NFL Players on the 2018 Roster Bubble

NFL Players on the 2018 Roster Bubble
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As the 2017 NFL regular season heads toward the home stretch, we've identified two players from each NFL team who may be trending toward the 2018 roster bubble, based on performance vs. compensation & dead cap structure. The list below shows the individual financial implications to trade or release each player based on various bonus dates some may have. We'll continue to update this list as new reports emerge. Did we miss someone? Send suggestions to @spotrac.

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Player Team 2018 Cap Dead Cap Details Thoughts
Carson Palmer ARZ $20,625,000 Release/Retirement
$6.625M ($14M savings)
Palmer is due a $1.5M roster bonus on March 18th, a likely "decision day" for his future in Arizona.
Matt Schaub  ATL $5,500,000 Release/Trade
$1.25M ($4.25M savings)
Too rich for a backup. A pay cut may be possible.
Tyrod Taylor  BUF $18,080,000 Pre-3/16 Release
$8.64M ($9.44M savings

Pre-3/16 Trade:
$7.64M ($10.44M savings)
A knee injury likely signified the end of Taylor's era in Buffalo, who already appeared prepared to move on next spring.
Mike Glennon CHI $16,000,000

Pre-3/16 Trade:
$2M ($14M savings)

Pre-6/1 Release:
$4.5M ($11.5M savings)

Post-6/1 Trade/Release
$3.5M ($12.5M savings), $1M 2019 dead cap

No thoughts needed.
Andy Dalton CIN $16,300,000 Trade/Release:
$2.4M ($13.9M savings)
Dalton's been average in 2017, and the Bengals are trending away from the postseason. If a shakeup occurs, Dalton may be included in it.
Cody Kessler CLE $924,295 Pre 6/1 Trade/Release:
$332,394 ($425,000 savings)

Post 6/1 Trade/Release:
$166,197 ($758,098 savings), $166,198 2019 dead cap
With Kizer appearing to be the front-runner for QB1 going forward, look for Cleveland to bring in a veteran QB to compete/backup in 2018.
Blake Bortles  JAC $19,053,000

Pre-3/14 Trade/Release

$0 ($19.053M savings)

The Jaguars don't appear poised to continue their path to the postseason with Bortles at the helm, whose 5th-year option will become fully guaranteed on March 14th. This is one to watch.
Alex Smith KC $20,600,000 Pre-3/16 Trade/Release:
$3.6M ($17M savings)

Post-3/16 Trade
$3.6M ($17M savings)

Post-3/16 Release:
$5.6M ($15M savings)
The 33-year-old is having a career season, but it may not be enough to secure his spot in 2018. With Patrick Mahomes waiting in the wings and $17M in cap to be saved, the business of football may rear it's head here.
Eli Manning  NYG $22,200,000 Pre-3/16 Trade/Release:
$12.4M ($9.8M savings)
Plenty needs to be hashed out before this decision is made, but it's safe to say Eli's status in NY is in question. A $5M roster bonus due March 16th becomes key in this move.
Nick Foles  PHI $7,600,000 Trade/Release:
$5.4M ($2.2M savings)
Foles was given a contract geared toward his competing for the starting job. With that ship sailed, he's an overpaid backup.
Running Backs
Player Team 2018 Cap Dead Cap Details Thoughts
Adrian Peterson ARZ $3,500,000 Trade/Release:
$0 dead cap prior to March 16, 2018 ($3.5M savings)
AP has shown better production in Arizona, but it's been spotty, and the return of David Johnson in 2018 likely means his $3.5M cap figure becomes too rich.
Jonathan Stewart  CAR $5,250,000 Trade/Release:
$1.5M ($3.75M savings)
The Panthers tolerated a $6.175M cap hit for Stewart in 2017, so it's possible they can keep him in the fold at a lesser cost in 2018 as well.
Lamar Miller  HOU $6,750,000 Pre-6/1 Trade/Release:
$2M ($4.75M savings)

Post-6/1 Trade/Release:
$1M ($5.75M savings), $1M 2019 dead cap
While Miller's been a nice option in the receiving game this year, his rush stats are at career lows (3.7 yards per carry). Houston has ample cap space heading into March, so this isn't a necessitty by any means.
Chris Ivory  JAC $7,000,000 Pre-6/1 Trade/Release:
$3M ($4M savings)

