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Do the Redskins need to make a salary cap move?

Jun 11, 2014, 10:25 AM EDT

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The Redskins are eight days away from wrapping up their offseason program and they have just over $2 million under the salary cap. Only two teams, the Saints ($1.7 million under) and Packers ($732,000), have less cap room than Washington.

Do the Redskins need to do anything about their cap situation? They might.

They have signed all of their draft picks so they don’t need to create any more room for signings. At this point they are at the roster limit so if they do choose to sign another player they will have to drop one so the salaries should roughly even out.

In fact, a transaction won’t register at all unless one of the players involved has a salary cap number of more than about $586,000. That’s because until the final cuts are made only the top 51 cap numbers count against the salary cap. Richard Crawford has the 51st-highest cap number at $585,993 so anyone with a cap number lower than that does not count.

But the Redskins have to think ahead to the final cuts when they will have to have room for two more players, any players on the PUP list and injured reserve, and enough to pay the practice squad for the year. The practice squad costs about $800,000 per week (8 players X $6,000 per week X 17 weeks) and the other costs are highly variable.

It’s the variable nature of injured reserve expenses that might make the team want to create more cap room. If they get unlucky and a few players get hurt early they could end up being squeezed by having to sign replacements. If they get up to where they are paying, say, 57 players for the last 13 games of the season they could eat up their cushion in a hurry.

If they want to create more cap room there are a few ways they could go about it. They could restructure the contracts of Pierre Garçon or Trent Williams to move some money to future seasons (when the salary cap will be higher). Williams, who has a cap number of almost $11 million, could be a candidate for an extension that would lower that number.

They could also release some players if they believe they have replacements ready. The Redskins drafted tackle Morgan Moses and guard Spencer Long in the third round. If they decide that one or both are ready to start sooner rather than later they could save some substantial money by releasing Chris Chester ($3.5 million savings) and/or Tyler Polumbus ($2.5 million).

The Redskins do not have to be particularly concerned about creating too much cap space. Since 2012 teams have had the option to roll over unused cap space to the following year and they certainly will take advantage of that.

  1. tnt66 - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    No way would I release Polumbus. He’s the only Right tackle on the roster with significant starting experience. Moses may take over later but still would want him as a backup. Chester on the other hand had a horrible season last year and has a high cap number and a bunch of young hungry guard behind him. I think he could easily be let go.

    • greed - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      Agreed !

  2. jayovalentine - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Cut Chester.

  3. kenlinkins - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    It seems that Chester will be the odd man out unless he can prove his $3.5 Million Cap hit is worth it and IMO the odds are against him. Even being able to roll that $3.5 million in Cap saving into next year looks better then keeping Chester. It will be interesting to see how Chester reacts in Training Camp and preseason games knowing the numbers. He could be really getting after it to A. Keep his job (and $3.5 million for 2014) or B. to get as much good play on tape to show other teams that 2013 was not a true read on his skills.

  4. mrhart76 - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    Polumbus sucks. I remember watching the San Francisco game and cussing at the tv as Brooks and Smith took turns running around him. He has starting experience but that doesn’t mean someone else isn’t better. I say cut him and move on with starting Compton with Moses backing both tackle spots up.

    • tnt66 - Jun 12, 2014 at 7:09 AM

      Polumbus may not be the greatest right tackle in the world but right now he is the best one on the roster. Moses is not even close to starting. His head is still spinning from just trying to learn the playbook and get down basic fundamentals. If Compton was better than Polumbus he would have beaten him out last year. Polumbus is also good in the run game. Just because one guy isn’t a super star doesn’t mean someone else will be better. Also would not cut him even if didn’t,start. They are too thin at tackle if an injury occurred

      • BartonHeights - Jun 12, 2014 at 8:35 AM

        Do you know Moses? Have you witnessed a practice to base your comment on? Otherwise that is just speculation, and Moses might very well be able to handle the position reasonably well. If the skins are in a position to cut 6 million on a couple scrubs and be in a better position for next season, they very well should take advantage of the situation.

        • tnt66 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:33 AM

          I’m basing my comments on all the experts like Keim that are closesly watching OTAs and they say Moses is a work in progress. Your comments on Compton are wishful thinking. I will defer to the Offensive line coach who watches these guys for endless hours . He doesn’t think Compton is better than Polumbus or believe me he would be starting. Fans have the luxury of wishful thing but coaches don’t. If Moses earns the start in practice then great. I’m all for upgrading the postion and they drafted him to eventually start. He has to earn it first in the eyes of the coaching staff and right now he is not ready to startt in the eyes of anyone who is paying attention. There is a reason he lasted until the 3rd round. May the best player start and that goes for any position. I am for cutting Chester. Long is farther along than moses and Chester has a higher cap than Compton. Chester was the worst OL player on the team last year allowing far more pressures than anyone on the line

      • Rich Tandler - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        I’m largely in agreement with you here up until the last point. It would be very hard to justify keeping a backup who is making $2.5 million with almost no guaranteed money on the deal. As of right now, I think Polumbus will keep his starting job, at least for the first part of the season. But if he gets beaten out I think his roster spot is very much in jeopardy. If Foerster trusted Compton to be the backup last year I don’t see why he wouldn’t trust him to be the same this year.

        > >

        • tnt66 - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:46 AM

          Perhaps if he is beaten out he would be willing to take a pay cut to remain on the roster. I know he had some interest around the league from other teams but wasn’t a huge market for his services

      • greed - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        Polombus value is he can play every position on the line & compton wouldnt of played regardless of his talent da shannys played favorites for his broncos boys i.e see K.L the left guard def chester odd man out two much money too old &got beating luke a drum last year , gettis lerebrius or long should be ready to step in mire girth more power

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