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Why the Increase to the Salary Cap Might Not be a Good Thing: Part 2

February 26, 2014 in Washington Redskins Salary Cap

Part 1 | Part 2

3. It Benefits The Redskins NFC East Opponents More Than Washington

Cowboys: The Cowboys were projected to be over the $126.4 million cap by $24.5 million and they had very few players they could easily cut and clear room. The Cowboys would be forced to dump money into future years, not only meaning that they wouldn't be able to significantly spend money this year, but going forward they would be continually hamstrung. Now with an extra $9 million, their cap situation is still poor, but far more manageable. They will still have to dump some money in future years, but they will be able to get out of Cap Hell sooner rather than later (particularly if the cap continues to jump by significant amounts). The other help here for the Cowboys is that the extra $9 million could help them retain star LB DeMarcus Ware. Ware was one of the few big contracts that could be cut and offer a big chunk of savings (over $7 million). It seemed almost inevitable that the Cowboys would need to cut Ware if he didn't agree to a significant reduction to his contract. Ware may be pretty pricey, but he is the Cowboys best defensive player and a top 5 pass rusher in the league when healthy. Losing him would set the Cowboys back. Now the Cowboys wouldn't be as backed into a corner and could keep Ware around for another year.

Giants: The Giants are one of those teams with a number of key free agents (S Stevie Brown, RB Andre Brown, DL Justin Tuck, DL Linval Joseph, WR Hakeem Nicks, CB Corey Webster, LB Jon Beason, to name a few), and not a ton of cap room with which to retain them. The would probably re-sign a couple guys after making cuts and clearing some cap room, but a couple quality players would end up hitting the unrestricted market. Now with an extra $9 million they could retain a few more guys, and perhaps could bring in a 2nd tier free agent or two. The extra money easily helps improve the Giants outlook for next year.

Eagles: The Eagles like the Redskins have a pretty significant amount of cap dollars to spend this year even before the increase, with $20 million in cap room. Though that is behind the Redskins in overall room, the Eagles have more starters and significant contributors set for next season and don't have as many free agents as the Redskins do. This money allows the Eagles to be even more aggressive in free agency to fill their needs. Also, they are one of those teams that might not feel the need to make some cuts. It was expected that veterans Brent Celek and Jason Avant could be on the roster bubble since the Eagles could clear $7 million in cap space by releasing the two veterans. Now though if the cap rises $9 million extra, the Eagles may decide to hold on to one or both players. Maybe they are slightly overpaid, but they a still productive guys and the Eagles are probably better off retaining them if they can.

Redskins: As mentioned above, since the Redskins already have significant cap room the extra money doesn't help them as much as a team like the Cowboys who are in cap hell or a team like the Giants who don't have a lot of wiggle room. The Redskins can already re-sign their own free agents without the extra money (if they want them), so the extra money wouldn't help them nearly as much as the Giants who have to be fearful of losing a number of key players. And unlike the Eagles, the players the Redskins should look to cut, aren't productive football players. Keeping them around only weakens the Redskins cap position this year and next season, so there is no real benefit of retaining these guys. That isn't the case for the Eagles who were considering cutting good players.

Conclusion:

Yes more money is typically a good thing when we are talking salary cap space for a team, but in this instance it doesn't seem like much of a positive for the Redskins. No it's not a direct negative as it truly is more money to spend, but the benefits associated with that are pretty much washed out when you factor in the expected higher contract demands, more competitors in the market, and the smaller expected pool of quality players. Add in the fact that this extra money clearly benefits the rest of the NFC East far more than the Redskins, and it really starts to seem like this could end up being a negative for the Redskins. Washington having a moderate cap advantage over the Giants and a mega advantage over the Cowboys, was one of the few major positives the Redskins had over those teams. Now the impact of that is lessened. Yes the difference in cap room between the Redskins and Giants or Redskins and Cowboys actually didn't change, but it put both of those teams on far easier paths going forward. The Cowboys were (still are) in Cap Hell, and the Giants were going to have to make a number of tough decisions in the next year or two to ensure they wouldn't get there. That was going to make it hard to keep those teams relevant in the coming years, now it extends their window.

With the cap increasing like it is the Redskins have to be incredibly smart with their money if they want to make it into an advantage as much as possible. They can't look at this extra cap room as justification to spend more frivolously. Whether it is signing more guys to good money deals, or overpaying an average player like a Perry Riley, the Redskins need to avoid poor decisions that could limit their flexibility going forward. Even with the increased money the priority should be bargain shopping and keeping a clean cap. Even if that means not spending all of their cap space since that money can be carried over.

This increase in the salary cap is likely a sign of the future as the cap with more TV money (among other sources) rolling in is expected to continue to make bigger jumps going forward (unfortunately that can really help the Cowboys dig themselves out of the hole they are in). Because of that the Redskins should forward think and look to lock up some players sooner rather than later. The Redskins should look at extensions to players like Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams this offseason instead of waiting for another year or two. If the cap keeps jumping like this, and those players keep up their level of play their contract demands 2 years from now could be dramatically higher. If the Redskins extend them now, they could end up having a relative bargain going forward. Smart teams like the Packers, Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, etc. extend top players sooner rather than later and for the most part end up saving money (Aaron Hernandez situation screwed the Patriots a little bit). For instance the Steelers extended Antonio Brown two years ago, and instead of him being an unrestricted free agent this season and set to make probably $12-13 million a year, he signed a 5 year deal that averages $8.5 million a year (this bought out his RFA year last year). That is a huge win for Pittsburgh over the length of the contract, and exactly the type of move the Redskins should look to make.

