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Redskins should enter 2016 with plenty of salary cap room

Jan 15, 2016, 12:00 PM EDT

McCloughan-sideline

The Redskins have some work to do in terms of signing free agents, both their own and possibly some from other teams. The good news is that they will have plenty of cap room to work with.

Washington will gain some cap space simply by the fact that every team will get more money to spend. The teams have been informed that the 2016 cap will increase from $143.28 million in 2015 to between $150 million and $153.4 million. Recent history indicates that the league’s preliminary estimates tend to be on the conservative side. So we will work with the $153.4 million estimate here knowing that it may be a little less or perhaps even a bit more.

The Redskins’ base cap number is higher than that because they didn’t spend all of their cap money last year. They ended the season with about $6.1 million in unspent money (cap figures via OverTheCap.com). That makes their cap number for 2016 $159.5 million.

They already have used a significant portion of that as they have 50 players under contract with salary cap charges total $145.5 million. They also have about half a million dollars in dead cap money (most of it is the $295,000 charge for cutting David Amerson last year). Subtracting those two numbers from their adjusted cap number of $159.5 million that leaves $13.5 million in cap space.

There are moves that Scot McCloughan can make that will create more cap room. We’ll look at some possible moves below. But one that he is certain to make is releasing quarterback Robert Griffin III. He currently counts for $16.1 million against the cap. When he is released, that entire amount will be added to available cap space with no offsetting dead cap money. That will bring the Redskins’ available cap space up to $29.6 million.

In any case, locking up Cousins will bring the Redskins’ cap space down to somewhere in the $10 million range. The team will almost certainly create more cap space via releasing some veterans with big cap numbers and negotiating pay cuts with other veterans. Here are some possible candidates for either being released or having their contracts renegotiated.

source:

The organization is not going to cut all of these players. In fact, they might not cut any of them. But if all of them were cut the savings would total $37.4 million. Just for the sake of coming up with an estimate, let’s say they release some players and renegotiate deals to save about half of the potential total. That would give McCloughan about $48 million in cap space to re-sign Kirk Cousins (a move that by itself could eat up between $15 and $20 million in cap space, depending on how a deal is structured) and some other of the team’s key free agents and fill a few needs when the free agent market opens on March 9.

  1. babyteal1 - Jan 15, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Is there a paragraph missing from this article?

  2. fft5305 - Jan 15, 2016 at 12:29 PM

    The list of possible candidates does not appear…

  3. abanig - Jan 15, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    I’m Glad we got a guy who finally knows what to do with the cap space!

    • bangkokben - Jan 15, 2016 at 12:46 PM

      Exactly. The differences from coming off of 2012 and 2015 are much more in our favor. We’ve got a real GM, no cap penalty, cap room, a budding O-line, a first round draft pick, and an un-injured pocket QB. Yet, some are so negative.

      • colmac69 - Jan 15, 2016 at 1:28 PM

        We don’t have any negative posters on here ben…….just imposters who don’t do positivity…….

        To matter at hand Yeh we are in nice position for a change…..obviously defense is priority this offseason…as bn stated at various points the front seven requires an upgrade for a start……safety would b at top of list as well

        On rich.,s list u would say Roberts is gone….Riley maybe depending on what they do with robinson….FA…and draft

        Poss garcon or jackson is released….

        Plenty cap room to play with but no doubt a few people will find something to gripe about

        • Thetruthis - Jan 20, 2016 at 2:12 PM

          Wow! You people are acting like you just discovered the iPhone!! No where to go but up… All positive. Everything working out perfectly, no mistakes, spending time laying out a plan for the skins uptick. How many teams win the Super Bowl? How many Super Bowls has Gruden won? How many playoff games has Kirk won? Seattle went to the Super Bowl and almost won. And where are they this year? Do you really think the better teams are going to just sit back and allow Kirk to play that predictable offense for very long? A zone blitz here a zone blitz there and Kirkee comes tumbling down. The skins would have been better off NOT winning the division this year. Then you would have had somewhere to go up, to. In case you haven’t heard, there are 31 other teams making adjustments in the league this year. My forecast, Gruden is a fraud (living off of the brains of his assoc coaches and GM) And Kirk as a starter needs at least another year to show whether he has adequate skill set to win playoff games or to beat the stronger team. He has accuracy issues downfield and even his mid range game. Relax, please put the Koolaid down. You are getting out of hand.

      • sidepull - Jan 15, 2016 at 1:31 PM

        Yup. Nowhere to go but up.

  4. bangkokben - Jan 15, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Fantastic work except for the missing list of candidates. Here’s some speculation on the list.

    Griffin $16,155,000
    Goldson $8,000,000
    Garcon $8,000,000
    Jackson $6,750,000
    Hatcher $4,234,375
    Riley $4,000,000
    Hall $3,437,500
    Lauvao $3,000,000
    Roberts $3,000,000
    Lichtensteiger $2,950,000
    for a savings of $59,761,250 depending on Hatcher not retiring. So he likely didn’t include Griffin one or two others

    • hail74 - Jan 15, 2016 at 1:16 PM

      You nailed it! I know Rich said Lauvao was still hobbling around but 3 mil seems pretty good for him. Roberts and Riley are prob gone. I would be hesitant to lose garçon and djax but if one had to go I would think garçon would be easier to replace.

