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Free Agency: Who's left, offensive line edition

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Free Agency: Who's left, offensive line edition

Now that salary cap-gate over, what's next for the Redskins 53-man roster. According to Rich Tandler- and without factoring in potential savings by cutting certain veterans -there is around 3.8 million left to play with, some of which goes toward signing the remaining draft picks. So, what should the Shanahan's do with that remaining coin? Considering the free agent options remaining are your rank and file types, we can probably ignore certain areas (defensive line, wide receiver, outside linebacker and - for now anyway - tight end and corner). Other trouble spots (inside linebacker, safety, running back, guardcenter) were addressed in the draft orduring the more vibrantportion of free agency though the depth chart is not set in stone. The Redskins drafted three offensive lineman, though not sure anyone thinks that means that problem area is completely solved.Tandler and I went point-counterpoint on the OL before the draft. While I like the attention given to the overall area during the draft - put me down now for saying fifth rounder Adam Gettis is the one to watch - not sure the starting right tackle spot and overall depth works for me. (If the NFL imposed cap hit impacted any single area on the team, you have to believe it was on the line. One has to believe once RG3 was in play, upgrading his protectors with veterans was a major priority, but once the dollars diminished, Plan B was inacted)Which brings us back around to the basis for this post: who's left on the open market. It's one thing to suggest more help is needed, butare worthy options available is the question. Here's a look at the top offensive linemen - heavy on the tackles - remaining in free agency:Marcus McNeill, OT (Chargers): Yep, he's still out there. Knee and neck injuries led to surgeries and missed games over the past two seasons, but when healthy, the 28-year-oldis a top shelf tackle option. With several teams still looking for tackle help - Falcons and Bears come to mind -McNeill will be snatched up once the next wave of free agency truly kicks in or before training camps open. With their (current) limited funds, not sure the Redskins can join the bidding.Kareem McKenzie, OT (Giants): Apparently even the 33-year-old right tackle is not sure what his football future holds. The 11-year veteran started al 16 games in four of the last five seasons for the Giants, but the Super Bowl champs are going with a needed youth movement up front (also, their line was not all that last season). As long as he maintains football shape, McKenzie is the kind of last second option a team could call one week and start the next.Jason Brown, GC (Rams): Went from being a top free agent after a strong run with the Ravens to one of the worst centers in the league. Considering the Redskins backup center hole and Kory Lichtensteiger is recovering from injury, Brown could be an interesting swingman target, though he might have better opportunities toland a starting gig elsewhere.Max Starks, OT (Steelers): This would be a sign-and-stash move as the 30-year-old tore his ACL during Pittsburgh playoff last season. If say Willie Smith shows the coaching staff enough to justify jettisoning Jammal Brown, perhaps Starks makes for a worthy signing with a look toward the second half of the upcoming season and 2013.Others: Jake Scott, G (Titans), Vernon Carey, T (Dolphins), Bobbie Williams, G (Bengals), Redskins in exile: Stephon Heyer (Raiders) and Derrick Dockery (Cowboys), still available.

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Carr extension has some good news for Redskins but Cousins deal will still cost big bucks

Carr extension has some good news for Redskins but Cousins deal will still cost big bucks

While we await the full details of Derek Carr’s contract extension we know enough to see what effect the deal will have on the Redskins’ efforts to negotiate a new deal with Kirk Cousins.

The Carr extension has been anticipated for months. The 2014 second-round pick was going into the final year of his contract. There were strong incentives for both sides to get a deal done. Absent a deal contract, Carr was looking at going through the risks of the NFL season on a salary $1.1 million. The Raiders faced starting the Redskins-Cousins style franchise tag dance with Carr in 2018.

RELATED: True or false: Kelly Redskins leading rusher

It also seemed inevitable that Carr would become the highest-paid player in the game. He got there with a deal that has an average annual value (AAV) of $25 million per year in new money, $271,000 per year more than Andrew Luck got a year ago. That aspect of the deal, therefore, will not have much of an impact on Cousins. Since an AAV of around $25 million was expected, it has been baked in to any talks that have taken place so far.

