Here's our look at AFC players in danger of getting released this offseason:
Conspiracy theorists' delight
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos quarterback: Gregg Rosenthal outlined the latent Manning imbroglio in his NFL Scouting Combine recap. While the odds are heavily in favor of Manning's return to Denver, the contract subplot looms as a potential hangup. How serious are the Broncos about a paycut? Serious enough to send Manning back into the arms of John Fox and Adam Gase in Chicago?
Strong candidates for release
1. Percy Harvin, New York Jets wide receiver: The Jets appear to be split into two camps. There are those who believe $10.5 million and the loss of a fourth-round draft pick is too steep a price to pay for a wide receiver without consistent game film since October of 2012. The other view is that a talent-starved team with plenty of cap space has no business cutting receivers of Harvin's playmaking ability.
2. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver: The Chiefs have already cut Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins. Due a nonguaranteed $10.75 million after failing to find the end zone in 2014, Bowe should be next on the chopping block. Is that decision on hold until Andy Reid makes a run at a reunion with free agent Jeremy Maclin?
5, 6 and 7. Matt Schaub, Maurice Jones-Drew and LaMarr Woodley, Oakland Raiders: Three of the worst signings of 2014. Broken beyond repair by too many hits over the past decade, Schaub was doomed from the start in Oakland. Jones-Drew somehow managed to make Trent Richardson look fast last season, averaging a creeping 2.2 yards on 43 carries. Woodley totaled more missed games than tackles last year.
8 and 9. Dannell Ellerbe and Cortland Finnegan, Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins can save more than $8 million by cutting Ellerbe, who missed 15 games following hip surgery last season. Leading tackler Jelani Jenkins turned out to be an upgrade as his replacement. Finnegan, 31, is a declining player due a nonguaranteed $5.48 million.
10 and 11. Michael Griffin and Shonn Greene, Tennessee Titans: Griffin has been one of the most overpaid safeties in the league since signing a five-year, $35 million contract in 2012. The Titans can save nearly $5 million against the cap by cutting the 30-year-old coming off surgery to repair a torn labrum. Greene hasn't topped 400 yards in either of his two seasons since landing a head-scratching three-year, $10 million deal from the Titans.
12. Phil Taylor, Cleveland Browns defensive tackle: Taylor is a first-round selection who has been paid as such, but he's struggled to stay on the field. Both he and Ahtyba Rubin were paired as the anchors of Cleveland's interior defensive line, but their lack of effective time together makes the investment a questionable decision. The Browns have a lot of cap space, but Taylor is due to make $5.47 million in 2015, his final season under contract in Cleveland. That's a lot for a guy who has registered 20 tackles in his last 20 games.
Potential surprise cuts
1. Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots cornerback: Revis' contract was meant to be a one-year, $12 million rental, but the Patriots hold a $20 million option that would count a prohibitive $25 million against the cap. The Pats will try to reach an agreement with Revis on an extension, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, but there's no urgency until April, when a $12 million roster bonus is due.
6. Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots defensive tackle: We wouldn't expect the Pats to release one of owner Robert Kraft's personal favorites, but the move would save over $8 million in cap room. That could be a consideration with Revis and free agent safety Devin McCourty in need for big-money contracts.