Continuing with where I left off the other day, here are three moves I believe each of the NFC teams should make this offseason. Again, the categories:
Re-sign: I will pick one unrestricted free agent each team should consider bringing back at the right price. This will only apply to UFAs and I will include players who are likely to get the franchise tag.
Let him walk: I will pick one unrestricted free agent each team should allow to test the market and not prioritize bringing back. Again, this only applies to UFAs.
Cut: I will pick one player on each team’s roster who is not set to become a UFA but should be cut for either cap or performance reasons. Some of these players might be put on the trading block, though.
Re-sign: Barry Church. He is the best player in the Cowboys secondary and should be retained. The difficulty will be getting his deal under the cap, but restructuring deals of Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick will help.
Let him walk: Morris Claiborne. On the other hand, the Cowboys should let Claiborne depart. He is coming off a good season but has been a disappointment otherwise. It’s worth asking if he’s a one-year wonder.
Cut: Tony Romo. If the Cowboys are unable to trade Romo, they need to release him and move on. They can’t afford to keep him at a $24.7M cap number
New York Giants
Re-sign: Johnathan Hankins. Though most eyes will be on what the Giants do with Jason Pierre-Paul, Hankins is younger and a better bet to keep improving, so I would focus on Hankins instead.
Let him walk: Jason Pierre-Paul. Committing money to Hankins means there’s less reason to retain JPP.
Cut: J.T. Thomas. The Giants have already made two obvious moves in letting Victor Cruz and Rashad Jennings go but can gain an additional $3M in cap space by cutting Thomas, who isn’t vital to the defense.
Re-sign: Bennie Logan. The Eagles have committed a lot of money to locking up players who would have been free agents this year. Logan is the only pending free agent who would be worth extending.
Let him walk: Leodis McKelvin. He didn’t cost the Eagles a lot of money last year but there are better options at cornerback that can be found in the draft or perhaps free agency.
Cut: Ryan Mathews. It’s clear there is no place for him in the offense and the Eagles can easily find another running back in the draft.
Re-sign: Kirk Cousins. Though the franchise tag is likely coming for Cousins, Washington needs to settle on an extension that is at least a “two years then we’ll see” deal rather than keep playing the tag game.
Let him walk: DeSean Jackson. Washington has two receivers who will be free agents and can only keep one. At this point, it makes more sense to keep Pierre Garcon, which means they need to move on from Jackson.
Cut: DeAngelo Hall. His best days are behind him, so Washington needs to part ways unless he is willing to take a salary reduction.
Re-sign: Brian Hoyer. It makes sense for the Bears to keep Hoyer around as a veteran backup, even if they are able to acquire another QB in free agency or through a trade.
Let him walk: Alshon Jeffery. Though a talented player, Jeffery’s injury history is a concern and the Bears should commit money elsewhere.
Cut: Jay Cutler. We’ve discussed this several times: Cutler has no future with the Bears and they need to part ways with him.
Re-sign: Larry Warford. He bounced back after missing time in 2015 with injuries and is just 26 years old, so it makes sense to keep the offensive guard.
Let him walk: Riley Reiff. On the other hand, the Lions are better off not bringing back Reiff. They would be better served by drafting his replacement.
Cut: Haloti Ngata. His play declined this past year and the Lions can save $5.7M in cap space by cutting him.
Re-sign: J.C. Tretter. Though he lost his job as the starting center after an injury, he can play guard and would make sense to keep on a short-term deal, which brings me to the next player.
Let him walk: TJ Lang. Though Lang is coming off a fine season, he’s 30 years old and the Packers would be better served by keeping Tretter instead.
Cut: None. Sam Shields and James Starks were the only players the Packers really needed to part ways with and those moves have been made.
Re-sign: Captain Munnerlyn. Though he wasn’t as impressive in 2016 as in past seasons, it’s worth keeping Munnerlyn around on a short-term deal.
