We're now into mid-February and teams with salary cap constraints are already starting to make adjustments in order to ensure that they have space by the time free agency begins in less than a month. As a result, some experienced veterans with quality resumes have been thrown into the free-agent pool early. Here's a summary of who's been cut thus far and who might want to bite at any point in the near future.
Asante Samuel: Realistically, 33-year-old cornerbacks don't possess a ton of value, especially when they've lost that playmaking ability that Samuel had earlier in his career. He had just a single pick in 10 starts in 2013 and was often burned in coverage. We'll see if someone like San Diego try to convert him to safety.
Dunta Robinson: Cast aside by Atlanta and Kansas City in back-to-back offseasons, Robinson might not have many opportunities left as he approaches his 32nd birthday. He's intercepted just four passes in five years and he was whipped in coverage in limited snaps with the Chiefs. However, he could probably help a secondary like San Diego's on the cheap.
Louis Delmas: The 26-year-old safety has plenty of talent and space for improvement, but injuries have slowed him down. He made it through the entire 2013 campaign but missed a ton of practice time. He's definitely worth the gamble if you're a safety-hungry team. Don't be surprised if he replaces Jairus Byrd in Buffalo, where Jim Schwartz now resides. St. Louis is another possibility, but that would probably come later in the process.
Jabari Greer: On the verge of his 32nd birthday, Greer has seemingly been in decline for a couple years now. But injuries were a factor in 2013. He won't be signed anywhere until the ACL he tore in November has healed.
Roman Harper: He was one of the worst starting safeties in football in 2011 and 2012 and dealt with knee problems in 2013. Like Greer, don't expect him to land a deal until summertime.
Nate Burleson: He'll be 33 before next season starts, but wide receivers can usually still contribute into their mid-30s. And besides, Burleson is considered to be a great leader in the locker room. A young team looking for an inexpensive veteran No. 3 receiver would benefit greatly from his presence. Miami would make a lot of sense, as would Cleveland, Jacksonville, Buffalo and Carolina.
Will Smith: Smith is also coming off an ACL tear. He'll be 33 before the start of next season and wear and tear has taken its toll. That said, he'll likely gain a one-year deal as a situational pass rusher. Potential destinations: Philadelphia and Dallas would be interesting landing spots.
Stephen Nicholas: The 30-year-old was benched last year in Atlanta but he could definitely compete for some starting 4-3 outside linebacker spots in cities like Minnesota, Miami, St. Louis or Jacksonville.
Gabe Carimi: The 2011 first-round pick couldn't stick in Chicago or Tampa, but he's young, versatile and a strong pass blocker at guard. I'd actually like to see him in Washington, where the interior of that line could use some bulk to help protect Robert Griffin III.