Patrick Peterson, CB, ARI, 28
The 7-time Pro Bowler has been vocal about wanting a change of scenery from a Cardinals team very much in rebuild mode. He’s signed thru 2020, with cap hits of $11.8M and $13.1M over the next two years. With no future guarantees, the deal offers no-dead-cap outs after 2018. It’s likely Peterson would require a new deal after 2018 whether he’s traded or not.
Cardinals take on $9.1M of dead cap this year & another $1.2M in 2019. New team acquires Peterson with cap hits of 5.82M, $11.25M, & $12.55M.
Trade Next Offseason:
Cardinals take on $1.2M of dead cap, clearing $10.6M of cap space New team acquires him with cap hits of $11.25M, & $12.55M.
Verdict: The Cardinals hang onto Peterson for the remainder of 2018, but trade him next March.
LeSean McCoy, RB, BUF, 30
McCoy suffered a head injury in Week 7 against the Colts which has put his Week 8 status against the Patriots on Monday Night Football in serious doubt. With the trade deadline the following day, it’s becoming more and more unlikely that a deal gets done. He’s signed through 2019, with $6.425M in cash to be made and a $9.05M cap figure next year. He holds $2.625M of dead cap which stays with the Bills if he’s traded or released.
Bills take on $5.73M of dead cap in 2018 & another $2.625M in 2019. New team acquires McCoy with cap hits of $3.21M in 2018, and $6.425M.
Trade Next Offseason:
Bills take on $2.625M of dead cap, clearing $6.425M of cap.
Release Next Offseason:
Bills take on $2.625M of dead cap, new team acquires McCoy with a $6.425M cap hit/salary.
Verdict: Buffalo can’t find a viable trade partner this year or next March, and release McCoy.
Jordan Howard, RB, CHI, 23
Howard has the potential to be a three-down back in this league, but doesn’t appear to be a good fit for Matt Nagy’s current system. He’s in year 3 of his rookie contract, so the finances are still very reasonable.
New team acquires Howard with salaries of $333,529, & $720,000 through 2019. The Bears take on dead cap hits of $296,470 in 2018 & another $62,007 in 2019.
Release or Trade Next Offseason:
New team acquires Howard at $720,000 if traded, while the Bears take on a $62,007 dead cap hit either way.
Verdict: Howard is traded over the next week
Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN, 30
With a $17.5M cap figure looming in 2019, something’s going to give with Thomas and the Broncos at some point in the very near future. The 30-year-old has come on strong over the past few weeks after a really tough start to 2018. He has $5M remaining on his 2018 salary and a $14M non-guaranteed salary in 2019.
New team acquires Thomas at $4.5M in 2018, & $14M in 2019. The Broncos take a $7.53M dead cap hit in 2018, and another $3.53M hit in 2019.
Trade or Release Next Offseason:
Thomas would bring a non-guaranteed $14M salary to a new team if traded, leaving $3.53M of dead with the Broncos either way
Verdict: Either Thomas or Sanders is traded this week
Tyrod Taylor, QB, CLE, 29
The Taylor era in Cleveland ended pretty quickly, but Taylor still represents a very good backup, and in some cases, an upgrade at the starting QB position for teams across the league. The 29-year-old is set to hit free agency next March.
The problem? He has $5.8M remaining on his 2018 salary - which may be too rich for most teams looking to add a depth piece. Though based on the scenario, a new team could choose to extend Taylor, restructuring the remaining salary to lower his cap figure in 2018 (though they would need to absorb the entire $5.8M at the time of his acquisition, prior to restructuring).
New team acquires Taylor on a $5.3M salary/cap hit for the remainder of 2018. The Browns take on $10.3M dead cap in 2018.
Verdict: Taylor is probably on more than a couple of team’s Watch Lists right now, but the price just seems too high for the role he would be assuming elsewhere. He probably needed a QB1 injury in the past few weeks to be considered for a trade this week. He’ll hit free agency in March.
Devante Parker, WR, MIA, 25
He’s been on the trade block for about a year now, but injuries to Kenny Stills & Albert Wilson in Week 7 may have squashes his exit plans for now. The 25-year-old has never gelled with this franchise and is in dire need of a fresh start. Miami exercised a $9.3M 5th-year-option for 2019 which doesn’t become fully guaranteed until March 13th, but is guaranteed for injury now.
New team acquires him with $1M remaining in 2018, & a $9.3M option in 2019. Miami takes on $2.4M of dead cap in 2018.
Trade Next Offseason:
New team acquires a $9.3M fully guaranteed salary/cap, no dead cap to the Dolphins.
Release Next Offseason:
If done before March 13th, the Dolphins will take on no dead cap.
Verdict: Parker stays based on Miami’s health issues at the WR position, and has a chance to showcase himself for a possible trade next March. He’ll be outright released otherwise.
Derek Carr, QB, OAK, 27
The Raiders are clearly cleaning house to make room for “Gruden’s Guys” in 2019, and the jury is likely still out on the starting QB. It seems too much to ask for a team like the Jaguars or Giants to give up on their current QB1s and drop a guy like Carr in to a system he’s never run a play for. With that said, his contract can be thrown out VERY easily after 2018, whether it’s in Oakland or elsewhere.
