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Redskins 2015 salary cap outlook: Defensive line

Jan 30, 2015, 12:04 PM EDT


As Jay Gruden and company finalize the coaching staff 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, tight ends, running backs, quarterbacks, and wide receivers.

Up today, the defensive line

The Redskins currently have six defensive linemen under contract.



—Due to contract restructures in 2013, both Bowen and Cofield have contracts that carry a lot of dead money. Bowen’s carries $2.5 million, Cofield’s $3.6 million. Bowen carries the fourth-highest cap hit on the team; Cofield’s is fifth.

—Last year Bowen reduced his salary to $1.6 million, saving the Redskins about $3 million in cap space.

—Cofield’s contract runs through 2016.

[RELATED: Redskins 2015 position outlooks: Defensive line]

—Hatcher has three years left on the four-year deal he signed in 2014. His salaries shoot up to $6.5 million next year and $7.5 million in 2017.

—Baker is in the second year of a three-year deal. He is eligible for up to $1 million in bonuses but they are considered unlikely to be earned and so they don’t count against the salary cap.

—Kearse was one of the better bargains on the team; in a part-time role for a minimum salary, he had 3 sacks (tied for third on the team) and 12 tackles.

—End Jarvis Jenkins, who started 14 games in 2014, and nose tackle Chris Nield, who missed the season on inured reserve, are unrestricted free agents.

—The Redskins’ spending on the defensive line is 11th in the NFL. That’s high considering their base defense only uses three defensive linemen.

Adding and subtracting

As noted above, both Bowen and Cofield have very high cap numbers, especially considering that neither contributed much in 2014. Bowen misses the first six games of the season on the PUP list after undergoing knee microfracture surgery in 2013. He also was healthy but inactive for two games.

It’s difficult to see the Redskins paying Bowen, who will be 31 before OTAs start, the $5.5 million in salary and workout bonuses his contract calls for. It seems likely that he will either agree to take a pay cut as he did last year or face getting released.

Cofield could face the same situation. Tarik El-Bashir and I will look at his future in depth later this afternoon on

It will be interesting to see if Hatcher, who was a disappointment with only 5.5 sacks after getting a four-year deal with $10.5 million guaranteed, is still on the team. The finances say that with a $3 million salary and a $1.5 million net cap charge to let him go it makes sense to keep him. But will Scot McCloughan feel obligated to keep around a mistake made by his predecessor? Odds are Hatcher stays but it’s not a sure thing. If he ends up getting cut that will be a sign that this is going to be a major, major housecleaning in Ashburn.

Cap information from and other sources.

  1. ajbus1 - Jan 30, 2015 at 1:30 PM

    Biggest mess, salary cap wise, on the roster.

  2. timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 30, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    Why we didnt play Baker at NT is beyond me. He has the body structure you want for a NT short and big like a stump. That being said I would cut all but Hatcher and Baker Draft the NT out of Washington and sign depth Free agency is pretty deep on the Dline.

    • bangkokben - Jan 30, 2015 at 1:49 PM

      Baker played nose for the first 8 or 9 games and continued to play there some after Cofield was back.

    • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 30, 2015 at 1:51 PM

      Thats $10 million in cap space just opened up to fill the depth wont cost but a couple million. Sign Brooks Reed OLB and Antrell Rolle FS Defensive holes filled. Fix the oline in the Draft with Miller OG, Morgan C, and Brown OG/RT, and sign a linemen. Holes filled.

      • Rich Tandler - Jan 30, 2015 at 2:44 PM

        Yes, sir, an old-fashioned Vinny Cerrito-Bruce Allen-Mike Shanahan free agent spending spree! Because that has worked so well in the past.

