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Welcome to the 2023 NFL offseason, where teams pull out every trick in the book to minimize the biggest cap hits in the NFL to get under the NFL salary cap. Who are the NFL players with the biggest cap hits in the NFL this offseason? Meet the 2023 Cap Hit All-Star Team.

NOTE: This piece is being constantly updated throughout the 2023 NFL offseason. Below, if a player’s contract status has changed and they no longer represent the biggest cap hit at their position they will be crossed out, and the new player will be noted below.

Biggest Cap Hits in NFL for 2023

Biggest cap hits NFL, 2023 NFL offseason, NFL salary cap, biggest NFL cap hit
(L-R) T.J. Watt, George Kittle, Patrick Mahomes | Joe Sargent/Getty Images; Michael Owens/Getty Images; Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

QB: Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns, $54.9M

UPDATED: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, $39.6M

When the Browns gave Deshaun Watson a $230 million guaranteed contract, they knew they would have to restructure in annually and push the big money down the line. They did that in the 2023 NFL offseason, and now Watson will count for just $19 million against the NFL salary cap, currently the 10th-biggest QB cap hit in the league.

Patrick Mahomes now leads the way here with a $39.6 million. The Chiefs restructure their biggest stars often, so this could change soon.

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys, $16.7M

UPDATED: Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans, $16.3M

After the Cowboys franchise-tagged running back Tony Pollard for $10 million next season, paying Ezekiel Elliott was no longer feasible. The veteran RB is now a free agent, and the Titans’ Derrick Henry has taken over the top spot on this biggest NFL cap hits list.

Henry will count $16.3 million in the final year of his current contract. This could change soon, too, though, as rumors of a Derrick Henry trade have swirled around the league in recent weeks.

WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals, $30.7M

Heading into the 2023 offseason, the wideout with the biggest cap hit in the NFL was the Miami Dolphins’ Tyreek Hill at $31.4 million. However, the Dolphins converted $14.835 million of his 2023 salary and his $10 million roster bonus into signing bonus. The move freed up clearing $18.6 million of cap space.

It also made DeAndre Hopkins the WR cap hit leader this NFL offseason. That may change as well, though, as Hopkins is reportedly on the trading block, and a new team would redo his deal.

TE: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers, $18M

The 49ers can redo the George Kittle deal and save around $7 million, which will help the team’s current existing NFL salary cap space.

If/when the 49ers do, the New England Patriots will then have the TE with the biggest cap hit in 2023 with Hunter Henry at $15.5M. They could do something about that soon, too, though.

OL: Laremy Tunsil, Houston Texans, $35.2M

UPDATED: Jake Matthews, Atlanta Falcons, $28.3M

The Texans gave Laremy Tunsil a three-year, $75 million contract with $60,000,000 guaranteed this NFL offseason. That dropped his cap hit next season to $26.6 million, third among offensive linemen.

Jake Matthews is the new leader in his category, and the Falcons are in a relatively good place salary cap-wise. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Matthews stayed at this number, especially since the team has a relatively easy out in his deal next NFL offseason.

DL: Leonard Williams, New York Giants $32.2M

The Giants’ NFL salary cap space shrunk fast with the new Daniel Jones contract and the Saquon Barkley franchise tag this offseason. They are currently last in the NFL following the 2023 NFL Draft with just $1.8 million in room.

In the final year of his deal, the only option to save money on Leonard Williams this NFL offseason is a trade (saving $12M). The Giants can support his cap figure or give him an extension to reduce it. However, with the Jones numbers coming down the pike, an extension could put the team in a bad place.

LB: Joey Bosa, Los Angeles Chargers $31M

UPDATED: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers, $29.3M

This is a little bit of a head fake as Steelers pass-rusher T.J. Watt is as much a defensive lineman as he is a linebacker, but that is how he (and his $29.3 million NFL salary cap hit) is listed. The Jets’ C.J. Mosley ($21.4M) is the traditional linebacker with the largest cap hit in 2023.

The Chargers restructured Joey Bosa’s deal, bringing him down to $15.7 million (ninth-biggest cap hit in NFL among LBs). That leaves Watt as the LB with the top cap number, but that could change as the season approaches as well.

CB: Darius Slay, Philadelphia Eagles, $26.1M

UPDATED: Marlon Humphrey, Baltimore Ravens, $19.9M

The Eagles gave cornerback Darius Slay permission to seek a trade this offseason, then signed him to a three-year, $42 million extension with $23 million guaranteed. He is now No. 7 on this list with an $11.8 million cap hit.

It wouldn’t be a shock if the Ravens restructured this deal at some point before the season started. With Odell Beckham Jr. now in the fold and Lamar Jackson on a massive new deal, the franchise will likely tighten its belt where it can.

S: Kevin Byard, Tennessee Titans $19.6M

The Titans are in full reinvention mode after they cut offensive lineman Taylor Lewan, Ben Jones, and pass-rusher Bud Dupree this offseason. Safety Kevin Byard is an interesting case, though.

He seems safe as he enters the final two years of his deal, but restructuring to push money to the future is dicey. He already has a $17.8 million cap hit next season and $6.4 million in dead cap in the two years after his contract expires. After the last round of cuts, the Titans may just want to keep Byard where he is in the 2023 NFL offseason.

K: Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens $5.9M

Justin Tucker is quite possibly the greatest kicker in NFL history and, as such, deserves to have the biggest NFL cap hit at the position in 2023. There’s no relief for the Ravens from moving money around within the deal, so that’s likely his number in 2023.

P: Jack Fox, $3.5M

UPDATED: Tress Way, Washington Commanders, $3.5M

Lions punter Jack Fox signed a big extension last offseason but restructured his deal to free up $1.6 million in cap space. Commanders punter Tress Way, who made his second Pro Bowl in 2022, is now in the top spot. he has two years left on his deal and is 33 years old, so the franchise might leave this one alone for now.

LS: Josh Harris, Los Angeles Chargers, $1.3M

UPDATED: Joe Cardona, New England Patriots, $1.5M

There has to be a biggest NFL cap hit at every position, so congratulations to Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona for being the man at his position. He signed a four-year, $6,300,000 contract extension this NFL offseason with a $1,000,000 signing bonus and $2,600,000 guaranteed, knocking the Chargers’ Josh Harris out of the top spot.


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