HomeFootball Dirt32 NFL Teams Consider Cutting or Trading 1 Veteran Player in 2024

32 NFL Teams Consider Cutting or Trading 1 Veteran Player in 2024

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The 2024 NFL salary cap hasn’t been set yet, but may approach a record $250 million. That’s great news for teams and free agents alike — but it’s also going to lead to tough decisions when it comes to some of the league’s highest paid veterans. The NFL’s hard spending cap will leave all 32 teams to examine their rosters and create as much space as possible to retain key players and lure new ones. That won’t be too difficult for teams like the Washington Commanders, New England Patriots or Chicago Bears, all of whom could have more than $70 million in cap space before March even begins. But for teams like the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints, all of whom are well over next season’s expected spending limit, it’ll be a problem. That means steady veterans and once-hyped prospects could be en route to new locales (or the UFL) as teams trim their budgets via releases and trades. We’ve already seen a minor smattering of moves as the Patriots and Steelers shed costs. There will be much more in store. So what’s that going to look like? After paring over each team’s salary cap, scheduled payouts and ability to restructure deals in order to shed cap obligations without losing players, I came up with one notable veteran — some much more notable than others — who could be traded or cut this spring. Numbers for each team’s cap space and how much can be saved through either releasing or trading a player are all courtesy of Over The Cap, which remains an invaluable cap management resource.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY SportsCap space: $41,716,463
Potential savings: $1,920,000
The Cardinals have a solid chunk of cap space to begin with and won’t have to make any significant moves. That means Pascal may keep his job even as his impact as a wideout has waned. In 2023 he played as many snaps (202) on special teams as he did on offense, resulting in a career-low four catches. But he also had five kick/punt coverage tackles and brings veteran stability to that phase of the game.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsCap space: $25,849,508
Potential savings: $6,960,000
Heinicke is a solid backup quarterback, but an expensive one; the $7 million in cash he’s owed is 20th-highest in the NFL for 2024. Atlanta can excise nearly all of that from its books by releasing or trading him. With a new head coach in town and a new quarterback (…Justin Fields???) on the way, there’s logic to releasing Heinicke and opting for a cheaper QB2 in order to fill holes elsewhere.

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