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Roster bonus watch: Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes, Champ Bailey

Champ Bailey is due a $1 million roster bonus. (USATSI)
Champ Bailey is due a $1 million roster bonus. (USATSI)

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The Jets, who began to emerge from a tangled web of poor contracts and a salary-cap bind in 2013, are positioned to walk away from more deals in 2014. They have several players who are due roster bonuses in March, most of whom are not expected to be retained.

These bonuses, if anything, will hasten their departure in many cases, beginning with injured former first-round pick Mark Sanchez, with the quarterback due $2 million in March, plus a $9 million salary. The Jets will not be executing that bonus, sources said. The Jets also have a $1 million roster bonus due to receiver Santonio Holmes (and a $8.25 million salary), which he will not be seeing.

Corner Antonio Cromartie is playing well again, but at his age, paying him a $5 million roster bonus, on top of a $6 million salary seems steep, while corner Kyle Wilson, who has been a bust to this point after being a first-round pick, is due a $1 million roster bonus.

In fact, roster bonuses will likely hasten the departure of several other corners as well on other teams.

Atlanta owes aging corner Asante Samuel a $1.75 million roster bonus in March, and the Rams owe Cortland Finnegan $3 million. His age and injuries make a departure virtually inevitable at this point barring a major paycut. Denver's Champ Bailey, who has barely played this season due to injury, has a $1 million roster bonus on top of a $9 million salary. Chiefs corner Dunta Robinson, who also appears to be nearing the end, has a $1 million roster bonus and a $3.2 million salary.

It's a young man's position, especially with so many teams spreading the ball around to throw on every down, and a year ago the corner market ended up flooded with veterans who were released as the league year (trades and free agency) began. It looks like that will well be the case again in 2014.

 
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