New team acquires a $3.9M salary in 2018, then caps of $20M, $19M, $19.6M, & $19.8M thru 2022. Oakland takes on a $21M dead cap hit in 2018, & another $7.5M in 2019.
Trade or Release before March 15th:
New team acquires salaries of $20M, $19M $19.6M, & $19.8M thru 2022 if traded, Oakland takes on a $7.5M dead cap hit either way.
Verdict: Carr is given the chance to prove he’s either good enough to remain an option for Oakland in 2019, or at least good enough to be trade-worthy after the season. If not, he’s released next March.
Other Notable Candidates
DeSean Jackson, WR, TB, 31
Jackson's had a surprisingly great year, though he remains a bit of a boom or bust receiver at this stage of his career. The 31-year-old would bring caps of $5.8M & $10M to a new team, leaving behind $5.2M of dead cap to the Bucs in 2018. His deal holds no guarantees or dead cap going forwad.
Deone Bucannon, LB, ARZ, 26
The 2014 first rounder is in need of a change of scenery, & the Cardinals appear poised to ship him out this weekend. He holds $4.6M remaining on his 5th-year-option this year as he nears free agency, leaving behind $4.1M of dead cap to Arizona.
Jerry Hughes, DE, BUF, 30
Hughes has had a much needed bounce-back season in 2018, putting himself in a good spot to be moved to a contender for the rest of the year. The 30-year-old has $3.3M remaining in 2018, & $7.5M in 2019, which stand as good values for a new team. The Bills would take on dead cap hits of $7M in 2018, & $2.9M in 2019.
Pierre Garcon, WR, SF, 32
The veteran WR is banged up, but has shown he can still be a playmaker in the right system. Contractually he holds $3.5M remaining in 2018, with club options over the next three seasons that need to be exercised before the league year starts. His trade would leave behind dead cap of $5.7M in 2018 & $7.2M in 2019 to the 49ers.
HaHa Clinton-Dix, FS, GB, 25
The 2014 first round pick has $3.15M remaining on his 5th-year option season in Green Bay, and his headed for free agency next March. A trade next week would leave behind $2.8M of dead cap.
Karl Joseph, SS, OAK, 25
The 2016 first round pick could be the next man out in Oakland. He would bring $810,207 in 2018, $2M in 2019, & an option in 2020 to a new team, leaving behind dead caps of $2.43M in 2018 & $1.7M in 2019 to the Raiders.
Gareon Conley, CB, OAK, 23
The 2017 #24 selection has never found footing in Oakland after a year one injury, and a rough start to 2018. He holds caps of $4.9M in 2018, $1.4M in 2019 & $1.9M in 2020 with an option available in 2021, and could be a steal for a new team should he be able to integrate well. His trade would leave behind dead cap of $1.8M in 2018, & $2.8M in 2019.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, NYG, 29
If the Giants are still looking to sell off, Jenkins is the likely next candidate. The 29-year-old still holds strong value on the market, and 2 1/2 years remaining on his current contract. He would bring caps of $3.3M, $11.25M, & $11.25M to a new team, leaving behind dead cap hits of $7.6M in 2018, & $7M in 2019.
Shane Ray, LB, DEN, 25
Denver already declined a 5th-year-option for 2019, so Ray's time in Denver is likely nearing an end one way or another. The Broncos would do well to test the market this weekend and try to bring back an asset for the 2015 1st-rounder. Ray would bring a cap of $888,609 to a new team, leaving behind $2M of dead cap to Denver.
Chris Harris, CB, DEN, 29
The Broncos aren't exactly deep in the secondary right now, but Harris is trending toward an offseason cap casualty right as it stands, so finding some trade value this weekend makes sense. The 29-year-old would bring caps of $3.9M, & $7.9M to a new team, leaving behind dead cap hits of $6.4M in 2018 & $866,666 in 2019.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, DET, 25
A major non-factor in Detroit this year with Blount, Johnson & Riddick all squarely ahead of him, it's a little surprising Abdullah hasn't been moved or released yet, The 25-year-old has $464,159 remaining in 2018 as he nears free agency in March. The Lions would take on $858,245 of dead cap per his release or trade.
Jacoby Brissett, QB, IND, 25
Moving Brissett wasn't even an option 3 months ago with the uncertainty of Andrew Luck in question, and that still may be the case for the Colts now. But it stands to reason that a team or two will inquire this weekend about the versatile QB. The 25-year-old would bring caps of $389,157, & $915,114 with him to a new team, leaving behind dead cap hits of $370,918 to the Colts in 2018.
Spencer Ware, RB, KC, 26
Ware's role is limited amidst a plethora of weapons in KC, but he still holds value as the handcuff to Kareem Hunt. This likely means he stays in KC, playing his contract out as he nears free agency in March. If he's moved, he'll bring $383,823 with him to a new team, leaving $724,510 of dead cap to the Chiefs.