      • bangkokben - Jan 15, 2016 at 1:18 PM

        As for all the cap room, that is why my recommendation is to keep the productive receivers (Garcon and Jackson) where they are, jettison Andre Roberts, and draft a guy that looks like a future legitimate #1 WR – someone like the guy from TCU. But it is so nice to not worry how bad Vinny might screw the team or watch Shanny trade down from talent for extra guys. In McC we trust.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 15, 2016 at 5:52 PM

          Doctson needs to gain weight. He’s a fantastic receiver, but we could be looking at another very injury prone player if he isn’t able to bulk up. He has good length though. As you know from our previous discussions, I really want our receivers to get taller/longer.

          Corey Coleman has almost the opposite problem. He’s 5’11 but built well. He’s blazing fast, has great hands, tough, and is a good rout runner.

          Both receiver would probably need some time to learn the whole rout tree. Coming from the Big12, neither TCU nor Baylor run anything resembling a pro offense. But both could be stars. I have a feeling as it would prefer some of the other WRs in this draft, but I think those guys will go earlier. There’s a chance Doctson and Coleman fall to the 2nd round depending on who else emerges. But I wouldn’t bank on it.

          I personally think Garcon is more valuable than Desean. He does more, stays healthy, makes very tough catches in traffic, and has been the #1 receiver for us before. He lead the league in receptions in 2013 and was a monster, when healthy, in 2012. He’s just more versatile. We need a guy than can work up and down the sidelines. Not just a deep threat. Criwder should emerge even more next year, but he’s a slot guy. Grant probably won’t ever be that special of a receiver, I don’t see Ross getting there…. I think we need Garcon until we establish another guy. He simply does more. Can play WR from just about anywhere on the field. Plus he’s a team leader, and Desean is not. Don’t underestimate how valuable some of these guys are for their leadership. I respect and understand why some people value Desean more, I just prefer Garcon.

        • hail74 - Jan 15, 2016 at 6:02 PM

          Your right on all the things about garçon, it just comes down to that old saying” you can’t teach speed”. Personally I’d keep them both if possible. Grant disappointed me this year. Granted he didn’t have a lot of opportunities but sometimes when he was in the game he just seemed lackluster. There was one game where we were in hurry up and he’s just casually walking back to the line of scrimmage.

        • goback2rfk - Jan 15, 2016 at 11:02 PM

          Jackson deserves to come back only at a discounted price. And Garcon also. We need some contract renegotiation going on here. Garcons cap number is high as hell. I really like Garcon + Jackson, however, I wonder what the alternatives could be. My favorite player on offense is Jordan Reed. What a beast, I hope the guy stays healthy and retires a Redskin. Maybe he can be our new long term TE kind of like Witten to Dallas.
          hail yeh

    • rtcwon - Jan 16, 2016 at 4:29 PM

      If you read the article, RGIII is included in all the figures as a certainty. The chart lists “possible candidates for either being released or having their contracts renegotiated” and your list only adds Lauvao and Lichtensteiger.

      I would not consider either OL as a possible candidate for cap savings. There is no way to get a FA replacement, much less upgrade for less than their $3M in savings. The only way either of these guys are cut is if a draft pick beats them out in pre-season.

      • bangkokben - Jan 16, 2016 at 6:32 PM

        Yeah, I did read the article and when I did Rich’s graphic wasn’t there. So take my comment in that context.

        Lauvao and Lichtensteiger were part of my speculation of candidates but having said that, there are plenty of FAs that could replace them within the savings – LeRibeus for instance wouldn’t cost that much and DID replace ‘steiger this year. Long (not an FA) could replace Lauvao as well and draft picks could fill in they’re reserve roles. I wouldn’t recommend LeRibeus but Long could be an answer. Let’s not pretend that Chester wasn’t cut on the eve of training camp for his cap savings when LONG and not Scherff was deemed his replacement. So what happened last year couldn’t repeat itself? Now the PROBABILITY of it happening might be less than last year but there still is a legitimate chance.

        • rtcwon - Jan 16, 2016 at 7:06 PM

          My fault, that context does make me wrong there. But I still believe neither OL could be replaced much less upgraded within their savings by clarifying replaced to mean about the level of play.

          Follow the formula below to find Chester was absolutely released for performance as soon as the dead money allowed and there is no possibility of Lauvao being replaced by Long this year.

          Chester’s ’14 play < Chester's '15 play in Atl < Long's '15 play much < Long's expected '15 play < Long's expected '16 play much, much < Lauvao's expected '16 play even if < Lauvao's '15 play albeit only 2 games.

        • bangkokben - Jan 16, 2016 at 7:25 PM

          That formula is a bit convoluted. Lauvao is coming off two surgeries and still not able to put any weight on the leg. Long did not play well, however, the opinion that matters is that of Scot McCloughan and that of Bill Callahan. They may deem Long’s play adequate and with potential for improvement. If that be the case, McC may feel it best to invest the resources into other more pressing needs. Because there is cap room, Lichtensteiger could conceivably be upgraded by using the savings. Say if Alex Mack or another top center were to be available. Releasing Steiger and using the savings to sign Mack IS a possibility due to the room. Also, the Redskins carried $11.8M+ in dead cap space this year so McC seems to be the kind of guy that gets rid of player a year earlier and isn’t afraid to cut in order to save.

