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Do the Redskins need to make a salary cap move?

Do the Redskins need to make a salary cap move?

The Redskins are eight days away from wrapping up their offseason program and they have just over $2 million under the salary cap. Only two teams, the Saints ($1.7 million under) and Packers ($732,000), have less cap room than Washington.

Do the Redskins need to do anything about their cap situation? They might.

They have signed all of their draft picks so they don’t need to create any more room for signings. At this point they are at the roster limit so if they do choose to sign another player they will have to drop one so the salaries should roughly even out.

In fact, a transaction won’t register at all unless one of the players involved has a salary cap number of more than about $586,000. That’s because until the final cuts are made only the top 51 cap numbers count against the salary cap. Richard Crawford has the 51st-highest cap number at $585,993 so anyone with a cap number lower than that does not count.

But the Redskins have to think ahead to the final cuts when they will have to have room for two more players, any players on the PUP list and injured reserve, and enough to pay the practice squad for the year. The practice squad costs about $800,000 per week (8 players X $6,000 per week X 17 weeks) and the other costs are highly variable.

It’s the variable nature of injured reserve expenses that might make the team want to create more cap room. If they get unlucky and a few players get hurt early they could end up being squeezed by having to sign replacements. If they get up to where they are paying, say, 57 players for the last 13 games of the season they could eat up their cushion in a hurry.

If they want to create more cap room there are a few ways they could go about it. They could restructure the contracts of Pierre Garçon or Trent Williams to move some money to future seasons (when the salary cap will be higher). Williams, who has a cap number of almost $11 million, could be a candidate for an extension that would lower that number.

They could also release some players if they believe they have replacements ready. The Redskins drafted tackle Morgan Moses and guard Spencer Long in the third round. If they decide that one or both are ready to start sooner rather than later they could save some substantial money by releasing Chris Chester ($3.5 million savings) and/or Tyler Polumbus ($2.5 million).

The Redskins do not have to be particularly concerned about creating too much cap space. Since 2012 teams have had the option to roll over unused cap space to the following year and they certainly will take advantage of that.

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NFL Draft 2017: First round talent, but injuries explain Fabian Moreau's third round selection by Redskins

NFL Draft 2017: First round talent, but injuries explain Fabian Moreau's third round selection by Redskins

On the field, Fabian Moreau makes plays from his cornerback slot that translate to the NFL game. Staying on the field has been a different matter though. 

In five seasons at UCLA, Moreau dealt with his fair share of adversity. He took a medical redshirt year in 2015, suffering a Lisfranc injury three games into the year. More devestating to his draft status, however, was an injury suffered during his Pro Day in late March. Moreau tore his pectoral muscle while lifting weights.

For many, that injury caused his slip from a possible fringe first rounder to Washington's prize with the 81st pick. It's possible Moreau will be back from injury by the time training camp opens, but it seems likely he begins the summer sessions in Richmond on the PUP list. 

At the combine, Moreau ran a 4.35 40-yard dash. Serious speed, and it instantly makes the 6-foot, 206 lbs., Moreau the fastest corner on the Redskins.

In his senior season, Moreau grabbed two interceptions, forced a fumble and made 31 tackles. Not scared to get physical and play press coverage, Moreau's mindset should mesh well with Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland as he looks to force his way to playing time. 

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Redskins take UCLA cornerback Moreau in the third round

Redskins take UCLA cornerback Moreau in the third round

After taking Alabama DL Jonathan Allen in the first round and Crimson Tide linebacker Ryan Anderson in the second, the Redskins drafted UCLA corner back Fabian Moreau in the third.

Moreau may have been drafted earlier but he suffered a torn pectoral lifting weights during his pro day. Although medical evaluations have said he should be ready to participate in training camp, he lasted until the 81st pick.

Moreau has good size at 6-0, 206 and he is a plus athlete. At the combine he ran a 4.35 in the 40-yard dash. In 2016 he led the Bruins with six pass breakups and also two interceptions. He is also considered to be a good run defender.

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