2011 Redskins Roster Analysis: Who Might Be Traded And Cut

Steve O Speak

While this was something I was going to look to post after I finished with all the roster outlooks, the Washington Post went ahead and wrote an article about the cap savings of possible trades and cuts the Redskins might look to make this season. Now this isn’t a comprohensive list and as J.J. Hasell points out, everyone on this list isn’t likely gone. It just goes to show the salary cap cost of players that could be cut/traded, that would make a significant impact on the prospective salary cap. We are a long way off from knowing if there will be a salary cap (I expect there will be), and if so what it will be. But it should be noted that the cap in 2009 was $127 million. I would expect a new cap to be anywhere between $8-12 million more than what it was in 2009, but in reality it could be well off that guess.

Here is the breakdown of the Cap savings or cost (in the case of Andre Carter) for releasing or trading these players:

• RB Clinton Portis: -$5,645,500
• LB London Fletcher: -$4,900,000
• QB Donovan McNabb: -$4,750,000
• CB DeAngelo Hall: -$4,400,000
• DT Albert Haynesworth: -$3,400,000
• C Casey Rabach: -$3,000,000
• NT Ma’ake Kemoeatu: -$2,500,000
• OG Derrick Dockery: -$1,565,000
• DE Adam Carriker: -$1,420,000
• OG Artis Hicks: -$1,400,000
• DE Phillip Daniels: -$1,250,000
• DE Vonnie Holliday: -$1,250,000
• TE Fred Davis: -$555,000
• DE Andre Carter: $2,909,998

As noted above Carter would actually cost the Redskins to cut/trade him, while the rest would be actual savings. The McNabb money seems odd considering the $10 million option he has, but I will trust Hasell’s numbers. I would say right off the bat that I believe both DeAngelo Hall and London Fletcher will be in Washington next year. The Redskins would have to be overwhelmed with an offer to move either of the those players and while they could save some money, their production doesn’t warrant making a deal. I think Portis, Rabach, Kemoeatu, and Daniels are easy cuts and a couple other players could join them if there isn’t a trade market for them. I’d be surprised to see Carriker, Holliday, Hicks cut outright and they won’t offer much on the trade market (maybe you get a 7th round pick back), but they could be potentially packaged with another player on this list, or a draft pick on draft day.

Donovan McNabb: The Redskins control his destiny and while it might be a tough sell in a trade, it wouldn’t shock me to see some team give up a late third rounder or a fourth rounder for the Redskins quarterback. I’m not sure how the Cap numbers totally work, but if the Redskins are taking some of the cap hit, meaning that whatever team acquires him doesn’t have to pay full price it could increase his value. I wouldn’t say it is definite they could trade him, and they might need to accept less, but it is feasible. I doubt Arizona is an option, unless they are trying to appease Larry Fitzgerald (who is a free agent the following year), but Minnesota, San Francisco, Miami, and Denver could all be better options. I also wouldn’t discount the Raiders as Al Davis will always go for the big move or the Titans if they get rid of Vince Young. A lot will depend on who ends up the head coach with these teams and whether they want to pursue a veteran. My guess is some team will be willing to give up a draft choice for McNabb and it could go up into the third round if the Redskins are taking some of the money against their cap.

Albert Haynesworth: Although Redskins fans, media members, and coaches have written Haynesworth off as a bad seed and a worthless player, I doubt other teams around the league would feel such animosity towards Haynesworth. In fact if he was a free agent I’m sure he would land a big time deal, and would be one of the most pursued players. Since that is the case, the Redskins should be able to trade for something, though it will be well below market value. In addition to getting one of the best defensive tackles in the game, a team would control him for the next two years at just about $12 million, which is a very good price. Now Haynesworth won’t fit every team as he should be solely viewed as a penetrating defensive tackle (or end in the 3-4), and not one who worries about gap assignments or a read and react approach. Two teams that could be in on Haynesworth could be his old team the Tennessee Titans (if Jeff Fisher is still there), and the Lions who are coached by his old defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Some might discount the Lions because they drafted Ndamukong Suh last April, but I wouldn’t. While Suh and Corey Williams give the Lions a solid defensive tackle pairing, adding Haynesworth to the mix would make it elite. Although both Haynesworth and Suh are penetrators and at times over aggressive, I think their sheer talent would overcome whatever offensive strategies devised to neutralize them. As it stands now both Suh and Haynesworth are routinely double-teamed (at times Haynesworth is even triple-teamed), put them next to each other on the same line and other pass rushers will have clear shots at the quarterback. The Lions are also a team on the rise, so making a big splash could be worth a 3rd round pick (or maybe a 4th and 6th round pick since the Lions 3rd rounder is going to be pretty high). If Detroit gets a more consistent pass rush, their coverage and overall defense will be vastly improved, making Haynesworth a perfect fit for the Lions.

