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June 1 has come and gone

June 1 has come and gone

I know that many of you out there are hoping for help for your favorite National Football League team coming from a wave of talent hitting the free agency market after June 1.

I hate to tell you this, but you should look elsewhere. As far as the NFL is concerned, June 1, for the most part, has come and gone.

No, you do not need to adjust your calendar. It says it's late May. But the NFL's June 1 came over two months ago.

The whacky calendar is due to a change in the collective bargaining agreement. Prior to 2006, a team could release a player after June 1 and have most of the salary cap implications of the release come in the following year rather than accelerating immediately into the cap.

The players didn't necessarily mind being cut; it frequently gave them the opportunity to collect a little more signing bonus money.

However, they were hitting the market at a bad time, after most team's free agent budgets were shot. In addition, they frequently were in an awkward position. In many cases it was well known that a player would be a June 1 cap casualty, but he had to go to his current team's facility to work out and participate in minicamps and OTA's.

And the teams became increasingly concerned about the risk of a player getting injured while working out at the team facility. If that were to happen, the team would be liable for the player's entire salary for the upcoming season.

These issues were addressed in the '06 CBA extension. Teams now are allowed to release up to two players as soon as the league year begins (the start of free agency) and designate them as post-June 1 cuts. The players get their freedom immediately, so they can pursue employment while the market still is hot.

While the teams don't get any salary cap relief until June 2—the players' salary for the coming season still is counted against their cap number until then—they don't have to have dead men walking around their facilities and their exposure to issues due to workout injuries is greatly reduced.

Since the rule creates such a win-win situation, teams have taken advantage of it. Most, if not all, of the players who would have been released post-June 1 in the past already have received their pink slips.

There are a couple of reasons why a team might choose to wait to release a player it intends to cut under the June 1 cap rules. If they have three or more players to release, they would have to wait until the date actually passes to get the cap relief. This would be highly unusual as few teams would want to dump that much dead cap money into the following season. I don't have complete list, but I don't think that any team designated more than one player.

An organization also might want to hold on to a veteran to see if they can draft his replacement and see how the rookie performs in a minicamp or two before deciding whether or not to cut the vet.

Again, this would be an unusual situation and if you're at that point, you might as well let the battle for the position and the roster spot go all the way to training camp. You get the same cap benefits if the veteran is cut on September 1 as you do on June 1.

The bottom line is that the free agent pickings on the morning of June 2 will be just about as slim as they are today. If you're hoping that your team can pick up some help then, don't hold your breath. The time for doing that was back in March.

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at rich.tandler+bleachers@gmail.com. His Redskins blog archive is located here.

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When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon just filled out his ballot for the annual NFL Top 100 Players list.

Let's just say it's pretty one-dimensional. 

Straight like that

A photo posted by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

As you can see, the form asks guys to rank who they consider the top 20 players in the league. But instead of naming 20 different players, Garcon voted for the same player 20 times. Talk about stuffing the ballot box. 

No surprise, but he's hyping his quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

Cousins is having a career year with the Redskins. His stock has soared over the last three weeks especially. Take a look at his numbers in that span: 84 completions on 116 attempts for 1,086 yards (72 percent), eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Those efforts earned the Michigan State product NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. And more importantly, Cousins has the Redskins in favorable position to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.

So far this season, Garcon has caught 52 passes from Cousins for 636 yards and two scores. 

MORE REDSKINS: Reed out, 7 other Redskins questionable

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a couple of roster moves just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

Bruton started the first four games of the season at safety before going on injured reserve with a concussion. This past offseason he signed a three-year, $9 million free agent contract with $3.4 million full guaranteed. There will be a deal cap hit of approximately $1.7 million in 2017 to account for the prorated bonus.