NFL Cap Casualties 2024: Russell Wilson, Alvin Kamara, Mike Williams, Joe Mixon Among 20 Cut Candidates

The NFL is a business, and some players will be handed their walking papers this offseason. Which cut candidates will become cap casualties in the coming weeks?

With the NFL offseason in full swing and the new league year right around the corner, it’s time for clubs to get their salary caps in order. Unfortunately, that means many veterans around the NFL are about to receive pink slips.

Some players are released due to skill considerations, while others are let go due to salary cap constraints. Clubs can use a straight release and remove the player (and their salary) from their roster immediately, while post-June 1 cuts allow teams to spread dead money over two seasons.

Which players could be on the chopping block over the next several weeks? Here are the top 20 likeliest cut candidates heading into the 2024 NFL league year.

2024 NFL Cut Candidates

Russell Wilson, QB, Denver Broncos

Cap savings: $0 (post-June 1 cut)

Intent on preventing Russell Wilson from getting injured and locking in future guaranteed money, the Broncos benched the veteran quarterback in Week 17.

Wilson’s 2024 base salary is already fully guaranteed, but if he’s still on Denver’s roster on the fifth day of the 2024 league year, his $37 million salary for the 2025 campaign will also become guaranteed.

The Broncos won’t let that happen, meaning Wilson will be released unless the two sides agree to rework his contract. Denver will have to designate Wilson as a post-June 1 release, spreading his dead money over the next two years. His 2024 $35.4 million cap charge will remain the same whether he’s on the roster or not.

Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns

Cap savings: $11.825 million

Nick Chubb went down in Week 2 after suffering a gruesome knee injury, but Browns general manager Andrew Berry said in January that his club wants its All-Pro RB back in 2024.

However, Chubb is due nearly $12 million in non-guaranteed salary, a no-go for an injured running back. Even if Cleveland doesn’t release its franchise stalwart, a pay cut seems likely.

Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

Cap savings: $4.674 million

Aaron Jones accepted a $5 million pay reduction heading into the 2023 campaign and could be looking at another cut this year. While GM Brian Gutekunst called Jones the Packers’ “heartbeat” in January, the 29-year-old missed six games with injuries during the regular season.

Jones’ contract has three void years, which would reduce the cap savings Green Bay would realize in the event of a release. The Packers could consider a short-term extension that creates cap space in the near term and gives Jones additional guarantees but doesn’t lock in Green Bay for years to come.

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

Cap savings: $11.682 million (post-June 1 cut)

Alvin Kamara will be 29 when next season gets underway and is coming off a career-low scrimmage-yard campaign in which he ranked fourth worst in rushing yards over expectation per attempt. He’s still a weapon in the passing game (75 receptions on 86 targets), but Kamara’s receiving success rate dipped to just 45.3% in 2023.

Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

Cap savings: $5.75 million

Although Joe Mixon doesn’t want to hear it, he’s a likely release candidate this offseason. He seems unlikely to take another pay cut after accepting a decrease in 2023, so the Bengals could simply cut ties and save nearly $6 million on the cap.

If Mixon leaves, Chase Brown will likely form a Cincinnati RB committee alongside a free agent addition or draft pick.

Zay Jones, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Cap savings: $4.183 million

The Jaguars have the cap space to retain Zay Jones and could do so if they lose fellow WR Calvin Ridley to free agency. But if Ridley re-signs with Jacksonville, Jones could be on the chopping block. Although the 28-year-old had a career season (82-823-5) in 2022, he missed eight games with a nagging injury this past year.

Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Cap savings: $9.5 million (post-June 1 cut)

Dallas is projected to be $20+ million over the cap, so Jerry Jones needs to make some cuts. With CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Jake Ferguson already in the pass-catching corps, the Cowboys can move on from Michael Gallup, who hasn’t been the same player since tearing his ACL in 2021.

A straight release would only save Dallas $800,000, making a post-1 June cut the more likely alternative.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Tennessee Titans

Cap savings: $10.461 million

DeAndre Hopkins rebounded in his first season with the Titans, topping 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since 2020 while staying healthy for all 17 games. Still, a 31-year-old WR isn’t a perfect fit for a rebuilding Tennessee roster.

The Titans may be able to trade Hopkins, but releasing the veteran wideout could make sense if first-year HC Brian Callahan wants to start a youth movement.

Hunter Renfrow, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

Cap savings: $8.21 million

The Raiders have repeatedly tried to trade Hunter Renfrow without finding a taker. Perhaps he’ll stay in Las Vegas if the Raiders move Davante Adams — otherwise, Adams and Jakobi Meyers will make Renfrow obsolete.

