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Will the Redskins try to squeeze out more cap room?

Mar 2, 2015, 10:23 AM EDT


The Redskins have about $25 million in salary cap space, assuming that the NFL cap comes in at the $143 million that the NFLPA estimated last week. They created over $9 million in space last week when they released defensive linemen Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen. With free agency starting a week from tomorrow, are there any other cap casualties to be announced? If they want more cap space, are there other ways to create it?

There may be a few options but the Redskins are running out of players whom they can afford to cut and will create substantial savings against the cap. In fact, if you define “substantial” as $2 million or more, there are only two.

Guard Chris Chester, who has played virtually every snap on the Redskins line since signing as a free agent in 2011, has a $4.8 million cap number. He is 32 and while the coaching staff has a higher opinion of his level of play than do Redskins fans, he will need to be replaced sooner rather than later. Releasing him would save $4 million against the cap.

If the Redskins plan to use Chester in a reserve role this year or have him compete for the starting job with a younger player, perhaps Spencer Long, a third-round pick last year, they could offer to keep him at a reduced salary. Chester would have to agree to that and figure out if he could get more money in the open market, if he really wants to start over with another team at his age, and various other factors.

The other possible cap casualty is cornerback Tracy Porter. Unlike the durable Chester, Porter didn’t play much after signing with the Redskins. He was brought in to be the nickel back a year ago but between hamstring and shoulder injuries he played just 89 snaps.

The issue here is that they are thin at cornerback especially given the uncertainty surrounding the health of DeAngelo Hall, who twice tore his Achilles last fall. They could perhaps keep Porter around and then release him if it turns out that Hall is good to go and additional depth can be found in free agency or the draft. But the risk there is if Porter should suffer a season-ending injury the Redskins will be on the hook for his $2.25 million 2015 salary and $250,000 roster bonus. Releasing Porter would save $2.3 million against the cap.

There is plenty of talk of the possibility of the Redskins creating more cap room by extending the contracts of Ryan Kerrigan and/or Trent Williams or by doing something with Pierre Garçon’s deal. I wrote last week why there are no options to adjust Garçon’s contract that really make sense.

There does seem to be some movement towards giving Kerrigan an extension sometime soon, although nothing appears to be imminent. But it may not make sense to do a deal that would substantially lower his cap number, which is a shade over $7 million. A Kerrigan extension will average at least $10 million per year. Sure, they could create a contract that would have a 2015 cap hit of, say, $4 or $5 million. But Kerrigan isn’t going to sign an extension that gives him a pay cut this year; in fact, he will be looking for a substantial increase. Any money saved this year would have to be paid down the road. The smart thing to do would be to take the hit this year and deal with it now instead of later.

As far as Williams goes, neither side seems to be very anxious to get a deal done. Williams is due over $12 million in salary and roster bonus this year so his bank account will do fine with or without a new deal. And the Redskins apparently want to see if he can remain healthy for a full season in order to gauge his value more accurately.

  1. abanig - Mar 2, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    Do you know if Cofield is a June 1st designation cut or not? If he’s cut June 1st, the Skins save about another mikkion.

    Any news on Chester, Porter or Golston being cut?

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 2, 2015 at 11:04 AM

      No, June 1 designations can only be made after 4 p.m. on 3/10. Anyone cut prior to that is a regular cut.


      • abanig - Mar 2, 2015 at 3:02 PM

        Hmm… That doesn’t make much sense to me, they could have saved more money buy doing it then.

        Maybe they’re going to make Chris Chester a June 1st cut.

        I agree with most, the Redskins need to move on from Chester and Porter.

        The Redskins have to get younger, bigger and stronger. Chester and Porter don’t fit that mold.

        Frankly, neither does Kedric Golston either. I think they should find a younger player to take his spot as well.

        • Rich Tandler - Mar 2, 2015 at 5:48 PM

          Chester is in the last year of his contract so he can’t be June 1 cut.