Let him walk: Matt Kalil. It’s true the Vikings are desperate for offensive linemen but that doesn’t mean they should be committing a lot to Kalil.
Cut: Brian Robison. The Vikings will likely extend some players to free up cap space, but if their hand is forced, they can save $5.8M in space by parting ways with Robison.
Re-sign: Patrick DiMarco. The Falcons don’t have a lot of free agents they need to bring back but DiMarco was valuable to their run offense.
Let him walk: Sean Weatherspoon. Though there’s was little risk in the one-year contract the Falcons gave him this past season, he didn’t show much and there’s no reason to bring him back.
Cut: None. The Falcons have an estimated $22M in cap space but they don’t have a lot of pressing needs, so they don’t have to cut anybody to clear space and can focus on the draft to fill needs.
Re-sign: Mario Addison. Though he’ll turn 30 soon, it’s worth exploring a short-term, value deal for him.
Let him walk: Kawann Short. While it may seem strange to suggest this after the Josh Norman situation, I suspect Short will push for a massive deal and it may not be worth the Panthers chasing after him. At the very least, the Panthers should not play the tag game they played with Norman.
Cut: Jonathan Stewart. Given the depth at running back in this year’s draft, it makes sense for the Panthers to take somebody, meaning they can let Stewart go.
Re-sign: Nick Fairley. He’s had to settle for one-year contracts in recent years but might be worth taking a chance on a two-year deal this time around.
Let him walk: Paul Kruger. The Saints signed him to a cheap deal after the Browns cut ties with him. A back injury limited Kruger, though, and the Saints should be able to find a better option elsewhere.
Cut: Dannell Ellerbee. For the first time in several years, the Saints won’t be limited on cap space, but they could gain a little more wiggle room by cutting Ellerbee.
Re-sign: Joe Hawley. He was playing well before he suffered a knee injury, but he’s worth signing to a one-year deal to keep continuity on the O-line.
Let him walk: Jacquizz Rodgers. Chances are Rodgers will try to cash in on free agency after coming off a solid season.
Cut: Doug Martin. The Buccaneers are flush with cap space but they’ll have to decide whether or not they want to keep Martin on a $7M cap number. They wouldn’t have a dead money hit if they do part ways with him.
Re-sign: Chandler Jones. You don’t give up a high draft pick for a one-year rental of a quality pass rusher. The Cardinals need to get Jones extended.
Let him walk: Calais Campbell. Because Campbell turns 30 years old, he’ll want to get one more big money deal and other teams are better positioned to give it to him.
Cut: Daryl Washington. After missing 2016 because of a suspension, it’s worth asking if the Cardinals should move on from him.
Los Angeles Rams
Re-sign: T.J. McDonald. The Rams should be able to get McDonald extended at a reasonable price and keep at least one player in their secondary.
Let him walk: Trumaine Johnson. He played for a year under the franchise tag but no progress was ever made on a long-term deal. I suspect he’ll want to cash in on a big contract, one the Rams may not be prepared to give.
Cut: Lance Kendricks. I’m not sure that Kendricks is worth a cap hit of $4.25M. The Rams might want to approach him about a salary reduction but offer incentives.
Re-sign: Gerald Hodges. He turned out to be a good pickup for the Niners and is worth extending to be a key piece of rebuilding the defense.
Let him walk: Glenn Dorsey. Between his age and recent injuries, there’s no reason for the Niners to bring him back.
Cut: Torrey Smith. The Niners tried to trade him but nothing worked out. It’s clear that San Francisco doesn’t want him any longer.
Re-sign: Luke Wilson. Though Wilson might want a chance to start elsewhere, it wouldn’t hurt for the Seahawks to try to bring him back as insurance in case Jimmy Graham gets injured again.
Let him walk: Steven Haushcka. The signing of Blair Walsh indicates Seattle isn’t going to keep Haushcka around.
Cut: None. The Seahawks don’t really have anybody that needs to be cut, but it’s possible they could restructure or extend a contract or two to gain cap space.