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Redskins salary cap outlook: Wide receivers

Jan 22, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT


As Jay Gruden and company finalize the coaching staff 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. Previously we looked at the interior offensive line and offensive tackle. Up today, wide receiver

The Redskins currently have five wide receivers under contract.



—Garçon (age 29 before the season starts) and Jackson (age 28) have the second and third highest cap numbers on the team, respectively. They both are under contract for two more seasons with 2016 cap numbers of $10.2 million for Garçon and $9.25 million for Jackson.

—Jackson’s roster bonus of $3.75 million is guaranteed unless he has been suspended. He has the same guarantee for a roster bonus of the same amount in 2016.

—Roberts’ cap number is the 15th-highest on the team. His contract has three years to run with cap number of $5 million in both 2015 and 2016.

—Santana Moss, who has been with the team since 2005 and will be 36 in June, and 2011 third-round pick Leonard Hankerson, are unrestricted free agents.

—Grant has three years to go on his rookie contract with minimum salaries each year.

Adding and subtracting

At almost $24 million, the Redskins spend heavily at this position compared to the rest of the NFL. Only the Falcons, Dolphins, Lions and Cardinals have more cap dollars devoted to wide receivers than the Redskins. This has led some to speculate if they should try to trade or release one of their three higher-priced receivers.

Setting aside the on-field factors for the moment and looking strictly at the cap implications, Garçon would be the logical candidate to cut or trade. Although there would be a $4.4 million dead cap charge if he was cut or traded the net cap savings would be $5.3 million. The team could opt to designate him as a post-June 1 cut which would result in $7.5 million in savings for 2015 but a $2.2 million dead cap hit in 2016.

This decision would come down to new general manager Scot McCloughan looking at tape of Garçon’s season, which produced 68 catches for 752 yards and three touchdowns. Was the falloff in production from 2013 (113/1,346/5) due to Garçon’s play or more due to issues at the quarterback position? McCloughan will have to decide if Garçon is worth the $7.1 million salary that he is due.

McCloughan could also conclude that Roberts ($2.75 million salary) is not worth the expense but releasing him would result in just $750,000 in cap savings after a $3 million dead cap charge.

Jackson was their most productive receiver and that’s good because it would be costly to let him go. The guaranteed roster bonuses would mean a net cap charge of $2 million for releasing him. If they get a trade offer, however, they could consider that as the charges for the roster bonuses would be passed along to his new team.

We’ll take a deeper look at the possibility of the team moving on without Jackson or Garçon in our position outlook question later this afternoon.

Cap information from and other sources.

  1. James Bridges - Jan 22, 2015 at 1:29 PM

    I don’t think releasing Garcon is the answer. It would indeed save us money but we would have to get some at least better in return. I think. Maybe signing Hankerson, and Moss to 1 ye deals and go from there, so what do you think Rich.

  2. Big sexy - Jan 22, 2015 at 3:24 PM

    if redskins let go of any of the wide outs that’s crazy I’d say if any cut hankson miss n grant the offense is bout set up if u cout the startin wide outs you’d have to go back n find other wideouts may not b as good right now we got great wideouts could up grade at tightend main up grade needed is o line they suck now on defense we need bout a whole new line up that’s what needs to b dressed on draft day n free agents u can’t win if u can’t stop no body for years ranked bout last if they can’t see what the problem is get someone who can do the job n get the right playiers who wants to win n fight I don’t like jay g he sucks at head coach we should have kept shanny he’d b better then what we got now pluse that new defense dc we should have kept him the new one sucks last time he coach he ranked last why hire him when he is worse then Jim don’t make sense jay messed up again long as he coaches we won’t win

    • Big sexy - Jan 22, 2015 at 3:25 PM

      Oops ment moss n grant n hankerson

    • boysheadcoach - Jan 23, 2015 at 9:27 AM

      Do you have any idea how hard it is to follow your train of thought? No periods, comma’s or any form of punctuation. One DEEP breath and write………………………………..

  3. bangkokben - Jan 22, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    Amari Cooper welcome to Washington.

  4. kenlinkins - Jan 22, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    If the target is to free up Cap Space, then Garcon will have to go but by using the same logic than so does T. Williams with his very high Cap Savings number ,but I do not see the Redskins talking about cutting him and any new contract would have to address injury in the offer, which I think Williams would not go for (see Rich, I remembered the TB game). If the new GM wants to press the issue, he could draft WR Cooper and force a move of one of the big top three (the message there would be to old GM Allen “your deals suck”). IMO The Redskins will not make any WR moves other than to maybe resign Hankerson or Moss to a one year deal and find some “camp” guys to play in a few preseason games. WR is pretty well set in my mind.

    • ajbus1 - Jan 22, 2015 at 8:31 PM

      I agree that they’re gonna pretty much stay put. Next year may be different. What I’m wondering is would Garcon give us the “Tom Brady discount”? Just convert everything into bonus money that doesn’t affect the cap. Archives

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