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Potential Bengals 2015 salary cap casualties: Wallace Gilberry

Death, taxes and NFL cap casualties. With the current NFL structure, it's a given that every offseason each team - as a result of age, injuries, performance, bad contracts or all of the above – cuts veteran players to create cap flexibility. Here we take a look at Wallace Gilberry.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2015 Salary: $1.85 million

2015 Cap Number: $2.05 million

Dead Money if Released: $0.2 million

Cap Savings: $1.85 million

PFF Grade: -10.0

Why he is a candidate: The Bengals defensive line generated a league low 20 sacks in 2014, the second lowest total (17 in 2008) in Marvin Lewis's 12 year career as Bengals head coach. While the drop off is certainly not all on Gilberry, after two seasons averaging 7.0 sacks as a situational pass rusher, Gilberry  got the chance to start as a result of Michael Johnson's departure; unfortunately he did not have a good season. Despite having an increased role, Gilberry ended the season with just 1.5 sacks, 20% of his 2013 total (7.5).

Downfall of cutting him: In his six full seasons, Gilberry has averaged 5.0 sacks per year, including an average of 7.0 sacks per season his first two years with the Bengals. Gilberry has shown he can excel as a situational pass rusher, plus, he's not expensive and provides a good veteran and locker room presence. Not to mention, the Bengals don't currently have a great replacement option on the roster.

Conclusion: I doubt the Bengals cut Gilberry, in fact, I would be against them cutting him. Gilberry isn't young, but he also isn't old (just turned 30) and his 1.5 sack season is an outlier in his career. I believe the Bengals should work to find a better starting defensive end, but I think Gilberry is a good rotational guy and would keep him as a situational pass rusher.