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Do the Redskins have any candidates for early contract extensions?

Mar 2, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT


The Eagles have been quite busy the last few days signing players to new contracts. Two of those players, left tackle Jason Peters and center Jason Kelce, were not set to be free agents until next year. This is the way the Eagles and some other teams, notably the 49ers, have operated for a number of years. By locking up their best players in advance of their free agent years, those teams are able to map out their cap strategies and personnel needs years in advance.

Can the Redskins pursue the same strategy? Could they take some of their roughly $30 million in salary cap room and make an investment in 2015 and beyond?

The short answer is yes but the longer answer is that they don’t have very many candidates for a long-term extension right now.

Before you jump in with the names of Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris, neither one of those players is eligible for an extension. Part of the 2011 CBA agreement that brought sanity to the rookie compensation system prohibits any player from renegotiating his deal before finishing three years in the league. So the quarterback and running back have to go on the back burner until after this season.

The players who remain on the roster from the draft class of 2011 are eligible for new contracts as they enter the last year of their rookie deals. The problem there is that there are few who the Redskins would want to lock up at this point. We’ll look at Ryan Kerrigan in a minute. But the second- and third-round picks from that year, Jarvis Jenkins and Leonard Hankerson, have both lost substantial time to injury and, in Jenkins’ case, suspension. Even at their better moments, neither has played well enough to warrant a new deal.

Perhaps a role player like Roy Helu Jr. might be a target for an extension. But with a new offense coming in this year it would be wise for both parties to wait.

Although Kerrigan would be a prime candidate for an extension, he is a different case from the rest of his draft classmates. Since he is a first-round pick, the Redskins have a 2015 option that they almost certainly will exercise. Kerrigan was taken outside of the top 10 so the option would be worth a salary equal to the averages of the top 25 players at his position with the top three excluded. That number is hard to nail down in advance but as of now it look like it will come to around $4 million for the season. After that he would be a free agent.

Since Kerrigan essentially has two years left on his contract due to the option, the Redskins can wait another year and still work something out with Kerrigan prior to the free agency deadline pressure. There is incentive for Kerrigan to wait as well,

Another player who could wait a year is Trent Williams. He has two years left on his rookie contract from 2010 with a cap hit of about $10 million this year and $14 million in 2015. Like with Kerrigan, this one should probably wait a year.

We will have to wait another year, then, to see if the Redskins want to get into the business of locking up their younger, key players in advance of them becoming free agents. With Morris, Kerrigan, and Williams all set to become free agents in 2016 and Griffin going into his option year then, next spring would be a good time to start.

  1. internetcareer - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    the Skins ALREADY needed to do this LAST year with Perry Riley. It was..uhmmm…STUPID to allow Riley to play out his contract into a free agent year when it was easy to see this guy was a solid player. Probably Shanahan’s mistake. I have no clue what some of these fans are watching who say Perry cannot tackle. He has 244 tackles in the last 2 years and honestly LAST YEAR I was shouting into my computer “sign him to a long term contract!” The guy had 129 tackles in 2012 so it should not have taken a genius to determine that with numbers like that he was a solid player. So if the Redskins need help identifying WHO they should sign to long term contracts just contact me. P.S. In my world you NEVER sign a running back to a long term deal unless he is a 1500 yard back and under 27. So NO…Roy Helu is a nice runner…but unless the contract is cheap…he doesn’t get an extension.

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 2, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      HMMMMMM Do you think the Cap Penalty had something to do with Riley getting extended? DUH

      • internetcareer - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        cap penalty? when you sign someone to a FIVE year deal you prorate the bonus. He most likely at that point last season could have been had for a 5 million dollar bonus and his salary could have been escalated for the remaining 4 years. He would not have made much more last season even with a bonus if it was a FIVE year deal. So in answer to your question Mr. timwillhidetimwillhide NO…the cap penalty would have had nothing to do with signing a 3rd year player late round draft pick to an extension. Not at all.

  2. kenlinkins - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Rich< again thanks for the info. It helps us to understand just what our GM is thinking and what deals should and could be made. Your story today outlines a concern, "why is our roster not more loaded after 4 years of coach Shanahan"? This teams CORE of young non early draft pick players is lacking talent other teams would be willing to sign our players for. Some due to injuries some, some due lack of development and many just not worth much to other teams. My hope is that the new coaching staff can coach up some of these guys and maybe find a few who were trained into a coach's system only (our O&D line, WR's, special teams, FS/SS come to mine As for Riley, my problem with him is not the number of tackles he makes but where he makes them. He has not yet shown the down hill attacking style, even as a "sweeper" ILB type in the 3-4 he should be able to fill holes and make tackles for – yards more often. I am not saying he is a bad player, I just still weakness in areas.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      Thanks for reading. I think that the Shanahan Redskins (not unlike most of the coaches since Norv) have done a poor job of developing players. Thats why after so many draft picks there are so few real keepers. The idea of rotating a young player in to get some snaps was virtually foreign to Shanahan.

      > >

  3. kenlinkins - Mar 3, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Has any one else seen some of the new “Big Boards” that came out today? Many of the guys who were on draft simulators dropping into the 3rd, 4th or even 5th round have moved way up after the NFL Combine. Guys I had pegged as starters for us in later round (3rd, 3th and 5th) now might not be there after 2nd round. Guys falling to us, while good players have little chance of starting in 2014. WR’s, CB’s, OT’s (all areas of need for us) even with this deep draft, seem to be out of our reach without our first round pick. While our depth and Special teams will improve, finding starters in this years draft will be much harder which means IMO that we will be signing more Free Agent Stop Gap types. I had hoped that we could get 2 CB’s. WR and OT/G who could start in 2014, I now see that is not going to happen. I just hope our new coaching staff can coach up the guys we pick in rounds 3 to 5, and we might want to start looking at more D-line, LB’s and TE’s types to help rebuild this roster. (ADSITYS)!

    • eataylor87 - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Kenlinkins … this draft is loaded across the board. I think we’ll fix some of the holes in free agency, but there’s a pretty good chance our 2nd/3rd round picks are starters, whether that be at WR, ILB or OG. Then, in the 4th round, there should be some decent guys that fall, again, possibly a slot WR, DE, NT, ILB or CB.

      This is a deep draft. I read an article recently stating that some of the guys that will be undrafted this year would go in the 5th-6th round in previous years. I think the key to this draft will be to load up on picks between 2nd and 5th rounds. How we do that, or whether we can, remains to be seen. But I think you can bank on 2 impact players via picks 34 and 66 … and pick 96 is even early enough in the 4th to possibly grab a guy that falls (Seantrel Henerson as a RG?) if we don’t fill a particular need with the 2nd and 3rd or free agency. Archives

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