The teams still have the edge here because they can trade players. That happens way more than players having the leverage to go where they want.
Yes, they can...but they usually have penalties and other issues with the CAP, as a result. Bottom line is no matter if the player is traded or cut, their guaranteed portion of the contract is paid...and if they are a vested veteran, the entire contract is paid, even if they aren't playing. A player is vested once they have 4 seasons. So players like Budda are getting paid, regardless, once week one rolls around. He would also not be subject to the waiver wire and would be an immediate free agent, if the Cards cut him...Same with DHop.