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What are the Redskins’ options for creating more cap space?

Aug 13, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT


The Redskins don’t have any breathing room under the NFL salary cap and Bruce Allen said that the team needs to create some.

Allen confirmed that the team has around $2 million in cap space remaining and that’s not enough. “Obviously we’re going to have some injuries during the year that will eat that up,” he said. “We’re going to make those adjustments and look at different options after the third preseason game.”

The probably need about another $2 million in cap space to cover players on injured reserve, handle any injury settlements that come along, and to pay their practice squad players. What options does the team have available? There are many ways to skin that cat; here are a few of the possibilities.

The most straightforward way to reduce you salary cap expenditures is to release a high-priced player. The player who seems to be the most likely candidate here is Stephen Bowen. Since it is after June 1, the major portion of unaccounted for bonus money on his contract would not hit the cap until 2015. Releasing Bowen, who has been battling to get off of the PUP list after undergoing microfracture surgery last year, would save $4.4 million in cap space.

Bowen could also be asked to take a reduction in his salary this year. He would have to agree to do so but the team could present options where he either takes a reduction in pay or gets released.

Yes, the NFL can be a cold, hard business. The team could soften the blow by giving Bowen an opportunity to earn back part or all of the amount of his reduction in pay by putting in some incentives.

Bowen is the only player making a significant amount of money who is not in the team’s plans as either a starter or as a top reserve. If they don’t do something with his contract there are other options.

They could also restructure a player’s contract to reduce the cap hit this year while increasing it in future years. Pierre Garçon is a possible candidate here. They could convert some of his $7.1 million salary to signing bonus and spread the cap hit out over the three remaining years on his deal.

The team could also try to negotiate a contract extension with Trent Williams, a move that could possibly reduce his cap hit of nearly $11 million this year. But that might be difficult to get done in the next couple of weeks and the cap savings could be minimal.

Allen and company will figure out a way to get it done but there are no easy choices. Perhaps they will end up creating the space with a series of smaller moves rather than with a dramatic stroke. We should find out in the next few weeks.

  1. Vasplash - Aug 13, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    What’s the best thing about 27year olds…???

    There’s 20 of them

  2. ajbus1 - Aug 13, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    Bowen’s “not in the team’s plans as either a starter or as a top reserve”? Is that just as of right now because he’s hurt, or are they possibly planning to move on without him?

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 13, 2014 at 8:32 PM

      Perhaps not the right way to word it. He will be at best a rotational player and a $4.4 million salary is too much for such a player.

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      • ajbus1 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:32 PM

        Gotcha. I agree he’s being paid to much for a role like that. He once looked like he would be an above average starter and now…who knows? Hopefully he agrees to a pay cut or else he may be cut.

  3. kenlinkins - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    The key to GM Allen’s statement is that the Redskins are going to wait until after the 3rd preseason game before making those Cap moves. This tells me that the Redskins are not yet sold as many media types on who will make the 53 man roster (other wise, why not make the move now?). If the Redskins start a youth movement this year they might have the 20 to 25 new faces on the 53 man roster that GM Allen talked about early in the year. By waiting, the Redskins do not lock themselves into roster spots and giving signing bonus money away to someone who could be cut / beat out of a job. I am sure the Redskins have plans in place either way but by keeping everyone guessing no one knows if his job is safe and everyone works harder, which benefits the team. IMO I still see about 20 roster spots up for grabs (while most have only 5 or 6). IMO the new head coach is looking for his type of players and the truth is no one what that is other then himself. My guess is still that there will be more turn over than most think. If the Redskins do not have a target number, that means they are not close to filling the roster! Game on young Redskins, there seems to be spots open!

    • ajbus1 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:35 PM

      Good points. Could be just a way to motivate a few of our overpaid players.

  4. mac7163 - Aug 14, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    Hey Rich can you answer this question ? In the case NFL vs Redskins , since the Skins were found not guilty of taking advantage of the salary cap on the uncapped year will they recoup any of the over 30 million they were hit with over the past 2 seasons ?

    • Rich Tandler - Aug 14, 2014 at 4:44 AM

      You never know how a court ruling might turn out but the chances of them ever recovering any of that money are very slim.

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