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Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Updated: March 4, 5:31 PM ET
List of released players will grow

By John Clayton

Editor's note: The following is a list of players who have been cut so far this offseason and the salary cap savings for their teams.

Atlanta Falcons
Player Cap number 2005 savings
DT Travis Hall $6,428,571 $4 million
DT Ed Jasper $2.5 million $1.5 million
S Cory Hall $2.75 million $1.135 million
P Chris Mohr $865,000 $465,000
Clayton's analysis: The only surprise is how quickly the Falcons gave up on free safety Cory Hall. He was signed as a coverage safety. After two seasons, the Falcons decided to let him go to save money. Travis Hall wants to re-sign if there is interest. The Falcons swapped punters by releasing Mohr and replacing him with Toby Gowin, saving a little cap room.

Baltimore Ravens
Player Cap number 2005 savings
WR Kevin Johnson $1.5 million $1.5 million
Clayton's analysis: Cap room isn't the reason Johnson is gone. He voided the final year of his contract, freeing up $1.5 million for the Ravens, who had more than $13 million of cap room before this transaction. Plus, the Ravens are going a different direction with their receivers.

Buffalo Bills
Player Cap number 2005 savings
QB Drew Bledsoe $6,516,666 $2,183,332
Clayton's analysis: The Bills got younger at quarterback by releasing Bledsoe and going with J.P. Losman. This wasn't much of a cap move because it only saved the Bills a little over $2.18 million. This was a move to go a different direction at quarterback because general manager Tom Donahoe didn't think enough big plays came out of the passing offense when it was directed by Bledsoe.

Carolina Panthers
Player Cap number 2005 savings
WR Muhsin Muhammad $12,535,000 $10,465,000
QB Rodney Peete $1,166,000 $999,998
OG Doug Brzezinski $1,750,000 $1.5 million
CB Artrell Hawkins $2.5 million $1 million
Clayton's analysis: No surprise from the Carolina list of cuts. Artrell Hawkins was released the day before the Panthers signed Seahawks cornerback Ken Lucas. That should have been a tipoff that something was happening. Lucas and Chris Gamble are the starters and Ricky Manning Jr. is the nickel, leaving no spot for Hawkins, whose release saves the Panthers $1 million. They released quarterback Rodney Peete and guard Doug Brzeninski for a combined savings of $2.5 million. Throw in wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad and they've saved more than $15 million of cap room, but the Panthers were hurt by Muhammad's signing with the Bears. They offered close to what the Bears offered.

Chicago Bears
Player Cap number 2005 savings
QB Jonathan Quinn $850,000 $750,000
WR David Terrell $2.76 million $1.135
Clayton's analysis: The Bears finally gave up on former first-round receiver David Terrell. He's been a major disappointment and never seemed to get it. Too many dropped passes. Too many wrong routes. Too many celebrations after meaningless receptions. He was entering the final year of his contract. It only took a couple of starts for the Bears to realize Jonathan Quinn wasn't going to make it at quarterback. His release Tuesday had nothing to do with cap. He was only scheduled to make $750,000. With former offensive coordinator Terry Shea returning to Kansas City as the quarterback coach, Quinn wasn't going to have a chance to stay.

Cleveland Browns
Player Cap number 2005 savings
QB Jeff Garcia $5,747,410 $3,264,910
S Robert Griffith $4,662,500 $2,950,000
Clayton's analysis: The Browns wanted to get younger at safety, so they released Robert Griffith, who is a great leader. With the team in a rebuilding mold and going to a 3-4, Romeo Crennel wanted to go another direction. Combined with the release of quarterback Jeff Garcia, the Browns have saved $6.2 million.

