By now, we’re all familiar with the NFL’s cap, and its limitations.
The NFL doesn’t have the luxury of playing in the same market as its competitors, nor does it have the ability to sign and re-sign players at the same time.
The league has a set number of teams it can spend on its roster, and there are certain positions (such as offensive linemen) that aren’t able to be filled by anyone other than the teams that are allotted the cap space.
That means that the league is spending a great deal of money on players, but there are also certain players that are essentially expendable.
In this case, the NFL has spent a great amount of money.
Here are some of the players the NFL spent a massive amount of its cap space on this offseason: A.J. Hawk, WR, Carolina Panthers The Panthers made a big splash by trading away their star wideout in the offseason, signing Hawk to a six-year, $64 million contract.
After spending the first six years of his career with the Giants, Hawk had a career-best year in 2015, with 68 receptions for 1,719 yards and 11 touchdowns.
While he only averaged seven yards per catch (he had a high-point season in 2015 with 12.9 yards per reception), his production was better than expected, and he should be a great return man for the Panthers, given that they’ve been running a 3-4 defense for the majority of the year.
C.J.’s Catching, Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans The Titans were the worst team in the league this season, so the signing of a wide receiver should help a team that desperately needs to be competitive.
Catching is one of the NFLs most underrated positions, and a lot of teams are paying too much to sign wide receivers, because they are so easy to break down and are considered a poor man’s version of a tight end.
With Brandon Tate gone and the Titans trying to build around a young quarterback, it would be wise to look at the value of a WR1 in this situation.
Brandon Marshall, WR Philadelphia Eagles The Eagles signed Marshall to a four-year contract worth $52 million, a deal that was reportedly worth $23 million per year over four years.
Marshall has had some trouble in the past, but his skill set and athleticism make him a great bet to develop into an elite WR1.
The Eagles have struggled to get consistent production out of the position, and it’s clear that they need to add talent at the position.
If they can get more value out of Marshall, the Eagles should be able to find themselves in a playoff spot.
Cushing, LB Washington Redskins The Redskins spent a ton of money signing Cushing to a five-year $55 million deal, but the signing was seen as a huge mistake, as the team has a need for more depth in the middle of the field.
In fact, the only position on the roster that Cushing would be a good fit for is outside linebacker, which is a position that they were not able to fill in 2015.
Cushion has had success as a pass rusher, but he will need to be a solid run defender to help the team, and this is a great opportunity to get him there.
Jordan Hicks, OLB Tampa Bay Buccaneers The Buccaneers signed Hicks to a three-year deal worth $21 million, but that is not really a good deal for a player who is entering the age of 30.
Hicks has been a solid player at right tackle, and has done a good job filling the void left by the departure of Mario Williams.
Hicks was one of a handful of players on the Buccaneers that contributed to their playoff run last year, and while the team will likely look to add more depth at the line, Hicks is a player that the team should look to get more out of this year.
Fletcher Cox, TE Oakland Raiders The Raiders signed Cox to a two-year extension worth $31 million, which was good value for a veteran player who was on the decline last year.
Cox is one part of the Raiders secondary that was not very good in 2015 and was replaced by free agent Eric Weddle, and Cox could be a valuable piece in the Raiders offense.
Covington’s value to the Raiders could be huge, especially as Oakland looks to upgrade its secondary.
Lined up as a tight-end, Cox has the ability for some nice things to happen for the Raiders.
The Raiders are currently one of three teams that do not have a good quarterback, and they desperately need to find a quarterback.
The last three quarterbacks that Oakland has had since Steve Young left the team were Andrew Luck, Carson Palmer, and Derek Carr.
Cox can provide a huge boost to that offense, and that is exactly what the Raiders need right now.
If Cox can continue to produce at the level he did in 2015 after he was dealt to Oakland, then he could be worth a few million