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Need to Know: Who will be cap casualties for the Redskins?

Jan 19, 2015, 5:43 AM EDT

Chris-Chester-Cardinals

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 19, 101 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock for the first round of the NFL draft.

Question of the day

We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question is from Twitter:

Actually, cap casualties are often one of the first steps in the offseason. They generally aren’t based on what personnel the team acquires in the draft or in free agency.

The process will start soon at Redskins Park with Scot McCloughan, Jay Gruden, and others evaluating the players currently on the roster. Their grades for the season, along with their potential to either improve or decline, are then compare to their individual cap situations—cap number, savings, dead money, etc. Then right around the start of free agency on March 10, they will make their cap-related cuts.

Now they might hold onto some players until a replacement is found. But usually the decision already has been made and they’re just waiting until the can sign somebody, anybody, to take that player’s place. And they could cut someone after the draft but by then offseason workouts have started. Should a player sustain an injury during on team property during those workouts, the team could be on the hook for his salary for the year.

So, enough of that. Here are the players I think are most likely to become cap casualties:

G Chris Chester—This seems to be a no-brainer. They will go younger, cheaper, and bigger here, saving a net of $4 million while eating $800,000 of dead cap.

DE Stephen Bowen—He was on the PUP list for six games and inactive for two more. Bowen did start three games at the end of the season but it’s hard to justify a cap number of $8.02 million (currently the 4th highest on the team) for that. Releasing him would save $5.5 million in cap space.

DB Tracy Porter—Porter got $3.5 million in salary and bonuses last year and he played 89 snaps due to injuries. I’ll do the math for you; that’s $39, 325 per snap. It’s hard to see them paying him another $2.5 million in salary and bonuses this year. Would save a net of $2.8 million.

Those three are the ones that I would call “most likely” to be cap casualties. Another possibility is Barry Cofield ($4.1 million in savings). Perhaps they will move on from DeAngelo Hall ($2.3 million) if they don’t think that his twice-torn Achilles is going to heal.

Before making any cap moves the Redskins it looks like the Redskins will have between $15 and $20 million in cap space.

Timeline

—It’s been 22 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 237 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 31; NFL free agency starts 50; 2015 NFL Draft 101

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. O - Jan 19, 2015 at 6:38 AM

    Great work sir

  2. clayton268921 - Jan 19, 2015 at 8:36 AM

    I don’t understand how dead money works. If they incur $1 million in dead money, that essentially shrinks their cap space by $1 Million forever? Does it ever get forgiven?

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 19, 2015 at 8:37 AM

      No, dead money is for that year only.

      > > >

    • babyteal1 - Jan 19, 2015 at 9:09 AM

      Forever Clayton really??? We don’t need you routing for the Redskins….please move on

      • jonevans511 - Jan 19, 2015 at 10:36 AM

        Really “babyteal”???? You ridicule the dude for not knowing exactly how dead money gets treated? You sir are the kind of pompous fan we absolutely don’t need. You know, the kind that would rather poke fun at someone who isn’t quite sure how one of the several Salary Cap nuances work than add anything productive to the forum. Clayton cares enough about our team to ask and become informed. You care about talking trash. Which is REALLY better for our fanbase?

        Anyways, Rich- I like where your head’s at and I agree. D Hall will be an interesting decision for the Skins this year. The Achilles injury (or injuries) is worrisome to say the least….. Either way though, we have to hope Amerson takes a huge forward, Breeland continues to progress, and we find some sort of solution(s) at safety. P Thomas is key; if he can prove he’s worthy of starting next year that’s one thing. But we really need him to be a force back there and then add another safety to sure up the back end. Not saying things definitely will fall in to place, I’m a Skins fan after all. I just want to see progress at every position, regardless how well or horrible we performed last year. Onward and upward, folks.

      • Joe Greene - Jan 19, 2015 at 10:06 PM

        “Routing”

        When in the process of mocking someone, you might want to know how to spell the word you’re using to make fun of them. It’s rooting you idiot.

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jan 19, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    Porter was a horrible signing.

    And it’s not like most people besides Bruce Allen and company didn’t know it.

    Redskins sign CB Tracy Porter (2 years, $6 million): D Grade

    (From WalterFootball last year.)
    ~

    • shermanp79 - Jan 19, 2015 at 11:23 AM

      Everyone they signed last year was a joke. The Draft was little better. We basically have Breeland and Murphy who got on the field. If we are lucky Long can fill a starting role next year. Who knows about Moses, he looked horrible. I watched his College tape again, why did they take him before the 5th round? His balance is horrible and he struggled blocking, he missed more than he engaged. Hopefully Callahan can do something with him.

