As Jay Gruden and company finalize the coaching staff in another part of the building at Redskins Park are looking forward to free agency and how best to utilize the approximately $20 million in cap space the Redskins have. Here we’ll take a position-by-position look at the cap situation and explore some of the Redskins’ options. Previously we looked at the interior offensive line and offensive tackle, tight ends, running backs, quarterbacks, and wide receivers on offense and on the other side of the ball outside linebackers and the defensive line.
Up today, the inside linebackers.
The Redskins have six inside linebackers under contract for 2015:
—Riley is in the second year of a three-year contract he signed before last season. In 2016 he gets a $1 million raise in his base salary, making his cap number just over $5 million
—Hayward’s contract is up after this season.
[RELATED: Redskins 2015 position outlooks: Inside linebacker]
—Robinson, who emerged as the starter at Mike linebacker after two injury plagued seasons, is in the final year of the four-year contract he signed when he was drafted in the fourth round in 2012.
—Compton will be an exclusive rights free agent after the season, meaning that he likely will get a minimum salary contract in 2016.
—The Redskins’ total spending on linebackers (inside and outside) is 15th in the NFL.
Adding and subtracting
While much of the talk of players who should get contract extensions centers around OLB Ryan Kerrigan and OT Trent Williams, the Redskins should have a chat with Robinson’s agent as well. He was one of the few bright spots on defense last year and he could man the middle of the defense for years to come. The team should look at investing some of its cap money this offseason in Robinson.
Riley was a pending free agent a year ago and Jim Haslett was very public about wanting Riley re-signed. He was but now Haslett is gone and Scot McCloughan is making personnel decisions. Will Riley be considered worth the $4 million cap hit by McCloughan and new defensive coordinator Joe Barry? Should Compton, who played well when Riley was out with an injury, get a legitimate shot at the starting job? Should the team invest an early draft pick at the position?
Tarik El-Bashir and I will look at whether the team should shake up the inside linebacker spot this afternoon on CSNwashington.com.
Cap information from OverTheCap.com and other sources.