7 NFL players who could be surprisingly cut this offseason – SB Nation

NFL’s official free agency period doesn’t begin until March 14, but the list of available players isn’t set just yet. Several roster cuts will add a long list of talented players to the open market as teams consolidate salary cap space and prepare for a long offseason of roster building.

Some of these moves will be expected. Older, expensive veterans will be released in order to make way for a new generation of young players. Others will be cut just to create the room needed to sign the marquee free agents general managers see as their missing piece.

But some of these moves will send established stars to the unemployment line, albeit briefly. Big names and former first-round draft picks could wind up on the chopping block as their franchises weigh the pros and cons of moving in a new direction and their respective costs for replacement.

Here are seven well-known and long-tenured veterans who could be surprise cuts as the NFL’s free agency period approaches.

Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Money due in 2018: $19 million
Dead cap remaining: $0

Bortles seemed like a safe bet to head to free agency during a preseason in which he was benched for Chad Henne, but his proficient play during Jacksonville’s run to the AFC title game has restored some of his value. The fourth-year passer avoided the turnovers that had defined his career in a respectable playoff performance, and provided proof the Jaguars could win with him behind center.

But is he worth $19 million — especially heading into an offseason where Jacksonville only has $16 million in cap space and big decisions to make on free agent wideouts Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee? A healthy quarterback market set to feature players like Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum, and a host of draft

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