Return to Part 1

Why the Increase to the Salary Cap Might Not be a Good Thing for the Redskins

February 26, 2014 in Uncategorized, Washington Redskins Salary Cap

Part 1 | Part 2

When looking ahead to the 2014 league year, the original expectation was the unadjusted cap would be set at $126.4 million. At that number the Redskins would be about $24 million under the cap before cuts. In recent weeks though various reports have said that the cap would actually be $130 million, $132 million and most recently over $132 million to upwards of $135 million (just an estimate). On the surface that seems like a major win for the Redskins if the cap will rise an extra $9 million or more, before the Redskins have to make a single cut. In reality though that extra $9 million isn't as beneficial to the Redskins as one might think, for three main reasons:

1. The Market Value of Deals Will Change:

-Yes the Redskins will have $9 million more to spend, but that doesn't mean they can convert that into 2-3 extra players. All 32 teams will have that extra $9 million to spend, meaning the total will be $288 million in extra cap dollars that teams can spend. With that high of an increase that is going to significantly increase the demands of players on the market. While we almost always see demands go up at a position, in recent years under the new salary cap structure the increase had been fairly minimal (with the exception of quarterbacks). That figures to change this year with this much extra money out there. And we could see players demands rise by a million or two. Also, the rise in the cap will increase the franchise tag values if the Redskins go that route to retain Brian Orakpo.

The other thing that could change with the cap increase is the return of a strong second tier market. Since the new cap took effect, most of the money and increase flowed to prime positions and top tier players. Now the Redskins haven't exactly followed that plan and as a result have grossly overpaid for a number of free agents and re-signings in recent years. Other teams though have been getting great bargains among 2nd tier free agents on short term deals, and we've seen a number of guys become real value signings. Now that could change where. That could now change and those bargains in recent years may end up being moderately expensive signings.

If that 2nd tier market starts getting paid solid money again, it's going to make it really hard for the Redskins to address more than a few needs in free agency. Even if they aren't making top tier signings, the money won't likely spread around as much as one would hope. The extra $9 million may allow the Redskins to sign an extra FA or two, but it wouldn't have the impact that one would typically expect.

Another thing that this extra money does to the market value is it allows for more suitors (which is part of the reason why demands will be higher). There were a number of teams that were expected to be relative spectators in the free agent market, particularly among guys on multi-year deals. Now though a couple of teams could change their stance given the extra money. A team like the Denver Broncos or San Francisco 49ers weren't expected to have a ton to spend, and figured to use most of their money to retain their own guys. Now though with an extra $9 million, they could look to get in on a key free agent or two as they go for a title run.

2. The Quantity and Quality of Players on the Open Market Will Change:

-Another major impact of the extra $288 million or more around the league is what that does to the actual size and quality of the free agent class. That is a lot of extra money floating out there, and it's going to significantly impact the decision making of a number of teams in two major ways.

First, the free agent market is always bolstered by guys who are getting cut each year. While some of these cut players are guys you wouldn't want to touch, many others are still productive players who were just slightly overpaid or their team couldn't afford them due to their cap situation. Last year for example the Ravens signed former cut players like Darryl Smith and Elvis Dumervil to bolster their defense. Both of those players were good players on their former teams, but they just didn't fit in for what their previous contracts were. They were cut and they bolstered the free agent market (plenty of other examples as well). Already this year we've seen or are expecting guys like S Louis Delmas, S Thomas DeCoud and DL Red Bryant set to bolster the market. Even if those additional cut players aren't guys the Redskins would be interested in, just their presence on the market helps the Redskins chances of landing players that they do want. Take for instance the safety market. Maybe the Redskins don't have an interest in either Delmas or DeCoud, but if those safeties sign with other teams, that could push a Chris Clemons or Malcolm Jenkins to the Redskins (among other names). While there will still be some cuts and the addition of some significant names, it probably won't be as deep as expected.

From the Redskins perspective this doesn't really help them. The players they would be looking to cut are not good players who are just a little too expensive. They are players who are well overpaid and are guys you really wouldn't want to touch unless it was a last resort.

The second issue with the quantity and quality of players on the open market is that this extra cap money will allow a number of teams to bring back a quality free agent or two that they otherwise would have let test the open market. Teams like the Ravens and Chiefs are perfect examples of this. The Ravens have a solid amount of cap space, but a number of key free agents to re-sign. Most that available money is expected to go to OT Eugene Monroe and TE Dennis Pitta. That could mean that WR Jacoby Jones, OT Micheal Oher, DL Arthur Jones, LB Daryl Smith, and CB Corey Graham are all expected to hit the open market. Maybe with a couple cuts they would have kept one more of those players, but the rest definitely would be fair game. Now with an extra $9 million the Ravens could look to keep 2-3 more of those players. That was 5 players that could be of interest to the Redskins, and now perhaps just 1 or 2 of them actually hits the open market. The Chiefs are another team that have a number of free agents the Redskins could have looked to target including G Geoff Schwartz, G Jon Asomoah, WR Dexter McCluster, DL Tyson Jackson, S Kendrick Lewis. Maybe the Chiefs would have brought one of those guys back before hand, now the extra money could allow them to bring back two more of these guys.

From the Redskins perspective this doesn't really impact them. They were set to have a lot of cap room (and plenty more with cuts), and they only had 4 free agents they could even consider bringing back at any significant money. DeAngelo Hall has already been re-signed, Brian Orakpo isn't going anywhere as he will be re-signed or franchised. That just leaves LB Perry Riley and DL Chris Baker as guys they could bring back. If the Skins wanted to they could easily re-sign them at a fair market value deal, and still have plenty of cap room to work with.

Continued On in Part 2  

Redskins Salary Cap Series: Importance of Clearing Future Cap Space

February 14, 2014 in Washington Redskins Salary Cap

Part 1: Redskins 2014 Salary Cap Commitments 

Part 2: How the "Rule of 51" Creates Additional Cap Flexibility

Part 3: Potential 2014 Cuts

Salary Cap numbers courtesy of  Overthecap.com

In Yesterday's post on the Potential 2014 Cuts the focus was on the over $17 million in cap room this season created by releasing those 10 players. Many though focused on the fact that the Redskins would be paying over $15 million in dead money next season to dump these 10 players and some wondered if it was such a good idea.

As a refresher the 10 players the Redskins should cut are: DL Adam Carriker, DL Stephen Bowen, OL Chris Chester, OL Kory Lichtensteiger, OL Will Montgomery, OL Tyler Polumbus, TE Logan Paulsen, P Sav Rocca, LS Nick Sundberg, DL Kedric Golston.

