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.
The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:
- The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
- It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
- Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous.
- While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.
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JP Finlay and Rich Tandler address the most important question for Redskins fans after two straight losses - is it time to freak out?
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