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Redskins add $3.2 million in cap space with Tuesday’s moves

Mar 4, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT


The Redskins released five players today and as a result they have about $3.3 million more in salary cap space than they did to start the day.

There are cap savings totaling almost $4.8 million with the releases of Carriker (savings of $2.99 million), Rocca ($1.2 million) and Quinn ($570,000). The cap savings consist of the player’s cap charge minus any dead cap from unallocated bonuses paid in the past. Carriker’s release added $3.5 million in dead cap while Rocca’s added $162,500. There is no dead money for Quinn’s contract.

But the Redskins do not have an additional $4.8 million to spend. That is because of the Rule of 51. During the offseason, only the team’s top 51 cap numbers count towards the team’s salary cap number. When a player is removed, whoever is 52nd-highest moves into the calculation. So when the three veterans were removed from the roster, they were replaced by three players who are making $495,000 each. Add that nearly $1.5 million back into the cap number and the Redskins end up with a net of $3.3 million more to spend.

Running backs Jawan Jamison and Davin Meggett were also released but neither was in the top 51 is salary so they were not involved in the calculations.

After today’s moves and the franchise tag handed to Brian Orakpo on Monday, the Redskins have about $21.9 million in salary cap space to work with. It’s certainly possible for them can create more with additional roster moves in the coming days.

  1. ajbus1 - Mar 4, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Hey Rich, I read that the cowboys were able to nearly get under the salary cap by paying romo most of his money as a signing bonus and restructure a couple other deals. What I’m wondering is why and how this is possible and why teams don’t just make all salaries signing bonuses?

    • Stephen - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      Restructuring of salary into signing bonus is a frequently used cap move that has pluses and minuses. By converting large salaries into bonuses, teams can prorate or spread the cap hit of the bonus over the life of the contract. For example, I believe Cowboys converted 10 million of Romo’s salary into bonus, which allows them to spread it over the remaining years of the contract (which I believe is 5 years for Romo. NFL max is 7 years). The benefit is that Romo’s cap hit went from 20 million to 12 million this year, creating room. The downside is that Romo’s cap number just increased by 2 million for the remaining life of the contract. Also, if cowboys have to cut Romo during the contract due to performance or injury, the entire remaining prorated signing bonus becomes a cap hit in the year released (subject to June 1 cut designation). As you can see, it is a tool that can be used to create substantial cap room, but must be used judiciously to avoid lots of “dead money” in later years.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:55 PM

      Stephen explained it well. Converting salary to bonus saves cap that year but pushes into other years. The Redskins did this throughout the 00’s and the only thing that bailed them out was the uncapped 2010 season.

  2. aprilwalker2013 - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Good explanation of rule I’ve never even heard of much less knew about! Good job! HTTR

  3. Chris - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    This is GREAT! FINALLY, the Redskins are GETTING MONEY, NOT LOSING IT!

  4. ajbus1 - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:54 PM

    Thanks Stephen and Rich!

  5. kenlinkins - Mar 4, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    The Redskins also signed Gumbs to a one year contract. My question would be can we read anything into this yet? Are there any messages being sent?

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 5, 2014 at 5:10 AM

      It was a no-brainer to sign Gumbs. It’s a minimum salary, no-guarantee, exclusive rights deal. He will compete with Rambo and Thomas for backup roster spots behind whatever two starters they sign/draft. No message being sent.

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      • kenlinkins - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:50 AM

        Do you really think that Thomas will not start this year?

        • scirishhoss - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:07 AM

          He missed the whole season, he’s gonna be a part timer in 2014… Maybe 2015 he’ll have a crack at it. I think they learned there lesson by not improving the depth… Rambo had zero business starting a NFL game.

        • Rich Tandler - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:19 AM

          Thomas might start, it’s a possibility though not a strong one. But they certainly can’t check off safety as a need based on hoping that Thomas can start.

          Hope is not a plan. (I have that trademarked, by the way, and you’ll see me use it a lot over the next few months.)


          > >

  6. scirishhoss - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    I think they should cut Bowen and Polumbus next, save some more money. Get younger as well.

  7. alextwrs - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    I say cut Bowen, Chester, and montgomery. Polumbus is developing, when all three of the other guys have developed into what we dont want, salary hogs.

  8. alextwrs - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Just like last year let all of the underachievers walk and talk to the league and watch em slither on back to take minimum contracts. Atleast Polumbus manned up and took his contract last yr along with D. Hall.

  9. stoptrippn - Mar 5, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Mays and Jenkins should the safeties Archives

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