While that is a good chunk of dead money, the moves would give the Redskins $42 million to fill these holes and others. That is better than having less money to work with and hanging on to these players who just aren't good enough to warrant their salaries. While the Redskins won't be able to fix every hole, the fact is these guys are still "holes" if they remain on the team. If the Redskins were to keep Chris Chester, Will Montgomery and Kory Lichtensteiger, they would still need to fix those positions long term and honestly none of those guys should be guaranteed jobs in 2014. By cutting them (and everyone else on the list), the Redskins would significantly clean their cap going forward.

While the $17 million in cap space this year is a nice reason to make the cuts the real benefit comes from the cap space cleared going forward. If the Redskins cut these 10 players the reduce their cap burden the following amounts in the coming seasons:

2014: $17.328

2015: $32.255

2016: $5.713

2017: $4.050

That is a total of $59.346 million over those 4 years, so really to take $15 million cap penalty this year the Redskins free up nearly $60 million in cap space. That cap space is so important for the Redskins going forward as it not only allows them the flexibility to bring in some key free agents, but it means that they can retain any of their top guys who will be needing contracts in the coming years (Orakpo, Trent Williams, Alfred Morris, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Kerrigan). Not only does this add extra money to reward their key players with new contracts, but it allows them flexibility with how they structure them. Since 2016 and beyond are going to be the most expensive years for the group above, the Redskins can use this money the next two years to prepare for it. They could Reward Orakpo with big upfront payments in the first two years of the deal, making it higher than the annual average to reduce his cap hit going forward (also offering him more upfront money will likely reduce the overall package). The same tactic could be used when working out some extensions next season for guys like Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, Alfred Morris. Also with the way the cap is structured now teams can carryover money to future years. So If the Redskins don't use all of their cap room this year or say next year, they can carry it over going forward to be used to pay for players extensions when they come due.

Now some would say that the Redskins could still achieve some significant cap savings if they keep some of these players this year and wait to cut them next year. Here would be the difference if they kept any of the big money guys on their cap room for this season and next season (I'm not including guys like Golston/Sundberg because they are cheaper guys that can be cut at any time):

Adam Carriker:

Less cap Room In 2014: $2.990

Dead cap hit in 2015: $1.760

Cap Room in 2015: $5.000

Stephen Bowen:

Less cap Room In 2014: $1.980

Dead cap hit in 2015: $2.520

Cap Room in 2015: $5.500

Chris Chester:

Less cap Room In 2014: $2.700

Dead cap hit in 2015: $0.800

Cap Room in 2015: $4.000

Will Montgomery:

Less cap Room In 2014: $1.925

Dead cap hit in 2015: $1.000

Cap Room in 2015: $2.925 

Kory Lichtensteiger:

Less cap Room In 2014: $1.100

Dead cap hit in 2015: $1.650

Cap Room in 2015: $2.950

Logan Paulsen:

Less cap Room In 2014: $1.503

Dead cap hit in 2015: $0.367

Cap Room in 2015: $1.750

Total less cap room in 2014: 12.198

Total less cap room in 2015 (add up the dead cap hit's): $8.097

Combined Less Cap money to work with: $20.295

Now obviously you could go A la carte and only keep 2 or 3 of these guys, but regardless of how many you are keeping in the end you are lessening your cap flexibility in both 2014 and 2015 (and this assumes you would actually cut the player next year). The best thing to do is to clear the cap as soon as possible. This allows the greatest amount of cap space both now and in the future and gives you the easiest path to fixing your team needs and retaining your own players that you want.

 

 

Redskins Salary Cap Series: Potential 2014 Cuts

February 13, 2014 in Washington Redskins Salary Cap

Part 1: Redskins 2014 Salary Cap Commitments 

Part 2: How the "Rule of 51" Creates Additional Cap Flexibility

Salary Cap numbers courtesy of  Overthecap.com

 

Here is a look at the players the Redskins could cut this offseason to further clear their cap, and get rid of some bad contracts:

DE Adam Carriker:

Current Deal: 2014: $6.510 | $6.760

Dead Money if Cut: $3.521

Cap Savings: 2014: $2.990 | $6.760

-This is a no-brainer move for the Redskins. Carriker hasn't played a down since week 2 of 2012, and has had to go through multiple surgeries. He wasn't even worth the $6 million plus even before the injury, and this was a drastic overpay by the Redskins. Carriker should be cut and will save the Redskins a big chunk of change over the next two seasons. Some may want to "renegotiate" with Carriker for a reduced deal, but it's simply not worth it. Right now you can't count on Carriker, he isn't a drastic upgrade, and he shouldn't be making any more than league minimum.

DE Stephen Bowen:

Current Deal: 2014: $7.020 | 2015: $8.020

Dead Money if Cut: $5.040

Cap Savings: 2014: $1.980 | 2015: $8.020 

-Bowen's play had deteriorated since his solid first season with the Redskins in 2011. Though he hadn't really missed time before last year, he was nicked up with injuries and needed offseason surgery in each of the previous two seasons. Things got worse this year as Bowen continued to deal with injuries and decreased play, and finally was lost in late November and needed micro-fracture surgery. Bowen is out till at least the summer and there is no guarantee he can come back. While the $5 million dead cap hit is hefty, it is better than trying to stick by him and paying the full $7 million for him to be on I.R. Getting rid of Bowen now clears a couple million in cap room this year and a huge chunk in 2015.

OG Chris Chester:

Current Deal: 2014: $4.300 | 2015: $4.800

Dead Money if Cut: $1.600

Cap Savings: 2014: $2.700 | 2015: $4.800

-Chester really regressed in 2013 and was a major mess at right guard for the Redskins. He has two more years remaining on his deal and now looks like a good time to get him off the books. The Skins can save a nice $2.7 million this year and nearly $5 million in 2015. The Skins can clearly use that money better than giving it to Chester. The Skins could hope for a bounceback year, but it's probably better to clean the books and start a new along this line.

