NFL Cut Candidates 2024 and Implications for Fantasy

by Joel Ybarra · Contracts & Free Agency
NFL Roster Cuts

PlayerProfiler is home to the very best dynasty rankings and tools in the industry. Our Dynasty Deluxe package for complete Dynasty Rankings, Rookie Rankings, Trade Analyzer, Draft Planner, Mock Drafts, and more. Check it out. This article contains all the information you need to know about NFL Cut Candidates 2024 and the fantasy implications that come along with those potential roster cuts. 

As we enter the NFL offseason, NFL teams are going to be readying their rosters for the 2024 season. Eventually, that means NFL roster cuts are coming – to make room for new talent and to get salary cap compliant. You can read about some of the most interesting salary cap situations entering 2024 here. Below are some possible cap cut candidates for the coming season, along with implications for fantasy.

Nick Chubb – Cap Number: $15.8M | Savings if Cut: $11.8M ($4M Dead Cap)

The harsh reality is that Nick Chubb is a 28-year-old running back who suffered a multi-ligament knee injury during the 2023 season, and he carries a significant cap hit on the Browns’ roster in 2024. The ACL and MCL tear occurred early in the season (Week 2), so Chubb would normally be able to return to action in 2024. At his age, however, recovery will be slow.

GM Andrew Berry has been non-committal regarding Chubb’s future with the team. He did say, the team would look at Chubb’s contract and restructure it if necessary. A restructure seems like the appropriate measure since Chubb carries a $15.8M cap hit in 2024. That’s a high number for any running back in today’s NFL, let alone one coming off serious injury. Chubb also a lot of mileage on his tires and his best days as a rusher are now behind him.

Fantasy Implications

When Chubb went down, Jerome Ford took over lead back duties. He did so on a Cleveland Browns offense that continues to be one of the highest-volume rushing attacks in the NFL (No. 4 in Team Rush Attempts). Kareem Hunt also re-signed with the team. Ford led in snaps and targets, but Hunt took a significant portion of the team’s rush attempts from Week 3 through the playoffs (143 to Ford’s 173 ). Hunt is currently a free agent. He was not particularly efficient as a rusher (2.23 Yards Created Per Touch, No. 56), but it would not be a surprise if the Browns signed him to another one-year deal since Chubb will be recovering from injury.

The best advice would be to hold Chubb if you are a dynasty manager. He will not bring much on the trade market anyway. The Browns will likely restructure his contract in order to hold onto the running back who has spent his entire career in Cleveland.

Mike Williams – Cap Number: $32.5M | Savings if Cut: $20M ($12.5M Dead Cap)

Mike Williams is one of the most likely cut candidates entering 2024 with a new regime coming on board. He is an aging receiver (29.3) coming back from a torn ACL. The Chargers can clear $20M of cap space by cutting Williams. They are projected to be $55.4M over the cap (effective cap space) and need to rebuild. Jim Harbaugh will come in and make some changes.

Keenan Allen has also been mentioned as a cut candidate. The team could save more cutting Allen, but they have relied more heavily on the aging slot receiver than Williams. Allen has never had lower than a 26.7-percent Target Rate while Justin Herbert has been the Chargers starter. Williams has never earned higher than a 23.8-percent Target Rate in the same span. If they cut Williams, they will be rolling with a wide receiver corps of Allen, Josh Palmer and Quentin Johnston. Johnston has been coming along slowly, but was drafted in the first round last offseason. The organization is not going to draft another receiver in early rounds without waiting to see if Johnston will develop, especially if they have a surefire veteran talent in Williams on board.

Big Mike has just one year left on his deal, and the Chargers would likely not be able to find a better outside receiver in free agency for less money. This will be especially true if they restructure him. The move in dynasty is to acquire Williams. He is as cheap as he has ever been. Additionally, he has just come off injury and he is seen as injury prone. The most likely scenario is that Williams’ contract is restructured to save cap space and push some of his salary into the future.

