The Redskins have spent much of their available salary cap space since the start of free agency last week but they still have an adequate amount to work with and the ability to create some more if they need it.
Washington started a week ago with about $28 million in cap space. According to Over the Cap, the Redskins have about $11.73 million left to spend. That is slightly below the middle of the pack in terms of space available; 20 NFL teams have more space.
Although the Redskins can create more space if they need to, their options are limited. There are two players who are in the top third on the team in terms of cap space used who realistically could be cap casualties. Now that the team has signed cornerback Chris Culliver it would seem that Tracy Porter is now expendable. Releasing him would save $2.3 million against the cap. And even though they have not signed any offensive linemen yet, they should be able to find a replacement for guard Chris Chester either on the team or in the upcoming draft. Releasing him would save $4 million in cap space.
They also could create some more cap space by extending some current players to lower their cap hits. Team President Bruce Allen said on 106.7 The Fan last week that the Redskins wanted to work out contract extensions with left tackle Trent Williams and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Not only could they lock up two of their most important players through the prime seasons of their careers, they could decrease the cap hits of both Williams (currently $13.7 million) and Kerrigan ($7.03 million) if they choose to structure them that way.
The Redskins may need the additional space. They have a few more free agent needs to handle and they can’t run the account down to nothing. Most teams want to have about $5 million going into the season to pay practice squad players and to pay players who wind up on injured reserve. They also will need some cap space to pay their 2015 draft picks.
How much will they need for the draft? Check back here tomorrow for a post on that topic.
Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 22, 95 days before the NFL draft.
—NFL franchise tag deadline 38
—NFL free agency starts 46
—First Sunday of 2017 season 231
Sunday morning quick hitters
—Talk that Greg Manusky is the favorite to get the promotion to Redskins defensive coordinator seems to be based more on deductive reasoning than from any reports from Ashburn. I think he is likely to be the guy but I’m not sure that there won’t be a surprise selection for the job.
—The four-year, $42 million contract extension the Rams gave WR Tavon Austin will set the market for DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. Both of their expiring contracts averaged about $8 million per year so they could be in line for healthy raises the year after turning 30. As in other sports, the market is often set by what your dumbest competitior is willing to pay.
—I didn’t give a second thought to leaving DeAngelo Hall off my projection of the defensive roster for the coming season. He said that he would be willing to redo his contract, which calls for him to make $4.25 million this year. That’s fine but I think that the organization will look at the 32 games he missed in the last three seasons combined and decide that they can’t keep a player that they can’t rely on at any price.
—How hot is Jay Gruden’s seat in 2017? Assuming he keeps his quarterback, I think that he will be fine with a 10-win season and he will be toast with double-digit losses. The tough call will be if they finish 8-8 or even 9-7 with a playoff miss.
—There was a lot of talk about how the Redskins’ salary cap spending on defense last year ($36 million) was dwarfed by what was spent on offense ($78 million). As of right now, the Redskins’ spending is about even, with $57.3 million going to offense and $59.2 million to defense. We’ll see how even the expenditures wind up being when the season starts in September.
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As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.
No. 7 worst play of 2016
Giants at Redskins, Week 17
4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10
Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).
Related: The Redskins week that was
Tandler: It looked like the Redskins were on the verge of saving their season. They were down 10-0 in the third quarter but they battled back to tie it up in the late going. But after lulling the Redskins defense to sleep with running plays and short passes, Manning launched one deep down the left sideline. King, who had one reception for six yards on the season coming into the game, had a step on cornerback Greg Toler and he hauled in the pass for 44 yards. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants the lead.
More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?
Finlay: In a terrible game that led to many more questions than answers for the Redskins, this play was just a huge, huge disappointment. Washington fought back to tie up a game that they had largely been outplayed in, particulrly in the first half. Remember, the Giants had nothing to play for while for the 'Skins, a win would put them in the playoffs. The New York offense was laregly nonexistent in the second half of this game, as it became obvious Eli Manning did not want to get hit. And still, the embattled Redskins defense gave up a long pass play to a dude that had contrbuted basically nothing all season.
10 best plays countdown
10 worst plays countdown
RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0
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