clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFC East has a few names coming out who could interest Chargers

Divisional Round - Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Rams Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

This is now PART TWELVE of my Cap Casualty series and I’m running my way through the NFC after previously wrapping up the AFC. Check out the previous 11 links at the bottom of the page to see who I think will be released in the AFC (and some NFC teams) and which names could especially be of note to the LA Chargers.

Today: The NFC East.

The Washingtons

Effective 2020 Cap Space: $52.8 million

Biggest Savings: Trent Williams, $12.75 million

Washington got the ball rolling early by releasing Josh Norman and Paul Richardson but there clearing out isn’t done. We assumed that Williams wouldn’t return because of all the issues between him and the team, but new reports suggest that he’s willing to come back because of Ron Rivera. At this point it remains a rumor, though if Williams is open to a reunion, that has to sit well with Rivera. Left tackle is such a hard position to feel comfortable at in this league and Williams’ cap hit is reasonable for a player of his caliber.

The team isn’t desperate for cap space, but cap moves are coming with or without Williams.

Trent Williams, $14.75 million cap hit, $12.75 million in savings

He wants to return? Let him return. If he doesn’t, Washington has cap space and maybe trade talks on their hands.

Odds of release: A weird one to predict but for now I’ll stick with the Rivera reports since firing Bruce Allen clearly shifted the thoughts of people around the organization.
Would he help the Chargers: Ha. Ha. Yes.

Jordan Reed, TE, $10.3 million cap hit, $8.5 million in savings

This has been all but confirmed.

Odds of release: It’s going to happen.
Would he help the Chargers: Reed turns 30 this year and missed all of 2019 but so long as he passes concussion tests and wants to play, it seems that he’ll give it another shot. He has had some productive games but not for awhile. His last really strong campaign was probably 2015. If Hunter Henry left, it would be a consideration, and maybe if you just brought in Reed to replace Virgil Green, should he be let go.

Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, $11.7 million cap hit, $11.7 million in savings

So the team has drafted a defensive lineman in the first round in each of the last three years and they’re widely expected to be taking edge rusher Chase Young with the second overall pick. Kerrigan turns 32 this year, is owed a lot of money, and missed four games last season. But he’s also maybe the one guy in that front seven who you’d feel comfortable in saying that so long as he’s healthy, he’s productive and important to the defense. Everyone else up to this point is potential that hasn’t quite proven itself.

Odds of release: Anything could happen with changes in the front office and coaching staff, but Kerrigan seems like the kind of player that Rivera would want to keep around. He’s the perhaps the best person to have around should you draft Young, not necessarily one you want to shoo away, especially given that Kerrigan is reportedly open to a contract renegotiation that could lower his cap hit.
Would he help the Chargers: In theory, but it’s not a priority for them to get veteran help on the edges.

Quinton Dunbar, CB, $4.4 million cap hit, $3.4 million in savings

Word on the street is that Dunbar wants out anyway.

Odds of trade or release: Good, from the sounds of it.
Would he help the Chargers: Dunbar is interesting in that he had four interceptions in only 11 games last season, plus 25 passes defensed over the last three years despite only playing part time duty and missed a number of additional games. His coverage grade on PFF is outstanding but can he stay healthy? He is also cousins with Denzel Perryman, a potential cap casualty of the Chargers. Dunbar would be an interesting player to slot opposite of Hayward, though any trade probably comes with an extension attached. What would that cost for the oft injured Dunbar? He’s interesting.

MOVES:

Not Bold: Release Jordan Reed

Cap Space: $60.8 million

TRADE: Quinton Dunbar for maybe even a decent draft pick

Cap Space: $63.6 million

EXTEND: Ryan Kerrigan, bringing down his cap number in the process

Cap Space: $68 million

The team will be in a better position in 2021, when they’re able to release Alex Smith and save $13.6 million against the cap for that season. Right now their focus must be on guard Brandon Scherff, an outgoing free agent, and Ereck Flowers, who may improved as the guard opposite of Scherff. They could have a decent offensive line if Williams returns and some money to play with if they want to upgrade the weapons and fill in the gaps of some of the players they released or saw leave via free agency.

Dallas Cowboys

Effective 2020 Cap Space: $77.2 million

Biggest Savings: Tyrone Crawford, $8 million

The team that every other team has their eyes on for free agency because Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones, and Robert Quinn are all set to hit the market, as are Jason Witten, Maliek Collins, Michael Bennett, Randall Cobb, Tavon Austin, Kai Forbath, and Sean Lee. Just how much different are the Cowboys going to be once they use their one franchise tag?

They’ve got money to play but maybe not after they address their most pressing concerns. Do they have money to free up?

Tyrone Crawford, DL, $9.1 million cap hit, $8 million in savings

Crawford has been a mainstay on the defense since 2014, starting 74 games over five seasons, but he missed virtually all of 2019 while recovering from hip surgery. His cap hit is too exorbitant for a player that missed that much time but reports in December said he was open to a pay decrease. Crawford isn’t that well known probably but he’s versatile and maybe one of the more underrated players as he consistently had 4-5 sacks and 8-12 QB hits from all along the d line.

Odds of release: It depends on what sort of pay decrease we are talking about and how far down he’s willing to go, how far up the team is willing to go. New coach, new ideas, maybe new players. I’ll say it’s like 60% release right now and I’m not at all a good authority to be saying that but I did.
Would he help the Chargers: Sure! And he’s got the prime “one year, rebuild” value written all over him.

Cameron Fleming, OT, $5.1 million cap hit, $4.4 million in savings

Fleming has never been a full-time starter but in six seasons with the Patriots and Cowboys, he’s also consistently gotten at least a couple of starts each year and is a regular on special teams. Still, Dallas is paying $13.5 million to Tyron Smith, $12 million to Travis Frederick, $15 million to Zack Martin, and $9 million to La’El Collins. When you’re spending almost $50 million on just four starters, do you need a $5 million backup?