  5. bangkokben - Jan 15, 2016 at 1:10 PM

    Interesting how every team that has hired a new HC has hired an OC with little to no HC experience. My guess is that Darrell Bevell gets the job in Nashville after the Seahawks lose to the Panthers.

    • Trey Gregory - Jan 16, 2016 at 1:38 PM

      I don’t think I understand what you’re saying here. Because not every team that hired a HC hired a coordinator with no HC experience. Chip Kelly being the most obvious. But Hue Jackson was the HC of the raiders too. A pretty decent HC who probably shouldn’t have been fired at that.

      • bangkokben - Jan 16, 2016 at 3:50 PM

        No. Every team hired an offensive coordinator. Then those OC’s have LITTLE to no HC experience. Kelly is the exception with THREE years of NFL HC experience. Hue Jackson had one year in Oakland. Dirk Koetter. Adam Gase, Ben MacAdoo, and Doug Pedersen have zero years NFL coaching experience yet the entire lot are offensive minded coaches. Shanny his a offensive minded coach with years more experience but in this case that experience seems to be a detriment. Of course, it could be the fact that when he gets fired he sits out a year collecting his check , is old, cranky, and relates poorly with players.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 18, 2016 at 12:25 AM

          I just…. I don’t know what else to say. EVERY team did not hire a coordinator. I don’t want to get all caught up in semantics but you said every, not most. Then doubled down on it. Chip Kelly has never even been an NFL coordinator and has plenty of HC experience.

          I understand your point with the longer explanation though. Obviously the league is becoming more and more offensive and the coaching hired reflect that. That is interesting, good point. I think it’s a good thing though. Get some fresh ideas instead of retreads. I think offensive creativity has stalled in the NFL. College is innovating, and a lot of those ideas won’t work as full time schemes in the NFL. That doesn’t mean there aren’t certain packages to use or that the NFL can’t improve on the college systems to make them work in the NFL. Some team (I like to use the Pats here) have mixed spread looks into their offense with success. Bill Belichick brings college coaches in during the offseason to advise him on some of the trends in college. I think it’s brilliant. I hope more coaches try it.

          My point isn’t that I think long time NFL coordinators will do this. But maybe they have new ideas of their own to bring to the table. I think Owners and GMs are ready for some fresh coaching ideas.

  6. bangkokben - Jan 15, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    I love the fact that we have just a half of mil in current dead cap money. New Orleans has $12M+ for just Junior Galette. Of course, once the organization decides who it doesn’t want, we will have millions; but millions of dead cap with millions more of savings is a good place – unlike the Saints – no cap room and millions of dead money.

    • hail74 - Jan 15, 2016 at 2:27 PM

      Amen. To think, we just won the division with a relatively young roster, possibly have our QB of the future, all of our draft picks and plenty of cap space. Things are looking up! At least to me anyway.

      • bangkokben - Jan 15, 2016 at 2:44 PM

        I think we gave up our 5th for Derrek Carrier but that could be 2017’s 5th.

        We also DID trade our 6th to Tampa for Dashon Goldson AND their 7th BUT we DID pick up New Orleans 6th round pick in this year’s draft when last year we traded our 2015 5th for their 2015 & 2016 6th. Of course the actual numbers of these pick will be affected by compensatory picks.

        Yes, we got draft picks too.

  7. skinsdiehard - Jan 15, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    I would say Riley, Hatcher and Roberts should be cut. Goldson and Garcon should be restructured. DHall’s and Jackson’s cap numbers match their productivity or threat.

    • Trey Gregory - Jan 15, 2016 at 6:00 PM

      I’m actually surprised how low Hall’s cap hit is. For some reason I thought it was more. I think we can keep him for one more year.

      I agree with a lot of what you said. But I think Goldskn and Garcon are fine where they are. If they will restructure, great. But I wouldn’t alienate them to try it.

      I don’t think Desean’s cap is perportionate to his production though. He touches the ball maybe 3 times a game (when healthy). I get he helps even when the ball isn’t in his hands, but he’s not the only guy around who threatens defenses. I would so much rather have a more versatile and longer guy for the money. Like the Jets did with Brandon Marshall. He threatens defenses too, but he can do so much more, is more productive, and carries quite a bit less of a cap hit. I would love to see a signing like that. I’m not sure if there’s even a guy like that around this year, but Marshall wasn’t a FA last year either. I just hope they at least consider other options out there. I don’t trust Desean. I would love to have a receiver opposite of Garcon who I could actually trust and who is a threat for more than deep bombs a couple times a game.

      • bangkokben - Jan 15, 2016 at 6:25 PM

        In 2014, Marshal had just 61 catches in 13 games. He also had 8 TDs. Basically, the Bears didn’t think they could afford both Marshall and Jeffery and thus traded Marshall to the Jets. By doing so they carried a dead cap charge of more than $5.6M for 2015 (the remaining three years of bonus money). Now, he carries no bonus on the Jets cap like Dashon Goldson for out ‘skins. So going into 2015 he had a cap charge for the Bears around $10M – just like Garcon now has for Washington. Garcon’s numbers this year are eerily similar to those of Marshall’ last year in Chicago but unlike the Bears, the Redskins are coming off a division title and have just one year left on Garcon’s contract.

