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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


-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.



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)


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.


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.