Post-6/1 Trade/Release:
$1M ($6M savings), $2M 2019 dead cap
As long as Fournette is heathly, he's the future at this position. While Ivory poses a nice depth piece for the Jaguars, his $7M cap figure is much too high for this role. Re-signing on a cheaper deal is possible.
Latavius Murray MIN $6,350,000 Pre 3/16 Trade/Release:
$1.2M ($5.15M savings)
Murray's deal was always structured as a 1 year contract if needed. His $5.15M 2018 salary fully guarantees on March 16th so this will be a quick decision.
Mark Ingram NO $6,245,000 Pre 3/16 Trade/Release
$1.645M ($4.6M savings)
Ingram + Kamara has been quite a show in 2017, but the business reality of the RB position still puts Ingram's 2018 roster spot in jeopardy. A restructured extension could be possible here.
Doug Martin TB $6,750,000 Trade/Release
$0 ($6.75M savings)
With no signing bonus & his salary guarantees voided per a PED suspension, the under-producing and recently injured Martin will need to do plenty over the rest of 2017 to claim a roster spot in 2018.
DeMarco Murray  TEN $6,500,000 Trade/Release:
$0 ($6.5M savings)
On pace for just 700 yards rushing, Murray's numbers are down in 2017, leaving his dead-cap-free $6.5M figure in 2018 up for grabs.
Wide Receivers
Player Team 2018 Cap Dead Cap Details Thoughts
Breshad Perriman  BAL $2,769,875 Trade/Release:
$1,147,785 ($1.6M savings)
The Perriman Project just isn't panning out. With no salary guarantee in 2018, look for Baltimore to use their out here.
Russell Shepard CAR $3,550,000 Pre-6/1 Trade/Release:
$1.4M ($2.15M savings)

Post 6/1 Trade/Release:

$700,000 ($2.85M savings), $700,000 2019 dead cap
The trade away of Kelvin Benjamin opened targets for Shepard an co, but 27 year old is on pace for just 20 catches in 2017.
Kenny Britt CLE $8,125,000 Pre-3/16 Trade/Release:
$4.875M ($3.25M savings)
Britt's 2018 salary ($6.5M) becomes fully guaranteed on March 16th. Cleveland will likely move on prior to.
Dez Bryant DAL $16,500,000 Pre-6/1 Trade/Release:
$8M ($8.5M savings)

Post-6/1 Trade/Release:
$4M ($12.5M savings), $4M 2019 dead cap
There's growing chatter about Bryant's future after inconsistent production the past 2 seasons. He seems fairly safe to get another year out of this deal.
Emmanuel Sanders DEN $10,937,500 Pre 3/18 Trade/Release or 3/18-6/1 Trade:
$5.375M ($5.5M savings)
Sanders' production has took nosedive in 2017, most likely due to the inconsistent QB play across the board. With plenty of cap space, this isn't a need release, but it still may come.
Randall Cobb GB $12,750,000 Trade/Release:
$3.25M ($9.5M savings)
His receptions, yards, and touchdowns have decreased in each of the past 3 seasons. Entering a contract year in 2018, the Packers may need to move on.
Tavon Austin  LAR $8,000,000 Pre-3/16 Trade
$0 ($8M savings)

Post-3/16 Trade/Release:
$5M ($3M savings)
Austin has a $5M roster bonus fully guaranteed, but not paid until MArch 16th. With limited targets over the past 2 seasons, his $8M cap figure may be too rich for LA.
Brandon Marshall  NYG $6,156,250 Trade/Release:
$1M ($5.1M savings)
Prior to his injury, Marshall was nearly non-existent in the Giants offense. It's tough to imagine them swallowing a $6.1M pill for 2018.
Cordarrelle Patterson OAK $3,250,000 Trade/Release:
$0 ($3.25M savings)
Patterson won't hit the stats needed to void this salary, but the Raiders will likely choose to do it for him.
Darrius Heyward-Bey  PIT $1,333,334 Trade/Release:
$133,334 ($1M savings)
The Steelers have a decent score of receivers to complement Brown at the top of the depth chart, and should look to clear the $1M here.s
Tight Ends
Player Team 2018 Cap Dead Cap Details Thoughts
Levine Toilolo ATL $5,000,000 Pre-6/1 Trade/Release:
$2M ($3M savings)

Post-6/1 Trade/Release:
$1M ($4M savings), $1M 2019 dead cap
Austin Hooper appears to be best pass/block option going forward. The Falcons can find a cheaper reserve.
Dion Sims CHI $6,333,333

