At the bye week I thought it would be a good time to look at the Washington Redskins 2013 Salary Cap projection. There are some new realities for the Washington Redskins as some players who it looked like the Redskins would need to spend on (Fred Davis), maybe now won’t be worth big money. It has also become increasingly clear that the Redskins have a number of needs that they will want to fill for next season, but with the salary cap penalty hanging over their head, will they have the resources to do so? All numbers are from Spotrac, with a couple exceptions of finding better data elsewhere. As always there is a margin of error here in the neighborhood of $3-5 million, but this should give us a solid base-line to work with. I will present the numbers then give some analysis and projections afterwards:
First Refusal/Original Round: $1.26
Second Round: $1.927
First Round: $2.742
Prediction: Barring any major setback both Darrel Young and Logan Paulsen will be tenured contacts. Both at the least are solid contibutors and both would be big losses in the rushing attack of the Redskins due to their blocking. Nick Sundberg is a good shot to return, but it will likely be for the veteran minimum (roughly $700K) to save the Redskins some money. Given his continued struggles it would be an absolute shock to see Brandon Banks return (even at a reduced rate). Now that Paulsen is a starter, the Redskins may be forced to tenure Paulsen at the 2nd round level to ensure that someone doesn’t sign him to a bigger contract. Given the Redskins cap situation, even another team offering $3 million a year could force the Redskins to not match the offer. The numbers will be slightly higher for next year, so potentially look to add $100K-200K to each of these tag numbers, but it shouldn’t be much higher than that.
TE Fred Davis, TE Chris Cooley, OLB Rob Jackson, OLB Chris Wilson, LB Lorenzo Alexander, OL Jordan Black, OL Tyler Polumbus, OL Kory Lichtensteiger, QB Rex Grossman, DL Chris Baker, DL Kedric Golston, CB David Jones, CB Cedric Griffin, S Madieu Williams, S Tanard Jackson, P Sav Rocca, LS Justin Snow,
It is very likely that at least a couple of these guys will return. Obviously Fred Davis is the biggest name, but he also presents the biggest question mark given his injury. The team will probably be okay offering an incentive laden deal, or a one year-prove me contract, but it is not clear if Davis would return. Either way it would cost the Redskins at least $1-2 million in 2013. Other players like Lorenzo Alexander, Rob Jackson, Kedric Golston, Sav Rocca and Tyler Polumbus would all be targets to sign to ensure some level of depth for this team. The problem is all of them would look to cost north of $1 million. Now perhaps you could sign some of them to 2 or 3 year deals to save a couple $100K this next year. That can be a tough sell though since none of these guys are above replacement level when you really think about it. They are the type of guys that you hope over the next couple of draft classes you can find younger and cheaper replacements for. Kory Lichtensteiger is a starter, and a favorite of Mike Shanahan, but can he really justify giving him $3-4 million a year (at least) that he will likely be looking for? He’s had a number of issues during his time in Washington, and he’s simply not worth any sort of investment. A couple of other guys like Cedric Griffin, Chris Baker, and Chris Cooley could be considered, but are probably longer shots to return.
Prediction: I think Lorenzo Alexander, Tyler Polumbus, and Kedric Golston return. Alexander obviously has special teams ability and is versatile enough to help back-up both ILB and OLB. Polumbus will hopefully return as a depth tackle, who can also fill in at guard if desperate. Golston has been solid this year to help fill in for the loss of Carriker, and given that the Redskins may need to make a cut or two along the defensive line to get some cap space, he makes sense as a target to return. I think the Redskins will offer Davis about a $1 million with incentives, but it wouldn’t shock me to see him leave and find a similar offer elsewhere. Sav Rocca could return, but can the Skins justify spending $1.5 million or more on a punter given their cap situation? I think they will look to find a young guy who can be had for the minimum. Rob Jackson could return, but is he worth $1 million plus, I don’t really think so. I think the Redskins would rather find a pure pass rusher for a back-up OLB spot.
The Salary Cap is expected to be $121 million for 2013. Currently the Washington Redskins are $3.3 million under the 2012 salary cap which carries over (assuming they don’t spend anymore of it) to 2013. That brings the Redskins starting point to $124.3 million. Before any cuts next offseason the Redskins are already facing a $1.83 dead cap penalty charge for cutting Chris Cooley prior to the 2012 season. That drops the Redskins available total to $122.47, which falls to $104.47 after accounting for the $18 million cap penalty. That puts them $4 million over, even before tendering any restricted free agents, signing any of your own free agents, or any draft picks/outside free agents (they need to add 10 players who will count against the cap). If you add in the restricted free agents (low end estimate) and the guys likely back, you are now at $113.67 million, and still 5 players short of the Rule of 51.
I will detail some potential cuts and savings of particular players tomorrow, as well as analyze the priority for next season tomorrow, but what is your feeling among the restricted and unrestricted free agents. Who do you see returning, and who would you let walk?