Big name cuts in the NFL have little to do with the salary cap.

Fryingpan Sports

Big name cuts in the NFL have little to do with the salary cap.

By Bill Smith

Marvin Harrison (WR) cut. 12 million

Derrick Brooks (LB) cut. 3.75 million

Ike Hilliard (WR) cut. 2.07 million

Warrick Dunn (RB) cut. 3 million

Joey Galloway (WR) cut. 3.5 million

Cato June (LB) cut. 3.7 million

Donnie Edwards (LB) cut. 4.8 million

Damon Huard (QB) cut. 2.6 million

Laveranues Coles (WR) cut. 6 million.

And that is not all. There will be more. What do all of these players have in common beside a large cap number in 08? They are all older. The NFL Players Association has been talking about the uncapped 2010 helping the middle and higher paid players but that is not going to happen.

What will happen is that teams will be cutting as many expensive players as possible before the lockout in 2010 happens but it is not due to the salary cap. The cap was expected to be around 120.5 million in 09 when it was first calculated in June of 08. Then the estimate grew to 123 million and last week went to 127 million. That is really a lot of money to spread between 53 players (2.32 mil each). That may not seem like a lot (except to those of us that work for a living) but about 10 to 12 players on each team work for the minimum which runs between 235K and 500K each depending on the number of years of service.

To me the cuts of costly players is one more indication that the league is going to play hard ball with the NFLPA. The owners are acting like they will not give an inch to the players. The primary candidates to replace Gene Upshaw, the deceased Executive Director, have been campaigning based on how tough they will be in fighting for guaranteed contracts, better health care, and a larger slice of the pie for the players.

Under NFL rules, all teams had to be under the projected cap for 2009 by midnight this morning which is the beginning of the free agent period. We will know which teams will tend to stand strong against the NFLPA by not signing expensive free agents and which will spend money over the next few years. Watch the length of the contracts.

If the new deals are long term, the team that offers it may be intending to vote to not lockout the players. Teams that do not sign players is hunkering down to survive regardless whether or not the league plays in 09. Either way, the next few weeks will be interesting.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Big name cuts in the NFL have little to do with the salary cap. by
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3 thoughts on “Big name cuts in the NFL have little to do with the salary cap.”

  1. I think all of these releases were good as all players were past their prime and wanting too much money. If I would have kept anyone it would have been Brooks because he can still play and is a good veteran to have around.

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  2. Washington just signed a $100 million contract with Haynesworth. They are one of the teams that will sign big contracts no matter what.

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  3. Thanks !! very helpful post!

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