Robert Woods – Cap Number $9.8M | Savings if Cut: $5M (Dead Cap $4.8M)

What is interesting about Robert Woods as a cut candidate is that he played a high number of snaps (70.1-percent) on one of the most potent passing offenses in the league. He also played a higher number of those snaps from the slot (48.8-percent). However, he earned just 1.08 Yards Per Route Run in 2023. Woods will be 32 years old entering the 2024 season and the Texans save $5M if they cut him. Even if they don’t cut him, Woods is fading in his old age.

Nico Collins and Tank Dell are the Texans’ outside receivers. John Metchie, who they drafted in the top-50 (2.12) in 2022, spends time in the slot, as does Xavier Hutchinson. Noah Brown also ran 35.8-percent of his routes from the slot in 2023 and earned a respectable 2.04 Yards Per Route Run. A large part of that production was in Weeks 8 to 10, while Woods was sidelined. Brown is not under contract for 2024. The Texans could add another receiver in Free Agency or the NFL Draft or roll with Metchie and Hutchinson. Whatever the case, the Texans’ third receiver behind Collins and Dell in a C.J. Stroud-helmed offense will be one to acquire.

Brandin Cooks – Cap Number $10M | Savings if Cut Post-June 1: $8M (Dead Cap $2M)

Michael Gallup – Cap Number $13.9M | Savings if Cut Post-June 1: $9.5M (Dead Cap $4.4M)

Brandin Cooks just recorded his lowest Yards Per Route Run (1.30, No. 66) since 2019, when he notched 1.41 (No. 84) YPRR. Michael Gallup‘s YPRR number this season was a lowly 1.08. He has been hovering below 1.50 in that metric since his breakout campaign in 2019 when he hit 2.44 YPRR. Both receivers’ marks could be indicative of the fact that the Cowboys’ offense ran purely through CeeDee Lamb, but it could also mean Cooks and Gallup just aren’t the dudes.

That also means Cooks and Gallup are both juicy cut candidates. Dallas could save $12.4M by designating them both post-June 1 cuts or cut only Cooks and save $8M. The Cowboys’ front office has some work to do to get under the salary cap. They are slated to be $22.8M over the cap (effective cap space). There’s no sense in holding unproductive and aging players. Watch for them to add a wide receiver in free agency or the NFL Draft. Jake Ferguson was effective over the middle of the field in 2023, but still only hit 1.49 (No. 15) YPRR. The Cowboys offense could use another imposing threat to complement Lamb.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Cap Number: $14M | Savings if Cut: $12M (Dead Cap $2M)

One of the ubiquitous storylines of the 2023 season was the Chiefs’ lack of talent at the receiver position. The highest paid wide receiver on the roster was Marquez Valdes-Scantling with a cap hit just under $11M. Valdes-Scantling was, in many ways, the quintessential field stretcher with a 17.7 ADOT (No. 2) and a measly 0.74 YPRR. The Chiefs can save $12M by cutting him. MVS will turn 30 during the 2024 season. The Chiefs aren’t in a cap squeeze. They have a projected $19M effective cap space in 2024.

Kansas City could choose to continue to pay MVS, but $14M is steep for a receiver who caught only 21 passes on 42 targets. The Chiefs should draft or sign a speedy young player who could also offer some production. Kelce is nearing retirement and Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney are both near-zeros. It is going to be a very interesting offseason in Kansas City.

Stay Tuned In

Dynasty is a year-round game, but even for redraft leagues, it is helpful to stay abreast of teams reshaping their rosters the whole offseason. From the moment a team starts its offseason (and even before that), the front office is considering what moves they need to make to improve for the coming years. That means cuts that will shift rosters and make fantasy irrelevant players relevant. We will be watching all the roster-building moves that happen over the offseason. Basically, there is no offseason.

Which teams have the most and least amount of Salary Cap space? Find out here – NFL Cap Space 2024 | Teams with Most and Least to Spend (