OG Kory Lichtensteiger:

Current Deal: 2014: $3.300 | 2015: $4.300 | 2016: $4.050 | 2017: $4.050

Dead Money if Cut: $2.200

Cap Savings: 2014: 1.100 | 2015: $4.300 | 2016: $4.050 | 2017: $4.050 

-This was an awful contract that moment it was signed as Lichtensteiger was grossly overpaid (though luckily the guarantee wasn't too high) and he never should have gotten 5 years. Lichtensteiger was once again pushed around along the line and just hasn't shown himself worthy of a starting or back-up role. The savings for 2014 are minimal, but it does clean out a lot of future money which is really nice and it turns the page on one of the bigger mistakes of the Redskins in recent years.

OC Will Montgomery:

Current Deal: 2014: $3.425 | 2015: $3.925 | 2016 $0.500 (payment on voidable year)

Dead Money if Cut: $1.500

Cap Savings: 2014: $1.925 | 2015: $3.925 | $0.500

-Montgomery was another lineman who regressed this past season, and he became quite a liability with penalties. Montgomery had some solid years with the Redskins before hand, but he's not worth keeping at these prices. Skins can save nearly $2 million this year and another $4 million in 2015. That is plenty enough reason to get rid of him and move on to another center.

OT Tyler Polumbus:

Current Deal: 2014: $2.600

Dead Money if Cut: $0.100

Cap Savings: 2014: $2.500

-Polumbus was only expected to count for $1.6 million this year making him a borderline decision as to whether or not to keep him for next year. Due to playing time though, Polumbus triggered a $1 million bonus which now puts his salary at $2.6 million, which is more than the Redskins can justify for him as a back-up. The Skins can save $2.5 million by cutting him making it a pretty easy decision.

TE Logan Paulsen:

Current Deal: 2014: $2.237 | 2015: $2.117 (Likely would void based on playing time)

Dead Money if Cut: $0.733

Cap Savings: 2014: $1.503 | 2015: $2.117 (or $0.367 if the contract voided)

-The Redskins rewarded Paulsen's solid 2012 with a decent contract that had some nice bonuses in it. Paulsen triggered some of those bonuses and now is being paid at a rate higher than his production and potential deserve. While Paulsen is a nice effort guy, his marketable skill, blocking, appears to be quite streaky. He really regressed in this role last year and it cost the Redskins. The Redskins can't justify paying him this much, especially when you can find stopgap TE's on the cheap each year.

P Sav Rocca:

Current Deal: 2014: $1.363

Dead Money if Cut: $0.163

Cap Savings: 2014: $1.200

-Should be the easiest and quickest decision for the Redskins. Rocca doesn't do kick-offs, which the Skins need since Kai Forbath struggles in that area, and even worse he can't punt effectively. Rocca was the worst punter in the league, after being near the bottom of the pack the year before. He doesn't do a great job with distance and hasn't shown any ability to consistently pin opponents inside the 5 or 10 yard line. Rocca should be cut if he was making league minimum, and the fact that he's making over a million makes this an easy decision.

LS Nick Sundberg:

Current Deal: 2014: $0.913 | 2015: $1.113 | 2016: $1.163

Dead Money if Cut: $0.488

Cap Savings: 2014: $0.425 | 2015: $1.113 | 2016: $1.163

-Sundberg has missed most of the past two seasons, and just isn't the type of long snapper who deserves more than league minimum. The savings would be minimal this year, but cutting him now gets him off the books for the next two years so it makes some sense.

DL Kedric Golston:

Current Deal: 2014: $1.245 | 2015: $1.220

Dead Money if Cut: $0.240

Cap Savings: 2014: $1.005 | 2015: $1.220

-Golston is an okay depth player and has played in both the 3-4 and 4-3 and showed back-up qualities. The Redskins though need to improve their DE talent and Golston isn't anything special so hanging on to him doesn't make a lot of sense. If the Redskins sign a bigger name DL or two they could decide that Golston is unlikely to make the final roster and that money over the next two years can help offset any signing.

 

Total 2014 Cap Savings: $17.328

Dead Money: $15.585

New Salary Cap Space: $42.872

Notes:

-This doesn't take into account the players replacing these ten cut players among the Rule of 51, that is due to the fact that most should be replaced by higher paid FA's or re-signings.

-Many will harp on the $15.585 million in dead money, but that is a sunk cost and much of it comes from Bowen and Carriker who are pretty much automatic cuts.

-This cleans the cap this year and next year and gives the Redskins great flexibility (More on that in my next piece)

-Creates big OL and DL holes, but those are all needs anyways and would need to be addressed. Now there is more money to address them.

 

 