Pre 3/16 Release or Pre-6/1 Trade:
$666,667 ($5.6M savings)

3/16-6/1 Release:
$4,666,667 ($1,666,667 savings)

Post 6/1 Trade
$333,333 ($6M savings), $333,334 2019 dead cap

Post 6/1 Release
$4,333,333 ($2M savings), $333,334 2019 dead cap

Sims hasn't been much of a factor since joining on from Miami. He's a high cap casualty risk.
Jason Witten  DAL $6,500,000 Trade/Release:
$0 ($6.5M savings)
Witten's new deal comes with no strings attached. If Dallas has the space to afford him - he'll likely be retained.
Eric Ebron  DET $5,194,000 Pre 3/14 Trade/Release:
$0 ($5.194M savings)
On pace for 40 catches and 3 TDs, it doesn't appear as though Ebron is anywhere near the #10 overall selection the Lions made him in 2014.
Julius Thomas MIA $6,600,000 Trade:
$0 ($6.6M savings)

$2M ($4M savings)
Thomas just isn't the same weapon he was as Peyton Manning's TE, and shouldn't expect to be paid as such going forward.
Martellus Bennett NE $6,450,000 Pre 3/14 Trade/Release:
$0 ($6.45M savings)
The Patriots have always valued their TEs well, but Bennett at a $6M+ cap figure seems too rich. He has a $2M roster bonus due March 14th.
Jordan Reed  WAS $10,300,000 Pre-6/1 Trade/Release:
$5.4M ($4.9M savings)

Post-6/1 Trade/Release:
$1.8M ($8.5M savings), $3.6M 2019 dead cap
When healthy he's one of the best weapons in football. But the Redskins likely can't hope for healthy on a $10.3M cap figure. This is a situation to watch come March.
Offensive Linemen
Player Team Pos. 2018 Cap Dead Cap Details Thoughts
Cordy Glenn  BUF OT $14,450,000 Pre-3/18 Release
$11.1M ($3.35M savings)

Pre-3/18 Trade
$9.6M ($4.85M savings)

3/18-6/1 Release
$19.6M(-$5.15M savings)

3/18-6/1 Trade:
$11.6M ($2.85M savings)

Post 6/1 Release:
$13.2M ($1.25M savings), $6.4M 2019 dead cap

Post 6/1 Trade:
$5.2M ($9.25M savings), $6.4M 2019 dead cap
The Bills are better when Cordy Glenn is their left tackle, but injuries have kept him from being a consistent impact. With big cap $ to boot, this will be one to watch.
Ja'Wuan James MIA OT $9,341,000 Pre-3/14 Trade/Release
$0 ($9.341M savings)
An injury riddled 2017 has James' future in question. His $9.3M 5th-year option becomes fully guaranteed on March 14th.
Jason Peters PHI OT $11,666,666 Pre-3/18 Trade/Release:
$6.3M ($5.3M savings)
$4.5M of Peters 2018 salary becomes fully guaranteed on March 18th. Even at 35 years old, Peters holds immense value to the Eagles offense. This will be a tough call.
Richie Incognito BUF OG $7,575,000 Trade/Release:
$1.15M ($6.425M savings)
Incognito can still handle himself in the trenches, but appears to be a bad fit for the newly installed Bills offense.
Laken Tomlinson  SF OG $1,600,941 Trade/Release:
$0 ($1.6M savings)
The former Lions 1st rounder is struggling through 2017, and with no guaranteed money remaining could fall off the 2018 roster.
J.R. Sweezy  TB OG $5,875,000 Pre-6/1 Trade/Release:
$1.875M ($4M savings)

