Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Jul 2011

Tuesday Big-Name Cuts Thread

Here is a list of major announced player cuts for Tuesday, July 26.

Arizona QB Derek Anderson
Arizona LB Gerald Hayes
Dallas RB Marion Barber
Dallas RG Leonard Davis
Dallas RT Marc Colombo
Dallas WR Roy Williams
Green Bay LB Nick Barnett
New England LB Tully Banta-Cain
New York Giants LG Rich Seubert
New York Giants C Shaun O'Hara
New York Giants G Shawn Andrews
Washington P Josh Bidwell

Posted by: The Outsiders on 26 Jul 2011

36 comments, Last at 27 Jul 2011, 12:45pm by Temo


by Harrison Bergeron (not verified) :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 1:10pm

No real surprises there - all declining veterans with decent-sized contracts. But who's going to play OL for Dallas?

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 1:51pm

Well, they drafted an OT and an OG, so I guess they're hoping the rookies play really well?

by Tim Wilson :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 2:23pm

You're guessing wrong. Tyron Smith will be counted on to start, as you'd expect from a top 10 pick, but the 4th round OG pick won't be counted on to play much at all this year except in case of injury.

Davis got replaced in the starting lineup last year by Montrae Holland about 2/3 of the way through the season. Holland will likely be the starter at RG. A re-signed Kyle Kosier will likely play LG, and a re-signed Doug Free would presumably play LT.

by Dallas (not verified) :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 4:42pm

I think Holland only replaced Davis during the game against the Titans. Then Davis came back in when Holland got hurt.

by Theo :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 5:24pm

Davis started every game last season, Holland only 2 in place of Kyle Kosier.

by Tim Wilson :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 5:32pm

The Holland replacement was a midgame benching in Tennessee. But as indicated above, Montrae then got hurt.

The point is that Garrett seems more comfortable with Holland than Davis, and Holland is a bit more in the mold of the OL he seems to be building (although still not ideal in terms of mobility and athleticism).

by Tim Wilson :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 5:30pm

You're right, Holland replaced Davis in the Tennessee game at RG, but did not stay there because he got hurt very quickly. So Davis returned to the lineup.

I think it's safe to say Garrett had soured on Davis by that point though, as the Holland move shows. Davis was routinely getting beat by DTs and didn't have much of an initial punch out. Holland has been more consistent over the past 2 seasons, in his time at both LG spelling an injured Kosier and at RG in relief of Davis.

by Yesimadolphinsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 1:53pm

Nnamdi Asomugha.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 1:23pm

Re:1 some otherd. Team in cap trouble si will.havw new geoup

by Theo :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 1:39pm

Si, comprendo.

by pfalk122588 :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 2:07pm

Who's gonna play O-line for the Giants? They didn't draft an O-Lineman till the 4th round.

by JasonK :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 2:09pm

The Seubert cut, while perfectly understandable, makes me sad.

He was the longest-tenured current Giant, and his career path made him very easy to root for. He went undrafted in 2001, but played his way into a starting job by his 2nd year. And just as he had established himself as the best part of a not-so-great OL, he suffered a really horrendous leg fracture in a game against Philly early in his 3rd season, which kept him out for a year and a half. But the team stuck with him, paying his salary on IR instead of cutting him, and he rewarded that loyalty by recovering and eventually regaining his starting spot (after a stint as a backup and short-yardage 6th OL, memorable mostly for all the "#69 is Eligible" announcements in the stadium).

He started for the championship team in '07, and on the '08 OL that got some serious consideration for a "unit as a whole" MVP award. And, last year, he was probably the best OL on the team, playing well both at LG and at C as the players around him dropped like flies. But he blew out his knee in the meaningless week 17 game. And is most likely being cut now because of it-- the Giants wouldn't be letting him go if they thought there was any significant chance of him getting into playing shape in 2011. Sure, the cut makes for some salary savings, but you don't cut a versatile, productive starter because of a $2.25M cap figure.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 4:35pm

My immediate thought was "I hope the Eagles pick up Seubert and let him recover!" Even if he never got back to starter level starter, he would be an indispensable back-up. Some team is going to be happy to have him on their squad in 2012. And I agree he was very easy to root for - even as an Eagles' fan, I really liked him.

by PatsFan :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 2:26pm

Don't think it's possible for Tully Banta-Cain to be in any "Big Name Cuts" thread...

by notque_deeproute (not verified) :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 2:43pm

His name is the biggest...

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 2:45pm

I see your point, but he was the main pass-rusher for the a championship caliber team last season. It also gives the information that NE is forced to look for help on OLB/DE.

by Cro-Mags (not verified) :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 6:24pm

He only got 5 sacks, and was a liability in the run game, hardly irreplaceable.

by MJK :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 7:35pm

I feel kind of bad for Banta-Cain. Mike Reiss is reporting that he is being cut for injury reasons. Apparently, he was injured last year, and was told he didn't need surgery, just rest in the offseason. However, he allegedly re-injured himself (exacerbated the injury from last season) in a workout he was doing during the lockout.