MORE: Aaron Rodgers Is Recruiting Davante Adams to the Jets

Two years removed from a 103-1,038-9 line, Renfrow played just 35% of Vegas’ offensive snaps in 2023.

Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Cap savings: $20 million

Mike Williams tore his ACL in September. He could be entitled to a settlement if he can’t pass a physical this offseason, but it makes too much sense for the Chargers to release him and save $20 million in cash and cap.

Williams has a $3 million roster bonus on the third day of the 2024 league year, setting up a decision point for Los Angeles.

David Bakhtiari, OT, Green Bay Packers

Cap savings: $20.935 million

Although David Bakhtiari has been attempting to manage his ongoing knee injury, he appeared in a single game in both 2021 and 2023. His $40+ million cap charge is obviously untenable, and Green Bay figures to move forward with Rasheed Walker at left tackle. Don’t be surprised if Bakhtiari ends up with the Jets blocking for confidant Aaron Rodgers.

Cam Robinson, OT, Jacksonville Jaguars

Cap savings: $17.279 million

Cam Robinson has spent his entire career in Jacksonville, but there are reasons to believe he won’t be back next season. The 28-year-old missed eight games due to injury and suspension in 2023, while the Jaguars have Walker Little and Anton Harrison as options to take over on Trevor Lawrence’s blindside.

Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, EDGE, Los Angeles Chargers

Cap savings: $14.388 million (Bosa), $23.25 million (Mack)

Will Jim Harbaugh double down on the Chargers’ existing veteran talent? Or will he wipe the slate clean with an eye toward starting fresh in 2025?

Either way, something needs to be done about Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, each of whom has 2024 cap hits north of $36 million. Bosa hasn’t been able to remain healthy in recent seasons. Mack is coming off a 17-sack campaign but is 32 years old. Trade, cuts, and restructures are all on the table for Bosa and Mack.

Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE, Miami Dolphins

Cap savings: $13.709 million

Despite numerous injuries to Dolphins pass rushers, Emmanuel Ogbah still only played a quarter of the club’s defensive snaps in 2023. He put up 5.5 sacks, but it’s clear Miami doesn’t envision the 31-year-old in its long-term plans.

Projected to be $50+ million over the cap, the Dolphins need all the extra space they can find.

Xavien Howard, CB, Miami Dolphins

Cap savings: $18.5 million (post-June 1 cut)

Speaking of those cap-strapped Dolphins, Xavien Howard is another candidate to be released this offseason. Howard’s already suggested he’s unwilling to accept a pay reduction, but his near-$30 million cap charge isn’t going to work.

MORE: Dolphins Cornerback Options if Xavien Howard Gets Cut

Miami will have to use a post-June 1 designation to maximize Howard’s cap savings. GM Chris Grier must decide before March 14, when Howard’s $3 million roster bonus will become guaranteed.

Tre’Davious White, CB, Buffalo Bills

Cap savings: $11.825 million

While Tre’Davious White is still an excellent corner when available, injuries have taken their toll. He’s missed 30 games over the past three years while dealing with ACL and Achilles injuries and now has a $16+ million cap number in 2024.

The Bills’ salary cap situation is more dire than any team besides the New Orleans Saints, making White a likely cap casualty.

Jamal Adams, S, Seattle Seahawks

Cap savings: $17.122 million (post-June 1 cut)

Jamal Adams has played in just 22 of 51 games over the past three years and ended the 2023 campaign on injured reserve. He considered retirement after the 2022 season and could contemplate hanging up his cleats if released.

Seattle also has a decision on fellow safety Quandre Diggs, who has a $21.263 million cap charge next year.

Kevin Byard, S, Philadelphia Eagles

Cap savings: $13.031 million

The Eagles restructured Kevin Byard’s contract after acquiring him from the Titans last year, so they’ll be left with a bit of dead money if they release him. But the salary cap savings from a Byard cut will be too significant for GM Howie Roseman to ignore.

Philadelphia’s porous defense didn’t improve after Byard joined the squad in October.

Harrison Smith, S, Minnesota Vikings

Cap savings: $11.384 million

The Vikings consistently try to refresh their roster while staying young and competitive, and Harrison Smith might be a victim of the club’s strategy this offseason. He’s already 35 years old, while Minnesota has other safeties — Camryn Bynum and Josh Metellus — that it trusts.

A post-June 1 cut could make sense, but the Vikings might prefer to take all of Smith’s dead money in 2024.

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