With the league-wide start of training camps just around the corner, the craziness of the offseason in the National Football League is nearing its end. So far, we have witnessed a wild free agency period and a highly entertaining 2016 NFL Draft. All that we have left are the rest of Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) and another round of veteran roster cuts that will occur between now and the start of training camps.
While we have already seen one wave of veteran players face the chopping block, and a handful of others (Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr and New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola (pictured above) come to mind) avoid unemployment by taking substantial paycuts, we will undoubtedly end up seeing several additional big-name players get cut over the next six to eight weeks. Here, we are going to present six of these players, but first, we are going to explain why their teams will (likely) hold off on releasing them until June 1.
Long story short, waiting until June 1 to release veteran players allows teams to spread out the remaining balances on prorated signing bonuses over the next two seasons, rather than incurring the entire dead money hit during the current league year. If you happen to be interested, a more detailed explanation can be found here. With that being said, we fully expect these six veteran players to be released this offseason — on or after June 1.
1. Lawrence Timmons, inside linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Scheduled Cap Hit: $15,131,250
- Dead Money Hit (if cut): $6,381,250
- 2015 PFF Grade: 37.9
Lawrence Timmons has been a mainstay in the Steelers’ starting lineup since 2009, but we expect that to change in 2016. The 29-year-old linebacker is coming off of a poor performance in 2015 and is scheduled to have an outlandish salary cap hit of over $15 million.
If that weren’t enough, the Steelers could use some salary cap relief if they are going to work out a contract extension for All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, and they also have a suitable replacement for Timmons in 26-year-old Vince Williams, who is a former sixth-round pick that is still playing on his rookie contract. In reality, we would be somewhat surprised to see Timmons in a Pittsburgh uniform in 2016 unless he signs a restructured contract extension that dramatically reduces his scheduled cap hit. If not, he will almost surely end up being a June 1 cap casualty.