        He stays.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 16, 2016 at 1:42 PM

          Marshal was hurt for most of 2014. He took the field but not at full health. Look at his whole career, 2014 was an anomile. And I was saying I would take a guy like Marshal over Desean. More versatile and less of a cap hit. I want Garcon on the team, I think we can get a way more productive player than Desean for the price.

        • bangkokben - Jan 16, 2016 at 3:50 PM

          Sure Marshall was hurt every player is going to experience injury – either playing through it or not playing. Take Garcon in 2012 for instance or even Jackson’s 2015. Marshall is more versatile BUT NOT less of a cap hit. Marshall counted $10M+ with the Bears, $9M with the Jets this past season, and now $9.5M for 2016. He carries a $250,000 higher cap hit this season than Jackson. The bigger point is that cutting or trading Jackson only saves you $6,750,000. So replacing Jackson for better value would have to have a cap hit of $6M AND the value of Jackson to THIS offense was felt when he was both on and off the field. He makes Reed so wide open. Garcon was a clear #1 in Kyle’s offense and a clear #2 in Gruden’s. That point should hammer home how hard it is to replace a guy. Chip Kelly thought he could replace Jackson to his detriment.

  8. Christian Burt - Jan 15, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    I’d like to see Garçon and Jackson still around. Our weapons on offense with these guys, Reed and Crowder….would make my #1 priority of a consecutive NFC East title all the more possible.
    We are still making little strides by little strides, and need these two a while longer.

  9. Agent Smith - Jan 15, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    RG3 is a lock to be released and I’d bet the farm that the Redskins release Perry Riley, Andre Roberts, and Dashon Goldson. Goldson especially has zero dead money and $8 million cap savings. He’s gone.

    I think the Redskins will keep Hatcher. Yeah releasing him saves $4 million in cap space, but only by eating a $4 million dead money hit. That’s too large a number to swallow so I say Hatcher sticks around.

    The Redskins don’t have the leadership to release both Garçon and DJax. I’d bet the Redskins keep both, but if they do release one, its Garçon because no dead money hit.

    Of course we’ll have to pay Cousins, Knighton (if we want him to stay), Morris (who may or may not fit in our system). Frankly, I don’t think we have as much free cap space Rich lets on.

    • bangkokben - Jan 15, 2016 at 6:33 PM

      The ‘skins similarly cut Barry Cofield and swallowed the $3,555,000 in dead money. I believe the savings was similarly proportioned to possibly cap cut of Hatcher. The difference is that Hatcher was 2nd in D-linemen in defensive snaps for the team having been in on 51% of them. Cofield was in on just 24% the year before.

  10. scottmccloughanfan - Jan 15, 2016 at 4:35 PM

    Money to spend with a president and GM I trust to do so wisely.

  11. scottmccloughanfan - Jan 15, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    CRYSTAL-BALL gazing:

    Offense analysis 2016:

    COUSINS and no back-ups. I think McCOY will want a contract not to ALLEN’s liking and we end up with a different FA understudy. Draft pick for the future under center.

    At RB, I thought both MORRIS and YOUNG would walk, but now I’m not so sure about YOUNG. If HEYWARD doesn’t come back and GOLSTON is replaced, that would be three strikes on teams play. Too much in my estimation. I think JONES, THOMPSON, and REDD or FA like HIGHTOWER and a low round pick.

    On the line, I feel a FA and second round pick at interior line positions are both needed. WILLIAMS is fraying a bit around the edges, LAUVEO appears to be iffy for the start of 2016, LONG was average in 2015, LICHTENSTEIGER is weak. LeRIBEUS needs to be replaced, KOUANDJIO is not a good athlete, NSECKHE is aging, and COMPTON can be used at a fourth tackle/third TE. TAKOBY COFIELD may be good enough to graduate from the practice squad for fourth tackle relegating COMPTON to emergency tackle. Again, two new players, one a strong vet.

    TE will be REED, PAUL, and COMPTON. PAULSEN is done.

    WR GARCON over JACKSON because he shows up to play, JACKSON doesn’t always, hurt a lot. ROSS, CROWDER, GRANT, and an older vet, or mid-round draft pick.

    • bangkokben - Jan 15, 2016 at 6:44 PM

      Here are the guys that played the most on special teams for the B&G:

      Player ST Snaps ST Snap Pct
      36-D.Young 310 68.0%
      20-J.Johnson 253 55.5%
      93-T.Murphy 220 48.2%
      22-D.Everett 200 43.9%
      51-W.Compton 189 41.4%
      96-H.Bates 184 40.4%
      64-K.Golston 175 38.4%
      94-P.Smith 175 38.4%
      30-K.Jarrett 174 38.2%
      54-M.Foster 159 34.9%
      41-W.Blackmon 151 33.1%

      • kenlinkins - Jan 16, 2016 at 5:16 PM

        WOW< I didn't know that Blackmon play 1/3 of the Special Teams snaps. Was that before he became a starter? (not sure how many games he started). I wonder if Dunbar played much on Special Teams as I do not see him listed here (before he became a starter).

        • bangkokben - Jan 16, 2016 at 6:33 PM

          Dunbar was mostly inactive before his breakout game.

        • bangkokben - Jan 16, 2016 at 6:51 PM

          Dunbar was in on 18.9% of the season’s ST snaps (86).