        > > >

        • Mont - Jan 30, 2015 at 3:56 PM

          How is that a spending spree he said that would cost a couple mill try reading the whole post next time

        • Rich Tandler - Jan 30, 2015 at 4:05 PM

          I read the whole post twice. I reject that notion that it would cost a couple of million. Rolle alone would cost a few million.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 30, 2015 at 7:13 PM

          Rich I mention 2 people and some Depth There would be $30 million there those 2 players and some depth on the DLine would take all that up? Im thinking $15 million at the most

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 30, 2015 at 7:15 PM

        BTW Brooks Id sign for a long term deal that would lessen the cap hit the first couple years Rolle would be a little pricy for a short term deal but worth it

    • Joe Greene - Jan 31, 2015 at 6:45 AM

      Baker was bad at NT, that’s why we didn’t play him there much. He’s not good playing the plugger role at all. He’s actually much better as a 3-4 DE, but you seem to have registered your name with a stutter so I shouldn’t expect you to know too much.

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 31, 2015 at 11:50 AM

        LMAO I finally saw a pic of you. now I know why you run your mouth to everyone your a lonely ugly fat guy lmao go ahead and keep shooting off since its the only thing that makes you feel better. Lol loser.

  3. ET - Jan 30, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    I really like Hatcher, but man, we sure are overpaying him.

    I don’t see how Bowen or Cofield comes back without a restructured contract. Even then, it seems unlikely.

    I’d like to see Baker and Jenkins return, but overall, the DL is pretty “meh,” especially for the price point.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 31, 2015 at 6:47 AM

      We’re paying him appropriately for his play as a 4-3 DT. We’re playing him in the wrong position and getting the kind of production he’s also had as a 3-4 DE.

      • alextwrs - Feb 2, 2015 at 11:46 AM

        well said

  4. kenlinkins - Jan 30, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    Rich: I do not see how the Redskins could work a deal with either Bowen or Cofield. Even if both were willing to “half” the Cap Saving for a one year guaranteed deal, that would save the Redskins about $4.5 million in Cap Space but still have Bowen and Cofield at about $5.4 million each in Cap Hits (Bowen would play for $2.7 million and Cofield $2.2 million). That’s about $11 million for two 30 year old D-linemen. Do you think both could get that in the Free Agent market (Bowen $2.7 million, Cofield $2.1 million)? It seems to me that the high dead money ($6.1 million) is a deal killer vs. the $9.6 million in Cap savings. Am I right to say that the Redskins could cut Hatcher, Bowen and Cofield and save about $8 million is Cap Space and clear three bad contracts from the books?

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 30, 2015 at 4:43 PM

      Don’t know how concerned McC is over dead cap this year, especially if releasing a player creates a net gain of cap space. That’s the case with Bowen and Cofield, not with Hatcher. In a regular year about 10% of the cap in dead money is OK. With a new GM you might be looking at more like 15%, which would be $21 million or so.

      Not quite sure I follow the earlier part there. If they both will take a cut back to the $1.6 million (just as an example) Bowen was paid last year the total savings would be able $5.8 million. They would have to decide if they can get more than $1.6 million on the free agent market (and have to get used to a new city, new team, new coaches, etc.). The cap numbers would still be fairly high but the money is already paid and it’s going to be charged as either prorated bonus or dead cap.

  5. murphsman - Jan 30, 2015 at 8:24 PM

    Rich, how long does Golston have left on his contract? Isn’t he the longest tenured besides Moss?

  6. tonywhitehead67 - Jan 31, 2015 at 10:17 AM


    Thanks for this break down. This just shows the problem with the Redskins front office. The Redskins spent $25 million on a unit that produced NOTHING!

  7. dirtyrottenscoundrels - Jan 31, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    “get pushed back to the second level” Golston? I remember him playing DT and watching him get pushed back past linebackers.

    Bowen, Cofield and Golston might be in trouble depending on FA and draft picks.

    That DT that might fall to us at #5? If you see us get him – someone is going elsewhere especially at the dollars versus the performance.

    • Joe Greene - Jan 31, 2015 at 5:52 PM

      There’s no legit NT at #5. If Leonard Williams falls to us, he’ll play DE in the 3-4. I’d love to see that happen and then spend a few dollars in FA on the NT position. Otherwise, try to trade down.

      With that said, McCloughan knows what he’s doing and if he likes the move then it’s probably the best one. Archives

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