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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins cap casualties

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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins cap casualties

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 3, 67 days before the start of free agency.

Nickel coverage

It’s a fact of life that players get cut during the offseason in order for a team to create more cap space. The presence of a new coaching staff can make for even more cap casualties. Here are five players the Redskins could consider releasing in order to create more cap room (or just to save money):

1. DE Stephen Bowen has a $4.4 million salary and a $7.02 million cap number. He ended the season on injured reserve with a knee injury after being hobbled with another knee injury in the latter part of the 2012 season. He is a team leader but his productivity does not justify his cap number. Cap savings: $1.98 million

2. G Chris Chester went from being an asset on the line in 2012 to being a liability last year. The team can find someone to do the job at right guard for less than his $3 million salary and $4.3 million cap number. Cap savings: $2.7 million

3. It’s tough to release an injured player but the Redskins face a dilemma with DE Adam Carriker. It’s still not certain that he will be able to play this season after missing last year and most of 2012 with a quad injury. It’s tough to commit a $4.7 million salary and $6.76 million in cap space to a player in his situation. Cap savings: $3.24 million

4. In the grand scheme of the NFL salary cap, $1.36 million for a player isn’t a whole lot of money. But P Sav Rocca was 29th in gross punting average and dead last in net average. Someone much younger (Sav is 40) and cheaper could get that done. Cap savings: $1.2 million

5. Again, we’re not talking about a huge amount of money here but it is hard to envision OT Tyler Polumbus starting at right tackle in 2014. And you could probably find a backup for less than the $1 million he is slated to make. Cap savings: $1 million

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Stat of the day

—In 2012 the Redskins gained 6.2 yards per offensive play, tops in the NFL. This year they averaged 5.3 per play, 18th.

Timeline

—On this date in 2001, Marty Schottenheimer signed a four-year contract to become the Redskins’ head coach

—Days until: NFL free agency 67; 2014 NFL Draft 125; 2014 Opening Sunday 247

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Redskins casting a wide net in their coaching search

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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.