NFL Teams Start Offseason Cuts


NFL logo | Image by Alena Veasey

The new NFL league year begins March 15, so teams will have critical decisions to make regarding their rosters.

Many will begin to release underachieving or expensive veteran players to cut costs and create space for more lucrative and productive contracts, and some have already started.

Here is who has been released so far this offseason.

Robbie Anderson, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals acquired Anderson in a trade with the Carolina Panthers last season. In his two years in Carolina, Anderson caught 148 passes for over 1,500 yards. But he only caught seven passes in 10 games with Arizona, allowing the Cardinals to cut him and save $12 million in cap space.

Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Atlanta Falcons
Mariota was reunited with former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith as the head coach in Atlanta last season. Some thought the fit would help rejuvenate the quarterback’s career, but Mariota was benched in favor of rookie Desmond Ridder after throwing for just over 2,200 yards in 13 games.

Al-Quadin Muhammad, defensive end, Chicago Bears
Muhammad spent just one year in Chicago, where he only tallied 15 tackles in 16 games. The Bears will take a dead cap hit to release him but save nearly $4 million with the move.

Michael Brockers, defensive tackle, Detroit Lions
Brockers spent the first nine years of his career with the Los Angeles Rams before being traded to Detroit in 2021. The defensive tackle lasted two years in Detroit as a veteran leader and captain but had fallen behind some younger players on the depth chart.

Justin Britt, offensive lineman, Houston Texans
Britt played in just 12 games for Houston after leaving Seattle. He started the season-opener last year but spent the rest of the season on the non-football illness list and is expected to retire.

Shaquill Griffin, cornerback, Jacksonville Jaguars
The former Seattle Seahawks standout lasted two of the three years for which he signed in Jacksonville. He only played in five games due to a back injury last season and his departure saves Jacksonville $13.14 million.

Frank Clark, EDGE, Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have released pass-rusher Frank Clark. Clark was traded from Seattle to Kansas City during the 2019 NFL Draft and won two Super Bowls with the Chiefs. Clark collected 23.5 sacks in four years in Kansas City and has the third-most sacks in NFL playoff history.

Byron Jones, cornerback, Miami Dolphins
The former Dallas Cowboy will once again be a free agent. Jones signed a five-year contract with Miami in 2020 and missed the entire 2022 season with an Achilles injury. ESPN reports he will be a “post-June 1” cut and save the Dolphins $13.6 million.

Eric Kendricks, linebacker, Minnesota Vikings
Kendricks was the leader of the Minnesota defense for eight years, amassing at least 100 tackles in seven seasons. The Vikings were projected to exceed the cap before the move and will now save $9.5 million.

Leonard Fournette, running back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fournette is one of the more notable players needing a new team. After a messy departure from Jacksonville, he signed with Tampa in 2020 and earned a contract extension last offseason. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Fournette asked for his release to go somewhere he could win.

Donovan Smith, offensive tackle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa’s left tackle is also on his way out of town after eight seasons that included a Super Bowl title.

Bud Dupree, EDGE, Tennessee Titans
Tennessee added Dupree as a free agent in 2021, hoping he could continue to be an elite pass rusher following his days with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dupree never regained his old form and is expected to be released by the Titans after two seasons.

Taylor Lewan, offensive tackle, Tennessee Titans
Lewan was one of four cuts by the Titans in late February, saving $37.7 million. The three-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle had spent his entire career with Tennessee.

Robert Woods, wide receiver, Tennessee Titans
Woods was another of the February cuts. He was traded from the Rams to the Titans last March and had 527 yards and two touchdowns in his only season with the team.

Zach Cunningham, linebacker, Tennessee Titans
Cunningham played most of his career with the Houston Texans before being claimed on waivers by Tennessee. He only made 24 tackles in an injury-plagued 2022 season.

Randy Bullock, kicker, Tennessee Titans
Bullock has been a reliable kicker, but kickers can be easy-cut targets. He has bounced around the league but has been productive enough for teams to be interested.

Carson Wentz, quarterback, Washington Commanders
Wentz has had a difficult journey since winning the league MVP with the Eagles in 2018. After suffering a severe injury that season, he has never regained his proper form. Indianapolis and Washington have both given him a chance, and both decided to move on after one season.


Another name to watch is Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. While not released by the team, Jackson was given the “non-exclusive” franchise tag after the two sides could not agree on a long-term deal, which allows him to speak with other teams.

If any team wants to land Jackson, they can sign him to an offer sheet, but Baltimore can match any offer or take two first-round picks from whoever signs him.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has also been the subject of offseason release rumors. According to ESPN, the Cowboys can open up $4.86 million in cap space by releasing Elliott now or $10.9 million as a “post-June 1” cut.

Because they have been released, all of the players designated pre-June 1 cuts are eligible to sign with teams immediately and do not have to wait for the new league year to start.

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