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Need to Know: The cap implications of the Redskins cutting Chris Culliver

Need to Know: The cap implications of the Redskins cutting Chris Culliver

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 3, 10 days before the Washington Redskins hold their rookie minicamp.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 114 days ago. It will be 132 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 10; OTAs start 21; Redskins training camp starts 86

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The Redskins have indicated all offseason that they did not plan to let go of Chris Culliver despite his $8 million salary and unproductive, injury plagued 2015 season.

However, things change quickly. Within a span of seven days, the team signed Josh Norman to a big free agent contract and drafted Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller. Those acquisitions pushed Culliver, who is still rehabbing from a torn ACL he suffered on Thanksgiving Day, back to at least the third corner and maybe the fourth.

And whether it’s third or fourth, an $8 million salary is too much for that spot on the depth chart. So the Redskins decided to release him on Monday.

They released him with a post-June 1 designation. The Redskins haven’t done that in a while so here is what that means.

Culliver had three years remaining on the four-year contract he signed last year. He was paid a $5 million signing bonus so the cap charge was split with $1.25 million hitting each of the four years on the deal.

That means that the Redskins still have to account for $3.75 million in signing bonus. Had they cut him without the June 1 designation all of that would have hit their salary cap this year. You would subtract that from the $8 million they save by not having to pay his 2016 salary and the net cap savings would have been $4.25 million. The books on the Culliver contract would have been closed.

But the Redskins designed post-June 1. That means a couple of things. The cap charge for the last two years gets pushed to the 2017 cap. So they get $8 million in 2016 cap savings, his $9.25 million cap number minus the $1.25 million signing bonus proration. The signing bonus charge goes into this year’s dead cap. There will be a $2.5 million dead cap charge next year.

So they don’t “save” any money with the June 1 designation. The accounting for the money is all that changes.

There’s one other important thing to know. A catch of using the designation is that the player’s contract remains on the books until June 1. So the Redskins don’t immediately have any additional cap money available as a result of this move. The will have the $8 million credited to their cap on June 2.

It's important to note that the cap space being locked up will not prevent the Redskins from signing any or all of their draft picks. As I wrote here last week the Redskins will need about $1.4 million in net cap space to sign their draft picks. They currently have $4.2 million so they can make it with room to spare.

In case you missed it

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0: CORNERING THE MARKET

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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

The Redskins have interviewed some high-profile candidates for their open defensive coordinator position. When it was reported that they will meet with former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, the reaction among the fans was, “Who?”

Let’s take a look at what Tarver’s qualifications are to get the job of running the Redskins’ defense.

Before becoming a coordinator: At the age of 22, Tarver took a coaching job at West Valley College in California, and did that while earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Santa Clara. After that he was a graduate assistant at UCLA for three years before getting into the NFL in 2001, when the 49ers hired him as a quality control coach. Tarver worked his way up to outside linebackers coach in 2005 and did that job until 2010, when he was let go went Mike Singletary was fired as the head coach. After a year as the defensive coordinator at Stanford, Dennis Allen hired Tarver to run the Raiders defense in 2012.

More Redskins: Early first-round draft possibilities

Note: If you want more complete stats on Tarver’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

2012 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,672 (18th), points 443 (28th), takeaways 19 (26th), 3rd down 39.1% (20th), DVOA 12.5% 29th
Notable players: DT Richard Seymour, DE Lamarr Houston

It should be noted that Allen had a defensive background so he had a hand in these numbers. This team just wasn’t very good as indicated by the fact that Seymour, at age 33, was one of their best defensive players.

2013 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,918 (22nd), points 453 (29th), takeaways 22 (21st), 3rd down 43.1% (28th), DVOA 10.3% (26th)
Notable players: S Charles Woodson

They did make an effort to shore up the defense by bringing back Woodson and drafting cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round. But Hayden only played in eight games and Woodson could only contribute so much at age 37. The pass defense struggled, ranking 29th in DVOA.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

2014 Raiders (3-13)

Rankings: 5,721 (21st), points 452 (32nd), takeaways 14 (30th), 3rd down 38.5% (14th), DVOA 6.3% (26th)
Notable players: LB Khalil Mack, S Woodson

Allen was fired after an 0-4 start and Tony Sparano took over as interim head coach the rest of the way. Sparano has an offensive background so perhaps Tarver is more fully accountable for these results than those in other seasons. They did draft Mack with the fifth overall pick but his impact as a rookie was limited as recorded four sacks. Hayden again missed half of the season and, again, the defense was near the bottom of the NFL.

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