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Cap review: Redskins likely can't afford a top WR

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Cap review: Redskins likely can't afford a top WR

Salary cap review: Wide receiver

As Jay Gruden continues to assemble his coaching staff, people in another part of the building at Redskins Park are looking forward to free agency and how best to utilize the approximately $28 million in cap space the Redskins have. Here we’ll take a position-by-position look at the cap situation and explore some of the Redskins’ options. First up, wide receivers.

The Redskins currently have five wide receivers under contract.

Salary Cap number
Pierre Garcon $7,100,000 $9,700,000
Leonard Hankerson $645,000 $821,594
Nick Williams $495,000 $495,000
Josh Bellamy $495,000 $495,000
David Gettis $730,000 $730,000
Total $9,465,000 $12,241,594

Some notes:

—The Redskins will carry a dead cap charge of $3.77 million for Josh Morgan’s voiding contract.

—Aldrick Robinson’s contract also expires this year but since he has only two seasons of NFL experience (he spent his rookie year on the practice squad) he will be an exclusive-rights free agent. It’s likely that the Redskins will sign him to a one-year deal worth $645,000, the third-year player minimum.

—Garçon has the second-highest cap number on the team behind offensive tackle Trent Williams.

—This is a very reasonable amount to spend on wide receivers. The Eagles, for example, are carrying a $12.5 million cap charge for DeSean Jackson alone.

Adding and subtracting

Many analysts believe that the Redskins need to add another quality wide receiver to the mix to compliment Garçon and to draw some coverage away from him. They could do that but they are likely to stay away from the highest priced players who are likely to be on the market such as the Broncos’ Eric Decker.

Top-notch receivers are among the most expensive items in free agency. This year Mike Wallace, the top prize in last year’s free agency period, will cost the Dolphins $17.5 million against the cap this year. That’s just the going rate.

If the Redskins do decide to add another wide receiver they could look in the draft. A player picked with the 34th pick, the team’s top selection this year, would carry very reasonable cap number. Justin Hunter, the player picked 34th last year, carried a cap charge of just over $986,000 in his rookie season. The player picked in the comparable spot this year will make slightly more.

Should they want a known quantity at wide receiver they probably will have to look at someone who is not at the premium level, maybe someone like James Jones of the Packers or Jerome Simpson of the Vikings (Jay Gruden coached him with the Bengals in 2011). Their maximum would be an annual cap hit of something around $6 million. That’s right around what they were paying Morgan the past two years.

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Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

The Redskins continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new defensive coordinator. On Thursday, they interviewed John Pagano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator of the Chargers.

Pagano, the brother of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has been coaching with the Chargers since 2002. That year he started as a quality control coach and then he was the linebackers coach from 2005-2011. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a current Redskins coach and another candidate to run the defense in Washington, after the 2011 season and Pagano was promoted into that job.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

In Pagano’s five seasons with the Chargers, the performance of the defense was respectable. In terms of total yards, San Diego was in the top 10 twice and only once were they ranked worse than 20th.

The Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry on January 5. The list of candidates they have interviewed includes Mike Pettine, Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, Manusky, and Jason Tarver. They are expected to interview former Jets and Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on Friday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

None of the candidates they have interviewed have accepted positions with other teams so they are all still in play. There is no timetable for the team to make a decision, although the sense is that the process is coming to a close and will be concluded in the near future.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.