Revisiting NFL March Massacre Week
Last week, several NFL insiders detailed how this week in the NFL would be a “massacre” or a “bloodbath” due to the number of great players being cut due to the unexpected decrease in the salary cap. Now that the 2021 NFL March Massacre is supposedly past us, how bloody was this week around the NFL?
It was a dud. While there were a lot of reports that a lot of high-quality veterans would be released from their team, this was not really the case. There were definitely solid players who were released like John Brown (Bills), Carlos Dunlap (Seahawks), Kyle Van Noy (Dolphins), and Emmanuel Sanders (Saints), but it was nowhere near the bloodshed I had expected or that reporters had hyped it up to be.
The only team that lived up to the hype was the Kansas City Chiefs. They took March Massacre very seriously, cutting Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, both of their starting offensive tackles. Mitchell Schwartz is one of the best right tackles in the NFL, having been named First Team All-Pro in 2018 and Second Team All-Pro in 2016, 2017, and 2019. Eric Fisher is a former number one overall pick and a 2-time Pro Bowler with the Chiefs. As we all remember from the Super Bowl last month, Patrick Mahomes was running for his life from the Tampa Bay defense. Most people attributed this offensive collapse to the absence of both Fisher and Schwartz due to injury. While there is an upside to the releasing of both players, the freeing up of $18.25 million in cap space, I definitely would not have made this move. I think the Super Bowl performance showed just how valuable that both Fisher and Schwartz were to the dominance of the Chiefs and they now are expected to overcome that loss for an entire season moving forward.
While the week as a whole was rather underwhelming, it will definitely be interesting to see where influential players like Kyle Van Noy, Mitchell Schwartz, and Carlos Dunlap may end up. The excitement of the March Massacre may not be over as there are a few players floating around in free agency now that could make a difference for a contender who wouldn’t have been there without the Covid-affected salary cap.