Redskins 2014 Salary Cap Situation Heading Into Free Agency

February 12, 2014 in Washington Redskins Salary Cap

Cap numbers courtesy of Overthecap.com

Quarterbacks: $6.448

Robert Grifffin III: $5.760

Kirk Cousins: $0.688

Running back/Fullback: $4.677

Alfred Morris: $0.601

Roy Helu Jr. $1.507

Evan Royster $0.645

Chris Thompson $0.541

Darrel Young: $1.383

(Non-51) Jawan Jamison: $0.495

Tight Ends: $4.139

Jordan Reed: $0.642

Logan Paulsen: $2.237

Niles Paul: $0.690

Richard Quinn: $0.570

(non-51) Gabe Miller: $0.420

Wide Receivers: $12.717

Pierre Garcon: $9.700

Leonard Hankerson: $0.812

Aldrick Robinson: $0.570

Josh Bellamy: $0.570

David Gettis: $0.570

Nick Williams: $0.495

Offensive Linemen: $27.774

Trent Williams: $10.980

Chris Chester: $4.300

Will Montgomery: $3.425

Kory Lichtensteiger: $3.300

Tyler Polumbus: $2.600

Josh LeRibeus: $0.764

Maurice Hurt: $0.645

Adam Gettis: $0.620

Tom Compton: $0.570

Kevin Kowalski: $0.570

(non-51) Trevita Stevens: $0.420

Offensive Total: $55.755 for 27 players

Defensive Linemen: $24.631

Barry Cofield: $7.678

Stephen Bowen: $7.020

Adam Carriker: $6.510

Jarvis Jenkins: $1.522

Kedric Golston: $1.245

Chris Neild: $0.656

(non-51) Doug Worthington: $0.495

Linebackers: $5.697

Ryan Kerrigan: $2.775

Brandon Jenkins: $0.537

Keenan Robinson: $0.675

Josh Hull: $0.645 

Will Compton: $0.495

Adrian Robinson: $0.570

(non-51) Jeremy Kimbourgh: $0.421

Cornerbacks: $2.601

David Amerson: $0.875

Richard Crawford: $0.586

Chase Minnifield: $0.495

Ryan Mouton: $0.645

(non-top 51) Peyton Thompson: $0.420

Safeties: $1.616

Phillip Thomas: $0.526

Bacarri Rambo: $0.520

Jose Gumbs (exclusive rights Free Agent not included in total): est. $0.495

Trenton Robinson: $0.570

Defensive Total: $34.545 for 19 players

Kicker/Punter/Long Snapper: $3.986 for 5 Players

Sav Rocca (P): $1.363

Kai Forbath (K): $0.570

Nick Sundberg (LS): $0.913

Robert Malone (P): $0.570

Kyle Nelson (LS): $0.570

Total for top 51 players: $94.286

Dead Cap: $7.470

Current Total Cap Hits for 2014: $101.756

Estimated 2014 Salary Cap: $126.300

Estimated Carry-over from 2013 $1.000 (found multiple different reports here this is basically the average)

Redskins Adjusted Cap: $127.300

Redskins 2014 Cap Space: $25.544 million

 

A couple quick notes:

-I only counted the top 51 salaries for the purpose of this because that is how the cap is figured out. While there were multiple guys who had salary figures of $0.495, I choose those from positions where they were more likely to make the team. In the end it doesn't matter if you choose to count Doug Worthington and not Will Compton or Chase Minnifield.

-While the cap space is set at $25.544 million right now, it's a bit more fluid than that so don't harp so much on that number. When a player gets signed they will replace one of the bottom guys from the Rule of 51 so there is more functional cap room then the $25.5 million (more on this in my next piece).

-Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, anything $500 or more was rounded up and any less than $500 was kept where it was.

-While both sides of the ball need addressing it is clear that the defense needs some serious work. They only have 19 players, and most of those guys are  likely cuts or street free agents.

-I will be breaking down the Skins cap in a series of articles over the next couple of days. Including a deeper look at the impact of the Rule of 51, Impact of Cuts, break downs on potential contracts for Redskins free agents and much more.

Washington Redskins 2014 Cap Situation

February 14, 2013 in Washington Redskins Salary Cap

2014 Current Contract Commitments

Quarterbacks: $6.437

Robert Griffin: $ 5.749

Kirk Cousins:  $0.688

Running backs: $2.008

Alfred Morris: $ 0.601

Roy Helu Jr.: $ 0.762

Evan Royster: $ 0.645

Tight End: $0.690

Niles Paul: $0.690

Wide Receiver: $10.522

Pierre Garcon: $9.700

Leonard Hankerson: $0.822

Aldrick Robinson: Exclusive Rights FA (note he isn't factored into any of the totals)

Offensive Line: $ 21.481

Trent Williams: $11.000

Chris Chester: $4.300

Will Montgomery: $3.612

Maurice Hurt: $0.645

Josh LeRibeus: $0.734

Adam Gettis: $0.620

Tom Compton: $0.570

TOTAL: $41.138 for 15 players (plus Aldrick Robinson)

Defense:

Defensive Line: $21.727

Stephen Bowen: $6.000

Barry Cofield: $6.800

Adam Carriker: $6.750

Jarvis Jenkins: $1.521

Chris Nield: $0.656

Linebackers: $3.449

Ryan Kerrigan: $2.774

Keenan Robinson: $0.675

Cornerbacks: $9.586

DeAngelo Hall: $9.000

Richard Crawford: $0.586

Safety: $1.277

Jordan Bernstein: $0.585

DeJon Gomes: $0.692

Defensive Total: $36.039 for 11 players

Special Teams: $0.570

Kai Forbath: $0.570

Total: $77.747 for 27 players

With the salary cap figuring to be around $123 million in 2014 the Redskins project to have $45 million available to spend next year. While that seems like quite a bit the Redskins might not want to plan their shopping spree just yet. They have to fit 24 salaried players under the Rule of 51 (top 51 contracts), and many of which are starters or significant contributors. Among the players currently under contract the Redskins are lacking the following positions:

  • Fullback
  • Top two Tight ends
  • Number two wide receiver
  • Slot receiver
  • Left guard
  • Right tackle
  • Inside linebacker
  • Right Outside Linebacker (i.e. premier pass rusher)
  • Starting Cornerback
  • Nickel Cornerback
  • Free Safety
  • Strong Safety
  • Punter
  • Long Snapper

Now it is true that some of these starting or significant contributing positions will be filled by current back-ups or draft picks over the next two years (which could cost a upwards of $9 million to have both of those classes under contract), but many of those other positions will need significant resources spent on them to be filled. Re-signing guys like Brian Orakpo, Perry Riley and Josh Wilson alone could account for between $15-20 million.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Redskins will need to shift money from 2013 to 2014, in my most recent salary cap breakdown, I had the Redskins pushing $5.19 million into the 2014 cap year. Also I highlighted how extending guys like Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Josh Wilson, and Brian Orakpo could save money in 2013. If those four players were all to be extended it would push an additional $3 million into 2014 before you even account for any of their actual salaries. The other issue is that I used a moderate restructuring approach, spreading out the money in a way that wouldn’t make any of those players cost prohibitive or force too much guaranteed money for any one player. I was able to do that based on a premise that the Redskins would get much of their cap savings from the release of CB DeAngelo Hall and Adam Carriker. If the Redskins were to keep one or both (even re-signing Hall at a reduced rate will make it tough), they would need to push additional money from either restructures or new contracts into 2014. On the other hand if they were to cut Hall and Carriker before the 2013 they would be in a far better position for 2014.

