Posted March 08, 2013

NFL Free Agency: Follow the major cuts

Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers
Adrian Wilson was a third-round pick of the Cardinals in the 2001 draft. (Ben Margot/AP)

Adrian Wilson was a third-round pick of the Cardinals in the 2001 draft. (Ben Margot/AP)

The NFL’s new three-day negotiating period — in other words, a legal tampering window — begins at 12:00 a.m. ET Saturday, so some teams are using the final 24 hours prior to that to get their books in order.

We’re tracking which players are sent packing Friday, as free agency approaches:

Bobbie Williams, G, Ravens: Williams earned a Super Bowl ring with Baltimore, though his contributions were minimized more and more throughout the year. By the time the playoffs rolled around, Williams was on the bench, while Kelechi Osemele started at guard and Bryant McKinnie at left tackle.

Atari Bigby, S, Chargers: Bigby has been a solid NFL safety … when he’s healthy. Those times have been few and far between, however, and Bigby missed five games in 2012. He’s played a full 16-game season just once, back in 2007 with the Packers.

Adrian Wilson, S, Cardinals: After 12 seasons, 893 tackles, 27 interceptions and 25.5 sacks, Wilson was let go by the Cardinals. The 33-year-old saw his playing time drop late in the season, and he was due a a $1 million roster bonus on the 12th, plus a $2.5 million base salary for the upcoming season.

This year’s free-agent class includes several veteran safeties, so the interest in Wilson may not be off the charts. He still brings enough to the table, especially in the experience category, to be useful for an NFL team.

Chris Gamble, CB, Panthers: Financially, the Panthers’ situation improved considerably with Gamble’s release — they freed up $7.9 million in cap space by cutting the 29-year-old cornerback. The cornerback depth chart, though, is in shambles, with Josh Thomas and 2012 fifth-round pick Josh Norman currently atop it.

Gamble played just four games last season due to a shoulder injury. He finished without an interception for the second time in his nine-year Carolina career.

Dawan Landry, S, Jaguars: Landry made it through just two seasons of the five-year, $27.5 million contract he signed prior to 2011. Landry started all 16 games last season (and, between Jacksonville and Baltimore, has started 64 consecutive games), but he mostly disappointed.

Aaron Ross, CB, Jaguars: Like Landry, Ross did not even come close to finishing out his deal in Jacksonville — Ross signed for three years prior to 2012. He was going to cost the Jaguars more than $4 million against the cap in 2013, way too pricey for a cornerback who was benched on multiple occasions.

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