but clearly never good enough to get the Bears over the hump. They need to hit the reset button at the quarterback position and cutting Cutler is the first way to begin the process.

7. Cincinnati Bengals - CB Adam Jones

Cincinnati Bengals v Houston Texans

This became a no-brainer after Jones was arrested last month. Sometimes, players just run out of chances. Besides, getting younger at the position and saving a $6.3 cap hit doesn't hurt a team looking to figure out what went wrong last year.

8. Cleveland Browns - QB Robert Griffin III

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers

RG III struggled to take the field in his one year with Cleveland, and when he did, he struggled some more. The Browns will put the saved money to good use as they look to either the draft or the New England Patriots for a new quarterback.

9. Dallas Cowboys - RB Alfred Morris

Chicago Bears v Dallas Cowboys

With the emergence of Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys don't need a gazillion veteran running backs in the stable anymore. Morris only had 69 carries all season, so it would make sense to jettison the little-used runner out of town.

10. Denver Broncos - OT Russell Okung

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos

Okung is on a team-friendly deal because he negotiated it himself without an agent, but the Broncos need to blow up an offensive line that could not help either of their young signal-callers in 2017 - they'll save over $10 million by dumping Okung.

11. Detroit Lions - DT Haloti Ngata

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions

The Lions saw a pretty significant decline in Ngata after signing him to a two-year extension last season. He could come back and play less often, but not at the $7.7 million cap number he is set to cost them next season.

12. Green Bay Packers - DT Letroy Guion

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears

The main focus on the defense for the Packers is figuring out if they can afford linebackers Nick Perry and Clay Matthews. There will be collateral damage, particularly on the defensive line; Letroy Guion is that collateral damage this spring.

13. Houston Texans - C Tony Bergstrom

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans

Bergstrom was signed to be the starting center of the Houston Texans this season, but he didn't start, so he has to go. The team probably wants to dismiss quarterback Brock Osweiler, but he has way too much guaranteed money left in his contract.

14. Indianapolis Colts - DE Arthur Jones

AFC Championship - Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots

Between the injuries, the PED suspension, and a simple lack of production, there's no reason for the new administration to keep him around instead of saving $5.1 million in cap space on a player who never performed as expected in Indy.

15. Jacksonville Jagaurs - DE Jared Odrick

Jacksonville Jaguars v New York Jets

Odrick has a couple of contract bonuses coming when the league year starts anew in March, so Odrick becomes a simple cap casualty. Players like Malik Jackson will more than mask the loss of a player who only suited up for six games last season.

16. Kansas City Chiefs - QB Nick Foles

Kansas City Chiefs v Carolina Panthers

None of Foles' contract is guaranteed for 2017, a contract that was designed specifically to see him go elsewhere or come back on the cheap next season. The Chiefs could draft a quarterback to develop behind the serviceable Alex Smith.

17. Los Angeles Chargers - TE Antonio Gates

Kansas City Chiefs v San Diego Chargers

Gates should have his jersey retired in San Diego...or Los Angeles...or somewhere this team sticks in for a while. Hunter Henry is ready to be the starting tight end, though, and the team can't pay Gates a ransom as a backup.

18. Los Angeles Rams - OT Greg Robinson

Los Angeles Rams v New York Jets

New coach Sean McVay claims Robinson is part of the team's plans going forward, but after the former top draft pick was benched this season, that's hard to believe. It may be time to end a relationship that could grow acrimonious.

19. Miami Dolphins - DE Mario Williams

Tennessee Titans v Miami Dolphins

The former top overall draft pick had one of the worst years of his career in Miami, recording just 1.5 sacks. His $10.5 million hit next season is way too much for the team to endure for his level of production.

20. Minnesota Vikings - RB Adrian Peterson

Indianapolis Colts v Minnesota Vikings

Peterson was meant to be a Minnesota Vikings lifer, but the injury gods had other plans. On the wrong side of 30, it would practically be blasphemous for the Vikings to keep Peterson with an $18 million deal. He could go be a backup in Dallas, just as he always dreamed.

21. New England Patriots - WR Danny Amendola

Super Bowl LI - New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons

Everyone knows Tom Brady can create competency out of any receiver, so there's no reason for the Patriots to feel sentimental and keep a wide receiver who will cost the team $7.9 million next season and has struggled to stay healthy throughout his tenure.

22. New Orleans Saints - S Jarius Byrd

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints

The Saints gave an enormous contract to Byrd three years ago and he has rewarded them with just three interceptions over that time. The team will save over $20 million for the life of the deal if they part ways with him now.

23. New York Giants - OT Ereck Flowers

Wild Card Round - New York Giants v Green Bay Packers

This slot was reserved for running back Rashad Jennings, but he was already cut. Releasing Flowers could leave the Giants without a tackle on the roster, but the former first-round pick just isn't good enough at his job to play, let alone start.

24. New York Jets - OT Ryan Clady

Baltimore Ravens v New York Jets

Clady did an awful job replacing D'Brickashaw Ferguson last season and would cost the team over $10 million to retain. Keep your eyes on defensive end Sheldon Richardson and cornerback Darrelle Revis as well, as they could be too expensive to keep.

25. Oakland Raiders - LB Aldon Smith

Minnesota Vikings v Oakland Raiders

Smith is under investigation for a domestic incident that occurred at his San Francisco home this week. Reinstatement from suspension was never a given, but now it may be out of the realm of possibility for the talented, but troubled linebacker. Time to move on. 

26. Philadelphia Eagles - RB Ryan Mathews

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles

Mathews never proved to be good enough to replace LeSean McCoy in the backfield in Philadelphia. This year, he lost snaps to Wendell Smallwood, which is the real name of a player Mathews should be ahead of on the depth chart.

27. Pittsburgh Steelers - WR Darrius Heyward-Bey

Wild Card Round - Miami Dolphins v Pittsburgh Steelers

Of Martavis Bryant, Heyward-Bey, and Markus Wheaton, one of those Pittsburgh Steelers receivers has to go. It's easiest to imagine Heyward-Bey having the smallest role, so he's the one who won't get to enjoy another potential playoff run with the team.

28. San Francisco 49ers - QB Colin Kaepernick

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick should opt out of his deal this spring, but if he doesn't, he'll count nearly $20 million against the cap next season. For someone San Francisco doesn't see a strong future with, having him come back at that number is unacceptable.

29. Seattle Seahawks - TE Jimmy Graham

Divisional Round - Seattle Seahawks v Atlanta Falcons

Graham is still a decent tight end, and his return from a potential career-ending injury is a great story. He simply isn't worth a $10 million cap hit at his current production level, however, so the Seahawks might part ways with him, even though they have said publicly they won't.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - CB Alterraun Verner

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Arizona Cardinals

Verner is a fine cornerback, but he's not as good as Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves, and it will cost the team absolutely nothing to part ways with him this spring. If not him, it could be running back Doug Martin.

31. Tennessee Titans - WR Harry Douglas

Tennessee Titans v Miami Dolphins

The Titans have a good crop of young receivers coming up through the ranks, so paying Douglas nearly $5 million to make less than a dozen catches over the course of a season doesn't seem like an appropriate use of funds.

32. Washington Redskins - S DeAngelo Hall

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins

Hall is injury prone and should be on the cusp of retirement. Releasing him will save Washington $4.2 million, money that could go towards quarterback Kirk Cousins or one of their free agent wide receivers, Pierre Garcon or DeSean Jackson.

TOP ARTICLES