NFL teams must all be under the salary cap before 4 p.m. EST on March 11 when the league year ends. After 4 p.m., clubs can start signing players in the free agent market. This means that enough salary cap space must already be cleared for each team to bid on the services of players in the free agent pool.
NFL.com Around the League writer Chris Wesseling recently listed the top players in the AFC that may find themselves as cap casualties by teams seeking to get younger or just improve their rosters in other areas of concern.
The No.1 cap casualty comes from the Super Bowl runner-up Denver Broncos. Cornerback Champ Bailey is expected to make $9 million next season and there are concerns about his age and health.
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie of the New York Jets is next on the list. Cromartie may simply just be too expensive at almost $15 million in 2014.
The Jets also have No. 3 on the list with wide receiver Santonio Holmes and his character issues.
Linebacker LaMarr Woodley of the Pittsburgh Steelers is next on the list with his $13.6 million cap hit. Jason Worilds may be the priority hear instead of Woodley, according to Wesseling.
Other players on the AFC list include:
Ike Taylor, Pittsburgh Steelers, cornerback
Matt Schaub, Houston Texans, quarterback
Mark Sanchez, New York Jets, quarterback
D’Qwell Jackson, Cleveland Browns, linebacker
Jason Campbell, Cleveland Browns, quarterback
Davone Bess, Cleveland Browns, wide receiver
Kamerion Wimbley, Tennessee Titans, defensive end
Philip Wheeler, Miami Dolphins, linebacker
Jonathan Martin, Miami Dolphins, offensive tackle
Jason Babin, Jacksonville Jaguars, defensive end