Post-6/1 Trade/Release:
$625,000 ($5.25M savings)
Sweezy restructured his contract to stick around in 2017, but is still one of the worst rated guards in football according to PFF.
Defensive Linemen
Player Team Pos. 2018 Cap Dead Cap Details Thoughts
Brandon Mebane  LAC DT $5,500,000 Trade/Release:
$1M ($4.5M savings)
Graded one of the worst D-Linemen in all of football according to PFF, the Chargers will likely look to get younger and cheaper here next season.
Brian Robison  MIN DE $3,500,000 Release:
$1.25M ($2.25M savings)
It's tough to find a weak area on the Vikings D, but at 34 years old, Robison's 2018 roster spot could be in jeopardy.
Alan Branch NE DT $4,700,000 Trade/Release:
$1M ($3.7M savings)
The Patriots will need to clear space before March, and Branch's near $4M in savings would be ideal.
Muhammad Wilkerson  NYJ DE $20,000,000 Pre-3/14 Trade/Release:
$9M ($11M savings)
Wilkerson's $16.75M salary for 2018 fully guarantees on March 14th. It sounds like he's all but checked out of NY already, so a move of some sort seems imminent.
Cliff Avril  SEA DE $8,000,000 Trade/Release:
$500,000 ($7.5M savings)
The Seahawks are going to have to bend a bit to get better in 2018, and with Avril heading toward 32-years of age plus recovering from a neck injury, his $7.5M in potential savings might be favored.
Evander Hood WAS DE $1,400,000 Trade/Release:
$150,000 ($1.25M savings)
His snaps are down a bit in 2017 and his production much the same. While a $1.4M cap figure isn't going to break Washington's bank, the $1.3M in savings may be needed elsewhere.
Player Team Pos. 2018 Cap Dead Cap Details Thoughts
Brian Cushing HOU SLB $9,700,000 Trade/Release:
$1.2M ($8.5M savings)
The Texans are a better defense when Cushing is in the lineup, but injuries & a recent 10 game suspension for PEDs has his future in question.
Tamba Hali  KC OLB $8,708,334 Pre-3/1 Trade/Release:
$1,708,334 ($7M savings)
Hali has a $1.5M roster bonus due on March 1st. WIth KC already in cap trouble for 2018, Hali's savings will be a necessity.
Dee Ford  KC OLB $8,718,000 Pre-3/14 Trade/Release:
$0 ($8.718M savings)
Ford's 5th-year option will guarantee on March 14th. Injury has kept him off the field for half of 2017. He'll be a question mark heading into March.
Elvis Dumervil  SF OLB $4,250,000 Trade/Release:
$500,000 ($3.75M savings)
The 49ers need not cut a soul with their $100M+ in cap space. But it stands to reason they will look to get younger in a few areas.
Defensive Backs
Player Team Pos. 2018 Cap Dead Cap Details Thoughts
Adam-Pacman Jones CIN CB $6,666,668 Trade/Release
$666,668 ($6M savings)
A below par 2016 + an injury-riddled 2017 likely have Jones' roster spot for 2018 in jeopardy. Especially with $6M in savings available.
Ron Parker KC SS $7,000,000 Pre-6/1 Trade/Release
$2M ($5M savings)

Post-6/1 Trade/Release:
$1M ($6M savings), $1M 2019 dead cap
Parker has struggled to lock down the backend of the Chiefs' D, and will see his cap figure grow to $7M in 2018. KC needs cap space and could look to find some here.
Jason Verrett  LAC CB $8,526,000 Pre-3/14 Trade/Release:
$0 ($8.526M savings)
Verrett's missed significant time due to injury in back to back seasons, putting his 5th-year option for 2018 in question. LA will need to decide prior to March 14th, when it guarantees.
Buster Skrine  NYJ CB $8,500,000 Trade/Release
$2.5M ($6M savings)
Skrine has been a solid veteran presence for the Jets secondary, but could be bypassed for a cheaper option in 2018.
David Amerson OAK CB $6,000,000 Pre-3/16 Trade/Release:
$0 ($6M savings)
Amerson's $5.5M salary becomes fully guaranteed on March 16th. He'll likely be release prior to that date.
Coty Sensabaugh  PIT CB $1,612,500 Trade/Release:
$212,500 ($1.4M savings)
With Haden now in the fold (and expensive), the Steelers will need to trim a lot of fat to get healthy financially for 2018.
Richard Sherman  SEA CB $13,200,000 Trade/Release:
$2.2M ($11M savings)
Sherman was playing his usual above average CB play before his injury. He'll enter a contract year in 2018, and a $13.2M hit is rich for a cap-strapped Seattle team. A restructured extension is possible.
Da'Norris Searcy  TEN SS $4,925,000 Trade/Release:
$1.125M ($3.8M savings)
Searcy took a pay cut this past season, and has been asked to do more than expected. His $4.925M cap figure may be too high for a role player going forward.
Special Teams
Player Team Pos. 2018 Cap Dead Cap Details Thoughts
Mason Crosby  GB K $5,250,000 Pre 3/16 Trade/Release
$2.5M ($2.75M savings)
Crosby is due a $500,000 roster bonus on March 16th. His $5.25M cap figure is likely deemed too high for a Packers team that will have holes to fill and a QB to extend.

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I'm gonna be sticky!