Redskins Show Poor Cap Management This Offseason

Redskins Personnel Washington Commanders

A lot of people want to blame the $36 million cap penalty as to why the Redskins are 0-2 to start this season, but a lot of their issues are of their own doing. Sure the extra $18 million a year would have been nice, but the Redskins have had plenty of opportunities to get their cap in line these last two years and they have continued to fail.

In the days after the cap penalty came down the Redskins went on a spending spree, signing free agents Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan and Brandon Meriweather to multi-year deals. They also re-signed defensive end Adam Carriker and LB London Fletcher to multi-year deals as well. All of those players including Garcon, signed for above market value (Garcon signed the 7th highest receiver contract at the time), which is not exactly what you would expect a team to do after being hit with the cap penalty. While Garcon has given a positive return on his investment, the Redskins haven’t gotten near the production necessary among the other four. It’s not just that the Redskins overpaid, but the fact that they did it by so much money. With the exception of Garcon, none of these players seemed to have any sort of free agent market, due to age, production and injury concerns.

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Courtesy of ICON SMI

To pay London Fletcher a similar annual value of a LB 10 years his junior just doesn’t make sense. And giving Carriker a deal that paid him an extra $2 million a year over defensive ends of similar or better production, was a gross miscalculation of the market. The Redskins also squandered the chance to save over $7 million by releasing DeAngelo Hall last year (they could have brought him back at a reduced rate like this year). The Redskins also missed the opportunity to clear the books of Jammal Brown‘s contract last season, before he got injured. It wouldn’t have saved much money that year, but it would have freed up $3.3 million this season and $1.6 million for 2014.

This season the Redskins continued to make poor decisions with contracts, and while the money wasn’t as high it continued to hamper them. The Redskins re-signed Kory Lichtensteiger, Fred Davis, Sav Rocca, Nick Sundberg, Tyler Polumbus, and Kedric Golston for more than they should have paid for them. Here is a breakdown of each of these deals:

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Kory Lichtensteiger:

Signed a 5 year $17.5 million deal, with a $3.5 million average and $1.8 million against the cap in 2013

What he Should have signed for: 3 year deal worth $6 million, $2 million average and $800K against the cap in 2013

-3rd and 4th tier veterans saw their market crash this year, and that was particularly true for interior linemen. Given that Lichtensteiger was coming off a bad year where he had 10 penalties, and a major knee operation the year before he wasn’t going to have any sort of real market. Being a ZBS guard, Lichtensteiger would have only been even remotely attractive to a handful of teams. Guards with more experience and talent were signing for even less than the $2 million a year average I am proposing, so this would have been a gift by the Redskins. While the difference in price is only $1 million this year, going forward this contract gets more expensive.

Fred Davis:

Signed a 1 year $2.5 million deal, and counts the full $2.5 million against the cap in 2013

What he should have signed for: $0 , that isn’t a typo the Redskins should have let Davis walk this offseason

-Yes the Redskins didn’t know they were going to land Jordan Reed (though they probably had a fairly good idea he’d be on the board for them) when they signed Davis, but they still shouldn’t have brought Davis back. That is just too much money to spend on a player who is coming off a major injury, and wasn’t expected to be fully effective to start the year (if not throughout the entire season). Logan Paulsen had filled in admirably while Davis was out last year, and easily could have handled the role for a year even if they didn’t land a young upside TE like Reed. This maybe would have hindered the offense, but the Redskins needed that money elsewhere and since they couldn’t guarantee when and how productive Davis could be it was a risky move.

Sav Rocca:

Signed a 2 year $2.24 million deal, with a $877.5 K  cap number in 2013

What he should have signed for: $0, the Redskins couldn’t afford a veteran punter salary

-Sav Rocca was coming off his worst season as a pro, when he finished 27th in the league in punt average last year. He was inconsistent with his kicks and didn’t do a good job with hangtime or pinning teams inside the 10 yard line. The Redskins should not have been looking to re-sign him, particularly for a two year deal. That is a waste of money they didn’t have and they should have looked at a young rookie, either a late round draft pick or a UDFA to fill the role. Especially if they could land one who could be a kick-off specialist as well. The Patriots for example signed Ryan Allen as a UDFA, and he is only costing them $405 K this year. That is a savings of $477K this year and nearly a million next year.

Nick Sundberg:

Signed a 4 year $4 million deal, with a $812, 500 cap number in 2013

What he should have signed for: 1 year league minimum deal $715K

-The Redskins made Sundberg a top 5 paid long snapper in this league with that contract, and that just seems excessive. Sundberg does a solid job, but he’s far from perfect and really not worth more then the league minimum like the majority of long snappers in the league. While this year it is only about a $100K in savings, next year the Redskins would be able to start using the veteran minimum benefit, which would save them $400-600K a year over the final 3 years of this deal.

Tyler Polumbus:

Signed a 2 year $2 million deal with $900K cap number in 2013

What he should have signed for: 1 year league minimum deal with a $615K cap hit

-I understand bringing Polumbus back, but he really didn’t deserve a raise over the league minimum. This is less than $300K in savings for this year, but nearly $600K in savings for 2014 if they were to bring him back on another veteran deal.

Kedric Golston:

Signed a 3 year $3.3 million deal, with a $960K cap hit in 2013

What he should have signed for: 1 year league minimum deal with a $615K cap hit

-I like Golston as much as the next guy, but should he really be making more than league minimum? Perhaps his agent knew about Jenkins looming suspension and Carriker’s injury set back and had some leverage, but was he really going to get $3.3 million over 3 years from someone else. Maybe next year when you get the money back from the cap penalty you could sign him for above the league minimum, but here you shouldn’t have signed him for any more. That is $345K in savings you are missing out on.

Total Savings: $4.715 million.

-That doesn’t seem like a lot, but the Redskins could have easily signed 2-3 solid-good veterans for that kind of money. It might not have them as Super Bowl contenders, but it would have them better than they are now, and in the weak NFC East it would help them reach the playoffs.

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