The cuts keep on comin’. In the next wave of cuts, we’ve seen more quality players hit the free agent market as teams try to wiggle out more spending money leading up to the free agency period, which starts next month.
Detroit started the chain reaction as they cut four-year running back, Joique Bell. The Lions were high on Bell, but the RB missed a few games due to injury this past season – his carries went from 223 in 2014 to only 90. The emergence of rookie Ameer Abdullah softened the blow to the Lions’ backfield.
Bell could stay in the division and go to a team like Green Bay, or even Chicago who will not re-sign Forte for this upcoming season. Teams would miss out on Forte in free agency could take a look at Bell.
Despite being the team’s leading tackler, Detroit also cut Stephen Tulloch – leaving the defense in battered shape with a lot of pending free agents on that side of the ball. Tulloch brought a great presence in the middle of that defense, but has regressed at the end of his five-year stint in Detroit. Cutting him saves the Lions $6M in cap space.
On Friday, the new-look LA Rams made headlines as they cut a trio of big names, James Laurinaitis, Chris Long and Jared Cook.
— St. Louis Rams (@ramspress) February 19, 2016
Laurinaitis and Long were both draft picks for the Rams and captains on the defensive side of the ball. Laurinaitis became the Rams all-time tackle leader during this past season and has ranked 2nd in the league in tackles since being drafted. Long was an excellent all-around defensive end during his career in St. Louis – the 2nd overall pick back in 2008.
The team signed Jared Cook two years ago. Cook had a solid tenure with the Rams as an explosive receiving option at tight end.
These moves save the Rams roughly $23M in 2016 cap space as they look to make a splash within the next year or two, according to USA Today.
Other notable cuts included the Chicago Bears releasing offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod following a failed physical. Bushrod started 30 games during his tenure in Chicago.
Be sure to stay tuned as more big names should hit the free agent market leading up to the official free agency period.