As Jay Gruden and company finalize the coaching staff people 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. Up today, wide receiver
The Redskins currently have five wide receivers under contract.
—Garçon (age 29 before the season starts) and Jackson (age 28) have the second and third highest cap numbers on the team, respectively. They both are under contract for two more seasons with 2016 cap numbers of $10.2 million for Garçon and $9.25 million for Jackson.
—Jackson’s roster bonus of $3.75 million is guaranteed unless he has been suspended. He has the same guarantee for a roster bonus of the same amount in 2016.
—Roberts’ cap number is the 15th-highest on the team. His contract has three years to run with cap number of $5 million in both 2015 and 2016.
—Santana Moss, who has been with the team since 2005 and will be 36 in June, and 2011 third-round pick Leonard Hankerson, are unrestricted free agents.
—Grant has three years to go on his rookie contract with minimum salaries each year.
Adding and subtracting
At almost $24 million, the Redskins spend heavily at this position compared to the rest of the NFL. Only the Falcons, Dolphins, Lions and Cardinals have more cap dollars devoted to wide receivers than the Redskins. This has led some to speculate if they should try to trade or release one of their three higher-priced receivers.
Setting aside the on-field factors for the moment and looking strictly at the cap implications, Garçon would be the logical candidate to cut or trade. Although there would be a $4.4 million dead cap charge if he was cut or traded the net cap savings would be $5.3 million. The team could opt to designate him as a post-June 1 cut which would result in $7.5 million in savings for 2015 but a $2.2 million dead cap hit in 2016.
This decision would come down to new general manager Scot McCloughan looking at tape of Garçon’s season, which produced 68 catches for 752 yards and three touchdowns. Was the falloff in production from 2013 (113/1,346/5) due to Garçon’s play or more due to issues at the quarterback position? McCloughan will have to decide if Garçon is worth the $7.1 million salary that he is due.
McCloughan could also conclude that Roberts ($2.75 million salary) is not worth the expense but releasing him would result in just $750,000 in cap savings after a $3 million dead cap charge.
Jackson was their most productive receiver and that’s good because it would be costly to let him go. The guaranteed roster bonuses would mean a net cap charge of $2 million for releasing him. If they get a trade offer, however, they could consider that as the charges for the roster bonuses would be passed along to his new team.
We’ll take a deeper look at the possibility of the team moving on without Jackson or Garçon in our position outlook question later this afternoon.
Cap information from OverTheCap.com and other sources.