          Here are the defensive players that played in at least double-digits percentage wise of defensive snaps:

          Player Def Snaps Def Snap Pct
          38-D.Goldson DB 968 91.6%
          26-B.Breeland DB 912 86.3%
          91-R.Kerrigan LB 886 83.8%
          41-W.Blackmon DB 786 74.4%
          51-W.Compton LB 715 67.6%
          93-T.Murphy LB 671 63.5%
          92-C.Baker DL 617 58.4%
          30-K.Jarrett DB 601 56.9%
          52-K.Robinson LB 546 51.7%
          97-J.Hatcher DL 540 51.1%
          94-P.Smith LB 508 48.1%
          56-P.Riley LB 463 43.8%
          34-T.Robinson DB 439 41.5%
          23-D.Hall DB 427 40.4%
          99-R.Jean Francois DL 385 36.4%
          98-T.Knighton DL 369 34.9%
          29-C.Culliver DB 350 33.1%
          54-M.Foster LB 259 24.5%
          47-Q.Dunbar DB 257 24.3%
          90-S.Paea DL 215 20.3%
          64-K.Golston DL 199 18.8%
          20-J.Johnson DB 196 18.5%

    • Swaydaa - Jan 15, 2016 at 8:02 PM

      TE- Shold be Reed, Paul, and Derek Carrier.

      • TreyG378@aol.com - Jan 16, 2016 at 1:50 PM

        @Swaydaa: You know, I’ve been complaining about this TE group for a while now. They’re very undersized compared to a lot of the groups out there. I’m mostly talking about Reed and Paul now that Carrier is on board at 6’4 238. However, looking at that list, we certainly could do worse. It’s a good enough list where we probably shouldn’t waste a draft pick on a young guy.

        There are still some blocking, size, and durability concerns (Both Paul and Carrier went on IR this year and we all know Rees’s injury history). I was also never as high on Paul as a lot of people. He’s really more of a WR than a TE. But yeah, I can live with those guys assuming Reed keeps working on his blocking, Paul improved his blocking as well as the pre season reports said, and Carrier comes back healthy and just keeps working all around.

    • Trey Gregory - Jan 16, 2016 at 1:45 PM

      @ScottMcCloughanfan: I don’t understand why you brought Allen’s name into this. As if he would have a say over McCou. It’s right there in your name, you know who the GM is. McCloughan will make the personnel decesions, including how much he’s going to pay them. Allen is just in charge of making sure the contracts get drafted properly and that they’re legally above water with the cap.

      • rtcwon - Jan 16, 2016 at 4:47 PM

        Interesting topic, how much input do each of three (I forget their cap guy’s name, Erik something) have in the contract process?

        My guess Scot identifies targets, the cap guy establishes deal parameters and Bruce negotiates with the agent. While Scot probably can veto any deal, I doubt he cares much about the money. The team, league, union and agent all have paralegals or associates that draft, proof and approve contracts.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 18, 2016 at 12:29 AM

          Yeah I wasn’t saying McCloughan personally drafts the contracts. I was saying that he is the guy who determines the value of the players. Obviously he and his staff. Just like Allen is in charge of making sure we stay under the cap and meet all the league rules, he and his staff of lawyers and what not. But I do not believe Allen has any say in how much a player will get paid. If that’s incorrect, it would be big news to me, a little disturbing at that. I would love to see an explanation about Allen’s role of I’m wrong.

  12. Mr.moneylover - Jan 15, 2016 at 5:15 PM

    They gonna try to extend desean Jackson contract and p.garcon…I thought dashon goldson is a free agent ?….everybody is will likely get cut…I think Jason hatcher feel he didn’t play the way he use too that’s why he gonna retire when he was at a high level Ryan kerrigan was getting sacks …redskins are one of the teams to have the most salary cap money this off-season…. They can add more talent but scot m. Not gonna break the bank on nobody…

    • goback2rfk - Jan 15, 2016 at 11:29 PM

      They may try to extend but this thing is breaking down to someone has to go. Who is it gunna be Jackson or Garcon. Looking at the cap numbers it appears that one of them must leave.
      The question is who would you rather have Garcon or Jackson? At this point, I am going with Jackson even though I respect what Garcon does out on the field.

      • rtcwon - Jan 16, 2016 at 5:00 PM

        I don’t see how it breaks down to either Garcon or DJax must leave.

        There’s enough space to tag Kirk (most expensive scenario at $18M) break the bank on a safety ($9M cap hit) and a pass rusher ($14M) with only the certainties of RGIII, Goldson, Roberts on Hatcher. (Goldson may resign later but Hatcher will retire; he didn’t practice Wed all year and still couldn’t make it)

        Both deals are prime for restructuring with minimal impact down the road so I expect one of them to get a new deal but there is no cap reason to release either.

  13. Thetruthis - Jan 15, 2016 at 7:39 PM

    The skins are drinking the Koolaid again, and this time it is spiked! If anyone pays Kirk Cousins over $5 mil a year to lock him up they need to have their a$ses whipped!!! 6 games, winning against loosing or average teams does not a Tom Brady make!!! If the skins ask these playmakers to take pay cuts or drop them to make room for a largely unproven QB who had some success when teams allowed him to relax in the pocket and he was not forced to throw the bomb in tight NFL coverage game after game they are going to be setting themselves up for trouble in the locker room. At $5 mil the first year, then Kirk can continue to grow, but if he signs up for $15 to $20 mil and he can’t even win when even two play makers are out then that locker room is going to start giving attitude. No one minds Brady making the big bucks. He can still win without all of his playmakers. Kirk has not proven that he can. The first clue should be how he performed with Green Bay when they put the squeeze on him. Not to mention, they dropped several interceptions!!! Be ye warned skins. Don’t do it.

