NFL training camps have already opened with the Las Vegas Raiders among those who have welcomed players into their facility this week.
We have previews out for all 32 teams at this stage in the summer. With that said, things will change big time as camps progress.
This includes big-name veterans potentially being on the chopping block as teams go with cheaper and younger alternatives. From a quarterback in San Francisco to a Pro Bowl defender in the Windy City, here’s a look at five players who could get the axe this summer.
Marcus Peters, cornerback, Baltimore Ravens
Peters, 29, suffered a torn ACL immediately leading up to Week 1 last September and missed the entire 2021 season. It led to Baltimore’s pass defense taking a major step back. This unit yielded 31 scores through the air against nine interceptions. Back in 2020, opposing quarterbacks threw 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions against Baltimore.
On the surface, this might show how important Peters is to the Ravens’ defense. We’re talking about a three-time Pro Bowler who yielded a 78.0 passer rating when targeted in 2020.
Even then, it’s all about finances and getting younger. Peters is slated to count $15.5 million against the cap in 2022. Baltimore would save $9.5 million by either releasing or trading him. With Marlon Humphrey as the Ravens’ CB1 and following the signing of Kyle Fuller, it might make sense for them to release Peters outright if he struggles returning from the aforementioned injury.
Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Las Vegas Raiders
- Clelin Ferrell stats (2019-21): 79 tackles, 24 QB hits, 8 sacks
As you can tell, Ferrell has been an absolute bust in his three seasons with the Raiders. Vegas’ previous regime struggled drafting big time. And in reality, he might have been the final straw. With head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler now the power duo with these Raiders, it wouldn’t be surprising if Ferrell is released during camp.
Neither of the powers that be have a built-in relationship with the former No. 4 pick. This should play a role as competition takes over in Henderson during the summer. Despite having to eat all of his $9.9 million of Ferrell’s cap number by releasing him, this could be a numbers game.
The question becomes obvious. Is Ferrell deserving of a spot on the 53 over the likes of Malcolm Koonce, Kendal Vickers and Tashawn Bower? If not, McDaniels and Ziegler could simply decide to cut him loose.
Marvin Jones, wide receiver, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville added two veterans with experience in the offseason, signing Zay Jones and Christian Kirk. It has youngster Laviska Shenault Jr. returning from an injury-plagued 2022 season. Sure new head coach Doug Pederson might want to keep a veteran around for Trevor Lawrence. But it really does seem like the 32-year-old Jones could find himself as a casualty during NFL training camp season.
Jones recorded 73 receptions for 832 yards a season ago. He can still contribute. We’re still not seeing a future in Duval with the Jaguars relying on youngsters in what is now a longer-term rebuild. Why not get more reps for the likes of Kevin Austin and Jamal Agnew to see what they can do during camp?
Robert Quinn, EDGE, Chicago Bears
Much like the Raiders, Chicago’s new brass does not have a built-in relationship with its roster. This has led to some speculation that Quinn could be moved following a productive Pro Bowl season.
- Robert Quinn stats (2021): 49 tackles, 22 QB hits, 18.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles
On the surface, it makes no real sense to release Quinn outright given his performance in 2021. With that said, Chicago could save a cool $13 million by releasing the veteran and stretching his dead cap number through the 2024 season.
With the Bears having already traded Khalil Mack, it’s clear that they are building for beyond the 2022 campaign. The idea here would be to see what the young edge rushes could do in Chicago under new defensive coordinator Alan Williams.
Jimmy Garoppolo, quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
Garoppolo will continue to be among the biggest stories during NFL training camps this summer. The Super Bowl quarterback just resumed throwing after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery. He has no future in San Francisco with Trey Lance slated to take over under center.
Garoppolo’s shoulder surgery led to a lack of real interest in him on the trade market. That’s unlikely to change any time soon given his $26.95 million cap hit for the 2022 season and the fact that pretty much every other team has settled its quarterback situation.
Short of a trade to either the Seattle Seahawks or New York Giants, it makes sense for San Francisco to cut Jimmy GQ loose. It would save a whopping $25.55 million against the cap — money that could be used to frontload an extension for either Nick Bosa or Deebo Samuel.