Combined Hall and Carriker are set to count for $15.75 million against the cap in 2014, meaning if the Redskins cut them this offseason, they drop their cap commitments to $61.997 (for 25 players). That money is almost like getting an additional cap penalty back (though this one was self inflicted with bad contracts). That would essentially give them half the salary cap to fill half the roster, which is far better than trying to fill basically half the roster with just 37% of the cap space remaining, like the Redskins situation currently sits. Another advantage with releasing these players this year is, it could allow the Redskins to not push so much money forward, or they could spend under the salary cap and have a cap credit applied to next season.

Summary:

The Redskins are poised to have some comfort under the cap in 2014, but if they need to push too much money forward and don’t release some of their bigger contracts, it won’t be a good situation. If the Redskins show fiscal responsibility in 2013 and don’t over-commit to future years, as well as cut some players with big contracts they could set the table to have a windfall in 2014 that allows them to add the pieces they need for a serious Super Bowl run.

Redskins Cap Series Part 5: Washington Redskins Extension and Restructure Candidates

February 8, 2013 in Washington Redskins Salary Cap

Redskins Cap Links:

Part 1:  Redskins Salary Cap Breakdown

Part 2:  Redskins Restricted Free Agents

Part 3:  Redskins Unrestricted Free Agents

Part 4:  Savings From Cuts

Part 5:  Savings from Restructuring and Final Thoughts

Players to Restructure W/O Extension:

Pierre Garcon:

2013 Cap Hit: $8.2 million

Cap Hit after restructure: $4.75 million

Savings: $3.45 million

$1.15 million is tacked on to each of his remaining 3 years

-They absolutely should restructure Garcon, yes it pushes more money going forward, but Garcon is young and doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere anytime soon.

Trent Williams:

2013 Cap Hit: $8.000 million

Cap Hit after restructure: $5.16

Savings: $2.830 million

$1.415 is tacked on to each of his remaining 2 years

-They could look to work out a longer term extension, but in the meantime they need to restructure his deal. It’s a good amount of savings for a key cog on this team.

Barry Cofield:

2013 Cap Hit: $6.300

Cap Hit after restructure: $3.825

Savings: $2.475

$0.825 tacked on to each of his remaining 3 years

-Another good bet to restructure. It is such a small increase over the remaining part of the contract that it shouldn't hurt the Redskins going forward. Also Cofield is coming off a good season, so they aren't likely looking to get rid of him in the next year or two.

Stephen Bowen:

2013 Cap Hit: $5.500 million

Cap Hit after restructure: $3.400 million

Savings: $2.10

$1.05 is tacked on to each of his remaining 2 years

-Maybe not as likely to restructure. Bowen has been a solid player, but I don’t know if you want to add guaranteed money on his contract going forward. If he doesn’t pick up his game in 2013, he could be on the hot seat in 2014.

Chris Chester:

2013 Cap Hit: $4.300

Cap Hit after restructure: $2.800

Savings: $1.500 million

$0.750 is tacked on to each of his remaining two years

-Another guy the Redskins should have no problem pushing a little money forward with.

Total Savings: $12.355 million

Total Extra Money Added to 2014: $5.19 million

*Note: The Redskins need to be careful here. They don’t want to push too much money forward or getting that cap penalty money back in 2014 won’t look quite as good. $5 million and change isn’t too bad, especially considering the players involved, but it can’t be ignored either.

Restructured Contracts with Extensions:

*Note I’m not noting the extra money going forward, but it is something to keep in mind. Given that they are all impending free agents, the Redskins can figure out how to structure their 2014 salary in an extension to ensure that it isn’t prohibitive.

Brian Orakpo: (based on adding 4+ extra years)

2013 Cap Hit: $4.225

Cap Hit after restructure: $2.700

Savings: $1.525

-The team would be wise to work out an extension now, as his price tag will be down a little bit and they can save an extra $1.5 million.

Josh Wilson: (based on adding 3 extra years)

2013 Cap Hit: $5.333

Cap Hit after restructure: $2.970

Savings: $2.362

-There has already been some mention of extending Wilson and it makes sense. He’ll only be 28 this season and has been pretty productive for Washington. The Redskins can save a bit of money and ensure that they have a veteran corner under contract going forward.

Santana Moss: (based on adding 2 extra years)

2013 Cap Hit: $6.167

Cap Hit after restructure: $4.067

Savings: $2.10

-It is a big question mark as to if Moss will extend given his reduced role, but the Redskins should consider it. He came up with a lot of big catches last year at key spots, including doubling the next highest TD total. He came up big in the 2nd half of games and on third down and would be tough to lose. The fact that he’s a fan favorite helps as well, and the difference in savings between cutting him and extending him is $2.400 million. The only question is will he agree to a reduced role, and minor contract extension?

Josh Morgan: (based on adding 3 years)

2013 Cap Hit: $6.750

Cap Hit after restructure: $4.310

Savings: $2.440

-Morgan is still young and had a solid year as a possession receiver for the Redskins, the one problem with extending him is he’s not worth the nearly $6 million a year the Redskins were paying him. He’d have to accept a lower extension for it to make sense. He could though, given his local ties, and the fact that unless he has a huge year this year (which is not very likely given how much the Redskins run) he probably won’t get major offers on the free agent market. If the team can clear other money they may just wait till next year to re-sign him so as not to burden the cap too much in 2014 or 2015.

Total Savings: $8.427 million

Notes:

Trent Williams could be extended and perhaps save an extra $1.5 million on his 2013 Cap hit. DeAngelo Hall isn’t a go candidate for an extension since he’s due $17 million over the next two years. He’d have to leave a significant amount of money on the table to make it even logical for the Redskins to extend him. Given that the money isn’t guaranteed, it would make more sense just to release him and try to work out a new contract if you want to retain him.