          And you don’t “save” with a June 1 cut. You merely push some money into the next year. IMO it’s almost always better to take the hit in the current season and not have to deal with a big dead cap hit for a guy who hasn’t played for you in a year.

          > > >

  2. Stephfan - Mar 2, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    Chester seems like the only option left.

    • captblood3000 - Mar 2, 2015 at 12:50 PM

      Last year, Chester was the Redskins’ backup center. He’s listed as 7 pounds heavier than Corey. So perhaps McCloughan and Callahan want to look at Chester there.

      I’m grasping at straws here, I thought they would cut Chester last Friday. If Chester can revert to form, or he moves to center and plays better there, then you can justify keeping him.

      • Stephfan - Mar 2, 2015 at 1:01 PM

        Thats only if he plays good at center. Why get rid of what we have already because the current starter at center is alittle younger and cheaper. Second we can draft a linemen to be a backup center or sign one in fa

        • captblood3000 - Mar 2, 2015 at 1:52 PM

          They already signed the big free agent center in the McCloughan mold: Tyler Larsen. This year’s draft class is thin when it becomes to big centers.

      • Rich Tandler - Mar 2, 2015 at 2:18 PM

        There’s no hurry to cut Chester or anybody. Perhaps still evaluating the situation. Could even wait until after free agency starts and make sure you get a better replacement. They are well under the cap.

        > > >

        • skinsgame - Mar 3, 2015 at 7:23 AM

          Chester has been absolutely awful and I really am shocked that he is still on the team. To be fair though, a new positional coach may turn things around along the line and perhaps Callahan sees something the rest of us do not. But I haven’t seen a guard that reacted slower or that was more routinely beaten in my years as a fan/talent evaluator/assistant-head-coach-by-proxy. I don’t usually cheer against a guy but, Chester is the exception.

    • abanig - Mar 2, 2015 at 6:04 PM

      Cutting Porter saves $2.3 million. Cutting Golston & Paulsen gets them almost $2.83 million.

      All no brainers to me. Be nice to get another $5.13 million in cap space. That’s worth a starter on the OL, DL or secondary.

      • Stephfan - Mar 2, 2015 at 6:27 PM

        I wouldn’t cut Paulson.. He is a great blocking te and the only one we have. I say keep him and resign Paul. A lot of people forget when Fred Davis got hurt in 2012 Pauldon was the starter and did just fine

        • goback2rfk - Mar 3, 2015 at 12:02 AM

          A defensive player basically took the ball right out of Paulsen’s arms on that terrible fumble he had

      • bangkokben - Mar 2, 2015 at 6:30 PM

        You have to pay whomever you get as replacements. Can you upgrade and save? If RJF cost $9-$11.5M over three years what are you going to get to replace Golston? It’s not like there is a whole lot of depth on this team to plug in. Same goes for Paulsen. If we gave him that much it is likely close to the market. Do you think you get Greshem for the same amount? I don’t think so. We only got seven draft picks and even though we will probably draft a TE, can we count on him right away. Say what you will about Paulsen, he was available.

  3. kenlinkins - Mar 2, 2015 at 11:29 AM

    IMO the Redskins would be smart to CUT both Porter and Chester now (take the savings). Porter is a injury waiting to happen. As for Chester, his only talent (IMO) is not getting hurt which shouldn’t cost the Redskins $4 million! Kory L is at $2.6 million in savings it CUT, but with no one else on the roster who has proved they can play center, that doesn’t seem like a smart move.

    • thankslittlebrandonbanks - Mar 2, 2015 at 12:38 PM

      Chester is also the backup center, I think.(anyone confirm that?) I’m not saying they should keep him, but that is a point of consideration.

      • Rich Tandler - Mar 2, 2015 at 12:44 PM

        He is. Presumably someone who replaces him on the roster could serve as backup center if Chester does leave.

