Dead Weight: Whose Salaries Are Holding Teams Back Most Heading into 2017?
Assembling a successful NFL team requires a combination of talent evaluation, the understanding of group dynamics and a fluid financial acumen. Team executives must have a clear picture of when it’s time to cut bait on an expensive player and when to invest in the future with your key assets.
At times, teams will sign players to massive contracts based on past achievements, failing to note trends in performance over time. When that happens, teams can find themselves with “dead weight” players—those roster certainties who are only certain because they’d be more expensive to release than they would be to keep around.
And when that happens, everything is affected. Players desired by the team in future years may not be signed because the salary cap is negatively affected. The specter of negative value for the player forced upon the franchise by his onerous contract can cause a divide in the locker room. And the front office must find ways to work around that dead weight.
It’s a rough go for any team, but here are five players who could put their teams in this uncomfortable position in 2017 and beyond.