Overall Savings Prediction:

Cuts: Hall, Brown, and Carriker for $12.05 million

Restructuring: $12.355 million (I would end up restructuring all of Garcon, T. Williams, Cofield, Bowen, Chester)

Extensions: $3.887 (Orakpo and Wilson)

*Fletcher and Moss to me are real wild cards here and depending on what happens could jump the Redskins cap savings between $2-8.5 million. Remember though, either of them leaving creates more holes on this team.

Total savings: $28.292

Minimum Cap Overage: $16.658

Cap Space: $11.634 million

I know that $11.6 million sounds like a lot, but the Redskins need to be really smart with it. Remember the Redskins added $5 million to their cap in 2014 (and that doesn’t include the extra money in extensions to Wilson and Orakpo), with the restructuring of contracts. Also remember some of that $11.6 million will be taken up by the guys who take the place of Hall, Brown and Carriker in the top 51 contracts of the team. The Redskins would be wise to look for values as opposed to grabbing the first free agent or two on their wish list. If they spend all that money on guys who are signed beyond this year they could quickly have some more cap issues in the coming years.

Another important thing to consider is the Redskins are essentially using up all of their salary cap flexibility for the next couple of years. While getting the Hall, Carriker and Brown contracts off the books in 2014 and 2015 are helpful, there really aren’t going to be any other major guys that can be released next year or the year after. Guys that you just restructured will now have more guaranteed money that would need to be accounted for to release them. You are also unlikely to restructure them again as it would get more prohibitive going forward.

This cap room gives the Redskins the breathing room they need, and an ability to add some talent and depth to this team, but it absolutely should not be an invitation for the Redskins to have a major spending spree.

Redskins Cap Links:

Part 1:  Redskins Salary Cap Breakdown

Part 2:  Redskins Restricted Free Agents

Part 3:  Redskins Unrestricted Free Agents

Part 4:  Savings From Cuts

Part 5:  Savings from Restructuring and Final Thoughts

Redskins Cap Series Part 4: Washington Redskins Cap Savings

February 8, 2013 in Washington Redskins Salary Cap

Redskins Cap Links:

Part 1:  Redskins Salary Cap Breakdown

Part 2:  Redskins Restricted Free Agents

Part 3:  Redskins Unrestricted Free Agents

Part 4:  Savings From Cuts

Part 5:  Savings from Restructuring and Final Thoughts

Cap Savings from Players Who are Cut or Retire:

DeAngelo Hall: $8.000 million (Dead Cap: $0.300)

Jammal Brown: $1.550 million (Dead Cap: $3.3)

London Fletcher: $4.000 million (Dead Cap: $3.25)

Santana Moss: $4.500 million (Dead Cap: $1.667)

Josh Morgan: $4.000 million (Dead Cap: $2.750)

Adam Carriker: $2.500 million (Dead Cap: $2.250)

Josh Wilson: $4.000 million (Dead Cap: $1.333)

Brandon Meriweather: $1.500 million (Dead Cap: $1.500)

Reed Doughty: $1.375 million (Dead Cap: $0)

 

Summary:

I’m not suggesting that all of these players be released; just trying to give a fairly full accounting of anyone who could be cut that would save the Redskins some money. Fletcher isn’t a candidate for release, but would have the same cap savings if he were to retire.

Some of these players could maybe be signed to extensions (more on them later), but I wanted to give a perspective on the difference between cutting a guy and extending him.

To me Hall has to be released given the high cap number and the fact that there is almost no cap penalty. Cutting Hall saves about as much as cutting any two other players, and it also gets his $9 million dollar 2014 salary off the books to help clean up next year’s cap. Jammal Brown’s contract is being voided so that decision has already been made, but the other decisions aren’t so easy.

Santana Moss and Josh Morgan both had productive seasons and seemed to be in sync with Robert Griffin III. Moss has the added advantage of being the only guy who really worked in the slot this past season for a significant amount of time. Both are seen as team leaders and with both in the final year of the contract it may not make sense to eat the dead cap for their loss of production. It’s possible that one could be released given how many resources are spent on the receiver position compared to how often the Redskins throw, but it isn’t a lock.

Josh Wilson should stay around given that he’s not overpaid, and with Hall’s impending release the corner position is incredibly thin. Wilson has given the Skins two good seasons so far, and there is no reason why he shouldn’t give them a third.

Adam Carriker is more likely to be released than kept in my book. Not only would it save $2.500 million against this year’s cap, but it would save $6.750 in cap space each of the next two seasons. The fact that Jarvis Jenkins filled in pretty well for Carriker, also makes this decision easier. Also, it should be noted that Carriker’s spot is the first one subbed out on passing downs, making him more of a role player than a full time guy. That makes it a lot harder to justify paying Carriker good starting money.

The safety spot is another interesting situation. Given the small difference in savings, you would think that Reed Doughty would be automatically cut, but it might not be that easy. Brandon Meriweather is coming off a major mid-season knee injury and he’s had his share of on and off the field issues. Doughty on the other hand is a leader, and a core special teamer. If the Redskins find a starting caliber SS in either free agency or the draft then I think Meriweather will be released. If they don’t then Doughty is probably more likely to be cut. Either way though I don’t think the Redskins will release one of them until after signing/drafting someone.

One final thing to remember with cutting these players is that they will need to be replaced on the roster by at least a rookie minimum guy (i.e. UDFA) for $0.405 million per spot. Obviously the team could go with a guy who makes more than that as well. I’m not factoring that in just yet given that we don’t know how it will be allotted. For example in yesterday’s exercise of tendering restricted free agents and re-signing veterans, some players (Aldrick Robinson, Tom Compton etc.) who make more than the rookie minimum no longer counted to the Rule of 51 after the re-signings. But if a couple guys are cut they now count again in regards to the cap, and the UDFA guy doesn’t. While I’m not accounting for it just yet, it is something that should be taken into account when determining whether to cut a guy versus extending him and restructuring the contract.

My Prediction:

The Redskins need to free up $16.6 million through cuts and restructures just to get under the cap, sign their unrestricted free agents and extend offers to their restricted free agents. They also are going to want to free up some additional room to sign some moderate free agents as upgrades.

