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5 Potential Wide Receiver Cap Casualties

Every team in the league will need to get under the salary cap in the coming months, and these five wide receivers could be cap casualties
Cap Casualties

The 2023 regular season is officially over, which means that all the non-playoff teams are officially on to 2024. Free agency is the biggest building block of the offseason, but before teams can sign any new players, they first need to make sure that they’re under the allotted salary cap. Every year, teams release players who, for one reason or another, don’t have the production to match their salary. These cap casualties are a constant reminder that the NFL is a business first and foremost, as some of the wide receivers on this list have long, storied careers with their current franchise.

5 Big-Name Wide Receiver Cap Casualties

Keenan Allen

Keenan Allen is one of the best wide receivers in the history of the Chargers franchise, and he’s still a productive player. Despite being on the wrong side of 30, the former third-round pick finished the season with 108 receptions for 1,243 yards and seven touchdowns while earning the sixth Pro Bowl selection of his career. He’s still a good player, but his $34.72 million cap hit makes him a possible cap casualty. The Chargers can save $23.1 million by releasing him, and seeing as the team is $34.5 million over the 2024 salary cap, there is a very real chance that Allen will play somewhere else next year.

Mike Williams

Speaking of Chargers wide receivers, Mike Williams is almost certainly going to be one of the biggest cap casualties of the offseason. Now entering his age-30 season, the oft-injured wideout carries a $32.46 million cap hit and the team could save $20 million by parting ways with their former first-round pick. Williams is a good player when healthy, but he’s coming off an ACL injury and his physical style of play doesn’t bode well for his long-term health.

Russell Gage

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have $48.7 million in 2024 cap space, so they don’t need to cut anybody if they don’t want to. However, despite this, they still might decide to make Russell Gage a cap casualty. The former Atlanta Falcon didn’t do much of anything in 2022 despite the clear need for another reliable receiver, and he missed the entire 2023 season thanks to injury. The Buccaneers did not miss him, as Baker Mayfield guided the team to the postseason. Tampa Bay can save $6.45 million by releasing the veteran and use that money to re-sign Mayfield and Mike Evans.

Diontae Johnson

Diontae Johnson is a good football player, but the former third-round pick could still be on his way out of town. Johnson’s effort concerns are a serious issue, and Mike Tomlin could send a message that this inconsistent level of play is simply unacceptable. George Pickens is more than capable of being Pittsburgh’s top option, and the team can save $10 million by making him a cap casualty. Chances are, they’ll need all the money they can get to sign a big-name quarterback like Kirk Cousins or Russell Wilson.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

The Marquez Valdes-Scantling contract has not gone according to plan. Originally signed for a decent sum of money, Valdes-Scantling was supposed to provide a vertical element to the Chiefs wide receiver room. Instead, the former Packer has been an outward liability, failing to consistently earn targets and dropping what few passes come his way. The Chiefs can clear $12 million by releasing the wide receiver, making him one of the easiest cap casualties of the offseason.

Main Photo: Isaiah J. Downing – USA Today Sports


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