        > > >

  4. troylok - Mar 2, 2015 at 11:54 AM

    Neither Porter nor Chester seem to fit the mold of “bigger and better” that McGloughin has and I don’t think the team would have to look very hard to find replacements that are cheaper. Another strike against them is they both have new position coaches. I should imagine those guys will want to put thier own stamp on things with their type of players. I think both will be gone.

  5. sidepull - Mar 2, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    Trim the fat. Just say no to Porter and Chester. e can surely do better than what we have gotten from that pair.
    I like Garcon. He has heart and is a clutch playr. He carried the skins when they had limited options at WR. reminds me of a tough Boldin. He scrappy. Too bad about he $ I am hoping thy can keep him..

  6. mrperry757 - Mar 2, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    28 million under the cap is great news now that we have smart people handling it this roster is going to get a major face lift . Finally a real reason for optimism there are enough quality free agents out there we don’t have to overpay for we don’t have to go after the big name free agents we just need


    • bangkokben - Mar 2, 2015 at 8:00 PM

      I disagree. This team needs impact players. Desean Jackson anyone? You need impact players on both sides of the ball not just quality players. No need to mortgage the future or break the bank but to think that winning is done without impact players is silly. I’d argue that this team has had quality players and it really went south with injuries to those QP. Shanahan tried building a team around quality players. The only time it worked is when RG3 was an impact player.

  7. timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 3, 2015 at 12:26 AM

    How come everyone is Quoting the GM as saying he likes all big players when He was only talking about the Oline when he said big guys win.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 3, 2015 at 6:20 AM

      Not true. McCloughan from his intro presser: “The places I have been, we’ve had success with big men up front, both sides of the ball. But, also it was Seattle – our big receiver, our big DBs in press.”

      > > >

      • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 3, 2015 at 9:59 AM

        Thanks for clarifying that Rich I was mistaken I only read an artical that had the first part of that Quote.

  8. timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 3, 2015 at 12:52 AM

    We can get another $10 million by cutting Porte Chester, Paulson, Goldston, and Cousins. That would put us at $38 million. We can easily fill those spots through the Draft and Free Agency. People are saying about the replacementfor Chester needs to be a backup Center seem to forget LERIBEUS. He can play Center also. Every one of these spots are Depth players last year and this year except Chester and he was getting replaced anyways. There are Players in the Draft and Free Agency that are better at a Cheaper Price.

    • skinsgame - Mar 3, 2015 at 7:31 AM

      Why in the world would they cut Cousins? He’s on a rookie contract and has a chance at actually starting at the most important position on the field. There is as much chance Alfred Morris would be a cut.

      • bangkokben - Mar 3, 2015 at 9:11 AM

        Agree with there being no need to cut Cousins – especially if the coaching staff still thinks he can be an answer as I’ve heard reported. But there is much greater chance that Cousins is let go than Morris although the actual chances are slim. Letting Cousins go would be a sign to Griffin that the organization is behind him – chances of it happening are maybe getting hit by lightning while the chances Morris is let go is more like winning the lottery.

        • Stephfan - Mar 3, 2015 at 9:34 AM

          What reports are you listening to last years reports? That hasn’t came out since the season ended. If they thought he was the guy then cousin would get a chance to start. And it seems to me that the gm doesn’t want to give on griffin just yet. Griffin still has a lot of potential but so many people wanna get rid of him for want? Two bad seasons? One he was coming off an injury that all of the smartest skins would’ve known he wouldn’t have came back 100% from. And the second one he got injuried. How quick fans forget how they wanted and cried for rg3 before we got him. Give the man a shot to prove that he can do it again like he did in his rookie season. Give him a line and a defense and he and the team can be better.. I rather have griffin holding and getting sacked than cousins throwing interceptions!!

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 3, 2015 at 9:56 AM

          I totally agree. We could save almost $1million by Cutting Cousins Plus lose all the Drama. Cousins was nocked down to 3rd string because of Performance and didnt sniff the feild afterwards. RG3 was named the starter thats how much the coaching staff is behind Cousins. I think the Coaching staff is higher on McCoy than Cousins. If Cousins was worth anything someone would have offered something for him and not 1 team did .

