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Penalty not a cap-tastrophe

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Penalty not a cap-tastrophe

In the Redskins and Cowboys two-sentence joint statement announcing their decision not to further contest their salary cap penalty case concluded by saying, We will continue to focus on our football teams and the 2012 season.As far as the Redskins are concerned, that means that they will have to figure out how they will go about doing business over the next two years minus 18 million in salary cap space per season. The penalty will hurt, no doubt, but it should not be crippling.As far as this year goes, the Redskins are some 3.8 million under the cap. They still have to sign their top three draft picks but even after that they will have a couple of million dollars to work with.Although under the rules teams dont need to be even a dollar under the cap, its not a good idea to go into the season with no cap room. For one thing, the salaries of players on injured reserve count towards the limit so you need to have some money set aside to cover that. And if an opportunity to sign a player who could help the team comes up, it is good to have the money set aside to be able to do that.They could create some more cap room by releasing players. The two most frequently discussed candidates for release are Chris Cooley and Santana Moss, both of whom have high cap numbers but are not expected to be starters. The team would save 3.9 million against this years cap by releasing Cooley after June 1 and 3.15 million if they cut Moss loose at that time.But they are not in a position where they are forced to cut Cooley or Moss or anybody else. Thanks to sound cap management, they were able to absorb the 18 million reduction in their cap, address at least some of their offseason free agency shopping list and re-sign key veterans such as London Fletcher.They are in good cap shape despite the penalty in part because they are only carrying about 2.9 million in dead cap space. Many teams have 10-15 million or more in dead cap and the Redskins used to be among the league leaders in dead cap annually. This means that almost every dollar of the cap is going towards compensation for players on the 2012 roster and is not on the book for players who are long gone.They also can survive the penalty because they have drafted 21 players in the past two years, the most in the NFL. In addition to bringing youthful enthusiasm to a team, draft choices are also cheap labor, especially in their first or second seasons. Having 20 or so recent draft picks on your roster always has been a good way to keep you cap total in check.Its early to look ahead to next year but it appears that the 18 million penalty will squeeze them and limit them in free agency but they should not have to release any players they do not want to let go of. Fred Davis is the only starter who is scheduled to be a free agent who might command a big contract.One source shows the Redskins with about 78 million in cap dollars committed for 2013. A lot can change there so its too early to base too much on that but it looks like they will have room to operate under a cap number that is likely to be in the 102 million range for them.The Redskins were not able to plan for getting slapped with the salary cap penalty this year as they knew nothing about it until about 24 hours before the start of free agency. But sound management prepares you for the unexpected and Bruce Allen and Eric Schaffer deserve credit for having the Redskins ready for a storm that nobody saw coming.Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.

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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

True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

Facebook Redskins mailbag—Media disrespect, Cousins risk

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

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Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

There continues to be a (ridiculous) debate on whether or not Kirk Cousins can continue to be a successful starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the betting industry, there is not much debate with Cousins being listed with 50/1 odds to win the NFL MVP award this upcoming season from Bovada. Among all the other players listed, he is in a tie for 14th. 

He is coming off back-to-back seasons with seven 300 yard passing games, a team record, and has an abundance of fresh, young wide receivers to compliment his passing style. Last year he was third in the league in passing yards with 4,917, trailing only Drew Brees (5,208) and Matt Ryan (4,944). 

The team may not be poised for a Super Bowl run in 2017-18, but if the team makes a post-season run, who will it be on the back of? Jordan Reed? Rob Kelley? Ryan Kerrigan?

No, it will be Kirk Cousins. 

RELATED: Ex-GM outlines staggering contract for Kirk Cousins

Entering this season at 40-years-old, and defending Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady is the overall favorite at 4/1. He is closely followed by Aaron Rodgers, and young quarterbacks Derek Carr and Dak Prescott. 

BOVADA 2017-18 NFL MVP ODDS:

Tom Brady, NE — 4/1
Aaron Rodgers, GB — 7/1
Derek Carr, OAK — 9/1
Dak Prescott, DAL — 12/1
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT — 12/1
Russell Wilson, SEA — 12/1
Matt Ryan, ATL — 16/1
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL — 20/1
Drew Brees, NO — 25/1
Andrew Luck, IND — 25/1
Cam Newton, CAR — 25/1
David Johnson, ARI — 33/1
Marcus Mariota, TEN — 33/1
Sam Bradford, MIN — 50/1
Antonio Brown, PIT — 50/1
Kirk Cousins, WAS — 50/1
Julio Jones, ATL — 50/1
Eli Manning, NYG — 50/1
Carson Palmer, ARI — 50/1
Adrian Peterson, NO — 50/1
Philip Rivers, LAC — 50/1
Matt Stafford, DET — 50/1
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG — 66/1
Rob Gronkowski, NE — 66/1
Alex Smith, KC — 66/1
Ryan Tannehill, MIA — 66/1
J.J. Watt, HOU — 66/1
Jameis Winston, TB — 66/1
Blake Bortles, JAX — 100/1
Andy Dalton, CIN — 100/1
Joe Flacco, BAL — 100/1
T.Y. Hilton, IND — 100/1
Marshawn Lynch, OAK — 100/1
LeSean McCoy, BUF — 100/1
Von Miller, DEN — 100/1
DeMarco Murray, TEN — 100/1
Carson Wentz, PHL — 100/1

RELATED: After Derek Carr deal, Cousins' best option may be short-term