The Redskins may point out that Carr’s deal was an extension that leaves his 2017 salary of $1.1 million intact. That means that Carr is committed to the Raiders for six years for a total of $126.1 million in compensation, an average of a shade over $21 million per year. If the team does that, however, Mike McCartney, Cousins’ agent, likely will laugh it off. The difference is leverage. Cousins is guaranteed $24 million this year compared to Carr’s $1.1 million salary prior to the extension. The starting points are apples and oranges.

However, the Redskins could legitimately look elsewhere for a point that might work in their favor. Carr’s deal contains only (only?) $40 million fully guaranteed at signing and $70 million in total guarantees, counting injury provisions. Compare that to Luck getting $47 million fully guaranteed at signing and a total of $87 million in guarantees.

So, the bar for guaranteed money in a big QB deal went down, not up. The Redskins will add this into their calculations in their offer.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

But, again, you can’t forget the $24 million in fully guaranteed money that Cousins already has in hand. He isn’t going to agree to a multiyear deal that pays him only (only?) an additional $16 million in full guarantees.  

While it’s good to have comparable contracts to use in negotiations, each situation is unique. Cousins’ leverage sets him apart from Carr so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him surpass the Raider in terms of total and guaranteed money even though Carr is younger and generally thought to be a notch or so better than Cousins.

The Redskins will try to grasp on to any data point they can to justify paying Cousins as little as they can. But that might save them a few hundred thousand here and there. If they want to keep Cousins they are going to have to be prepared to pay a lot of money and guarantee a lot of it up front.

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.

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Need to Know: Twitter Redskins mailbag—Surprise cuts, improvement on defense

Need to Know: Twitter Redskins mailbag—Surprise cuts, improvement on defense

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 23, 34 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 173 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 79 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 24
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 48
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 71

Fan questions—Twitter edition

I put up a tweet asking for fan questions and the questions I got required answers of the rapid-fire variety. So here we go (I answered some Facebook questions yesterday).

I think fans should be cautious about believing that new is necessarily better. That said, I would look for some modest improvement. If the pass rush delivers they should be better on third down. If the addition of Jonathan Allen upgrades the line they should be better against the rush. How fast can Allen and Ryan Anderson get up to speed? Enough pieces might come together to move them up from sub-mediocre into the middle of the pack. But a lot can go wrong.

Chances are that when they put out the first depth chart during training camp that rookie Chase Roullier, the sixth-round pick, will be the second-team center. If he is not ready, I think Roullier will be bound for the practice squad and the Redskins will find a veteran backup C on the waiver wire.

I’ve heard that floated around out there and it’s a pretty interesting proposal. There are some issues that would have to be worked out. For one thing, if the money is truly fully guaranteed then the Redskins would have to put every dime of it in escrow. They have a lot of cash but putting $88 million aside would create a cash flow pinch. And I’m not sure if it’s enough of a lure for Cousins. Big, long-term contracts are essentially guaranteed for at least three years because of the painful cap hit it would take to end the contract early so there wouldn’t be much added security.

That’s sort of a contradiction there, Chet. If a cut is “likely” in any way it’s not exactly a “surprise”. But to look at some who may go, I think that DeAngelo Hall could be in danger. His departure would surprise some. On the D-line, numbers may squeeze out Matt Ioannidis, a 2016 draft pick. There are a few more on the bubble but I don’t think any rise to the level of, say, Stephen Paea and Perry Riley getting cut in camp last year, something that in Junen few thought would happen.

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.

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In case you missed it

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Redskins best chance at Kirk Cousins deal might be short-term

Picking 10 Redskins to protect in hypothetical expansion draft

Ex-GM outlines potentially staggering Cousins contract