Home > Uncategorized > Analyzing 2014 NFL Cap Situations: Washington Redskins

Analyzing 2014 NFL Cap Situations: Washington Redskins

This is a series in which we will take a look at some of the more obvious moves teams will be making when the calendar turns to March, and try to get out in front of a lot of cap analysis you will read.  This is more about setting the stage for free agency previews and the upcoming season than the actual hard numbers.  There will not be a lot of tables in this series, and a lot of the calculations will be back of the napkin type, rounded up to the closest million.  If you are into the hard numbers, check out OvertheCap.com.

2014 Washington Redskins

Critical talent (remaining contract):

– QB Robert Griffin (2 years, $5.6 million remaining, $12.5 million guaranteed)
– OT Trent Williams (2 years, $17.5 million remaining, $4.0 million guaranteed)
– RB Alfred Morris (2 years, $1.2 million remaining, $62 thousand guaranteed)
– WR Pierre Garcon (3 years, $23 million remaining, $6.6 million guaranteed)
– TE Jordan Reed (3 years, $1.8 million remaining, $412 thousand guaranteed)
– NT Barry Cofield (3 years, $16 million remaining, $6.2 million guaranteed)
– DE Stephen Bowen (2 years, $10 million remaining, $5.0 million guaranteed)
– LB Ryan Kerrigan (1 year, $1.6 million remaining, fully guaranteed + 2015 option decision due by 3/2014)

Robert Griffin has more guaranteed money left on his rookie deal than money left on his deal because of the way the NFL amortizes signing bonuses.  He signed a four year deal, and of the $22 million he got in the deal, the Redskins have paid off $9.5 million on prior caps, and still have to pay the $12.5 million on future caps.  However only $5.6 million of that $12.5 has yet to be given to Griffin in the form of a bonus or a past salary.

Current Cap Situation: $27 million under the cap

Washington is currently just a fraction over $15 million under the cap, but four different contracts on their roster will terminate prior to the start of the 2014, and those players are already considered to have expired contracts.  Functionally, Washington will be working with $27 million in cap space.

It’s the best cap situation Washington has been in since Dan Snyder became the owner.  They were in arguably a better situation in 2011, or at least they thought they were, but they were then penalized $36 million for violating a salary cap that did not exist.  The cap penalty was split in half over the 2012 and 2013 seasons.  The Redskins still spent some money they didn’t have, but only to the tune of about eight million, which they will pay out this year in the form of deadcap.  It’s okay, the difference between having $27 million and $35 million in cap space is not going to make a huge difference.

The reason Washington’s cap situation is so good is because they’re are no ridiculous back loadedcontracts that they will have to pay off in future years.  The Washington cap situation actually gets better in 2015, as they’ll get (as of this moment) another eight million to spend in addition to what they will roll over in 2014.

Moves that will be made (90% certainty)

– Release DE Adam Carriker (saves $3.2 million)

Adam Carriker last played in Week 2.  Of the 2012 season.  Good work if you can get it.  The Redskins are now functionally working with 30 million in cap space.

Tough Decisions on Key Players

– NT Barry Cofield
– DE Stephen Bowen
– G Kory Lichtensteiger
– G Chris Chester
– C Will Montgomery
– T Tyler Polumbus

The Redskins have just seven players with contracts larger than their production (which is remarkable for a 3-13 team), and the largest contract, which belongs to Pierre Garcon, is safe.  The Redskins are just that weak at receiver.  Elsewhere, they are in a spot where freeing up space is a smart thing as they can be more aggressive for younger players in free agency.  More than that, they need to free up space in the lineup for new acquisitions.

Right Guard Chris Chester is the one guy on this list who is more likely than not to get released.  Releasing Chester would free up $2.7 million in salary cap space, pushing space for the Redskins north of $32 million.  Chester fought a knee injury sustained in 2012 throughout the last offseason and was ineffective in 2013 coming off the strongest two year stretch of his career in 2011-12.  The Redskins need to make a personnel move on the offensive line, and Chester’s release makes a lot of sense.

Center Will Montgomery, who isn’t particularly expensive to keep, is best suited as a backup.  But a $2.65 million salary makes him a really expensive backup.  He’s probably not going to be an early March release, but it’s not difficult to see him as a cut in training camp.

Barry Cofield is a borderline first-rate starter in this league and will almost certainly be retained as the nose tackle, but Stephen Bowen (offseason knee surgery), Kory Lichtensteiger (one year removed from offseason surgery), and Tyler Polumbus are all expendable players.  Expendable, but affordable.  And you can get away with all three of them as starters (Polumbus, in particular, makes a backup salary).  Expect the Redskins to leverage the free agent market for these guys’ successors, and release them only if they can sign younger players from other teams.

Other potential cap related casulties

After releases, Washington figures to be sitting around $35 million in cap space, though there’s no reason to have to create additional cap space for the first day of the league year.  The Redskins have to fill so many holes off last year’s team.  Both corners and both inside linebackers are free agents (including London Fletcher, headed for retirement).  The top safety is a free agent.  The top rush linebacker is a free agent.  His established, productive backup (Rob Jackson) is a free agent.  The backup nose tackle and versatile defensive line joker (Chris Baker) is a free agent.  The player who went into last season as the starting TE (Fred Davis) is a free agent.  The third and fourth receivers (Santana Moss and Josh Morgan) are free agents. They are naturally going to be hesitant to create a hole on the roster they have to fill because there are 11 contributors off last year’s team heading for free agency.

Top Unrestricted Free Agents

– OLB Brian Orakpo (age 28)
– CB DeAngelo Hall (age 31)
– CB Josh Wilson (age 29)
– LB Perry Riley (age 26)
– OLB Rob Jackson (age 29)
– TE Fred Davis (age 28)
– FS Brandon Meriweather (age 30)
– WR Josh Morgan (age 29)
– DL Chris Baker (age 27)
– LB Nick Barnett (age 33)
– WR Santana Moss (age 35)

Brian Orakpo and Perry Riley are going to be the main focuses for the Redskins in terms of retaining their own players.  They’ll want to keep Chris Bakers as well, particularly if either Cofield or Bowen isn’t retained.

Draft Needs Created by Cap Issues

More like draft needs created by free agency.  The Redskins will need to focus on:

– Offensive Line
– Wide Receiver
– Defensive back
– Defensive Line
– Linebacker

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: