Free agency has yet to arrive, but that hasn't stopped NFL teams from cutting the fat. The very first few weeks following Super Bowl LI have seen a few of notable players cut by their various teams, as some organizations plan to clear cap space in anticipation of the beginning of the new league year. Veterans who are suddenly deemed expendable have now been released, as have underachieving players who entered the league as high draft choices. We have assembled a round-up of the moves that were most remarkable thus far.
Kelvin Beachum, offensive tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars will not be picking up Beachum's four-year, $35 million alternative, sending the 27-year-old tackle to free agency after only one season in Jacksonville.
Ryan Clady, offensive tackle, New York Jets
As New York suddenly eyes a possibility mass shedding of experts in order to jumpstart a roster turn around the Jets fell Clady's $10 million option for 2017.
Victor Cruz, wide receiver, New York Giants
Cruz was considered a bubble guy as training camp came to a close for the Giants, and though he contributed in spurts throughout the season, it is clear he and his $7.4 million 2017 salary were more than expendable. It brought an end to the New York chapter of one of football's amazing narratives of the past decade, with Cruz getting his position in the league as an undrafted free agent who became a star receiver for Big Blue.
Nick Folk, kicker, New York Jets
New York continues to grab for breathing room beneath the salary cap, reducing their 2017 team amount by releasing People after seven seasons together with the Jets. People's release saves the Jets more than $3.5 million against the cap, which explains why New York would discharge a kicker who is been more than serviceable throughout his career and made 87.1 percent of his field goal attempts in 2016.
Justin Gilbert, cornerback, Pittsburgh Steelers
Chosen eighth overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, Gilbert was dealt to Pittsburgh after two really underwhelming seasons in Cleveland that comprised reports and multiple healthy scratches of adulthood dilemmas. Gilbert was relegated to return person in Pittsburgh, where he was cut shortly after the Steelers' postseason run fell short in the AFC title game, drawing on a tweet from Browns tackle Joe Thomas that referenced Gilbert's purported dearth of passion for the game.
Rashad Jennings, running back, New York Giants
Jennings was splitting carries with the younger Paul Perkins midway through the season (injuries didn't help Jennings' cause), and at 31 years old, it wasn't at all surprising to see the Giants cut Jennings loose.
Nick Mangold, center, New York Jets
The two-time All-Pro center seldom missed a snap in Ny during his 11 seasons there, but spent half of 2016 about the sideline with an ankle injury. The Jets owed Mangold $9.075 million in 2017 before cutting him, but that price tag won't scare teams off; the veteran center is anticipated to have many suitors come free agency.
Josh McCown, quarterback, Cleveland Browns
McCown performed for the Browns, but Cleveland is no area to get a 37-year old quarterback. The Browns cut the veteran before he entered his third and final year of his contract. McCown thinks to play elsewhere in 2017.
Leodis McKelvin, cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are in dire need of salary cap space, and while McKelvin was a carryover from Buffalo and familiar with Jim Schwartz's shield, harm problems (concussion, hamstring) restricted him to 12 matches. As it hunts for needed improvements, at 31 years old, Philadelphia is going younger.
Jared Odrick, defensive end, Jacksonville Jaguars
Odrick's max number was the second-highest on Jacksonville's roster, and he'd probably be best used as a rotational defensive end as Gregg Rosenthal wrote. For a Jaguars team that spent loads in recent years, Odrick was a prime candidate as Jacksonville reduces the unnecessarily high-priced contracts from its roster moving forward to get cut.
Alterraun Verner, cornerback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Verner was one of the greatest defensive backs available in the marketplace two offseasons ago, scooped up during a free agency period that saw Tampa Bay pass rusher and spend a wholesome percentage of money by the Buccaneers Michael Johnson. Both have been cut by the Buccaneers less than a couple of years after signing, bringing an end.
Sam Shields, cornerback, Green Bay Packers
Shields was one of Green Bay's most reliable and effective defensive backs in recent years, but concussion-related issues in 2016 -- Shields played in just one game all season -- leave him with an uncertain future, though the corner said he hopes to play in 2017.
James Starks, running back, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay discharged Starks with a non-harm appointment on Feb. 7, but his time as a Packer rapidly headed toward the end once Mike McCarthy executed wide receiver-turned-running back Ty Montgomery into the team's gameplan.
Mike Tolbert, fullback, Carolina Panthers
Carolina released Tolbert on Feb. 21 after five seasons with the Panthers, in which he served as a strong, bowling-ball type of power back who was a powerful blocker and short-yardage back, and also excelled as just about the largest man anyone would see catching a pass out of the backfield. Tolbert had one year remaining on his deal, but the Panthers chose to relieve the expert in favor of Darrel Young, who had been signed shortly after the 2016 concluded, as Carolina must get younger in the backfield.
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