- By Thursday, however, when the real-world ramifications of the failed labor talks become more apparent, fans in a lot of NFL precincts will take notice. With negotiations toward an extension having broken off Tuesday afternoon -- despite earlier optimistic reports that the sides were poised to strike an agreement -- salary cap managers from several franchises are readying themselves for what one general manager suggested late Tuesday will come to be known as "Bloody Thursday."
Translation: Because so many teams are up against the projected cap limit of $95 million to $96 million for 2006, and the lack of a CBA extension means there are few options for relief, some big-name players will be jettisoned by Thursday, when teams must be in compliance with the spending limit.
- How drastic? There continue to be rumors the Washington Redskins, who extended numerous contracts in the past to deal with previous cap crunches, could have to play with 20 rookies on the roster in 2006. On Tuesday night in Atlanta, there were rumblings the Falcons, who aren't in nearly the dire straits some other franchises are, might be forced to release tailback Warrick Dunn, who rushed for a career-best 1,416 yards in 2005. The Kansas City Chiefs could part ways with perennial Pro Bowl guard Will Shields if he doesn't agree to adjust his contract and reduce a $6.67 million cap charge. And that is just the start of the many examples of potential attrition cited by team officials Tuesday evening.
- The Bills, who entered Wednesday $2 million under the $92 million salary cap, made their second major cut of the offseason by releasing former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sam Adams.
- The Panthers cleared $4.64 million of cap room Wednesday by releasing three veterans -- running back Stephen Davis, running back Rod Smart and defensive tackle Brentson Buckner.
- The Broncos released three starters -- defensive end Trevor Pryce, running back Mike Anderson and tight end Jeb Putzier in moves that pull the team within a couple of millions of the salary cap.
- Forced to slash contracts in order to get under the salary cap for 2006, the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday released four veterans, the most notable of which was four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Sam Madison.
UPDATE: ESPN has listed possible and probably cuts for every team.
UPDATE THE SECOND: This morning the NFL owners unanimously rejected the latest NFLPA proposal. Teams continue to feel the urge to purge. Question: with Green Bay way over the salary cap, will they cut Favre?