        • bangkokben - Mar 3, 2015 at 10:02 AM

          Because I’m a Redskin fan, I sincerely hope that Griffin gets it together and becomes the quarterback that this team envisioned when they drafted him. But he is nowhere close to that at this moment. So it would be stupid to RELEASE Cousins. If you can somehow get anything for him, fine. Sure the GM, team president, and owner may be all in for one more year on Griffin but that doesn’t mean the coach is too happy about it. Watch the presser when he announced Griffin was going to be the starter. Does he look like this is his idea? Does he look like someone that is thrilled with this decision? Cousins is on the team now for the same reasons he was drafted: a) Griffin could get injured. b) Griffin could fail.

        • Stephfan - Mar 3, 2015 at 10:46 AM

          Your a redskins fan with false information

        • bangkokben - Mar 3, 2015 at 11:10 AM

          Keep burying your head in the sand if you think Cousins will be released. Who does that benefit? Only Robert Griffin and his paranoid fans. Not the team. If Chase Daniel counts $4.8M against the cap and McCoy counted a couple of million last year how do you replace Cousins and save money? That was the original idea behind the post. You can’t save money. You carry a small dead charge just because you and your ilk are afraid that he’d beat your golden boy out – when the coach already declared end of competition! Say what you will about Cousins but he has more value to the Redskins on the team or traded – not released.

        • Stephfan - Mar 3, 2015 at 1:29 PM

          First off lower your tone! Second I never said that he will get released. It’s not my fault that cousin will be a backup that’s his fault. If he was so great there would have been an open compition but is there no! The gm already expressed that the team shouldn’t gone up on griffin that all I’ve said was don’t give up on him. Griffin still had time to show he is great while cousins has shown he will be a turnover machine. You can stick with a qb that turns the ball over when they had two chances to win a game if you want to. But you wouldn’t be a good coach! It’s funny how I came at you slight facts but you have yet to produce any. Because the so called reports about cousins are false! That’s what I said. Get it right

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 3, 2015 at 11:29 AM

          Im just stating the Obvious. The GM said you dont give up on a talented player that won the Division that Quickly especially with all the injuries he had. Cousins at this point is more of a distraction because some fans cant see him for wat he is REX GROSSMAN 2.0

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Mar 3, 2015 at 11:34 AM

          No dead cap for cutting cousins would savealmost $1 million in cap space. We definitely could and need to sign someone less likey to throw interceptions.

      • bangkokben - Mar 3, 2015 at 11:43 AM

        Cousins is a distraction? C’mon man. Your 1st argument was to save money and add more money to the cap. Now he’s a distraction. Distraction to who(m)? Even if he is Rex Grossman 2.0 that doesn’t make him a distraction nor does it make him too expensive. You want him gone because you see him as a threat to your precious RG3. Grow up and be a Redskin fan and may the best man win – which there is still no competition! Griffin was named the starter, Cousins is in his last year of his rookie deal ($778,172 cap hit), has twice come in a won in relief (Baltimore 2012 & Jacksonville 2014) and you want him gone because??? Don’t sell this distraction/drama BS because no one is buying. If you think Griffin’s problems would magically disappear with Cousins, sell some of whatever you’re drinking or smoking because that is mind altering!

        • bangkokben - Mar 3, 2015 at 12:05 PM

          “No dead cap for cutting cousins would savealmost $1 million in cap space. We definitely could and need to sign someone less likey to throw interceptions.”

          Delusional. You need your back up to throw less interceptions? Once again, $778,172 is the salary. If you cut him you will still carry a hit of $178,172. Somehow you’re going to find a better quarterback for $600,000??!

