Nobody likes seeing a player get cut, but money talks. With teams only having a certain amount of money that they can spend each season, sometimes they have difficult decisions that they have to make in order to sign more talent or to be able to maintain what they have. Some of those cuts are easy, while some can be very difficult. It wasn't until the 2017 offseason, where we really saw some big-time players get cut.
Just on the Dallas Cowboys alone, Dez Bryant and Dan Bailey were both cut. Bryant was the No. 1 receiver in Dallas for the past eight seasons, and Bailey is the second most accurate kicker in NFL history. It really proves that no player is safe. Former Cowboys and Titans running back, DeMarco Murray, was cut from the Titans as they decided to move forward with Derrick Henry, as well as sign Dion Lewis. Another one of the biggest players cut this offseason, was Jordy Nelson. Nelson was arguably Aaron Rodgers' favorite target but was let go due to age and a drop in performance. When the Packers were said to be interested in Bryant, Rodgers had some strong words about spending money on another receiver, after moving on from his top target.
The point is, no player is safe. Teams do what they can to create cap space, to allow them to spend in the offseason. Sometimes it's done to make room for another player. Other times, it's because of that player's production. We saw it done last year, and we will see more players get cut this season.
20 Cut: Dwayne Allen - New England Patriots (TE)
This offseason there will be a decision made regarding the tight end position. Rob Gronkowski or Dwayne Allen will be who it’s between, and whether Rob Gronskowski returns or not, the Patriots might be looking at an overhaul at tight end. Odds are, Gronk will retire, but that doesn't mean Allen's job is safe.
If the Patriots cut Allen, they save themselves $7.4 million. That’s enough money to sign a well-known player at another position. The Patriots could use that money to help boost their secondary. Point is, they don’t need to be spending a ton of money to have two solid tight ends.
19 Where He Will Sign: Detroit Lions
Last offseason, the Detroit Lions cut Eric Ebron. Ebron played well and helped fill in the role of tight end on that offense. Now, Ebron is playing lights out with the Colts. This offseason, the Lions will attest to their mistake by signing a well-known tight end. Allen in the past has played really well, being a solid red zone target for the Colts before.
If Allen joins the Lions, Matthew Stafford gets himself a reputable tight end, and it helps Stafford have an option underneath, especially on a thin receiving corps. Allen may also come on a cheaper deal due to his lack of success the past two seasons.
18 Cut: Robert Quinn - Miami Dolphins (DE)
For seven years, Robert Quinn was considered one of the best pass rushers in the game. This year in Miami, h's been very ineffective, perhaps seeing his game slip now that Aaron Donald isn't next to him, commanding double teams. Quinn is still in his 20s, so he could be considered a solid pickup. The Dolphins will try to shop him around, but with the number of talented pass rushers that are young, no team wants to give up anything for the older defensive end.
By cutting Quinn, the Dolphins would save themselves just under $13 million. That is a ton of money to save by cutting a player who has struggled all season. If the Fins cut Quinn, they can go after a wide receiver.
17 Where He Will Sign: Buffalo Bills
Buffalo is in dire straits, but they have a lot of money to spend this offseason. Even if fans may think the Bills are a failure now, don’t be surprised if they really come out in free agency trying to spend money. Robert Quinn is only 28 years old and can be valuable in a good Bills defense. Quinn wouldn't have to be on the field at all times. It’s just a good situation for him to be in.
We predict that Quinn signs a cheaper deal due to his struggles, more along the lines of around $7 million a year, and maybe for a multi-year deal. The Bills do what needs to get done to build a future, winning franchise.
16 Cut: Vernon Davis - Washington Redskins (TE)
Back in 2016, Vernon Davis was a great pickup. He added a presence in that Washington offense and allowed other receivers to get open. The problem now is his age. At the beginning of the 2019 season, Davis will be 35 years old. While Davis is filling his role well, the Redskins in a way are also wasting Jordan Reed’s worth. He’s struggled with injuries which is why bringing in Davis makes sense, but Reed has been healthy for the most part all season.
By cutting Davis, the Redskins save themselves $5 million. It may not seem like a lot, but it’s a solid amount considering they may have to invest in a quarterback soon.
