The June 1 date in the NFL signifies two things. One, NFL clubs will admit that they made mistakes by overpaying players and two, they can get salary cap relief. Actually, a player must be on the roster on June 1 in order for the club to split the salary cap relief in to the next year. So June 2 is really the official date. Also, NFL offices are close on June 1 so nothing can be official until June 2.
Lets take a look at some of the players that we expect to be jettisoned and some that we believe will survive the purge.
Veterans Expected To Be Released
Brian Griese /QB/Denver - With a new starting quarterback in Jake Plummer, the club has no use for Griese so he'll be let go. Miami is expected to sign him in early June and he'll back up starting QB Jay Fiedler.
Thomas Jones /RB/Arizona - The club is desperately trying to move him. If they can't by 6/1, he's expected to be released. With veteran RB Emmitt Smith in the fold and RB Marcel Shipp signed to an extension, they have no use for the former first-round pick. Houston had interest in him before they re-signed RB James Allen but Jones may have a hard time finding significant work or a role this season.
J.J. Stokes /WR/San Francisco - He declined a pay cut and didn't want to back up WR Tai Streets so he'll be let go next month. New England, who could use a tall receiver, may have interest and Jacksonville, who has little of substance at the #2 receiver slot could also have interest.
Marvcus Patton /MLB/Kansas City - The veteran linebacker has lost his starting job to LB Mike Maslowski who is being moved inside so he would have to take a pay cut to stay but that doesn't seem on the horizon at this point. He can still play at an acceptable level and certainly would make a solid backup for most clubs.
Ray Crockett /CB/Denver - The veteran cornerback is getting up there in age and is probably best used in a nickel or dime role at this point in his career.
Players In Limbo
Akili Smith /QB/Cincinnati - The club expects him to be the #2 quarterback this season. However, new head coach Marvin Lewis was noncommittal about his status this week and the club worked out two free agent quarterbacks as well this week.
Keith Traylor /DT/Chicago - He's on the last year of his contract and is making too much money to be a backup but the club is talking as though he'll still be on the roster this summer. However, he still might be a target to redo his contract so save some money under the cap and he's still no lock to be on the team even next week.
Dan Wilkinson /DT/Washington - He's vastly overpaid so he'll likely be a target of a restructuring. H's truly a 50-50 shot to stay because the club signed former Dolphin DT Jermaine Haley recently and they could always move starting DE Renaldo Wynn inside to tackle where he played previously with Jacksonville.
Randall Godfrey /MLB/Tennessee - He's set to count for over $5 million against the cap this season so at best he'll likely have to restructure his contract.
Veterans Expected To Survive The Purge
Ron Dayne /RB/New York Giants - He's been able to get in better shape this offseason and the club has said repeatedly they want him on the roster because if starting RB Tiki Barber got hurt they would have no one who is capable of handling the load. They don't believe veteran RB Dorsey Levens could handle a starting role at this point in his career.
Jerome Bettis /RB/Pittsburgh - He's in the best shape that he's been in at this point of any offseason in recent years and was participating in their recent minicamp so the chances of him being let go are slim at this point.
Muhsin Muhammad /WR/Carolina - The club hasn't approached him for a paycut as of early this week and head coach John Fox said there were no plans to cut any veterans so it appears he'll still be on the team this season.
Kyle Brady /TE/Jacksonville - New head coach Jack Del Rio said recently that the club has enough room under the cap to accommodate Brady's salary so he's not expected to be released. However, the club still want to restructure his contract.
Hollis Thomas /DT/Philadelphia - Though he lost his starting job to DT Darwin Walker head coach Andy Reid has been talking as though he expected the veteran defensive tackle to be on the roster this season. Thomas appeared fully recovered from his broken foot during the latest minicamp. He could be moved (traded) during training camp because the club has an abundance of talent at defensive tackle.
Grady Jackson /DT/New Orleans - The veteran defensive tackle showed up to their recent minicamp out of shape and he's lost his starting job at least temporarily. However, he vows to get in better shape and the club is still expecting him to be a big contributor this season.
Tony Brackens /DE/Jacksonville - The veteran end accepted a restructuring of his contract and is expected to be in the rotation this season.
Kim Herring /S/St. Louis - He's still the starter but veteran CB Jason Sehorn was signed and will move over to safety and will compete with Herring.
Rumer Mill Central
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