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Potential Salary Cap Casualties for 2021 - NFC West

Hello Everyone! Coach Craig back at it again. This is going to be the first of my offseason articles. In this article, I will be looking at each team in the NFC West and their cap situation for the 2021 season. I will also mention some potential players that could be cap causalities as well as some key free agents. Future articles will take a look at the teams in the 7 other divisions. All these numbers mentioned below come from Spotrac.com.

Arizona Cardinals

Projected Cap Space: $9,519,499


Potential Cap Causalities:

Chandler Jones OLB

Cap Hit: $20,833,334

Dead Cap: $5,333,334

Savings: $15,500,000

Justin Pugh G

Cap Hit: $11,156,250

Dead Cap: $4,000,000

Savings: $7,156,250


Robert Alford CB

Cap Hit: $9,000,000

Dead Cap: $1,500,000

Savings: $7,500,000


Devon Kennard LB

Cap Hit: $7,906,250

Dead Cap: $3,750,000

Savings: $4,156,250


Maxx Williams TE

Cap Hit: $3,218,750

Dead Cap: $250,000

Savings: $2,968,750


Key free agents include: WR Larry Fitzgerald (retirement), CB Patrick Peterson, RB Kenyan Drake, G JR Sweezy, LB Haason Reddick (5th-year option previously declined), LB Markus Golden, CB Dre Kirkpatrick, RT Kelvin Beachum, DT Corey Peters, K Zane Gonzalez, and P Andy Lee


The Cardinals are in a good position with many of the core players under contract. Robert Alford will almost certainly be a cap causality as he has yet to play a game as a Cardinal due to injury. Cutting Devon Kennard and Maxx Williams would free up about 7 million dollars. Chandler Jones and Justin Pugh are more unlikely to be cut. I would not be surprised if they bring back Dre Kirkpatrick, JR Sweezy, Zane Gonzalez, and Andy Lee. Corey Peters could return on a team-friendly deal as well. Patrick Peterson and Haason Reddick will likely demand too much money and sign elsewhere.

Los Angeles Rams

Projected Cap Space: $-34,005,627


Potential Cap Causalities:

Andrew Whitworth LT

Cap Hit: $11,166,666

Dead Cap: $5,833,334

Savings: $5,333,332


Michael Brockers DL

Cap Hit: $9,833,333

Dead Cap: $4,166,667

Savings: $5,666,666


Rob Havenstein OT

Cap Hit: $8,330,000

Dead Cap: $3,160,000

Savings: $5,170,000


Tyler Higbee TE

Cap Hit: $7,100,000

Dead Cap: $4,800,000

Savings: $2,300,000


Johnny Hekker P

Cap Hit: $4,937,000

Dead Cap: $2,329,000

Savings: $2,708,000


Key free agents include: OLB Leonard Floyd, G Austin Blythe, CB Troy Hill, CB Darious Williams (RFA), S John Johnson, TE Gerald Everett, DL Morgan Fox, and WR Josh Reynolds


The Rams are in cap hell to put it lightly. None of the potential cap causalities (listed above) would get them out of it either. They are going to have to get really creative this offseason. I would expect a lot of contracts to be restructured in LA. Do not be surprised if one of the tackles, Michael Brockers and Johnny Hekker become cap causalities. It is hard to see any of their key free agents returning outside of maybe Darious Williams (RFA) and Morgan Fox.

San Francisco 49ers

Projected Cap Space: $12,796,853


Potential Cap Causalities:

Jimmy Garoppolo QB

Cap Hit: $26,205,882

Dead Cap: $2,800,000

Savings: $23,405,882


Dee Ford DE

Cap Hit: $20,785,000

Dead Cap: $14,355,000

Savings: $6,430,000


Key free agents include: LT Trent Williams, CB Richard Sherman, DL Soloman Thomas, S Jaquiski Tartt, FB Kyle Juszczyk, RB Tevin Coleman, WR Kendrick Bourne, DE Kerry Hyder, CB Jason Verrett, and Jeff Wilson Jr. (RFA)


The 49ers probably have the best cap situation in the NFC West. A major priority for them will be re-signing Trent Williams. They could save a lot of money by moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo. Would they try to trade up and draft his replacement? In that case, Garoppolo could be cut or traded (Patriots landing spot?). Dee Ford is more unlikely to be cut. I would expect them to bring back Kyle Juszczyk and Jeff Wilson Jr. (RFA) for sure. Kendrick Bourne, Jason Verrett, and Kerry Hyder could all return if the price is right.

Seattle Seahawks

Projected Cap Space: $4,311,504


Potential Cap Causalities:

Carlos Dunlap DE

Cap Hit: $14,100,000

Dead Cap: $0

Savings: $14,100,000


Jarran Reed DT

Cap Hit: $13,500,000

Dead Cap: $5,000,000

Savings: $8,500,000


Duane Brown LT Cap Hit: $13,000,000

Dead Cap: $2,000,000

Savings: $11,000,000


Key free agents include: LB KJ Wright, TE Greg Olsen, DE Bruce Irvin, DE Benson Mayowa, RB Carlos Hyde, G Mike Iupati, T Cedric Ogbuehi, C Ethan Pocic, CB Quinton Dunbar, CB Shaquill Griffin, WR David Moore, RB Chris Carson

and DT Poona Ford (RFA)


The Seahawks are not in the worst position financially. However, they have some important pieces set to hit free agency. Poor Russell Wilson could lose 3 offensive linemen in free agency. This makes the potential cap causality of LT Duane Brown less likely. Carlos Dunlap played well after coming over from the Bengals. While they would love to keep him the cap savings may be too much to ignore. Jarran Reed has a hefty price tag for a DT, so don't be surprised if he ends up elsewhere. I would expect Seattle to try and bring back Ethan Pocic, Mike Iupati, Poona Ford, and at least one of the CBs. Bruce Irvin could return on a cheap deal as well.

In conclusion, the 2021 NFL offseason has the potential to be the most interesting one in recent memory. I would expect more cap causalities, restructuring of contracts, and players signing 1-year deals than normal. This is due in large part to the salary cap remaining stagnant. Like I mention above, I will be writing more articles highlighting the other 7 divisions as well. Be sure to let me know your thoughts down below in the comments or on Twitter @CoachCraigSport.



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