    If Kirk thinks another team is going to give him $10 and a long term contract, he is also drinking the Koolaid. But, just know the other teams are not drinking the koolaid. Let him test free agency if he wants to. Where can he go to where a coach is going to stick with him if he stinks up the joint with turnovers for the first 6 games???? The skins writers are talking about this crazy valuation for Kirk but not the rest of us. If Scot MCCloughan offers a ridiculous deal to Kirk this year then he is not the GM he appears to be. That would be a bonehead move. In the NFL, teams already have a formula for stopping Kirk. Get ready for it next year, skins. Right now he is one dimensional and if they cannot get a running game established because they are keen on protecting Kirk from saks every play, then it is going to be lights out against all the winning teams.

    • Skeeter's Peter - Jan 16, 2016 at 7:56 AM

      Thetruthis, your incredulity about the imminent signing of Kirk to big $ is wasted breath. It’s going to happen. There is no better alternative. Doubters like you refuse to see all the positives that Cousins established this season. Not the least of which is his ability to stay healthy. He’s going to get a big contract, and with his position solidified, we’re going to see what he can do with a full offseason of work.

      The truth is probably that he will improve his location(what clearly affected him the most this season), further improve his ability to read defenses presnap, and if this blog piece proves true, improvements in personnel may result in a better running game to power play action.

      I’m baffled by doubters and their inability to see the heaps of promise and room for growth that #8 displayed this year.

      • Trey Gregory - Jan 16, 2016 at 12:01 PM

        It’s because they don’t know how to actually evaluate talent. They just sit back and either listen to what other idiots say, then repeat it, or see some stupid and overblown stat like “Cousins has never beat a winning team,” and let that guide their opinion. Whatever it is, they aren’t actually watching him with an unbiased eye that’s capable of evaluating talent.

    • Trey Gregory - Jan 16, 2016 at 11:57 AM

      You’re just delusional or stupid if you don’t think another team will pay Cousins top dollar. Not 10 mil a year, probably 15-20 mil. That’s the reality of the situation. Not the dillusion of you arm chair GMs who think this is fantasy football and good options are available.

      If Cousins had another year on his rookie contract, we wouldn’t be having this conversation and all would be well. But Cousins is a FA, and promising QBs are too valuable timely walk. Cousins showed enough improvement this season that the team HAS to keep him around. They have to. It’s a far greater risk to let him walk than it would be to sign him for 20 mil a year. They have to take that chance, because if they don’t, someone else will. The league is starved for QBs. If a team without a QB (Washington included) doesn’t sign Cousins, they could be searching for a replacement for a decade or more. History shows that’s not an exaggeration.

      So what’s your realistic solution? Cousins won’t take 5 mil a year, another team will pay Cousins, and Washignton needs a QB. So let’s go back to reality and talk about real options. Because saying Cousins should take 5 mil a year is like saying Washington should sign Luke Skywalker to play QB, it’s a fantasy.

      And relax with the never beating a winning team. It’s so overblown. He had 3 opportunities in the regular season (All of which came before he and the team came together and started playing well) and 1 is his very first post season game vs a team that’s there every year. Cousins also never won on the road, until he did. Cousins also never won two in a row,until he did. Cousins also never threw more TDs than INTs in a season, until he did. Cousins also never finished with a winning record, until he did. He will overcome this too. He showed tremendous growth this year and it’s just silly to sit back and look at what happened the first few weeks and judge him for it now. And the team around him had to help too. The whole team fell apart in that game.

      • gangofmorlocks - Jan 16, 2016 at 4:40 PM

        Wait…Cousins has thrown more TDs than INTs in 3 of his 4 seasons. He went 4 – 7 in his second season.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 17, 2016 at 2:41 PM

          Cousins didn’t play enough snaps in 2012 or 2013 for his stats to mean anything. In 2014, he was named the starter and took enough snaps to qualify. Unfortunately, he was learning, and learning in a toxic environment. People still want to hold that against him. They want to see him for who he was instead of who he has become. It’s just illogical to compare the guy who played in week 17 to the guy who played in 2014 or even week 1 of 2015. He’s a different guy. He grew and progressed with the experience.

          So many QBs got to learn on the bench. Rogers, Brady, even guys like Osweiler and Kap. They started their first game so much more prepared than Kirk. Even though Cousins didn’t start his first two years, he was in an awful org (he didn’t exactly have Belechick), didn’t have a QB coach, didn’t have a vet to follow and immulate. But their other guys, they threw their picks and missed their reads in practice. Trust me, it happened. They they got the starting job when they were ready, not before, and everyone acts like they were that good all along. Even though that’s not true. So when those guys have a bad game, the sky isn’t falling and people weren’t right all along about how those QBs are bums. Cousins had to sit on the bench, not learn on the bench. He starts a few games, does terrible, but learns. Now he’s evolved and everyone wants to hold that learning experience and evolution against him. It’s absurd.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 17, 2016 at 2:46 PM

          I also should have said Cousins never won in prime time, until he did. At least I consider that Saturday game vs Philly prime time.

