The draft is done with and we have had close to a week to dissect each and every move. That means that there are several players out there that could be looking for a new job very shortly. Teams always prefer younger players for their potential and hopeful longevity. That means they are more than willing to force a couple of the older guys out the door. However, not every veteran who might be replaced should be cut as some still have great value. Here are some of the veterans that should be shopped around the league with their replacements already on board.
Morris Claiborne, Dallas
The Cowboys tabbed Byron Jones as their first round pick in 2015. With Brandon Carr and Orlando Scandrick already in place, Jones figures to be the nickel corner for the time being. That means that former first round selection, Morris Claiborne finds himself on the bench. Three years after Dallas drafted him the top ten, Claiborne has failed to develop into the bona-fide lock down corner the team expected. He is still young at only 25-years-old, meaning there will surely be a team willing to take a gamble on him. Kansas City is in need of some new blood at corner and Cleveland needs a replacement for Buster Skrine. Both teams could be a fit for the out of favor Claiborne.
Malik Jackson, Denver
With Demarcus Ware, Von Miller and now Shane Ray on Denver’s roster, the Broncos will want to find a way to get them all on the field. That could mean moving one of those pass rushers to a down lineman to get everyone more snaps. Derek Wolfe is locked in on the line meaning Malik Jackson could find himself losing out on passing situations. Jackson only tallied three sacks a season ago so his role as a pass rusher is clearly small. He is a great run stuffer though and can still make a big impact on games. I don’t know if Denver should move him but if I’m Jackson, I might want to be moved.
Muhammad Wilkerson, New York (Jets)
I wrote about this last week. Muhammed Wilkerson’s days as a Jet are numbered. It’s unfortunate because if how talented he is but the team is not ready to pay him what he is asking for and just drafted Leonard Williams to essentially take his place. Williams obviously needs some time to develop before he even comes close to reaching Wilkerson’s level of play but as the latter enters the final year of his contract, the pressure will be on to get some value for him. Kansas City desperately needs a run stuffer to aid their defense. Rob Ryan could also use some help in New Orleans to turn the Saints’ terrible defensive unit around.
Micah Hide, Green Bay
When you draft a safety in the first round two years in a row, that usually means you weren’t overly satisfied with the guys who were there before. Micah Hide has been solid for the Packers in spurts but now sitting behind several younger, fresher faces in Wisconsin, he will likely not be seeing the field. Atlanta is still seeking depth at safety even following the draft. The Falcons allowed the most yards per attempt a season ago. Pittsburgh could be a wise fit as well after losing Troy Polamalu to retirement.
Andre Smith, Cinncinnati
Andrew Whitworth challenged the Bengals to draft his replacement in this year’s draft. Cincinnati ended up drafting two different tackles with their first two picks. However, I think it could be Andre Smith on the other side of the line who’s tenure in Ohio is in danger of ending. Smith tore his triceps muscle last season and is still continuing to rehab. Word is he is recovering well meaning his value would still be there in a trade. The Jets desperately need some help on the right side of their line after allowing 47 sacks last season so they could definitely be in play. The Titans have a rookie slotted to play at right tackle right now and after allowing even more sacks than New York a year ago, acquiring Smith might be a really smart decision.