So far in my early look at the Washington Redskins 2014 Salary Cap I have looked at the following:
Today I will put them together and look at what the combined impact of the voided contracts and potential cuts mean for the Redskins 2014 Salary Cap.
We started with a salary cap number of $102.615 million for 39 players (Aldrick Robinson and Jose Gumbs are exclusive free agents and don’t count in this), out of a likely cap projection of $127 million. Now voided contracts saved $12.629 million, while cutting Adam Carriker, Stephen Bowen and Sav Rocca (I listed other potential cuts, but these are the three most likely) saved an additional $6.346 million. That is a combined savings of $18.975 million. Now that savings isn’t without a cost as it would have a dead cap hit of $15.939 million (remember the Redskins would save plenty of future money with these moves as well). The end result drops the Redskins to $83.64 million for 33 players.
So what does that mean? In relation to a predicted cap of $127 million, the Redskins would be sitting with $43.36 million in cap room which would be very good overall. The one concern is that number applies to only 33 players, someone is going to have to fill those roster spots, and if the Redskins filled them all with league minimum guys they would cut about $11 million out of that $43 million. Obviously even some minor signings (like the exclusive rights deals for Robinson and Gumbs) will be more than league minimum. On top of needing 20 guys just to fill out the roster, the Redskins do have to replace a number of starters with this money, before they even look at potential upgrades. Here is how the Redskins fare at each position and where they need to spend the most money just to have a functioning roster:
-Redskins are set here with Griffin and Cousins at the top. Even with a Cousins trade he would likely be replaced with a combination of a league minimum Rex Grossman and a mid round draft pick.
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-Redskins are completely set here. We could even see a Mike Shanahan draft without taking a running back (though I wouldn’t bet on it)
-The Redskins would be losing Josh Morgan and Santana Moss. The good news here is Leonard Hankerson is showing that he can take over for Morgan, so you probably wouldn’t need to spend big money in that area. Signing or drafting a slot receiver would be key though. Moss brings so much to the offense and no one else currently can handle the role. Bringing Moss back is likely an option as well. While that will cost some money, it won’t be a lot.
-Assuming they don’t cut any of the interior starters, the Redskins wouldn’t have any openings among their starters, but they should look into improving the play of their right tackle and more depth for the interior. Right tackle would be the only thing worth spending money on here, but they could look to use a higher draft pick to build overall depth.
-With cutting Stephen Bowen and Adam Carriker, the Redskins would be a big thin on the defensive line. They might look to avoid spending too much money here, especially if Jarvis Jenkins improves this season. With so many other needs the Redskins could look for 2nd tier guys to get the job done for a year with Barry Cofield and Jenkins.
-With Fletcher voided the Redskins would only have Ryan Kerrigan, Brandon Jenkins and Keenan Robinson under control. They can’t rely on either Jenkins or Robinson to take over a starting job, so the Redskins would need to bring in three starting linebackers. Now two, Brian Orakpo and Perry Riley could be guys they re-sign, but that won’t be too cheap.
-Heading into next year the Redskins would have 2nd rounder David Amerson and Richard Crawford who is coming off an ACL surgery. Even if the Redskins are sold on Amerson being a starter, they would need to bring in at least two corners to round out the top three.
-This unit is a complete mess even with Brandon Meriweather, with his contract voided it is even worse. The Redskins are left with Phillip Thomas coming back from a missed year due to injury and Bacarri Rambo, who has been benched 2 games into his career. The Redskins are clearly going to have to put a lot of resources in this position group if they want to improve.
-The Redskins need to find a punter, but there are plenty cheap options here so they wouldn’t have to spend much money on this group.
Offensively the Redskins could use some tweaks, but outside of maybe spending a little money at wide receiver or right tackle, the bulk of the money will be focused on the defense. Linebacker, corner and safety should be where the majority of the focus is for the Redskins cap dollars. Some money could go to the defensive line, but it is doubtful they make any big splashes there.
What do you think? Where should the Redskins spend their windfall?