15 Where He Will Sign: Cincinnati Bengals
Considering Tyler Eifert has been injury-prone all throughout his career as a Bengal, they will likely move on. Eifert has a ton of potential, but they can’t keep depending on him eventually staying healthy. Vernon Davis is older, but he comes after a good season with the Redskins. The Bengals will look to build up their offense while they still have A.J. Green in his prime.
Davis helps fill the spot that Eifert was never able to live up to. The 2019 Bengals may be the most explosive, dominant Bengals offense we have ever seen. They may win the division, or at least make it in as a Wild Card team. The same story may continue, though, as their defense holds them back.
14 Cut: Danny Trevathan - Chicago Bears (LB)
Danny Trevathan is a phenomenal linebacker, but his time in Chicago may be done. With the Bears having drafted Roquan Smith, Trevathan’s career is slowly coming to an end. The talent is there, but the price to cut him might make it worth moving on. If the Bears cut Trevathan, they save themselves $6.4 million. This is helpful for a team that recently traded two second round draft picks.
Before they cut him, they will try to get some trade value out of him. While he has plenty of talent, linebackers aren’t the most tradeable players. Trevathan hits free agency in 2019.
13 Where He Will Sign: San Francisco 49ers
2018 was supposed to be the beginning of a new era for the San Francisco 49ers. Once Jimmy Garoppolo went down, all hope was gone. They made some nice additions to the defense, with the most notable being Richard Sherman. They really need a linebacker that can control this defense.
Trevathan has a ton of talent and experience. The good thing is that he’s still in his late 20s, so there’s a chance he could play through the remainder of Garoppolo’s contract. He would be kind of pricey, but he fills an immediate need at the linebacker position, as well as gives this team a better shot to make the playoffs.
12 Cut: Everson Griffen - Minnesota Vikings (DE)
Another talented defensive end will likely get cut this season, as the Minnesota Vikings could cut Everson Griffen. Griffen’s career would be described as a rollercoaster ride, but he’s been his best the past few seasons. The problem with him being his best now is his value.
The Vikings have many decisions to make on their defense, but cutting Griffen will be one of those decisions they need to make. By cutting Griffen, the Vikings save themselves $10.7 million. That is a significant amount of money that would save, by cutting a guy in his 30s. The Vikings have to move forward.
11 Where He Will Sign: Oakland Raiders
Oakland has a lot of decisions they have to make this offseason. The Raiders are basically tanking the 2018 season, to ensure they get the first overall pick in April. One thing is for sure, there’s a lot of pressure on Jon Gruden. If all of these trades don’t pay off for 2019, there will be a lot of fans angry with Gruden (there already are plenty).
They focus heavily on the draft, but they can sign Griffen as a way to pick up their pass rush. The Raiders moved on from both Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack, so there’s definitely a clear need for a pass rusher.
10 Cut: Justin Houston - Kansas City Chiefs (LB)
Justin Houston has been one of the best pass rushers in the league since he entered the NFL in 2011. His recent problems have been dealing with injuries, which have led him to miss games throughout the past three seasons. Houston is a big part in keeping that defense competitive, but they can save $14 million by cutting him.
The Chiefs will use the draft and free agency to stack up some depth on the defense. Despite how good the Chiefs have been, their biggest criticism has been that their defensive struggles. $14 million will definitely help them improve on that.
9 Where He Will Sign: New York Jets
Before Dante Fowler Jr. got traded to the Rams, the Jets were the frontrunners to acquire him. Now with Fowler elsewhere, the Jets may look for someone else to take over that role. If Houston can stay healthy, he’s one of the best pass rushers in the game. You bring him in, and that is an immediate improvement on the defensive line.
Houston will be 30 in January, which isn’t appealing for a lot of teams. Even with his injuries, he’s still performing at a higher rate than the average linebacker. This signing helps fans in New York prove that the Jets are about winning now.
8 Cut: Julian Edelman - New England Patriots (WR)
We always have to expect a few surprise moves from the Patriots, as Bill Belichick is known to move on from players one year too early, as opposed to one year too late. After all, he tried to trade Rob Gronkowski this past offseason and was only stopped by Gronk threatening to retire. So this offseason, we could see one of Tom Brady's long-time favorite targets get the axe. Julian Edelman has played well since returning from a torn ACL and subsequent suspension to start the 2018 season. But he's also going to be 33 by the time the 2019 season rolls around and Belichick will likely be looking at signing younger weapons for Brady (or the Patriots' successor to Brady).