Dallas Cowboys
Player Cap number 2005 savings
C Gennaro DiNapoli $840,000 $665,000
S Darren Woodson (ret) $4.3 million $2.7 million
DE Marcellus Wiley $3,625,000 $250,000
Clayton's analysis: The Cowboys rid themselves of two free agent mistakes from the past two years -- center Gennaro DiNapoli and defensive end Marcellus Wiley. DiNapoli never had much of a chance to play because of injuries. Wiley flat out didn't fit in with what the Cowboys did. The Cowboys thought they added a pass-rusher by signing Wiley to a four-year, $16 million contract. Their releases didn't do much for cap savings. Combined, Wiley and DiNapoli will save the Cowboys $900,000. They will get a $2.7 million savings when they put in the retirement of safety Darren Woodson.

Denver Broncos
Player Cap number 2005 savings
DT Ellis Johnson (voided) $1,891,176 $1,699,999
G Dan Neil $5,055,000 $3,093,999
Clayton's analysis: Dan Neil's release was no surprise. It was expected as the season ended and Neil wasn't going to play as the starter. The Broncos need to clear cap room because they may use some of it to go after Browns defensive tackle Gerard Warren. Johnson voided the final year of his two-year deal with the Broncos, saving the team $1.7 million. The Broncos want to re-sign him and not let him hit free agency.

Detroit Lions
Player Cap number 2005 savings
S Brian Walker $2.1 million $1.3 million
Clayton's analysis: Walker is Detroit's first cut of the offseason, and is a $1.3 million savings for the team. The Lions have had one of the oldest groups of safeties in the league and wanted to get younger.

Green Bay Packers
Player Cap number 2005 savings
CB Michael Hawthorne $797,500 $710,000
LB Hannibal Navies $1,599,166 $1,349,998
OG Mike Wahle $11.375 million $10.25 million
OG Grey Ruegamer $1,291,666 $1.2 million
Clayton's analysis: The Packers had a $6 million roster bonus due on guard Wahle, so they cut him with the hopes of re-signing him. What a disaster. He left to go to the Carolina Panthers for $5.4 million a year. To make matters worse, they lost guard Marco Rivera. They cut guard Grey Ruegamer, too. Wahle's departure saved them $10.25 million, but they lost the luster of their interior offensive line with his departure. Navies voided the final year of his contract, making him a free agent and saving the Packers $1.35 million. It is unclear if the Packers will sign him back. Hawthorne was a great third cornerback two years ago, but the Packers had him juggle between cornerback and safety last year. They also might have to cut safety Darren Sharper to clear cap space in the next week, creating two needs in the secondary.

Indianapolis Colts
Player Cap number 2005 savings
DE Brad Scioli $2.411 million $1.211 million
TE Marcus Pollard $5,099,166 $2.650 million
Clayton's analysis: Scioli was due an option bonus and considering his limited playing time last season -- he was inactive though healthy for seven games -- he became vulnerable to free up cap room.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Player Cap number 2005 savings
CB Juran Bolden $2.12 million $1.64 million
FB Marc Edwards $1.136 million $845,000
CB Dewayne Washington $1,750,000 $1.5 million

Kansas City Chiefs
Player Cap number 2005 savings
DE Vonnie Holliday $8,025,000 $6,225,000
Clayton's analysis: The Chiefs never got the impact out of defensive end Vonnie Holliday after they signed him to a five-year, $23.25 million contract two years ago. In his first year, Holliday dropped into coverage a lot in zone blitz situations, which didn't please a front office that invested more than $4 million a year to bring him in. Last year, he didn't add much pass rush. By releasing Holliday, the Chiefs saved a much needed $6.225 million in cap space.

Miami Dolphins
Player Cap number 2005 savings
QB Jay Fiedler $9,170,796 $7,887,535
S Arturo Freeman $3,335,500 $3.3 million
DE Jay Williams $1.65 million $1.3 million
WR David Boston $3.16 million $3.16 million
Clayton's analysis: The Dolphins cleared more than $12.4 million of cap room by releasing quarterback Jay Fiedler, safety Arturo Freeman and defensive end Jay Williams. Fiedler is being bombarded by calls for backup jobs. The Dolphins have approached several other veterans about taking pay reductions to the minimum salary and are hearing positive responses. The Dolphins said Boston failed a physical because of last year's knee injury, but the real reason he was released was the salary. Unlike other Dolphins veterans who accepted paycuts to the NFL minimum, Boston refused.

