5 big-name NFL players who could change teams in 2018
The 2017 season will officially come to an end for 20 of the 32 NFL franchises on Sunday afternoon. With that being the case, it’s now time to start looking toward the 2018 offseason.
Several dominoes still need to fall (head-coaching changes) before team’s start shaking up their rosters. But for now, here is a look at five big-name players I see changing teams in 2018.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders
According to a report from Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that came out on Sunday, the Raiders are preparing to move on from Michael Crabtree this offseason. The move would save the Raiders $7.75 million in salary cap space, and would let them off the hook from having to pay his $7 million salary in 2018.
According to Gehlken, the Raiders feel as though Crabtree’s production isn’t worth putting up with his baggage and diva tendencies.
Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks toyed with trading Richard Sherman last offseason, but an acceptable deal never materialized. The four-time All-Pro is in the midst of rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon, so his trade value likely isn’t as high as it once was.
With Sherman scheduled to have a cap hit of $13.2 million in 2018, the Seahawks will likely find it difficult to move the future Hall of Fame selection. With their defense aging and not playing at the level they have in the past, Seattle may find it in their best interests to cut ties with the 29-year-old cornerback and start working towards rebuilding their roster.
Aqib Talib, CB, Denver Broncos
Aqib Talib’s future with the Broncos is completely dependent on whether the team decides to push forward with their win-now mentality, or embark on a rebuilding project.
Talib is still playing at an All-Pro level, but he has reached the point in his current contract where the Broncos can release him without incurring much of dead money cap hit – if they release him they would save $11 million in cap space and have just a $1 million dead hit.
Additionally, there are rumors floating around that Talib (and several other Broncos) wants out of Denver.
On a side note, if Denver decides that their championship window is still open, Talib may end up landing a contract extension this offseason.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
The Packers have just under $38 million in cap space committed to three wide receivers (Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and Davante Adams) in 2018. With Adams just signing his new deal last week, the writing should be on the wall for Nelson and Cobb.
My guess is the Packers will part way with either Nelson or Cobb. Given Nelson’s age (32), injury history, and the fact that releasing him will result in a higher cap savings, I am expecting the former Kansas State Wildcat to be playing with a new franchise in 2018.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
Kirk Cousins’ future will be one of the biggest storylines of the 2018 offseason. And when it comes down to it, I just don’t see the former Michigan State star signing a long-term deal with the Redskins, and I don’t see Washington using their franchise tag on the 29-year-old quarterback for a third consecutive season.