Fletcher is a big x-factor here, but right now I’m thinking that he comes back. Cutting Hall, Carriker and Bown will save the Redskins $12.05 million putting them well on their way to getting where they need to be.

Moss could be a candidate to be extended (breakdown in part two), but it also wouldn’t shock me if he ended up being cut. Moss expressed some frustration over his lack of snaps, particularly when Garcon was out, and he might not want to stick around if he doesn’t feel he’s been given the chances to succeed. If he doesn’t extend, then I think he will get released as well, saving an additional $4.5 million.

 

Redskins Cap Links:

Part 1:  Redskins Salary Cap Breakdown

Part 2:  Redskins Restricted Free Agents

Part 3:  Redskins Unrestricted Free Agents

Part 4:  Savings From Cuts

Part 5:  Savings from Restructuring and Final Thoughts

 

 

 

Redskins Cap Series Part 1: Washington Redskins Salary Cap for 2013

February 7, 2013 in Washington Redskins Salary Cap

Redskins Cap Links:

Part 1:  Redskins Salary Cap Breakdown

Part 2:  Redskins Restricted Free Agents

Part 3:  Redskins Unrestricted Free Agents

Part 4:  Savings From Cuts

Part 5:  Savings from Restructuring and Final Thoughts

 

Here is my updated look at the Washington Redskins 2013 Salary Cap situation. All numbers are the players' cap number and not just their salary. Numbers are primarily from Spotrac, though other media reports were used to cross check numbers. There are discrepancies depending on what source you use, but I wanted to use one source as consistently as possible to try to maintain a constant and not add extra variables. Spotrac is becoming more and more of an industry source, so while their numbers may not be perfect, they are about as close as you can get. I would caution that overall, you should factor in a $2-3 million + or – to the final number, but given that John Clayton reported the Redskins were $4 million over the cap, it seems to be fairly accurate.

In part one I look at how the cap stands now, based on the 40 players under contract who participated on the team last year and have a reasonable chance to have a shot for a roster spot this year. For other guys who are signed and not listed, they are by in large, league minimum guys, who likely won't count to the Rule of 51 (only the 51 highest contracts are counted against the cap). I also projected cap hits of the incoming rookies, and the bare minimum it will take to field a roster. In part two, I take a look at the restricted free agents on a case-by-case basis and project what they might cost, and what that will mean to the cap. Part three looks at the Redskins current unrestricted free agents, and who might be back at what cost.

Quarterbacks: $5.387

Robert Griffin: $ 4.789

Kirk Cousins: $ 0.598

Running back: $1.738

Alfred Morris: $ 0.511

Roy Helu Jr.:  $0. 672

Evan Royster: $ 0.555

Tight End: $0.600

Niles Paul: $ 0.600

Wide Receiver: $22.904

Pierre Garcon: $8.200

Josh Morgan: $6.750

Santana Moss: $6.167

Leonard Hankerson: $0.732

Aldrick Robinson: $0.480

Dezmon Briscoe: $0.575

Offensive Line: $22.196

Trent Williams: $8.000

Jammal Brown: $4.850

Chris Chester: $4.300

Will Montgomery: $2.837

Maurice Hurt: $0.555

Josh LeRibeus: $0.644

Adam Gettis:  $0.530

Tom Compton: $0.480

TOTAL: $52.825 for 20 players

Defensive Line: $18.900

Stephen Bowen:  $5.500

Barry Cofield: $6.300

Adam Carriker : $4.750

Jarvis Jenkins: $1.304

Chris Neild: $0.566

Doug Worthington: $0.480

Linebacker: $15.893

Brian Orakpo: $4.225

London Fletcher: $7.250

Ryan Kerrigan: $2.378

Perry Riley: $1.455

Keenan Robinson: $0.585

Cornerback: $14.129

DeAngelo Hall: $8.300

Josh Wilson: $5.333

Richard Crawford: $0.496

Safety: $6.105

Jordan Pugh: $0.633

Jordan Bernstein: $0.495

Brandon Meriweather: $3.000

Reed Doughty: $1.375

DeJon Gomes: $0.602

TOTAL: $55.027 for 19 players

Special Teams: $0.480

Kai Forbath: $0.480

Overall Total: $108.332 for 40 players

Salary Cap:

2013 Projected NFL Cap: $120.900
2012 Carry over: $4.200
2013 Dead Cap: $1.969 (mainly from Chris Cooley)
2013 Cap Penalty: $18.000
2013: Redskins Cap $ 105.131
Cap Overage: $3.201

Draft Pick Compensation: (projected cap hits)

*Note the pick number in rounds 4-7 will change based compensation picks, but it should only have a minimal impact on these numbers

2nd round (Pick 51): $0.738

3rd round (Pick 85): $0.540

4th round (Pick 115): $0.513

5th round (Pick 146): $0.450

5th round (Pick 154): $0.441

6th round (Pick 180): $0.425

7th round (Pick 211): $0.418

Total: $3.525

Four undrafted free agent rookies at the rookie minimum ($0.405): $1.620 (note this doesn't include any bonuses)

*This would be the bare minimum the Redskins could spend to fill out their roster to the top 51 contracts. These minimum salaries would be the price of undrafted free agents who didn't even get a bonus (which is rare).

Bare minimum the Redskins need to free up: $8.346 million

*This is the total needed to be freed up in order to field the roster of the 40 players listed above, the seven draft picks and four rookie free agents. This is to give perspective of the Redskins cap situation before any cuts. Also, it shows where the Skins stand before one restricted free agent is tendered, unrestricted guy is re-signed or any other free agents are brought in. Tomorrow I will take a look at how the Redskins can free up money for all these things to occur, but just consider what poor shape they are in with regard to the Cap at this point.

Redskins Cap Links:

Part 1:  Redskins Salary Cap Breakdown

Part 2:  Redskins Restricted Free Agents

Part 3:  Redskins Unrestricted Free Agents

Part 4:  Savings From Cuts

Part 5:  Savings from Restructuring and Final Thoughts