      • captblood3000 - Jan 19, 2015 at 12:27 PM

        Disagree on Moses. I watched the SF game specifically to see how he did. He’s not Trent, but “horrible” is hyperbole. On one sack, it looked like Griffin took a seven step drop while Moses gave him a clean pocket for a five step drop. The other sack was on Moses. Moses was supposed to be raw coming out of UVA but with a big upside. I still see him in the Redskins’ plans.

        • bangkokben - Jan 20, 2015 at 9:35 AM

          Moses coming off the Lis Franc injury is not going to improve in 2015.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 19, 2015 at 10:07 PM

      Walter is a moron and even he knew that was a bad move. Same with Lauvao that everyone had rated near the bottom of the FA pool. Allen showed, in his first year picking the players, that he has no idea what he’s doing on that front.

      • captblood3000 - Jan 20, 2015 at 12:28 PM

        It’s possible that Gruden pounded the table for Lauvao, seeing as how the Bengals and Browns are in the same division.

  4. shermanp79 - Jan 19, 2015 at 11:17 AM

    So that gives them roughly 33m-38m in cap space if I figured it right. With that kind of money they would be in pretty good shape to add improvements to this roster. I’m sure there will be another few million down the road. They clearly need multiple DL, S and OL. If they can improve those areas this team will be in much better shape. The key will be finding young FA. I feel much better with Scot leading the charge.

  5. skinsjunkie46 - Jan 19, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    Hey Rich, is duke Ihenacho under contract still or no? Do you see him having any impact this year after being out pretty much all of last year.

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 19, 2015 at 12:13 PM

      He’s a restricted free agent, we’ll see if they offer him a tender, which would run about $1.3 million, or try to sign him for a couple of years for less per year but with some guaranteed.

  6. redskinscaio - Jan 19, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    If Porter and Bowen are healthy, then they should not cut them. Bowen is a good player when he’s healthy. The Skins played much better when he was in there at the end of the season. Jenkins is a free agent right? Cofield is also a very good player if healthy. Same goes with Porter. It’s tough to find a decent DB for less than 5 million…if they’re healthy, keep them!

    I’d love to get an offensive linemen with the first two picks of the draft. Which means Chester will probably be cut.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 19, 2015 at 10:08 PM

      Porter has sucked for 4+ years now. He had a good Super Bowl, half a decade ago, and hasn’t been a pathetic player since then.

  7. redskinscaio - Jan 19, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    When I watched the SKins games and kept my eye on Chester, he would get pushed back like 4 yards behind the line of scrimmage more often than not. He needs to go.

  8. Mr Hart - Jan 19, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    Porter and Bowen and coefield are all old and or injury prone. We are not going to win with them next year. We are not going to win without them neither. So move on. Start the rebuild from the ground up. We have a good guy picking out the materials now. Lets build this strong foundation. ( oline and d-line) Then add the furniture next year. .in a few years we should be ready to compete. Its takes time. We have a serious lack of talent on this current roster. Maybe 15 at the most should stay.

  9. mdownes311 - Jan 19, 2015 at 3:16 PM

    I’d like to add the following 3 players.
    Lichtensteiger $2.650 million savings with dead money hit of $800K
    Paulsen $2.116 million savings with dead money hit of $366,668K
    Golston $1.220 million savings with dead money hit of $120K
    Golston can be replaced by someone younger. Paulsen is lousy! No way he is worth that amount. If Gruden,Callahan, and McCloughan want to go bigger Lichtensteiger could be in trouble.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 19, 2015 at 10:10 PM

      Cutting Lichtensteiger, when so many other positions need to be upgraded first, would be terrible unless a C who is at least as good is found for less money. I doubt that happens.

      Paulsen and Golston are not worth worrying about either way.

  10. Joe Greene - Jan 19, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    If we stay with the 3-4, the right move is to cut all 5 guys listed. That leaves more than $35 million in cap space. There are a ton of guys who wouldn’t break the bank and are upgrades to what we have.

    Just remember size is a key so a CB like Chris Culliver fits while Kareem Jackson probably doesn’t. A less experienced S like Jeromy Miles from Baltimore may get a shot due to being 6’2″ and playing well when he got his shot. A couple of legit NT options are out there like Terrance Knighton, Dan Williams, and Kenrick Ellis. DE could be upgraded with a Jared Odrick, Karl Klug, or Leger Douzable signing. OG has some options like Mike Iupati or Clint Boling, or even a veteran stopgap like Rob Sims to battle with the current youngsters.

    There’s a legit chance to get guys who can play, draft well, and have a lineup that is 2-3 wins better next year with a much better future.

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