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How much cap space will the Redskins need to sign their 2017 draft picks?

How much cap space will the Redskins need to sign their 2017 draft picks?

The Redskins have $8.1 million in remaining cap space and 10 picks in the upcoming draft. At first glance it may look like it will be a tight squeeze but it really won’t be. Here’s why.

The Redskins top draft pick is the 17th overall selection. Due to the NFL’s rookie slotting system, we know that player will get a four-year contract worth $11.6 million (all salaries rounded to the nearest $1,000). The 2017 cap charge for that contract will be about $2.1 million (cap information via Over the Cap).

The Redskins’ next pick comes in the second round, the 49th pick overall. That deal will be cost $968,000 in 2017 cap space. Here are the remaining deals, rounded to the nearest $1,000.

Round 3 (81 overall)—$671,000
4 (114)—$630,000
4 (123)—$620,000
5 (154)—$534,000
6 (201)—$501,000
6 (209)—$499,000
7 (220)—$489,000
7 (235)—$485,000

That totals $7.5 million (may not be exact due to rounding). If you subtracted that from the $8.1 million in remaining cap space the Redskins would not have enough cap space left to get through the season.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 8.0

But you don’t subtract nearly that much from the remaining cap space due to the Rule of 51. That rule applies during the offseason, from the start of the league year in March until Week 1 of the regular season. Teams must be under the NFL salary cap of $167 million during that time, but since they can carry up to 90 players on the roster they can’t count everyone towards the cap. So the rule is that only the top 51 cap hits on the roster count towards cap during the offseason. When a player is signed to a deal that would be in the top 51 cap hits, the player with the 51st-highest cap hit is taken out of the calculation.

So, when the Redskins sign their first-round draft pick, safety Earl Wolff, who has a cap hit of $615,000, will drop out of the top 51, so you subtract his money from the cap total. So that deal with the 2017 cap hit of $2.1 million counts a net of just $1.485 million.

Signing the second-round pick to that deal with the 2017 cap hit of $986,000 pushes A.J. Francis and his $615,000 cap number off the list so the net effect on available cap space is just $353,000.

The process continues through the third and both fourth-round picks. Then you get to the fifth-round pick. That cap number isn’t high enough to make it into the top 51 so it’s “free” for offseason salary cap purposes. The same applies to the rest of the draft picks.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins seven-round mock draft

Going back up to the contracts that will count against the cap, the total 2017 cap charges for those is $4.989 million. Those five contracts will push players with total salaries of $3.075 million out of the cap calculation. That makes the net cap charge $1.914 million. That will be the amount of money subtracted from their available 2017 space.

That will leave the Redskins with about $6.2 million in cap space. They are likely to gain some more space with a renegotiation of DeAngelo Hall’s contract, which has a $4.25 million salary that is likely to be substantially reduced.

That would leave them with enough remaining cap space to get through the season and perhaps sign a player like Morgan Moses to a contract extension.

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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Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Jay Gruden squashes perception that Alabama defenders don't produce in NFL

Alabama dominates college football in a way few teams ever have. In the last two seasons, the Crimson Tide has lost just two games, winning one national title and narrowly missing a second.

The strength of 'Bama, year after year, is their defense. Nick Saban coaches it, Nick Saban knows it, and Nick Saban demands the best from his players. 

Oddly, however, a few recent Alabama defenders drafted to the NFL have not produced. Or at least their production did not match their draft status. 

It's not too hard to pick names that fit that perception. Rolando McClain. Terrance Cody. Dre Kirkpatrick. And at running back, Trent Richardson didn't help.

Still, the Redskins invested heavily in the Tide during the 2017 draft. Their top two picks played for Saban's defense last year, and Washington coach Jay Gruden does not buy any part of the perception that 'Bama products regress in the NFL.

"I don’t see any negative whatsoever with them going to Alabama," Gruden said late Friday night.

The 'Skins selected Jonathan Allen in the first round and Ryan Anderson in the second. Both guys started on the Tide's front seven, and both players dominated.

"They come there and they are well coached. Anytime you watch college football, and you watch other defenses, no disrespect, and then you flip on an Alabama game, it’s different," Gruden said. "The speed is different. They are well-coached, they are in their gaps, they play hard, they play physical, and that’s from Week 1 until the end. That has to appeal to you as a coach. They are using their hands, they are physical, they are chasing the ball, they are running to the ball."

The perception, right or wrong, has two main positions. The first is that the Alabama defense looks so good because it is full of five-star recruits. When everyone is good, or great, on the college level, it's hard to truly judge any singular player's game tape. The second is that Saban is so exhausting, so demanding of his players, they arrive to the NFL with too many reps.

For those around the NFL, both theories are laughable. Pro scouts know game tape. How else can they judge a future first rounder when he matches up against a walk-on? And for every alleged 'Bama bust, think about Haha Clinton-Dox or Landon Collins or C.J. Mosley or Dont'a Hightower. 

Might some Tide players get overdrafted because of their success and high profile? That's a different conversation. What's certain is the Redskins are quite confident in both of their Alabama draft picks.

"We know they are both highly intelligent guys. They understand football, understand X’s and O’s and they both play very hard with a high motor and they are well-coached."

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Redskins focus on defense through three rounds in the NFL Draft

Redskins focus on defense through three rounds in the NFL Draft

Coming into the offseason, there was plenty of talk coming from the Redskins organization that the team needed to upgrade the defense. Those who have been following the team for a while have heard this for many years now. However, usually the talk is just that, with more draft capital and free agency money going to the offense year in and year out.

But this year things are different.

The lion’s share of free agent spending went to the defense. They added linemen Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, linebacker Zach Brown, and safety D.J. Swearinger. Now they have started off their draft with a laser focus in the defensive side of the ball.

RELATED: Redskins add cornerback with first round talent, but injuries pushed him to the third round

In the first round, they were delighted to take Jonathan Allen, the top-rated defensive lineman on their board. In the second round they went with outside linebacker Ryan Anderson, a teammate of Allen’s at Alabama. Then in the third round the pick was cornerback Fabian Moreau out of UCLA.

It’s been 20 years since the Redskins have gone so heavy with defensive picks at the top of the draft. Not since 1997 have they taken defensive players in the first three rounds of the draft. That year they took DE Kenard Lang, LB Greg Jones, and LB Derek Smith in rounds one, two, and three, respectively.

We will see how much impact the three draft picks have on the defense and, as Redskins fans have learned over the years, an influx of free agents on defense doesn’t guarantee improvement on that side of the ball.

But at least the Redskins organization is putting its money, and its draft picks, where its mouth is and that has be considered a positive development.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins make it two Alabama defenders in the 2017 draft class so far

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.