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Redskins will have ample salary cap room this year

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Redskins will have ample salary cap room this year

For the first time since 2009, the Redskins will experience a normal offseason when it comes to free agency and the salary cap.

In 2010, free agency was altered due to the end of the collective bargaining agreement. There was no salary cap but players could not become free agents until they had completed six years of service. The next year the players were locked out for the spring and most of the summer so free agency and training camp started almost simultaneously in late July.

Every team in the NFL had to deal with those obstacles. But on the eve of the start of the free agency period in 2012, the NFL slapped a $36 million salary cap penalty on the Redskins for treating the uncapped like it was, well, really uncapped. That penalty was split between the 2012 and 2013 seasons at $18 million per season.

With the penalty gone and the regular free agency system in place, the 3-13 Redskins have a good opportunity to add some talent and to start getting things moving in the right direction.

How much cap room will they have to work with? After looking at some official and unofficial sources for cap information, the estimate is that the Redskins will have approximately $28.6 million in cap space to work with in 2013.

A few caveats are necessary here. This estimate is based on a 2014 NFL cap of $127.5 million per team. That is slightly higher than the official estimate of $126.3 million but some reliable reports have said it will be at the higher number. The number will not be finalized until a week or so prior to the start of free agency on March 11.

In addition, not all of the details of the individual player contracts that make up the cap number are known. Some salary escalators may kick in that boost a player’s 2014 compensation and incentives that were earned or not earned in 2013 could hit the 2014 cap. In addition, some adjustments to contracts that were made when the team did some renegotiations and restructures to squeeze more cap room last year may not be reflected in the calculations. None of these factors are likely cause major changes in the cap space available but they are reasons to look at this as an estimate.

How much cap space is $28.6 million in relation to other NFL teams’ spending room? There are four teams with substantially more room than the Redskins—the Raiders ($62.5 million), Jaguars ($55.9 million), Browns ($46.3 million) and Colts ($35.1 million). Three other teams, the Packers, Dolphins, and Bills, have right around the same amount of space as the Redskins. That puts them in the top 25 percent of the league in terms of cap space. After spending the last two years asking players to take pay cuts and scrounging for every cap dollar they could find that is a welcome change at Redskins Park.

The Redskins have the ability to create more salary cap room by releasing some veteran players who don’t have the production to justify their salary cap numbers. Who might they release? We will look at that over the coming week as we break down the cap picture position by position.

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Redskins' Doug Williams presents a special jersey to family of Jim Vance

Redskins' Doug Williams presents a special jersey to family of Jim Vance

On July 22, legendary D.C. broadcaster Jim Vance died at the age of 75.

During the first day of training camp on Thursday, Washington Redskins VP of player personnel Doug Williams, presented NBC4 sports reporter Carol Maloney with a gift for Vance's family.

RELATED: REMEMBERING JIM VANCE

The gesture by the Redskins was one filled with much respect for the award-winning anchor.

Vance was a staple for many D.C. locals, being a full-time anchor since 1972 for NBC4. 

Last summer, Vance revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer but never stopped working. 

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LIVE Redskins training camp practice report: Day 1

LIVE Redskins training camp practice report: Day 1

RICHMOND—The Redskins took the field for their first practice of the season. Jordan Reed is missing as was the usual stifling heat at the Bon Secours training center.It's warm but the humidity is down from the normal late-July sauna here. 

Here are my observations from practice as it unfolds. Come back and refresh often for the latest:

—Jamison Crowder still appears to be the No. 1 punt returner. Also fielding kicks off of the leg of Tress Way were Maurice Harris, Chris Thompson, and Will Blackmon. 

—The Redskins are practicing without pads per collective bargaining rules. A few are wearing shells. 

—New tight end EJ Bibbs just introduced himself to Vernon Davis as they were getting ready for some individual drills. Reminds me of a few year ago when a just acquired player was participating in stretching and they brought his contract out onto the field for him to sign. He wouldn’t have been able to practice otherwise. 

—Kirk Cousins just acknowledged a fan lined up near the sideline. ‘How’s it going, Derrick?” Derrick’s friends were properly impressed. 

—Maurice Harris showed good form in catching a Cousins pass over the middle against no defense. Nothing spectacular but but a good job reaching forward to pull in a pass that was ahead of him. 

—Harris with another nice catch, this time guarded over the middle by Will Blackmon. He is off to a good start in competing for playing time.

—Torian Gray is admonishing his defensive backs to “wake up, wake up.” On one rep he wanted Tevin Homer to “drive to the ball.”

—It looked like Josh Doctson had a step on Bashaud Breeland on a deep pass but the CB recovered and knocked the pass away. 

—A few plays later Doctson got deep again, this time against Quinton Dunbar. This time the CB couldn’t catch up and Doctson hauled in the pass.

—In the early going in 11 on 11, Will Compton and Mason Foster are the inside LBs with the first team and Joey Mbu is at nose tackle. Both situations could change over the course of the next few weeks. 

—Nice cut by Keith Marshall on a run around right end. He planted his foot and cut upfield with some serious burst. He’s a dark horse when it comes to making the roster but I’m keeping an eye on him. 

—Cousins with a dart to Terrelle Pryor along the sideline. A sharp and accurate throw. 

—Rain is approaching but it should hold off until practice is over. Meanwhile, the clouds and breeze are cooling things down. Nobody is complaining.  

—Pryor was assigned to block Josh Norman on a running play. Norman made a business decision not to contest the block and there was light contact as Norman backed down the field.

—Rookie Robert Davis made a solid back-shoulder catch on the sideline. I’m not sure if Colt McCoy intended for the pass to be back shoulder but that was where it went and Davis reached to make the grab. 

—What was that? Nate Sudfeld heaved one downfield to nobody in particular. Kendall Fuller got an easy interception, his second of the day. 

—That is from Richmond for today. Come on back tomorrow, we’ll do it again.