As I sat on the couch Wednesday morning I decided to pull out my MacBook Pro and do some more research centering around the 2014 salary cap situation the Tennessee Titans are facing in the coming days and weeks.
I saw some startling salary figures when I assessed what the Titans will have on the books for this coming season. I can certainly speak to the obvious and note that the roughly $10 million increase from $123 million to $133 million in the salary cap certainly benefited the Titans.
Here are a list of players that should be cap casualties, even though some of them are harder to list than others:
- Kamerion Wimbley (DE) – (Cap Savings $2.4 million) – a couple years ago this figure could’ve sounded relatively low for a player of his caliber. Fast forward to the present and his play doesn’t yield the amount of money. This guy used to be single handedly responsible for harassing opposing quarterbacks when he played for the Cleveland Browns but we have seen rare flashes of those capabilities.
- David Stewart (OT) – (Cap Savings $6.4 million) – as much as it “hurts” for me to list his name, Big Country has been pretty banged up the last couple seasons. Yesterday in my article I referred to him as an offensive line staple but the amount of money he is absorbing is quite a bit, especially when you are battling injuries. The Titans could look to replace him with one of the top offensive tackles in the draft.
- Craig Stevens (TE) – (Cap Savings $2.4 million) – this cut here sounds like a no-brainer especially when the Titans are reportedly happy with the upside that fellow TE Taylor Thompson brings to the table. Stevens is a veteran and is a good blocking TE but when the Titans have Delanie Walker as the starter and Thompson as the compliment, Stevens could find himself swimming in the free agency pool.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB) – (Cap Savings $3.25 million) – last season I found myself defending Fitzpatrick against a bunch of angry Titans fans for “throwing” away some potential comeback wins. Fitzpatrick is a good backup QB and I think the Titans could do a lot worse, but at his price tag there are a lot of other potential backup candidates we could move forward with for a lot cheaper.
- Patrick Bailey (LB) – (Cap Savings $1.2 million) – this is a player that goes under the radar and for good reason. He is nothing more than a special teams player who has played the occasional defensive snap once in a while. I can’t justify a player predominately being special teams player counting against the cap over a million dollars unless they are a return specialist. Bailey has 55 career tackles since 2008 and this salary number is not justifiable by any stretch of the imagination.
Cutting the above mentioned players would clear almost $15 million off the books and to combine that with the $10-plus million we already have would give us about $25 million to spend in free agency which starts March 11th.
This move sounds a lot more rational than cutting Chris Johnson. I am an avid CJ fan, and I do agree that he could perform better than he has, but to potentially release a player of his caliber in his prime is blasphemy. The total impact of cutting the above five players would be felt less than cutting CJ. He has elite speed that can change a game at any given moment. The offensive line needs to gel and become a cohesive unit with Johnson.
To cut the players above sounds like a no-brainer. How do you feel about these potential cuts, Titans Nation?