7 Where He Will Sign: Denver Broncos
With Demaryius Thomas getting traded to the Texans, there’s no doubt the Broncos need another receiver. Obviously, Courtland Sutton was drafted to replace Thomas, but this offense still needs another weapon. Signing Julian Edelman in his 30s would be a cheap, experienced signing that adds value to the receiving corps.
Edelman has had experience in the NFL, but needs the right team. Denver may not be the perfect fit for him, but it’s a team that could really use him. In fact, because the Broncos might be really interested, they may pay him more than what other teams will offer. A signing like this would be even more crucial if the Broncos draft a QB.
6 Cut: Nick Foles - Philadelphia Eagles (QB)
The Nick Foles craze is over, as Carson Wentz looks to be back to 100%. Now that the worry is gone, despite Wentz's occasional struggles since being back, the Eagles need to move on from Foles. If they cut him this offseason, they save $18.8 million. That is star player money. To put that into perspective, that is the type of money Le’Veon Bell could get per season, which is a player the Eagles are interested in.
Foles doesn’t have much trade value, considering he didn’t play all that great to start this season. But it’s been proven that he does have enough to lead a solid team to success.
5 Where He Will Sign: Miami Dolphins
If the Dolphins do move on from Ryan Tannehill, a replacement is going to come. There are many different options they could go forward with, and then there’s the likelihood that they stick with their No. 1 guy after all. Tannehill has a chance to lead the Dolphins into the playoffs this season, but if not, they may need to make a change at the quarterback position.
Tannehill could get cut, and if that happens, Foles could get signed. Since the Dolphins would be desperate, they would be willing to pay him above market value. They would also likely draft a QB in the first or second round, to sit behind Foles for a year or so.
4 Cut: Sean Lee - Dallas Cowboys (LB)
It seems like the Dallas Cowboys have never been able to survive without Sean Lee, but now that time is finally over. Leighton Vander Esch is a star on the rise, as he’s playing as good as it gets for a rookie linebacker. With Lee out with another hamstring issue, the Cowboys may have come to the realization that it’s time to cut Lee.
It comes at a good time for the Cowboys, as they have his replacement. The Cowboys linebacking corps has never looked so good. The Cowboys would save about $7 million by cutting him, helping them extend some of the other stars they need to pay including Amari Cooper, Byron Jones, and DeMarcus Lawrence.
3 Where Will He Sign: New Orleans Saints
What if we told you that there was a chance that Sean Lee and Dez Bryant unite? Lee is one of those class acts that Cowboys fans will always love, and maybe he chooses his former teammate to play with to compete for a Super Bowl.
Lee is a pricey linebacker, but should be cheaper due to him having trouble staying healthy. With Manti Te’o heading into free agency, the Saints could sign him and Bryant on one-year, prove it deals so that they can try to earn another big contract, while also competing for a Super Bowl. That's something both players would love to achieve.
2 Cut: Jameis Winston - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (QB)
It’s rare to see quarterbacks drafted high in the first round start throughout their whole career, and then get cut. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have arguably one of the most talented offenses they have had in a while, but have failed to put up a winning record. In Jameis Winston’s career, he has only finished with a winning record once out of three seasons, and currently is working on a third losing campaign, as the Bucs have not looked very good in 2018.
Winston has thrown at least 10 interceptions in each season of his career, including the limited games he’s played in 2018. Considering the Buccaneers have already benched Winston this season, it looks like they will cut him and save $20.9 million next season.
1 Where He Will Sign: Jacksonville Jaguars
Even though Winston has struggled, he’s still going to expect some kind of contract as he enters his prime years. Some teams may still believe he could be a franchise quarterback, considering he was a No. 1 overall pick. The Jacksonville Jaguars could part ways with Blake Bortles, and go after Winston.
Jaguars fans wouldn't necessarily be thrilled with the plan, but they need another option besides Bortles. The Jaguars can trade Jalen Ramsey (as reports suggest they're considering) and get a first round pick, and try to draft their franchise quarterback. Winston could then sign a two-year deal, which gives him some security, but also some time to prove he’s worth it, without the Jaguars fully devoting themselves to him.