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The NFL free agency period will get underway at 4 p.m. ET on March 17. That means two weeks from today, a lot of the big-name players are the market will be signing new deals, either with their old team or a new one.
Things are going to happen between now and then, though. Players with inflated salaries are in danger of landing on the chopping block more than ever due to the reduced salary cap. In fact, things could get ugly.
Dianna Russini with ESPN tweeted out a text she received from a NFL head coach on Wednesday. When discussing the upcoming cuts and what he expects, he replied “it’s going to be a massacre next week all around the league.”
Just texted with an NFL head coach about the upcoming cuts and what he expects…
“It’s going to be a massacre next week all around the league”
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 3, 2021
We’re already beginning to see some of the casualties.
On Wednesday, longtime Raiders guard Gabe Jackson was informed that he would be released. It cleared $9.6 million off the books, but this move might have been avoided if not for the financial impact of COVID-19.
Jackson has slowly began to decline over the last couple of years, and he’s turning 30 years old in July. He’s still been solid, but at close to $10 million in savings with the reduced salary cap, it’s a no-brainer. Trent Brown is reportedly on the trade block too.
This won’t be the end, either. In fact, this is just the beginning. Players who have exceedingly high cap hits are in danger, even if they’re still productive.
Former Texans center Nick Martin is another one. He’s been steady, but unspectacular. That’s bad business when combining his inflated cap numbers in a down year. Cutting the former second-round pick saves Houston $6.25 million, which is more needed this year.
So who else might be cut over the next 7-14 days? Well, OutKick will break down some of the top cut candidates soon. Stay tuned.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.