Odds of release: Given the outgoing players, I’d say it is good.
Would he help the Chargers: Potentially, but Fleming has been a reserve player for a reason.

MOVES:

That’s it, that’s about all Dallas can reasonably do short of releasing Tyron ($8 million in savings) or making a shocking trade.

Somewhat Bold: Release Tyrone Crawford

Not Bold: Release Cameron Fleming

Cap Space: $89.7 million

If the Cowboys can come to an agreement with Dak Prescott, they could slot him in for a cap hit of $30 million in 2020, which is just sort of where we are at right now with quarterbacks. That leaves $60 million. They could give a franchise tag to Amari Cooper at $18.4 million and then attempt to negotiate a long-term deal with Byron Jones that pays him $15 million per year. They may be looking at about $25-30 million in cap space after that. Three players and suddenly $90 million becomes $25 million and recall the list above of other positions they still need to address including a kicker, a starting tight end, a slot receiver, a nose tackle, a pass rusher, and a weakside linebacker just for beginners.

That’s probably another good reason why Crawford and Fleming are in trouble barring a renegotiation.

New York Giants

Effective 2020 Cap Space: $61.9 million

Biggest Savings: Alec Ogletree, $8.25 million

The Giants have addressed arguably the most important play chip there is today: a rookie contract quarterback. Well, that’s half of the equation. The other half is that Daniel Jones has to actually be good. Oh also, they need to put good players around him. Those are two huge unanswered question marks and $62 million may not be enough to do it but some extra cap space is coming and we know New York loves to spend.

Alec Ogletree, OLB, $11.75 million cap hit, $8.25 million in savings

There was a time that Ogletree was a rather popular name for the “underrated” conversations but he’s missed six games over his two seasons with the Giants and hasn’t quite lived up to expectations other than his ridiculous five interceptions in 2018. Apart from that, he seems to miss too many tackles and isn’t very good in coverage.

Odds of release: Probably the thing they’ll need to do and rumors say it is happening.
Would he help the Chargers: Eh, maybe not the worst buy-low move in the world and also not a priority. I would entertain it if he wanted to come back to Los Angeles.

Rhett Ellison, TE, $7.1 million cap hit, $5 million in savings

Yeah, what do you know about Rhett Ellison?

Odds of release: “Money, come back” is what the Giants will be saying after releasing Ellison.
Would he help the Chargers: No.

Kareem Martin, OLB, $5.9 million cap hit, $4.8 million in savings

Joe Judge gets to rebuild his edges while saving $13 million between Martin and Ogletree.

Odds of release: Certain?
Would he help the Chargers: Nah.

Golden Tate, WR, $10.3 million cap hit, $3.3 million in savings

Not a lot of savings to cut Tate but he’s turning 32, he caught only 58% of his targets, he’s unlikely to be the same player he was and would you rather let Jones develop chemistry with some receivers who are likely to be there in 2021?

Odds of release: It could go either way. Tate provides value in sticking or in leaving.
Would he help the Chargers: Fun to think about, but not a need.

MOVES:

Not Bold: Release Alec Ogletree, Kareem Martin, and Rhett Ellison.

Cap Space: $78.4 million

They can focus on Leonard Williams and Markus Golden, the latter of which had 10 sacks and 27 QB hits last season. They might also want to bring back right tackle Mike Remmers. The Giants have a lot of money to play with in free agency to upgrade at receiver and cornerback, among other things.

Philadelphia Eagles

Effective 2020 Cap Space: $44.8 million

Biggest Savings: Malcolm Jenkins, $4.7 million

So, then there’s the Eagles. Philly is in the rare position of having less cap space in 2021 than they have in 2020. A lot less. The Eagles are only set to have $20.2 million in cap space — not for next season but the season after that. They also have virtually no moves they can make to save money for next year outside of Jenkins, not even when you factor in trades.

It’s hard to tell what Howie Roseman was thinking in getting to this point. He wanted to keep the 9-7 band together, I guess. Yes, a lot of these players won a Super Bowl but what are the odds that this same band is going to win another?

Malcolm Jenkins, S, $10.8 million cap hit, $4.7 million in savings

Can they even afford to let go of one of their most important veterans on the defense?

Odds of release: I’ll say low because the Eagles are not currently in cap trouble. The cap trouble comes next season and then they’ll start releasing players.
Would he help the Chargers: In the right situation maybe but not now.

MOVES:

No moves in terms of cap casualties. However in 2021, we can start asking about Fletcher Cox, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson (potentially on the move now), Zach Ertz, and yes, Carson Wentz.

Chargers Interest:

Who do we like here? Despite few names coming out of the NFC East, Quinton Dunbar and Tyrone Crawford represent maybe two of the more interesting names that seem likely to be available and two needs for the Chargers. They won’t be the most expensive and they have legitimately good ceilings. Jordan Reed is another name to consider but not very reliable in terms of counting on him next season.

PREVIOUSLY:

Read: All 74 players I predict to be cut in the AFC

Read: Derek Carr, Joe Flacco could be on move out of AFC West

Read: Andy Dalton is biggest name, but not only trade candidate in AFC North

Read: Colts, Titans, Texans, and why a Jacoby Brissett trade makes sense

Read: The entire AFC East and what cap cuts/trades they may need to make

Read: The Vikings might need to trade Kirk Cousins

Read: The Steelers could struggle to keep the band together

Read: The Jaguars have the most cuts to make

Read: The Falcons may have to part with Desmond Trufant and/or Keanu Neal

Read: The Bears should trade Mitchell Trubisky

Read: Lions, Packers have few moves to make