We wrote the majority of this post Wednesday, before we reported that the new CBA will take measures to protect veterans from becoming cap casualties.
That doesn’t mean teams should spend huge money on players that aren’t worth it. With that in mind, here are 16 defenders that could (or should) be on the chopping block in the coming weeks.
1. Albert Haynesworth, Redskins DT: We have our doubts that anyone will give up a quality draft pick for Haynesworth. If Mike Shanahan continues to hold on out of stubbornness, the Redskins deserve what they get. Just like last year.
2. Nick Barnett, Packers LB: Barnett and someone like Bradie James in Dallas might be the guys most helped by new CBA rules. Barnett is due big money for a possible third inside linebacker, but the team could cut Brandon Chillar to free up some room. We think he has a good chance to stay.
3. Antwan Odom, Bengals DE: Odom is only 29 and a fine pass rusher, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy.
4. Nate Clements, 49ers CB: No matter what the rules are, it’s fiscal insanity to pay Clements $7.25 million. They’d be better off cutting him and signing a free agent.
5. Terence Newman, Cowboys CB: Newman would probably only get cut if the Cowboys bring in a big-time cornerback like Nnamdi Asomugha or Johnathan Joseph.
6. Chris Gamble, Panthers CB: The new rules should help Gamble because the Panthers are thin at cornerback. Still, he has to show something in camp to be worth $6.24 million in 2011.
7. Amobi Okoye, Texans DL: He doesn’t fit Wade Phillips’ defense no matter what the Texans say. Only 24, another team will give a chance to this top-10 pick. We doubt anyone will trade for him.
8. Chris Hope, Titans S: Due $6.5 million, Hope is a good not great player who has the salary of a superstar. The Titans are very thin at safety, which helps his case.
9. Brian Dawkins, Broncos S: Even though Denver drafted heavy at safety, they value Dawkins’ leadership. Cutting him to save money wouldn’t be a popular move. A re-negotiated contract is possible.
10. Madieu Williams, Vikings S: It appears the Vikings want to keep Williams despite his $5.4 million salary. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
11. Joey Porter, Cardinals LB: The only way the Cardinals could make last year’s signing of Porter worse? Doubling down and paying him big money again. Arizona has the young guys to let him go.
12. Justin Harrell, Packers DL: The Packers could give the former first-rounder one last chance to stay healthy, but we doubt it.
13. Johnny Jolly, Packers DL: He was given his ninth life, and then was caught selling it.
14. Aaron Maybin, Bills LB: It wouldn’t shock us if the No. 11 pick in the 2009 draft was out of the league by next year.
15. Gerald Hayes, Cardinals LB: $4.25 million is too much to pay for just another linebacker.
16. Brandon Chillar, Packers LB: He and Brady Poppinga could get the axe so the Packers can keep Barnett.