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Point – Counterpoint: Implications of Capgate

John Manuel

By DC Staff Writer John Manuel:

How will the arbitrator’s ruling for the NFL on “Capgate” affect the Washington Redskins?

John:

First of all, this is still garbage but I have been down that argument many times.  More and more I think the Skins should feel most betrayed by the NFLPA and DeMaurice Smith.  All he did was hurt his players by taking cap room from Dallas and Washington, teams that will pay his players or at least increase paydays from other teams.  $36 million is going to hurt, but everyone knows you can always find ways to gain cap space.  Plus, I think Goodell aka Commissioner Worthless knows he owes the Skins now for a big mistake he made.

STEVE:

While I don’t like the idea of the Skins being punished particularly in this gray area, we have to remember the Skins were warned 6 times not to do what they did, so some of the blame falls squarely on their shoulders. I agree though what this boils down to is the Players Association and DeMaurice Smith abandoned the Skins to cover up how much they got schooled in the CBA negotiations. I do think with the Skins and Cowboys dropping this, we could perhaps see another Dallas Super Bowl, and possibly a DC one as well. The real question is how can the Redskins build a contender with the loss of so much cap room?

John:

Great point on hosting Super Bowls.  My feeling is it won’t hurt as much as $36 million sounds.  Teams always find cap space.  Each February the Raiders seem to be $50 million over the cap but get under somehow.  Bad example, maybe I should have used this year’s Steelers instead.

I think the roster is pretty set for the 2012 and this will be more of a concern after the other $18 million hit after 2012.  As we discussed, the two obvious candidates to be let go are Santana and Cooley.  But I think they have room to keep both for now and determine what they have in Paul, Morgan, Austin, Robinson and Hankerson before making any cuts.  DeAngelo Hall missing OTAs and having something like an $8+ mill cap number has to be in question also.  2013 is my concern and the potential of losing key future UFAs.

STEVE:

Well I do think the cap hit has had an effect on this team so far. With that $18 million in extra cap space, the Skins could have afforded cutting Jammal Brown, and maybe signing his replacement in free agency. With the hit, the Skins couldn’t afford having an extra $5-6 million in dead cap space this year.

I also think that instead of dumpster diving for safeties and corner backs, the Skins might have signed one or two quality guys. They might not have been stars, but definitely and upgrade over what we ended up with. Another factor is some of the contracts they did this year put extra pressure in 2014 and beyond (Garcon and Carriker deal especially) since they couldn’t balance out the money as much these first two years.

As for some of our vets, I do think the cap hit at least put Cooley and Moss’s status in question though I’m guessing they get one more year. 2013 is really when this cap hit could affect the Skins, and it might get ugly.

Who will be the biggest casualty of Capgate? Possibly Fred Davis.

John:

But Jammal Brown is killing it in pilates.  I’m worried about 2013, but since the Cerrato drafts were so bad,  other than Orakpo, we probably don’t have any first time free agents coming up that quickly.  I can blame Goodell, Mara, Bischotti, DeMaurice, DeMaurice’s hats, the Owners and the NFLPA, but Cerrato and Snyder will be most to blame in the end.

Cerrato was the one who re-upped DeAngelo for way over his value and took a solid 180 minutes to give Haynesworth a $100 million and got us into the mess.  Looks like our only UFA’s for next year are guys we signed this year and Lightensteiger, but still have to figure more issues will arise as signed players cap numbers jump like you mentioned.  The coaching staff will have to get the best out of what they currently have.

STEVE:

We don’t have many 2013 UFA’s, but Fred Davis will be the big one, and I can’t see the team franchising him again. And while we might not have many current free agents, we also still have a pretty subpar line and defensive backfield, and might not again have the money to address those spots. The lack of a 1st round pick next year means that we need essentially to add another starter via free agency. As it stands now (though these are pretty preliminary numbers) the Redskins project to be $5-6 million over the 2013 cap (assuming it doesn’t rise more than $2 million), before re-signing anyone, or adding free agents. This could lead to a mass exodus of cuts, and eliminate all but the stopgap level of free agent signings.

John:

That was a big whiff by me on Fred Davis.  Maybe some genie tells me he goes down on another drug suspension?  Hopefully not.  Being over by $5 million is not good for sure but you know they are already planning for that.

Good we’re in Washington, because the team is gonna get the President Obama’s Buffett Rule imposed and a lot of our high priced players are going to be asked to give money back in 2013 and beyond.  Can we get cap relief for building a practice bubble?  Or pay players in Johnny Rockets coupons?  Looks like they will need to be creative after 2012.

STEVE:

Don’t worry, Davis whiff’s on enough blocks, so I doubt he’ll be too upset. Looking more closely at the numbers, I think it will be even a greater overage than the $5 million I originally said. Regardless I think Redskins fans will be in for an offseason in 2013 unlike any they’ve ever seen, since Washington may have to forego free agency…someone will need to check Dan Snyder’s pulse.

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