      • Thetruthis - Jan 25, 2016 at 3:30 PM

        I’m telling you people!!! If I were being delusional or stupid, I would have no problem with that. But in this Cousins senario-anyone who says the skins have to sign cousins to a big contract or franchise him doest understand value. VAlue is determined by what other people are willing to pay and what the person really wants. I repeat, only washington is desperate enough to lock up with a longterm big or even guaranteed contract with a QB before he has won playoff games. Seriously, thats what the facts show. Kaepernick went to the Super Bowl and won big and playoff games BEFORE they gave him a very large and long term but not guaranteed contract. Tom Brady, played many games and even won a Super Bowl BEFORE he received his great contract. The same with Russell wilson and all of the top paid QB’s. In the Words of Donald Trump, wow, people can make some dumb contracts when they don’t understand how people really think. Where can Kirk go where anyone would even guarantee that he can continue to play even if he throws 5 interceptions. Kirk can’t be that dumb. He knows Washington, under Gruden is the absolute best chance he has of playing without pressure, which he has trouble handling. He would be in the 3rd year of the same system and the coach believes in him. No, Washington has the upper hand in this contract negotiation, because NO OTHER TEAM IS GOING TO GIVE KIRK A GUARANTEED LONG TERM CONTRACT AT THIS POINT IN HIS CAREER. NOT ONE SINGLE TEAM. How do I know? Because none of them has done that before. They make QB’s win the big games first. period. If Kfirk goes to another team and starts and has a stubble behind and inept O-line for the first 4 or 5 games because a team is playing aggressive defenses, HE WILL BE BENCHED OR EVEN TOSSED. Remember Brandon Weeden? Kirk does not even have as much play time proven as Bryan Hoyer and certainly should have a $3-$5mil the first year, with the chance to double it the next if he wins big or playoff games, just like Tom Brady had to do. Do your homework people. Do you think Kirk would have performed better than Tom Brady in the division game, or Carson Palmer in the division game? That is the type of heat kirk will have to succeed in to win big games. KIRK HAS NOT PROVEN HE CAN PLAY IN DEFENSIVE HEAT(PRESSURE). I know you guys want to live this fairy tale, but that is not how it works.

    • rtcwon - Jan 16, 2016 at 5:02 PM

      Your first sentence establishes no need to read any further.

  14. John - Jan 16, 2016 at 4:56 PM

    Garcon will not take a pay cut. He haslost a step and was tossing f bombs around the locker room after the game (its understandable to be p’od after the game but have some restraint when the reporters are in there. According to Matt Hoffman Skins beat reporter, Garcon probably won’t be resigned.

    • rtcwon - Jan 16, 2016 at 5:31 PM

      First, a pay cut is not the only way to reduce his cap number. For example they could extend him to 32yrs old with a 3yr $16M, $10M gar deal that gives him a $2M raise this year, $6M more the next two years all while reducing his cap number from $10.2M to $5M this year and very manageable hits of $6M & $7M in ’17 & ’18.

      Second, the guy’s name is Craig or Greg, not Matt. Third, resigning is the most remote of all options as first it would require him to be released, absorbing $2.2M dead and then resigning a new deal against the cap as well. If they want him back, he’ll either be restructured (least likely, as you say, he won’t take a pay cut) extended as above or play under his current deal.

    • jonevans511 - Jan 16, 2016 at 7:47 PM

      Ah, the good old “according to reporters” comment. First it’s “Garcon needs to watch his mouth when there are reporters in the room”, then “Garcon won’t be resigned because some water carrying reporter said so”. What paper do you work for? In all seriousness though, if you’re basing him being cut on his emotions after a HUGE game you need your head checked. Doesn’t make a lick of sense. As to “he lost a step”; you know who else has? Jason Avant. You watching this Chiefs Pats game? He’s single handedly kept the Chiefs in this game, and Garcon is every bit as tough as Avant. Losing a step means nothing if you’re a solid possession receiver like Pierre. DJax losing a step would have a huge impact on his abilities. Same with any other speedster. Garcon was never JUST a speed guy so I’m not sure why you even brought that up.

  15. kenlinkins - Jan 16, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    Rich: I think the release of RG3, Hatcher (quits), Riley, Roberts, Lauvao and Paul will come pretty fast. Goldson and Hall could be asked to resign at more team friendly cost and IMO both will. The Jackson and Garcon deals are the second biggest question behind what to do with Cousins. IMO I would Tag Cousins for 2016 and keep both Garcon and Jackson for a total ONE TIME cost of $38 million in 2016. This would keep the heart of the offense together without committing $60 million guaranteed to Cousins. If there are problems with Jackson or Garcon, you can always cut one of them later (i.e. training camp, early in the season and still save most of the money). I still have a problem with giving Cousins a BIG contract after only a 6 game run of very good play. IMO I want to see a full year of very good play before I commit to him. The Redskins should give Cousins the ring (i.e. the Tag) now but set the date of the wedding in 2017. (I mean we are talking about a $19 million ring here)

    • rtcwon - Jan 16, 2016 at 6:00 PM

      That’s a lot blood you’re expecting pretty fast! I haven’t seen anyone going after Paul to save <$900k.