Minnesota Vikings
Player Cap number 2005 savings
C Cory Withrow $840,000 $840,000
CB Terrance Shaw $1.1 million $1.1 million
Clayton's analysis: The Vikings don't need cap room. Once they get more than $15 million of cap credit for bogus incentives they wrote last year, they will have almost $30 million of room. They saved another $1.94 million by releasing backup cornerback Terrance Shaw and offensive lineman Cory Withrow.

New England Patriots
Player Cap number 2005 savings
CB Ty Law $12,551,000 $9.849,997
LB Roman Phifer $1,995,000 $1.5 million
CB Earthwind Moreland $461,160 $461,160
TE Zeron Flemister $571,160 $571,160
Clayton's analysis: Ty Law's release was a shame. He wanted to finish his career as a Patriot, but he didn't have the chance because of the high cap number and the fact he would command $6 million on a contract extension. The releases of Earthwind Moreland and Zeron Flemister weren't big. They were minimum salary players who could be re-signed at any time. The failed physical of linebacker Roman Phifer saves them $1.5 million of cap room, but it temporarily takes away their best coverage linebacker. It's probably not out of the question for him to re-sign for the NFL minimum and count only $455,000 against the cap. Phifer was in the last year of his contract.

New Orleans Saints
Player Cap number 2005 savings
WR Jerome Pathon $4,333,333 $3.333 million
Clayton's analysis: The Saints cleared $3.333 million of cap room Wednesday by releasing wide receiver Jerome Pathon, who was entering the final year of his contract. Pathon became the third receiver last year when Donte Stallworth finally stepped up and became the dependable starter the team had expected. Pathon caught 34 passes for 581 yards but only one touchdown.

New York Giants
Player Cap number 2005 savings
DE Lorenzo Bromell $865,000 $765,000
DT Martin Chase $620,000 $540,000
S Omar Stoutmire $1,016,668 $800,000
CB Terry Cousin $1.006,666 $739,998
WR Ike Hilliard $3 million $750,000
Clayton's analysis: The Giants didn't really release Ike Hilliard for salary cap purposes. His release saved them only $750,000. What it shows is that the Giants want to get younger and faster on offense. Hillard has had a lot of injuries through the years and the Giants wanted to go a different direction. The Giants saved $2.924 million by releasing defensive linemen Lorenzo Bromell and Martin Chase, safety Omar Stoutmire and cornerback Terry Cousin. All were veterans between the ages of 29 and 31. The Giants will get another $5 million savings when Kurt Warner's contract voids.

Oakland Raiders
Player Cap number 2005 savings
S Ray Buchanan $2,620,000 $2,260,000
OG Frank Middleton $3 million $3 million
TE Roland Williams $1,116,666 $1,049,998
DT John Parrella $5,141,666 $1,716,666
RB Tyrone Wheatley $926,785 $680,355
LB DeLawrence Grant $1.22 million $1.1 million
OG Ron Stone $3.1 million $2.1 million
Clayton's analysis: To get under the cap and add Randy Moss' contract, the Raiders had to release seven players. Included in that group are two veteran guards, Ron Stone and Frank Middleton, starting running back Tyrone Wheatley and starting free safety Ray Buchanan. The only surprise was linebacker DeLawrence Grant, who had played defensive end in the team's old 4-3 days. Wheatley's release came on the eve of the LaMont Jordan signing. Being paid $5.5 million a year, Jordan was obviously going to knock Wheatley off the roster.