Fred Davis: Davis is a capable offensive first tight end that could start for a number of teams in this league. While his overall numbers are down this season, he has shown a lot of promise when he has had the ball thrown his way. Despite having just one year remaining on his contract there should be a pretty solid market for a tight end of his caliber. Davis’ value is further enhanced by the fact that he will cost just 550K against the cap, making him a perfect cheap tight end option. Unfortunately in this situation you would hope a number of contenders would need tight end help, but most of the top teams are pretty set there. One team that could be in the market is the Atlanta Falcons. There are a number of rumors of Tony Gonzalez retiring at the end of this season and Atlanta would need a suitable replacement. The Falcons may be willing to part with say a 3rd (albeit late third) and a 6th rounder for Davis to keep their offense running on all cylinders.

Andre Carter: Carter was completely miscast in the 3-4 system and both he and the Redskins pass rush had a down year because of it. Now Carter is the one player who wouldn’t save the team money, and in fact it would cost the team $3 million to get rid of him. Despite the financial cost it is the right move for the Redskins to make, for their own roster as it will free up long term money and they can use his spot on a player who fits their system. Carter has a no-trade clause, but would likely waive it since he could move to a team that could actually showcase his talents. 4-3 teams will be the only interested suitors, but there are a number of options that could make sense. Two of the top ones could be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Houston Texans. Both are young and talented teams that need help with getting to the quarterback. Given the decline in play, I think the best the Redskins can hope for is a 4th round pick and might even have to settle for a 5th round pick, as they look to move Carter. While it isn’t a great return and the Skins would eat some money (which could increase the value higher), it is in the best interest for the Skins to move on.

Derrick Dockery: Of the players on this list Dockery is the one most likely to be cut outright, considering he has been pretty much inactive this entire season. While there isn’t a ton of value I think there could be a little trade market for Dockery. Dockery isn’t really overpriced at guard (though he isn’t a bargain either). He needs to go to a power running team that plays to his strengths, but he can be a very good guard in that system. Although there are a couple options out there, one that I like is the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland has a huge hole at RG and Dockery could be just the man to fill it. In addition the Browns have Shaun Rogers regulated to backup duty at NT with the emergence of Ahtyba Rubin. Both players are signed for an additional three years with Rogers making a couple million more, and both fill a major need for the other team. Now it likely wouldn’t be an even swap as the Redskins would need to chip in an asset or two, but it shouldn’t be too prohibitive. The Browns might be interested in a cheap depth 3-4 DE like Holliday or Carriker as well as throwing in a 5th or 6th round pick. Adding a true nose tackle would be a great coup for the Redskins if they could pull it off, and should help improve on the league’s worst defense. *UPDATE: Shaun Rogers has been released and is a free agent.

Overall: These moves won’t net the Redskins any top 50 picks or elite players, but if they find a way to to add at least 2 or 3 picks coming in the 3rd and 4th rounds, Washington’s rebuilding process could be over sooner rather than later. These moves would also clear the books not only for 2011, but more importantly for future seasons as well. The Redskins haven’t helped themselves any by benching or misusing these players, hurting their trade value, but I think they could still make some these deals if they are smart. In one or two of them, they might need to accept a little less, but they are still worthwhile moves to stock draft picks for the Skins.

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