        • Stephfan - Mar 3, 2015 at 1:36 PM

          So because he came in a relief game and won that means what? Nothing, the jags were and are garbage so that’s a poor choice of a game. And I’ll give him credit he has won relief games but how many games has he started and won for the redskins! Only 1 while griffin has won at least 12 I think. Heck if McCoy won a game and he was third string… Your obviously a cousin rider and that’s fine. I was all for the open compition but griffin has what it takes to win and throws less ints

        • bangkokben - Mar 3, 2015 at 4:11 PM

          fan of steph,

          Your reading comprehension skills won’t qualify you for the short bus. I am a Redskins fan – not a Griffin fan and not a Cousins fan. Cousins is the back up and what does a team want from its back up? Come in when called upon and win the game. He has proven he can do that. He has not proven anything beyond that. So there is no reason to get rid of him. He is one of the best back ups in the league. Now if our starter can play halfway decent we should be good at the position. But that is up to #10 and no one else.

        • Stephfan - Mar 3, 2015 at 5:04 PM

          Look here sir I don’t care if you are a fan or not but check your reading skills sir… I never said to cut cousins, I said he wouldn’t start. He can be the so called best back up but if he can win as a starter what good is he? He can be the back up all he wants, so stop hating on griffin first off and stand behind your backup. Cousins is an average qb nothing really speacial so let’s be honest. What games has he won for us other than the ones he came in for relief and the browns game from 2012? I’ll wait because unlike you I have faith in our starter. I don’t just wanna see qb’s leave or our good players for that matter leave and be good somewhere else. So on that you have a nice day! I hope rich bans you like he did joe Greene

        • bangkokben - Mar 3, 2015 at 6:20 PM

          Why would he ban me? Rich can’t help it if you can’t follow a blog conversation. The beginning of the conversation was about ‘timwillhide’ cutting Cousins. I said that was stupid – considering his place on the team, his salary, and what it would cost to replace him. Somehow it makes me a Griffin hater that I think it’s irrational to get rid of our back-up QB.

          You jump in because you have blind faith in a quarterback that has been unable to deliver for the better part of two seasons – and I happened to state that it has been reported that the coaching staff is still fond of Kirk Cousins. That got your superman underoos all twisted and you haven’t been able to be rational since. Not once did I say Cousins should be the starter or that he should even be allowed to compete. You can search everything I’ve ever written on Real Redskns and never find bangkokben putting his allegiance with Cousins. I’ve been critical of both quarterbacks but never have I demanded that we get rid of either. Yet you just chime in demanding facts offering none all the while assuming that because I’m not like you or Tim, that I’m against Griffin. Do us all a favor and really try to understand what you are reading. Try sounding out the big words. Heck, you could even look up the words you don’t know in the dictionary. I’m sure the internet could help.

        • Stephfan - Mar 3, 2015 at 6:56 PM

          Your so funny, I read the comments but you kept saying I not the other person wanted him gone! All I clearly said that he won’t be the starter and he will always be a back up. And as far as facts goes you still haven’t proves them about those so called reports because they’re bull. You pulled it out of your rear so maybe you need to go hop on the internet and find out stuff. I root for griffin so what? I also root for cousin but I know he will not be a starter period. So you want to get you

        • Stephfan - Mar 3, 2015 at 6:59 PM

          Want to get your panties in a bunch? So by all means sir respect a persons opinion. Cause that’s what i stated.. You did and I respected yours. It’s just funny how you still can prove they(staff) said this after griffin was named the starter cause you CANT. So do us all a favor and stop spreading false facts

        • Rich Tandler - Mar 3, 2015 at 7:14 PM

          Guys, can we cut this off like, now? I was going to call it a discussion but it stopped being that a while go. It’s getting tedious and repetitive.


          > > >

        • Stephfan - Mar 3, 2015 at 7:28 PM


  9. don - Mar 3, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    We neeeeeeeeed to keep kerrigan. Orakpo can go….. he is injury prone. But we need ryan kerrigan for sure Archives

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