So the New England Patriots have cut four players in less than 24 hours.
The moves have sparked all sorts of speculation.
The release of Tully Banta-Cain, Joey Galloway, Eric Alexander, and Michael Matthews opens up $2.87 million in nonprorated 2009 salary cap space, which in theory allows the Patriots to absorb a player with a full-season base salary of $2.85 million. (Because all players were signed through 2009 only, there’s no cap acceleration arising from cutting them.)
Some are speculating that the Patriots are making a play for Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman.
Coincidentally, his full-season base salary for 2009 is $2.972 million.
Another possibility could be Rams running back Steven Jackson (WEEI radio apparently is throwing that one around), but Jackson’s full-season base salary if $5.5 million. Also, the Rams reportedly aren’t inclined to move him.
Many also are speculating that linebacker Adalius Thomas would be included in any trade, given his surprise scratch on Sunday. His $1.9 million full-season base salary would be offset by bonus acceleration from 2010 and 2011, the final two years of his contract.
Either way, stay tuned.