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Fresh off the wire

Nnamdi Asomugha among NFC veterans on the bubble

Chris Wesseling did a great job breaking down the potential salary cap casualties in the AFC. Now let's take a crack at some of the biggest names that could be let go in the NFC. With the salary cap not expected to rise much this year, there are plenty of teams looking to cut dead weight.

Candidates for release


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1. Nnamdi Asomugha, Philadelphia Eagles cornerback: With $4 million of his scheduled $15 million salary guaranteed, the Eagles could try to work out a pay cut to keep Asomugha. More likely: They cut ties after two straight disappointing seasons.

2. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals quarterback: The Cardinals publicly have said they need to reduce Kolb's deal. He's due more than $11 million and his poor arm strength does not match up well with new coach Bruce Arians' vertical offense. Kolb is due a $2 million bonus on March 19 that serves as a soft deadline for both sides.

3. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons running back: Don't overpay for running backs (yes, $6.9 million for a part-timer power runner in decline counts as overpaying). Turner appears as good as gone.

4-5. Devin Hester and Kellen Davis, Chicago Bears: Cutting both players would save less than $5 million, but Hester seems to want a fresh start elsewhere. Davis simply has been ineffective as a starting tight end.

6-7. Alex Smith and David Akers, San Francisco 49ers: Akers is an easy cut because he's paid like a top-shelf kicker. Smith is trickier. The 49ers want to get his $7.5 million salary off the books, but they can be patient about a potential trade if they make moves elsewhere. My best guess is that the 49ers will get a late-round pick for Smith and avoid releasing him.

8. Eric Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback: Wright was guaranteed $7.75 million ... until his peformance-enhancing drug suspension at the end of 2012. Now the Bucs can release last year's free-agent mistake without a problem. That has to be one of the costliest suspensions in memory.

9. Jay Ratliff, Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle: He's overpaid, underperforming, and just got a DUI. And yet owner Jerry Jones probably will try to find a way to keep Ratliff anyway because he loves hanging on to players for a year too long.

10. Matt Flynn, Seattle Seahawks quarterback: I doubt anyone will want to take on Flynn's $5.25 million contract, much less give up a draft pick for it. A release seems more likely.

11. DeAngelo Hall, Washington Redskins cornerback: The up-and-down veteran says he will "do what I got to do" to stay in Washington. A pay cut is possible, but simply cutting Hall and his $7.5 million salary is simplest.

12. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers running back: I've already discussed this one at length. Paying two backs big money is a luxury the Panthers can't afford.

13-14. Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma, New Orleans Saints: The Saints have kept their Super Bowl winners together for too long. For now, the team is trying to get both players to take a pay cut. The reality is that both players don't fit their new 3-4 scheme and are more likely to get cut.

15. Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions running back: He's only due $876,000, but every dollar counts for the Lions. Best's future remains uncertain.

16. John Carlson, Minnesota Vikings tight end: Cutting Carlson would be less about cap savings and more about admitting a big mistake from an offseason ago.

Candidates for restructure


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NFL salary cap situations

Take a look at how each team stands in regard to the expected $121 million salary cap in 2013.

1. Doug Free, Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle: Yes, Free is very overpaid. But Jones doesn't like admitting mistakes, and he would be costly to release. A reduced contract is possible.

2. Kevin Williams, Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle: He's not worth close to $7 million, but he could be amenable to taking less money to stay.

3. Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions wide receiver: The Lions need receiving options, but Burleson has a big salary number ($4.5 million) coming off surgery. He would be costly to cut free.

4. Jordan Gross, Carolina Panthers offensive tackle: Gross is still a key player for Carolina, but he's 31 years old and not $8.7 million good.

5. Corey Webster, New York Giants cornerback: Webster is due $7 million in the final year of his contract. His career has been wildly up and down.

6. A.J. Hawk, Green Bay Packers linebacker: Few players get overpaid for long in the NFL. Hawk has pulled off the trick for a while, and my guess is he should stick around in Green Bay again with teammates Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith coming off injury.

7. Santana Moss, Washington Redskins wide receiver : A $3.7 million pay day is too much for a No. 4 receiver, even though Moss helped the Redskins last year.

Potential surprise cuts


1. Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals running back: Wells doesn't have an onerous contract, but he might have worn out his welcome with the organization. The coaching change actually gives him a better chance to stick around.

2. Dunta Robinson, Atlanta Falcons cornerback: If the Falcons bring back Brent Grimes, don't be shocked if Robinson leaves town.

3. DeMeco Ryans, Philadelphia Eagles linebacker: I've read that Ryans fits what the Eagles' defense wants to do under coach Chip Kelly. Ryans played well last season, but $6.6 million is a big number for someone who doesn't make a lot of plays.


With the offseason officially under way, Around the League will examine what's next for all 32 teams.

AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» Cardinals | Niners | Rams | Seahawks

4. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers tight end: Halfway through last season, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the Packers already made their decision to let Finley go. He finished the season strong, but is due almost $8 million in 2012. Finley pegged his chances of returning at 50/50. I'd say it's a little higher than that.

5. Carlos Rogers, San Francisco 49ers cornerback: These are called "potential surprise cuts" for a reason. Rogers contributed plenty to the 49ers last season, but he's due $5.5 million and turns 32 this year.

6-7. Brodrick Bunkley and Jabari Greer, New Orleans Saints: I love Greer as a player, but the Saints have way too many defensive players making a ton of money on an awful defense.

8. Jon Beason, Carolina Panthers linebacker: With $3.75 million of Beason's $5.25 million in pay guaranteed, it would only make sense for the Panthers to cut the linebacker if they don't think he can get healthy. Or if they think he won't react to playing outside linebacker with Luke Kuechly in the middle.

Other potential cuts


Arizona Cardinals: S Adrian Wilson, T Levi Brown, LB Stewart Bradley, CB William Gay

Carolina Panthers: CB Chris Gamble, LB James Anderson, DT Ron Edwards

Chicago Bears: TE Kellen Davis, G Roberto Garza

Dallas Cowboys: DL Marcus Spears, LB Dan Connor

Detroit Lions: WR Mike Thomas

Green Bay Packers: FB John Kuhn

Minnesota Vikings: WR Michael Jenkins

New Orleans Saints: CB Jabari Greer, LB Chris Chamberlain

New York Giants: T David Diehl

Philadelphia Eagles: DL Mike Patterson

San Francisco 49ers: LB Parys Haralson

Seattle Seahawks: CB Marcus Trufant, WR Ben Obomanu, T Breno Giacomini

St. Louis Rams: S Quintin Mikell, T Wayne Hunter

Washington Redskins: DL Adam Carriker, S Brandon Meriweather

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