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Potential Salary Cap Casualties for 2021 - NFC North


Hello Everyone! Coach Craig back at it again. This is the second of my cap causality articles. In this article, I will be looking at each team in the NFC North 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. I have also included the Post June 1st Savings (for players cut after June 1st). All these numbers mentioned below come from Spotrac.com.

Chicago Bears

Projected Cap Space: $-510,748


Potential Cap Causalities:

Kyle Fuller CB

Cap Hit: $20,000,000

Dead Cap: $9,000,000

Savings: $11,000,000

Post June 1: $14,000,000


Akiem Hicks DT

Cap Hit: $12,000,000

Dead Cap: $1,500,000

Savings: $10,500,000


Charles Leno LT

Cap Hit: $11,294,000

Dead Cap: $5,082,000

Savings: $6,212,000

Post June 1: $9,000,000


Jimmy Graham TE

Cap Hit: $10,000,000

Dead Cap: $3,000,000

Savings: $7,000,000


Bobby Massie RT

Cap Hit: $9,300,000

Dead Cap: $2,600,000

Savings: $6,700,000

Post June 1: $8,000,000


Buster Skrine DB

Cap Hit: $6,100,000

Dead Cap: $3,300,000

Savings: $2,800,000

Post June 1: $5,000,000


Key free agents include WR Allen Robinson, QB Mitchell Trubisky, WR/RB/KR Cordarrelle Patterson, DT Roy Robertson-Harris, P Pat O'Donnell, S Tashuan Gipson, OL Germain Ifedi, K Cairo Santos, and DL Mario Edwards.


The Bears are not in the best position in terms of the salary cap and roster construction. They are missing multiple pieces on offense and have quite a few overpriced contracts on defense. Everyone assumes the Bears will re-sign Allen Robinson, but the cap space is just not there. Expect the Bears to bring in a veteran WR (like Marvin Jones) on a cheap one or two year deal. I could see them bring back Cordarrelle Patterson, Pat O'Donnell, Tashuan Gipson, and Cairo Santos on cheap deals. The Bears have some obvious cap causalities in Buster Skrine and Jimmy Graham (who could retire). I would not be surprised if either Charles Leno or Bobbie Massie were let go as well. It is unlikely that Akiem Hicks or Kyle Fuller would get cut, but a trade could be possible. Overall, the Bears look more like a team on the verge of a rebuild than a legitimate playoff contender.

Detroit Lions

Projected Cap Space: $-919,041


Potential Cap Causalities:

Desmond Trufant CB

Cap Hit: $12,500,000

Dead Cap: $6,000,000

Savings: $6,500,000


Justin Coleman CB

Cap Hit: $11,029,000

Dead Cap: $6,087,000

Savings: $4,942,000

Post June 1: $9,000,000


Jesse James TE

Cap Hit: $6,429,000

Dead Cap: $4,287,000

Savings: $2,142,000

Post June 1: $5,000,000


Danny Shelton NT

Cap Hit: $5,250,000

Dead Cap: $1,250,000

Savings: $4,000,000


Christian Jones LB

Cap Hit: $4,742,500

Dead Cap: $2,185,000

Savings: $2,557,500

Post June 1: $3,650,000


Key free agents include WR Marvin Jones, DE Everson Griffen, WR Danny Amendola, K Matt Prater, DE Romeo Okwara, LB Jarrad Davis, RB Adrian Peterson, WR Mohamed Sanu, and WR Kenny Golladay.


The Lions appear to have hit rebuild mode after trading away franchise QB Matthew Stafford. While they are currently over the cap, they have a handful of players (listed above) that could save them quite a bit of money. Most of those players are on the defensive side of the ball. With a new head coach in Dan Campbell and a new defensive coordinator in Aaron Glenn do not be surprised if there are big changes as they overhaul this unit. In terms of free agents Matt Prater, Romeo Okwara and Adrian Peterson are most likely to return. Peterson has previously expressed in returning for another season. I do not expect Kenny Golladay to return in 2021. However, the Lions could try to Franchise Tag him and then trade him to acquire more assets to help in their rebuilding efforts. I am very interested in how the new front office and coaching staff will build this team over the next few years.

Green Bay Packers

Projected Cap Space: $-29,171,617


Potential Cap Causalities:

Preston Smith LB

Cap Hit: $16,000,000

Dead Cap: $8,000,000

Savings: $8,000,000

Post June 1: $12,000,000


Adrian Amos S

Cap Hit: $10,050,000

Dead Cap: $5,500,000

Savings: $4,550,000

Post June 1: $7,300,000


Christian Kirksey LB

Cap Hit: $8,000,000

Dead Cap: $2,000,000

Savings: $6,000,000


Key free agents include C Corey Linsley, TE Marcedes Lewis, CB Kevin King, CB Chandon Sullivan (RFA), RB Jamaal Williams, WR Allen Lazard (ERFA), Robert Tonyan (RFA), and RB Aaron Jones.


The Packers are in a little bit of cap hell this offseason. They will have to get creative with cap causalities and restructuring contracts. I expect Allen Lazard, Chandon Sullivan, Robert Tonyan, and possibly Jamaal Williams to return in 2021. Mercedes Lewis is a retirement candidate. The rest will be priced out of the Packers' budget. Expect Elgton Jenkins to slide over to center in 2021 to replace Corey Linsley. A name to look out for in the RB room is Patrick Taylor. He was an UDFA following a successful career at Memphis despite splitting time with Darrell Henderson and Kenneth Gainwell. He also played ahead of Tony Pollard and Antonio Gibson. He missed this season due to an injury suffered in college but could make an impact in 2021.

Minnesota Vikings

Projected Cap Space: $-8,034,284


Potential Cap Causalities:

Kyle Rudolph TE

Cap Hit: $9,450,000

Dead Cap: $4,350,000

Savings: $5,100,000

Post June 1: $8,000,000


Riley Reiff LT

Cap Hit: $13,950,000

Dead Cap: $2,200,000

Savings: $11,750,000


Dan Bailey K

Cap Hit: $3,800,000

Dead Cap: $2,100,00

Savings: $1,700,000

Post June 1: $2,750,000


Key free agents include: S Anthony Harris, LB Eric Wilson, DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (RFA), and WR Chad Beebe (RFA)


The Vikings are in a fairly good situation as their core players are under contract. The cap casualties listed above make a ton of sense to me. Kyle Rudolph is expendable with the emergence of Irv Smith and Tyler Conklin. Riley Reiff was almost a cap casualty a year ago before restructuring his contract. Dan Bailey struggled this year and teams are often quick to replace kickers in general. Anthony Harris will likely walk in free agency. Eric Wilson, Ifeadi Odenigbo, and Chad Beebe should all be back if the price is right. Do not expect any major moves out of the Vikings this offseason.

In conclusion, the 2021 NFL offseason will be an interesting time for the teams of the NFC North. I am very interested to see how each of these teams handle their respective cap situations and what cap casualties will happen. My next article will look a closer looker at the NFC South teams. Be sure to let me know your thoughts down below in the comments or on Twitter @CoachCraigSport.

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