New York Giants
G- David Diehl: $3.8 million cap figure
With Kareem McKenzie set to leave via free agency and the Giants offensive line getting older, it makes a lot of sense to rebuild that unit in the off-season to an extent. Diehl might have played well in the postseason, but he struggled throughout the season. In fact, he might be considered the weakest link along a marginal offensive line. It just makes sense for the Giants to upgrade this position, Cordy Glenn would do that in the NFL Draft.
RB- Brandon Jacobs: $6.8 million cap figure
While the New York Daily News is reporting that Jacobs would take a pay cut to stay with the Giants, I am not sure they even want the enigmatic running back on the roster in 2012. He didn’t do much during a sub par 2011 season and seems to have played his way out of their starting lineup. With that, Ahmad Bradshaw has become more of a focal point on offense.
Expect the Giants to release Jacobs and draft another running back in the one of the first three rounds. Remember the running back class is stacked this season.
CB- Asante Samuel: $10.5 million cap figure
The Eagles will definitely look to trade Samuel this off-season. The issue with this is that they are said to be looking for a player, rather than draft picks. We rarely see players traded for one another in the NFL, it just doesn’t happen that often. Additionally, everyone knows that Samuel has played his last game in Philadelphia, which brings his value to an all-time low on the trade market. If they cannot get a suitor, the Eagles will just simply release the talented corner adding another top of the line free agent to an already strong class.
DE/LB- Brandon Graham: $5.0 million cap figure
The Philadelphia Eagles definitely reached when the selected Graham from Michigan in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was picked immediately before Earl Thomas and Jason Pierre-Paul. Not only that, the Eagles gave Denver two third round picks to trade up for Graham. Those picks ended up being used on Eric Decker (Denver) and Ed Dickson (Baltimore). Talk about a snafu of epic proportions.
Now, Graham is on his way out of Philadelphia after providing the team with nothing of consequence over his first two seasons.
DE- Darryl Tapp: $2.7 million cap figure
Much like Brandon Grahm, but to a lesser extent, Darryl Tapp was a waste of draft pick(s) for the Philadelphia Eagles. They gave up Chris Clemons, who had 11 sacks with the Seattle Seahawks, and a fourth round pick for Tapp. The former Virginia Tech star proceeded to record just 2.5 sacks in 2011 and play himself out of the Eagles defensive line rotation.
They need to upgrade here, so Tapp is probably out.
CB- Terence Newman: $8.0 million cap figure
The Cowboys are in a horrible salary cap situation right now and really don’t have many ways out of it. One of the things that they will have to do is release Terence Newman. He has regressed somewhat over the last couple seasons as age has caught up to the former Pro Bowler. Saving $8 million by releasing one player will sure help the Cowboys. This is pretty much a done deal when all is said and done. With that said, Newman can still be a productive players somewhere.
TE- Chris Cooley: $6.2 million cap figure
It is being reported that the Redskins plan to franchise Fred Davis. If that is the case, there is no way that they retain the services of Chris Cooley, it just doesn’t make sense to. Washington does have the salary cap room to not have to make decisions based solely on finances, but this is more about personnel than anything else. The $6.2 million that Cooley is set to count against the cap could be used at positions of greater need.
OT- Jammal Brown: $4.6 million cap figure
This is pretty much a forgone conclusion if you ask me. Brown, who the Redskins acquired from the New Orleans Saints a few years back is a pretty good tackle. With that said, the Skins’ have other options and will probably release their starting right tackle in March.