I know that we are fresh off of a season-ending loss, but football talk never stops here at BBS. With the Red Sox not starting for a couple more weeks, and the fact that you couldn't pay me to watch the Celtics, I thought we could go over some potential players on the 2015-2016 Patriots squad that could be cut come next season.
NOTE: All of these stats are Pre-June 1st and are courteously from Doug Moore (@DMooreNFL) and Michael Ginnitti (@spotrac).
Marcus Canon, OT
I don't want to spend too much time on this guy, because he should already be packing up his locker as we speak here, one day after the Patriots' season ended. To be fair, after Solder's season-ending bicep injury, Canon was thrusted into a role that he simply does not fit. He is not a starting left, or right for that matter, tackle in the National Football League. If you want to put him on the bench, fine, but he better not see the field. Cannon has a cap hit of $4.75 million in '16 and a dead cap hit of $1.07 million. Meaning, if the Patriots decide to cut Canon, the team would save $3.68 million.Is he worth that kind of money? Hell no. However, we will have to see what other options present themselves once free agency starts.
Conclusion: Cut his ass.
Danny Amendola, WR
To be blunt, I don't think this guy is going anywhere. The only way I see the Pats releasing Amendola is if it is to hammer out another deal with a lower annual cap hit. Although he was banged up all season, Amendola was still able to put up 65 catches for 648 yards and 3 touchdowns as a #3 slot receiver. Additionally, if you don't want to risk the health of Julian Edelman, throwing Amendola back there to return punts is one of the most underrated parts of his game. The Patriots would save $10.57 million over the next 2 years if they cut Amendola. ($14,670,832 salary, $4,100,002 dead cap)
Conclusion: Restructure his deal, keep him. Stud muffin.
Brandon LaFell, WR
I truly don't think I have seen so much hate for a player this season. Unfortunately, LaFell is deservedly getting hammered by most fans and media. Fresh off a 2014 campaign where LaFell amassed 74 catches for 953 yards and 7 touchdowns, the troubled wide receiver was limited with a foot injury that caused him to miss the first 5 weeks of the 2015 regular season. While LaFell's case of the drops had not yet been seen in New England, he was gracious enough to show off that hidden gem in his game this season. In 11 regular season games, LaFell snagged 37 balls for 515 yards and 0 TDs. Sorry, but thats just not gonna cut it. If the Pats decide to cut LaFell, they would save $2,675,000 ($3,675,000 salary, $1,000,000 dead cap).
Conclusion: Dump him and get a proven deep threat, even if its for a little bit more dough.
Jerod Mayo, LB
It's pretty sad at how Mayo's career has transpired. In his first couple of seasons in the league, Mayo was one of the best linebackers in the NFL. Unfortunately, the injury bug has taken a liking to #51 and won't latch off. For the third consecutive year, Mayo has had his season end on the IR, and this may be the last we see of him in a Patriots uniform. With the sudden emergence of Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins, Mayo has become expendable and a dark shadow with that fat contract. The Patriots would save $16.50 million over the next 2 seasons if they cut Mayo ($21,900,000 salary, $5,400,000 dead cap).
Conclusion: If Mayo wants to restructure and come back for essentially nothing, then I will be all game. However, he is still young and wants to play. Sorry, man, you're a liability now.
Scott Chandler, TE
Honestly, I could not even tell you what is wrong with Chandler if I tried. After being signed at the beginning of last offseason, many writers, myself included, dubbed this as one of the best acquisitions of free agency. However, Chandler has been virtually invisible all season, even after Brady tried to force-feed him the ball. In 2015-2016, Chandler was only able to muster up 23 receptions for 259 yards and 4 touchdowns. Whether it was his inability to learn the playbook or a secret injury, this guy's first season with the red, white and blue was a complete disaster. The Patriots would save $2.05 million by cutting Chandler ($3,050,000 salary, $1,000,000 dead).
Conclusion: Unless a great opportunity presents itself, I think the Pats should hang onto this guy. Give him another year to progress in the system and hopefully he makes an impact in 2016.
By Pete Packowski