Philadelphia Eagles
Player Cap number 2005 savings
LB Nate Wayne $2,895,000 $1,585,000
Clayton's analysis: Linebacker Nate Wayne ended up losing playing time to Mark Simoneau and Keith Adams. With a $2.895 million cap number, the Eagles could use his cap savings.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Player Cap number 2005 savings
TE Jay Riemersma $1,583,333 $1,299,999
CB Chad Scott $4,985,200 $3,185,200
Clayton's analysis: The release of cornerback Chad Scott was no surprise. He saved them $3,181,250 and hasn't had a good season in years. The release of tight end Jay Riemersma came because the Steelers need to give a higher tender to restricted free agent kicker Jeff Reed.

San Diego Chargers
Player Cap number 2005 savings
WR Tim Dwight $2,415,000 $85,000 loss, no savings
DT Jason Fisk $2.925 million $1.875 million
Clayton's analysis: The Chargers cleared $1.875 million of cap room by releasing defensive tackle Jason Fisk, who was brought in a couple years ago to add depth along the defensive line. Jamal Williams is the team's starting nose tackle and Fisk saw decreasing playing time last season. The Chargers thought wide receiver Tim Dwight was making too much money for his productivity, so they released him even though it didn't save them any cap money. Dwight was scheduled to make $1.165 million this year.

San Francisco 49ers
Player Cap number 2005 savings
DE Brandon Whiting $1.575 million $1.24 million
Clayton's analysis: Whiting was the player the 49ers received as compensation for Terrell Owens.

St. Louis Rams
Player Cap number 2005 savings
QB Chris Chandler $865,000 $665,000
Clayton's analysis: The Rams didn't surprise any by releasing quarterback Chris Chandler at a savings of $665,000. Coach Mike Martz threw Chandler under the bus after criticizing him for a bad start filling in for Marc Bulger. Martz said he didn't understand what Chandler was doing with the plays he used on the field.

Seattle Seahawks
Player Cap number 2005 savings
WR Jerry Rice $1,249,000 $1,249,000
OLB Anthony Simmons $5.25 million $750,000
S Damien Robinson $1.125 million $850,000
Clayton's analysis: The Seahawks lost patience with Simmons because of his long history of coming back slow from injuries. Still, he was one of the most talented players on the team, so it was a surprise to some degree that he was released. The Seahawks had hoped Robinson would stabilize the safety spot, but he never really gave them what they had hoped for.

Tampa Bay Bucs
Player Cap number 2005 savings
QB Brad Johnson $8.55 million $4.25 million
WR Joe Jurevicius $2.94 million $2.5 million
CB Mario Edwards $3.325 million $2.7 million
LB Ian Gold $1.636,666 $2,803,333

Tennessee Titans
Player Cap number 2005 savings
DE Kevin Carter $13,971,669 $5,526,330
FB Robert Holcombe $1,550,027 $1,549,998
WR Derrick Mason $6,652,500 $4.7 million
OL Fred Miller $9,316,685 $513,327
K Joe Nedney $1.76 million $1.6 million
CB Samari Rolle $9,813,335 $5,786,665
TE Shad Meier $3.35 million $3,349,998
WR Eddie Berlin $600,000 $600,000
Clayton's analysis: The Titans had been $27 million over the cap, worst in the league. When you add the carryover loss from last year's releases of halfback Eddie George and retired tight end Frank Wycheck, the Titans now have $33 million of dead salary cap money out of their $85.5 million cap from released players.

Washington Redskins
Player Cap number 2005 savings
DT Jermaine Haley $1,162,500 $837,500
OT Vaughn Parker $1,240,000 $1,165,000
Clayton's analysis: The Redskins saved $2 million Tuesday by cutting defensive tackle Jermaine Haley and tackle Vaughn Parker. Haley didn't turn into the long-term replacement for Daryl Gardener. The Redskins took a chance on Parker late last season even though he was fitting injuries. He never had much of a chance to play.

John Clayton is a senior writer for