Now, there's no proof that he would have not been injured had he been working out in the team facility with team trainers and doctors around. But it's at least possible. If so, he's an example of how this lockout has hurt the players.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 2:38pm

Maybe in long name cuts threas

by Temo :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 2:52pm

This is going to dump a ton of dead money into next year's cap for the Cowboys. Though probably manageable.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 4:36pm

I just don't understand what the Cowboys are going to do this year - are their any hard(-ish) numbers on where this puts them in terms of the cap with their projected rookie signing numbers taken into account?

by Temo :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 6:21pm

They're about 699K under the cap right now, that's verified by AdamJT, who's the resident fan expert on Cowboys Cap numbers.

My own calcs show they could free up to $16M by restructuring Romo/Austin/Ware (they left huge base salary numbers on all those guys this year, to allow for restructuring).

That should leave just enough to re-sign Doug Free, pay the rookies, and maybe get a couple of minor veteran pieces.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 8:40pm

Cool. thanks. Is there any reason to think any of that trio might balk at restructuring? All of them are in good contracts, so it won't be an issue right?

Temo, how do you feel about the o-line at the moment? Is it a "wait and see how the rookies develop" sort of thing? I feel like the Cowboys situation looks dire in terms of needing everything to fall right (rookie development, semi-proven players continuing to play at a high level, no injuries), but that's probably just the Eagles' fan in me and I'd like to hear the upside from the Cowboys perspective...

by Tim Wilson :: Wed, 07/27/2011 - 12:46am

I'm not Temo, but I'll give my two cents. To me, the big issue is depth. The starting 5 looks pretty decent. Kosier has been very consistent, and Gurode is a top center in an NFC that's weak at the position. Holland has performed adequately in his limited stints and Pro Football Focus had him grading out better than Davis. Free (who just re-signed) played at a very high level last year (a top 5 OT when you account for run blocking and pass protection, again according to Pro Football Focus), and Tyron Smith only has to be marginally competent as a rookie to be an upgrade over Colombo's abysmal 2010 pass protection performance. So I think that's a pretty good line.

But behind those guys...there's nothing. You've got Phil Costa, Sam Young, and other first and second year guys with no experience and not much of a pedigree. This year's 4th round OG pick is supposed to be raw and a bit of a project guy, so I don't think he can be counted on.

After seeing how his line fell apart in 2007(I think that was the year?) when Flozell went down and had to be replaced by Torrin Tucker, and again in 2008 when Kosier went down and there wasn't much of a backup plan at all, I think Jerry is going to be concerned about such a shallow unit and look for some interior OL depth on the FA market. As backups, though-- not as big money starters.

by Temo :: Wed, 07/27/2011 - 12:45pm

Honestly, I haven't even thought about football since the Superbowl ended to, like, last Monday. So what Tom Wilson says is probably good enough.

On the cap thing though: yea, they'll all restructure. All that entails is taking their base-salaries and converting them to bonuses, so you spread the hit over multiple years. They won't object to getting upfront guaranteed money.

The Cowboys specifically left big base salaries this year so they could have flexibility.

by panthersnbraves :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 5:06pm

After the capless year, why would anyone turn right back around and put themselves in cap jail?

(replied the fan of the 2-14 team last year)

by Tim Wilson :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 5:18pm

Cowboys are now just about even with the cap for this year, with the day's cuts. If they restructure Romo and Ware, they can probably free up another $10MM or so.

I think we've seen with the Redskins over the past decade years that there is no such thing as "cap jail" if you have a good cap wizard guy on the payroll. The Skins are perennially one of the top payrolls heading into the offseason, often over the cap, and they always spend quite a bit in free agency.

That said, in the uncapped year last season, Jerry and Stephen Jones accelerated a lot of deals to pay them in 2010 and diminish future cap numbers. The cuts that the Cowboys made today result in very little "dead money" in future seasons, for the most part. There's a bit of dead money THIS year, but there are still considerable cap savings overall.

by Temo :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 6:19pm

Almost all the dead money will land next year, not this year.

by tuluse :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 6:56pm

You have to have players willing to restructure their deals every year, and while the Redskins made a big splash every year the overall talent on their roster got thinner every year. So they didn't have a year where they made a bunch of cuts ala the Titans but they haven't been able to replenish their losses as the veterans age.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 8:45pm

Yeah, Redskins as an example of positive money management seems absolutely nuts. They're a team that's gotten thinner and weaker every year because they don't have money for secondary pieces and put too much in big names. They never sign second tier free agents (except when they sign them to first tier money) and thus have a squad constantly derailed by minor injuries and roster turnover - there's no continuity and no chemistry. Those elements can be over-rated, but a team needs a bare minimun to function... Anyway, Cowboys fans should be very worried if Jerry Jones in employing the same kind of cap wizardry as Dan Snyder...

by SandyRiver :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 3:14pm

TBC was pretty one-dimensional, but it was a dimension otherwise not abundant for the Pats. Could be some interesting times for their DBs.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 4:11pm

Well, I guess somewhere there must be a WR-needy team that's likely to take a flyer on an aging, overhyped veteran.

"Mr. Williams? There's a Mr. Snyder on line one."

by Theo :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 4:40pm

Chicago? Denver?

by tuluse :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 6:45pm

Roy Williams doesn't play guard so I don't see the Bears calling him.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 8:47pm

I heard the Bears are looking the give NYJ wr Brad Smith a deal. Because clearly they need a lesser variation on Devin Hester.

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 10:40pm

Josh Bidwell is a big name cut? As we Green Bay fans thought when he was drafted several years ago, "A punter?"