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Redskins 2015 cap outlook: Interior O-line

Jan 5, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

Shawn Lauvao vs Jags

As Jay Gruden and company search for a new defensive coordinator people in another part of the building at Redskins Park are looking forward to free agency and how best to utilize the approximately $20 million in cap space the Redskins have. Here we’ll take a position-by-position look at the cap situation and explore some of the Redskins’ options. First up, the interior offensive line.

The Redskins currently have six interior offensive linemen under contract.



—The Redskins have all three of their 2014 starters under contract through 2015. Chester’s contract expires after this season, Lichtensteiger’s and Lauvao’s run through 2017.

—Chester has the 10th-highest cap number on the team. Lichtensteiger ranks right behind him at 11th and Lauvao is 13th.

—The Redskins’ total expenditure on the offensive line, including tackles, is $29.8 million. That ranks third in the NFL although it should be noted that many teams do not have their five 2014 starters for under contract as the Redskins do.

—LeRibeus has one year to go on his rookie contract and Long is locked up through 2017 on is rookie deal.

—Johnson is signed through 2015.

Adding and subtracting

The popular fan perception is that Chester is a liability and that he is not worth the $4.8 million that he will cost against the cap in 2015. Last year he was the 14th-highest paid guard in the NFL, according to The folks at Pro Football Focus have Chester’s 2014 performances ranked 27th among the 55 guards who played at least 60 percent of their teams’ snaps. One could conclude that the Redskins did not get great value out of Chester last year.

The guard the PFF has ranked immediately in front of Chester is Zane Beadles of the Jaguars, who had a $7.5 million cap hit in 2014, the first year of a five-year, $30 million contract. Ben Grubbs of the Saints, right behind Chester in the rankings, was one of the highest paid guards in the NFL with a cap number of $9.1 million.

The Redskins would save $4 million against the cap if they release Chester. They would save the salary, workout bonus, and roster bonus but they still would be charged the remaining $800,000 of his bonus proration as dead cap.

If Long is ready to start—and if a third-round pick at guard isn’t ready after a year of seasoning you have to start to question the wisdom of the selection—the smart money move might be to release Chester and move the second-year player into the starting lineup. Later today, Tarik El-Bashir and I are going to examine this possibility in some depth.

You could make the case that Lichtensteiger was the team’s best offensive lineman this year, given that Trent Williams missed some time and struggled on occasion due to injuries. He was well worth his cap hit.

PFF ranked Lauvao below Chester but he did improve as the year went on and he adjust to the Redskins’ zone blocking scheme. That and the $3 million in dead cap that would result from releasing him (net cap savings of $1 million) will probably keep him around in 2015.

[Related: 2015 position outlook: Interior offensive line]

Cap information from and other sources.

  1. celticsforever - Jan 5, 2015 at 4:25 PM

    (I am commenting on the OL in general, not just interior OL)

    This team is terrible at talent evaluation. Whoever gave Chester 4 million? You hit the nail on the head that if Long isn’t ready to start yet then why ever pick him? Answer – talent evaluation. LeRebius – wasted pick. Gettis – wasted pick. Stephon Heyer – wasted time & signing. Remember Chad Rinehart? Washington let him go and now he’s STARTING LG for San Diego. Jury is still out on Moses.
    So we have:

    That’s 6 guys… that at this point not ONE of them are starting for Washington. Heck, they even keep a guy who can’t crack the lineup over Chester (LeRebius) and release a guy who’s now a starting LG on a good team (Rinehart, LG, Chargers). This is all poor talent evaluation. Whether it was Cerrato, Gibbs, Allen, Shanahan… doesn’t matter. This team needs a strong GM with a football brain and a strong scouting dept. who can make a 3rd or 4th round pick useful. Leave the “winning off the field” to Allen.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 5, 2015 at 5:48 PM

      Long wasn’t ready because he was drafted while coming off a major knee injury. If he had been healthy he would not have been there in the 3rd round. By the end of the year we saw Long finally being activated and actually getting onto the field for a handful of snaps. A full, healthy offseason should see him return to form.

      I would walk into next season with Long penciled in at RG, LeRibeus being given a fair shot at beating out the horrible Lauvao at LG, and another mid round pick to battle for the C/G positions.

      And yes, there’s something amiss in what Redskins coaches/front office staff are seeing in practice as they keep trotting out bad players while good ones slip away.

    • skinsgame - Jan 5, 2015 at 9:26 PM

      Didn’t Rinehart get arrested for drunk in public or high as a kite at a Straw Hat pizzeria?

      • celticsforever - Jan 5, 2015 at 11:06 PM

        Loaded drunk, yes I think so. It was a one-off incident. He’s a solid starter.

        • skinsgame - Jan 6, 2015 at 4:44 AM

          I wasn’t making a case for why they dumped him. I was just recollecting. I agree, he’s proven to be a good lineman.

    • captblood3000 - Jan 6, 2015 at 8:07 AM

      Joe is spot on about Long. Moses also wasn’t expected to start in 2014. People need to go back and watch Moses’ play in the SF game: it wasn’t great but it wasn’t as terrible as people say. Should he recover fully from his foot injury, he should be our RT. Interior linemen tend to be value picks in the draft, and the Skins should be willing to select one on day 2.

      • bangkokben - Jan 6, 2015 at 12:24 PM

        Late to this conversation but this is where BRUCE ALLEN et all addressed the team’s need with the draft and TRIED to acquire “1st round” talent at a mid round price for 2015. I don’t think it will work out with Moses due to the Lisc Franc and Chester did not play as bad this year as the previous year. He was dependable. As for starting LeRebus and Long next year. You really going to do that with our quarterback situation? I don’t think so.

        • Joe Greene - Jan 6, 2015 at 2:17 PM

          Chester was terrible this year and Lauvao was worse. There’s no excuse for either to be a starter in the NFL.

  2. gasngo14 - Jan 5, 2015 at 7:41 PM

    Snyder can go from a zero to a hero in DC, with one last big off season splash. He needs to throw the wallet at Scot McCloughan.

    • jscx3 - Jan 5, 2015 at 9:26 PM

      That would make too much sense! I have been reading about it. I think that would be great,

  3. goback2rfk - Jan 6, 2015 at 12:30 AM

    i really do not care to speculate anymore what the deadskins are going to do. I am just going to sit back and watch this circus act unfold. Archives

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