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The 2024 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror. On top of teams simply bringing young talent aboard their rosters over the three-day spectacle, the draft also creates some interesting subplots that could unfold over the summer months. Specifically, it's fascinating to see which players teams select and then look to the current roster and see what it could mean for an array of veterans, who might have just been replaced. At the very least, the competition will ramp up when these clubs reconvene for training camp. 

Below, we'll highlight a handful of those situations and identify some veterans who could be logical cut candidates due to their teams' actions at the NFL Draft

Miles Sanders
CAR • RB • #6
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The Carolina Panthers moved up into the top half of the second round to select Texans running back Jonathon Brooks on Friday. While Brooks did suffer a torn ACL late in the 2023 season, evaluators say he should be ready to go for the start of training camp. If he's back to relative top form, that could spell trouble for Miles Sanders' roster status. 

Sanders signed a four-year, $25.4 million deal with the Panthers last offseason, but was largely a disappointment and lost his starting job to Chuba Hubbard after just five games. Hubbard could now be looked at as the backup to Brooks, which makes Sanders expendable. 

If he is a post-June 1 release, Carolina would take on a dead cap charge of just under $7.5 million for the 2024 season and a $2.95 million hit in 2025, which is palatable.

Bailey Zappe
NE • QB • #4
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Zappe wasn't in line to start for the Patriots in 2024 with the arrival of Jacoby Brissett in free agency and the team earmarked to select a quarterback early in the draft, so the selection of Drake Maye was largely inconsequential to his security on the roster. However, when New England decided to draft Tennessee's Joe Milton III on Day 3, that seemed to suggest that Zappe's days in Foxborough are numbered as the team won't carry four quarterbacks on the roster.

Zappe started eight games for the Patriots over the last two seasons and is 4-4 over that stretch. Moving off him won't be a financial hurdle as the former fourth-round pick has a cap hit of less than $1 million and no dead cap money tied to him.

The Bengals signed Brown to a one-year deal earlier in free agency, adding some depth along the offensive line, and was initially looked in as a starter opposite of Orlando Brown Jr. at right tackle. That is now called into question after Cincinnati drafted Georgia tackle Amarius Mims with the No. 18 overall pick at the draft. The 6-foot-8, 340-pounder is inexperienced with just eight games played at right tackle, but if he proves he's up to the challenge throughout training camp, that could cost Brown his starting job. And if that's the case, it would be curious to see if he sticks around as a backup swing tackle in Cincinnati. Given that Brown only signed a deal that has a base salary of $1.5 million, he's also pretty expendable.

James Bradberry struggled quite a bit in the Eagles secondary last season, falling off from his All-Pro campaign in 2022. In coverage, he gave up a passer rating of 114.3. That couldn't continue in 2024 and Philadelphia spent its first two picks at the draft addressing the corner position with Quinyon Mitchell in the first round and Cooper DeJean in the second. Their arrival at least opens the door to the possibility of the Eagles releasing or trading Bradberry, who is entering his age 31-year season. 

He owns a lofty $15.1 dead cap hit for 2024. The Eagles could, in theory, make him a post-June 1 release and bring that dead cap charge down to $4.3 million for 2024 and kick $10.8 in dead money to 2025 if they so choose. If they were to make him a post-June 1 trade, that would create roughly $1.2 million in salary cap relief. 

Kadarius Toney
KC • WR • #19
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Toney has largely been a disappointment with the Chiefs and Kansas City just traded up in the first round to bring in Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy to deepen the unit. With Worthy and Marquis Brown being added this offseason, it would seem like Toney could be squeezed out of his role and roster spot entirely. He's entering the final year of his rookie contract and the Chiefs would only endure a $2.5 million dead cap charge by releasing him.