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What are the Redskins' options for creating more cap space?

What are the Redskins' options for creating more cap space?

The Redskins don’t have any breathing room under the NFL salary cap and Bruce Allen said that the team needs to create some.

Allen confirmed that the team has around $2 million in cap space remaining and that’s not enough. “Obviously we’re going to have some injuries during the year that will eat that up,” he said. “We’re going to make those adjustments and look at different options after the third preseason game.”

The probably need about another $2 million in cap space to cover players on injured reserve, handle any injury settlements that come along, and to pay their practice squad players. What options does the team have available? There are many ways to skin that cat; here are a few of the possibilities.

The most straightforward way to reduce you salary cap expenditures is to release a high-priced player. The player who seems to be the most likely candidate here is Stephen Bowen. Since it is after June 1, the major portion of unaccounted for bonus money on his contract would not hit the cap until 2015. Releasing Bowen, who has been battling to get off of the PUP list after undergoing microfracture surgery last year, would save $4.4 million in cap space.

Bowen could also be asked to take a reduction in his salary this year. He would have to agree to do so but the team could present options where he either takes a reduction in pay or gets released.

Yes, the NFL can be a cold, hard business. The team could soften the blow by giving Bowen an opportunity to earn back part or all of the amount of his reduction in pay by putting in some incentives.

Bowen is the only player making a significant amount of money who is not in the team’s plans as either a starter or as a top reserve. If they don’t do something with his contract there are other options.

They could also restructure a player’s contract to reduce the cap hit this year while increasing it in future years. Pierre Garçon is a possible candidate here. They could convert some of his $7.1 million salary to signing bonus and spread the cap hit out over the three remaining years on his deal.

The team could also try to negotiate a contract extension with Trent Williams, a move that could possibly reduce his cap hit of nearly $11 million this year. But that might be difficult to get done in the next couple of weeks and the cap savings could be minimal.

Allen and company will figure out a way to get it done but there are no easy choices. Perhaps they will end up creating the space with a series of smaller moves rather than with a dramatic stroke. We should find out in the next few weeks.

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Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

Jonathan Allen plans to model his game after two other All-Pro defenders

New Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is looking to pattern his game after two All-Pro linemen. 

"I'm a very versatile player and can do anything. I love watching Geno Atkins and Aaron Donald," Washington’s first-round draft pick told reporters on a conference call.

The Redskins will be very happy if Allen can be as productive as Atkins and Donald. Atkins has played for the Bengals since the 2010 season. He has been durable, playing in 16 games in six of his seven seasons, and effective, producing 52 sacks, a good total for a defensive tackle. 

MORE REDSKINS: A COMPLETE RECAP OF ROUND 1

Donald was a first-round pick of the Rams in 2014. He was a first-team All-Pro in each of the past two seasons, recording a total of 28 sacks in his three seasons. 

Both players combine outstanding physical talent and high motors. Allen has selected two pretty good role models to follow. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN

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Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Gruden: Redskins have no concerns about Allen's shoulders

Jonathan Allen was the perfect pick for the Redskins, filling a need with a player who clearly was the best on the board.

Allen’s slide from a top-five prospect to the middle of the first round is believed to be because of issues with both of his shoulders. During his time at Alabama he suffered labral tears in both of his shoulders that were surgically repaired and he also suffers from mild arthritis in both of them. That apparently scared some teams off but not the Redskins.

“We didn't have any concerns,” said coach Jay Gruden. “We talked to Dr. [James] Andrews, he gave thumbs up on him. We feel very good about the injuries.”

Then why did a top talent slide all the way back to the Redskins’ pick?

“As far as him falling to us, their were a lot of things that happened in the draft, three quarterbacks went, a couple of receivers went pretty high, a lot of offensive players went that probably not a lot of people expected,” said Gruden. “So, some of these very good defensive players fell to us and we're happy.”

Allen told reporters that the shoulders did not cause him any problems while he was playing.

“I didn’t even wear a brace for the [2016] season,” Allen said. “So, I mean, it doesn’t even affect me. Every team I talked to, shoulders were medically cleared, no problems. Probably the best I’ve felt in the last four years, to be honest.”

Alabama team doctor Lyle Cain’s assessment of Allen’s shoulders align with those of the player and Gruden.

"He's played without any problems," Cain told NFL Media last month. "This is something that a lot of offensive linemen and defensive linemen have, things guys play with their whole careers. It's just a little earlier for him because he got hurt in college."

We will see how this plays out. It’s possible that his injury problems could limit his effectiveness or cut his career short. But clearly the Redskins saw that the Allen’s talent made the injury risk a worthwhile gamble.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.