A.J. Hawk, Reggie Bush Among Veteran Cuts in NFC North


With teams trying to get their cap situations sorted out ahead of free agency and the draft, we’ve begun seeing the recent trickle of veteran cuts turn into more of a stream. Today a pair of noted NFC North vets felt the sting of the axe.

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Does the axe “sting?” Well whatever. I’m sure it didn’t feel good for either A.J. Hawk or Reggie Bush to be released by their respective teams today.

Hawk of course had been a prominent, if not always very effective, member of the Packers’ defense for the past nine years. The Packers freed up $3.5 million in cap space by dumping the veteran linebacker. A few days ago they freed up $3.75 million by cutting linebacker Brad Jones.

Not too hard to guess what position the Packers will be targeting in the draft. Packer fans will also have to find a new under-performing defensive player to hate on with Hawk out of the picture.

Reggie Bush meanwhile was cut by the Lions just two years into a four year deal. Detroit never did get the production out of Bush that they were hoping for when they picked him up as a free agent and they decided to go another direction. The only consistent thing about Bush in his career has been his ability to disappoint every franchise that picks him up.

Dumping Bush saves the Lions just $1.7 million on the cap in 2015. But with Ndamukong Suh up for free agency, the Lions are going to need every penny they can get.

And it’s not like Bush was giving them a hell of a lot anyway. Joique Bell and Theo Riddick were both better players for them last year, so keeping Bush really wouldn’t have made a lot of sense.

Speculation has already begun that the Vikings might look into Bush as a partial replacement for Adrian Peterson if/when Minnesota parts ways with the running back, but I don’t really see that happening.

With all these veteran cuts coming, you have to wonder when the Vikings will begin making similar moves to clear roster spots and cap space ahead of free agency. Chad Greenway would seem a prime candidate to be cut loose, and there has also been speculation about Charlie Johnson, Brian Robison, Matt Cassel and of course Peterson.

Greenway could be in line for a contract re-negotiation instead of an outright release. But given his age and declining production, outright release might be the better option.

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