The Washington Redskins released running back Clinton Portis on Monday, mostly thanks to an $8.3 million price tag that he was scheduled to earn in 2011. In 84 games with Washington, Portis posted 6,824 yards rushing and 46 rushing touchdowns. The Bears released defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who was due a $2.5 million roster bonus in June.
Teams often cut veterans with heavy price tags to save money. So which Bengals player could be a possible "salary cap" casualties this year, based on a player with a high salary but limited production?
Antwan Odom: The defensive end signed a five-year deal before the 2008 season after posting a career-high eight quarterback sacks with the Tennessee Titans. Odom had only recorded 12.5 quarterback sacks through his first four seasons with the Titans and the Bengals rewarded him with a five-year deal worth $29.5 million. With the Bengals, Odom has only played 22 of a possible 48 games in his first three seasons with the Bengals, recording 11 quarterback sacks. Odom has $9.8 million in base salary due to him over the next two seasons.
Robert Geathers: Scheduled to earn $8.15 million over the next two seasons, while only averaging 2.6 quarterback sacks per season dating back to 2007. In the past four years combined, Geathers has 10.5 quarterback sacks total. The same number he recorded in 2006 alone -- the season that the Bengals rewarded him with a six-year deal worth $33.75 million.
Domata Peko: A defensive tackle like Peko isn't really measured with tackles, sacks or even quarterback pressures. He's generally the victim of being double-teamed, mostly because he often lines up in the gap between the center and guard. However, the emergence of Pat Sims and Geno Atkins could make Peko more dispensable. The defensive tackle is scheduled to earn $12.2 million in base salary over the next four seasons. Was rated as the worst rush defender on the team by Pro Football Focus in 2010, second-worst rush defender in 2009 (behind Tank Johnson) and fourth-worst rush defender in 2008.
Tank Johnson: The Bengals signed Tank Johnson to a four-year deal in March of 2010 that some could call questionable. Johnson came to Cincinnati on a one-year deal in 2009 and graded as the worst defensive player on the team by PFF, most notably his rush defense. After only playing seven games in 2010 due to an injury, Johnson is scheduled to make $7.15 million over the next three seasons.
Chad Ochocinco: Scheduled to earn $6 million in 2010, Ochocinco has been rumored as a possible veteran that could be released, mostly through conjectured by the media. Though it's not hard to come to similar a conclusion. Chad Ochocinco had a decent year in 2009, barely surpassing the 1,000-yard mark and recording nine touchdowns, which is impressive enough. But distractions, along with a season that shows noticeable decline based on age gives the impression that he's less likely to return a $6 million investment based on production on the field. Though if someone could, we suspect Chad could.