-Yesterday I looked at the Redskins salary cap situation heading into 2013. Not surprising with the cap penalty the Redskins are currently projected to be over the cap by $4 million (actually it is more because they would need to sign 10 minimum players to fill out a roster). Today I will look at some potential cuts and savings for the Redskins, and how it might all turn out at the end of the day.
If all eight players were to be cut, the Redskins would have $80.87 in contracts (and dead money) tied up in 33 players. That would put them $23.62 under (this is not taking into account restricted free agents or re-signing any guys) their $104.47 million cap. While that sounds like a major shopping spree, the Redskins would have to spread that money around to 18 players (an average of $1.31 per player). Given that of those 18 players the Redskins may need to find a starting fullback, tight end, left guard, right tackle, slot receiver, defensive end, inside linebacker, two starting corner backs, a third corner, and two starting safeties. That is 13 positions, none of them that will come for under $1 million (unless filled with 3rd round or later draft picks). The Redskins can hope a few guys step into some of these starting roles (Josh LeRibeus, Leonard Hankerson, Jarvis Jenkins, etc.), but the Redskins would still need to look for some capable back-ups. The Washington Redskins will need to decide what players are worth cutting, and which ones they should potentially hang-on to. Here are my predictions and reasons for these eight players:
-This absolutely has to happen, the Redskins can shave a clean $8 million off the books, which not only puts the Redskins below their cap, but would give them enough money to sign their draft class. Hall can be a playmaker at times, but he also has consistently been a liability due to his poor coverage ability. He’s also had repeated costly penalties and blow-ups that has hurt this team. Cutting him and making a clean break is in the best interest of the team.
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-Brown needs to be an automatic cut, the Redskins can’t afford to keep giving him chances and wasting money in the process. Even when he’s been “healthy” he’s been a huge weakness on offense. The Redskins could attempt to designate him a post June 1st cut, saving themselves an additional $2.2 million next year, but at the cost of cutting into their 2014 cap. The Redskins should just bite the bullet now and release him for next year to get the burden over with.
-Doughty isn’t highly paid, but at this point the Redskins can’t justify his contract. Guys like Jordan Pugh and Jordan Bernstein can take over the back-up safeties duties at a cheaper rate.
-Fletcher is a tough player to cut, but I think the Redskins have to do it. His play has really dropped off and that $4 million in savings could be huge since the Redskins at least have a chance of replacing him internally with Keenan Robinson.
-Coming off a major injury the Redskins can’t afford to give Carriker that extra $3.5 million. That is a significant savings and this is a position the Redskins could hopefully fill internally with Jarvis Jenkins, and Kedric Golston (if they re-sign him). Carriker is at best an average 3-4 DE, and he’s being paid like a starting caliber one, making this a fairly easy decision.
Many people would say this is a no-brainer, but I don’t think it is that simple. Moss has been the Redskins most consistent and productive receiver this year (despite limited playing time). He’s also shown a willingness to help out in the punt return game (an offer the Redskins coaches should take him up on). While it is tough to justify paying Moss given the resources given to the other receivers, but can they afford to cut him. Who knows how Pierre Garcon comes back from injury, and Fred Davis is far from a sure thing to return. The Redskins may try to reduce his salary with a restructure, but I wouldn’t say he is definitely going to be cut.
-Meriweather has been a huge disappointment so far, as multiple injuries have kept him out since the middle of the preseason. He’s coming off back-to-back poor years, and being unwanted by two of the top defensive coaches in the league. Meriweather’s low savings amount could save him as the Redskins may not have the budget for a top replacement safety. If the Redskins do get the chance to land a top guy, then Meriweather will probably get cut, if not they will hope to salvage something from him in 2013.
-Wilson despite what some might think has been the Redskins top corner back each of the last two years. He might not be as flashy as Hall, but Wilson does a better job of limiting catches. Cutting him makes little sense as the Redskins can’t really expect to find a comparable replacement for the $3.9 million in savings.
-This should be enough to bring back the three free agents I mentioned yesterday, as well as tendering the two restricted free agents likely to be back. It would also cover the $2.5-4 million in draft salaries. After paying for all of that, the Redskins would be an estimated $6 million under the salary cap, which should be enough for two moderate signings and filling out the roster with minimum guys. If money becomes tight Meriweather and Moss could be casualties as well, and definitely could be on the block if they have a chance for a big time secondary free agent. It likely won’t be the free agent bonanza that the Redskins are used to, but that is probably a good thing. They should let the market set the prices instead of signing their guys early, before any asking prices come down. You might lose your top target, but you can maximize your return by getting those players for less. When you are a team with as many holes as the Washington Redskins, maximizing the return is crucial.
Who do you think should be cut, and what positions would you look to focus that money?