Monday, February 11, 2013
Who to cut, keep in NFC East
By Dan Graziano
Chris Sprow has an Insider feature up called "Who to cut, who to keep ," in which he examines potential salary-cap casualties by position around the league. It touches on the NFC East in a couple of places, including quarterback, where Sprow cites the Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick as someone not to cut because of the arrival of new coach Chip Kelly:
It's false to say Kelly constantly puts his QBs at risk as runners, but his offense at Oregon thrived on the threat of the run. The Eagles should cut Vick if he insists on being paid the $15.5M he's owed for 2013, but if he'll renegotiate, he and Philly should consider the grand experiment of Vick, Kelly, LLC.
You know how I feel about this. Vick's not the runner he once was, and even if he were, Kelly's offense is going to need a sharp decision-maker at quarterback more than it's going to need a runner. I think that's where Vick falls off and he and the Eagles part ways. But the fact is we don't know. Kelly's introducing his new coaching staff today and likely will get questions about this.
Sprow's list of players who should be cut includes Dallas Cowboys tackle Doug Free (obviously), and his don't-cut list includes Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. As Sprow points out, cutting Maclin could save the Eagles more than $3 million, but (a) they really don't need the savings and (b) they've seen enough from Maclin over the years to know that he could be a major asset if he comes around and stays healthy. Big "if"s, yes, but worth taking a shot on, especially if the offense is to be based on speed.
And Free... yeesh. Free was a near-total disaster in 2011 and a total one in 2012 and needs to go. The tackle market is going to be flooded with quality this offseason, and the Cowboys should be able to replace him without too much financial pain, even though they have major cap issues to deal with. The savings are greater if Free's a June 1 cut than if he's cut now, so the Cowboys will try to push it. But he can't be on next year's team.