      RGIII will come fast. Hatcher will retire (he couldn't make it through this year despite only practicing 2 days a week) but I think they may use a post-June designation to split the $4.5M dead between '16 & '17. Goldson and Roberts will also be released shortly, leaving them $45M for free agency. (Creating only $6.5M or $4.25M dead)

      Any multi-year deal for Kirk will have a cap hit less than the $18M tag, so worse case they'll have $27M to play with in free agency. That could be 4 to 6 signings BEFORE having to make any decisions about DJax, Garcon, Riley, Hall, Lauvao or Kory.

      To me, that means if any of these six aren't back, its performance not money.

    • bangkokben - Jan 16, 2016 at 7:14 PM

      Ken as for Cousins, it isn’t a six game stretch; it’s a season. The six game stretch or last ten of the regular season are astronomical. Compare Tom Brady’s first few seasons statistically to Cousins first year as a starter. Sure, Brady won a SB in his second year in the league while he finished the last 15 games of the season but with a defense that will have a bunch of HOFs and a pedestrian 189 yards passing per game. The point is that Tom Brady didn’t become Tom Brady instantly but grew into it. It would be nice to get Cousins for cheap but that isn’t going to happen. I have no problem with your $38M solution but I’d give it a less than 10% chance of happening.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jan 17, 2016 at 6:57 PM

        Please stop comparing Cousins to elite QBs. He needs to prove he can be a consistent average QB before discussing great QB comparisons. Cousins didn’t beat a single defense ranked in the top 15. Also Brady was between 23 and 24 years old when he won a SB and how old is Cousins?

        • bangkokben - Jan 17, 2016 at 10:29 PM

          No. The REDSKINS didn’t beat a single team with a winning record. If you don’t like the comparisons; don’t look at them. One season doesn’t make a QB; it makes ONE SEASON! Stop taking away from the season OUR quarterback had. Comparing and contrasting is a legitimate form of analysis.

        • Trey Gregory - Jan 18, 2016 at 12:36 AM

          Obviously it would be silly to say that Cousins WILL become the next Aaron Rogers or Tom Brady because those guys have rings and have done it multiple seasons in a row, they’re beyond proven.

          I don’t, however, think it’s silly to compare what we know of Cousins to those guys. For at least a stretch of 6 games this year, he played as well or better than some of the elite QBs in the NFL. It wasn’t just about the level of competition either. His accuracy, timing, execution, and how quickly he got the ball out was remarkable. Better defenses may have messed with his completion %, but not everything he did well. My point was that he played well enough to be compared to some of those guys.

          Also, even when he wasn’t playing lights out, he played at least average. His stats in the first 6 games weren’t great, but they weren’t awful either.

          I remember being shocked when I compared Cousins to Teddy Bridewater early on and Cousins’ stats looked way better. I hadn’t watched a lot of Minnessota, but the way their fans supported Teddy and were confident he was the future compared to Washington fans (and national reporters) being down on Cousins even though he was playing better was really eye opening.

          But people compare Cousins to these guys to make a point that: 1) they weren’t always as good as they are now; they had growing pains too and 2) that the team’s these guys played on had a lot to do with their early success. Cousins doesn’t have anything even close to the defense Brady or Roethilsberger had when they went to their early SBs. Say Russell Wilsom went to Washington or Miami in 2013 instead of Seattle. Do you think he would have developed the same? Enjoyed the same early success? Do you think he would have a ring right now? Rogers, Wilson, Brady, Roethilsberger…. they went to top notch organizations who know how to develop talent and win games. Cousins didn’t. But now that Washington seems to have hired a staff who knows how to draft and develop talent, it’s not that crazy to look at this as Cousins’ first year and try to project where he might end up. Brady is the standard we all want. It’s a little bit of wishful thinking but I don’t think it’s stupid to compare.

        • Thetruthis - Jan 25, 2016 at 3:45 PM

          You can’t reach these people. These people want to pay Kirk Cousins like Secretariat when he has already lost a qualifying round. So what if his contract year is up, Kirk would be lucky to get $3-$5M guaranteed next year. Otherwise, in the words of Donald Trump. The Skins are just dumb to make such a stupid contract. What is wrong with you people. Kirk earned the right to get a chance to move on and prove if he can beat good teams next year that’s all he proved. Even if he had won a playoff game, and the divisional game, that would not be enough to see whether it was the team around him or him. You have to do due diligence and ensure that kirk can win big games. Bryan Hoyer averages $5.2 and he has 7 years of work behind him. How can you in good conscience be so desperate to give kirk top money at this point. Remember, I am not saying that if he performs over the next few years you don’t give him a big contract at that time. The NFL is a game of match ups. What kind of defense can beat kirk and take him out of his game? Because that is going to be what you see from every good team. Now who can deny that?

  16. Thetruthis - Jan 25, 2016 at 3:50 PM

    Teddy Bridgewater only makes $1.7 Mil. And that is the only point I am trying to make.

  17. Thetruthis - Jan 25, 2016 at 3:54 PM

    Russell Wilson, Big Ben, Brady, all of them had to play many years and win big games BEFORE they got huge contracts. You have to go a little further in your comparisons. If Cousins plays well over the next 3 years and win big games like the other QB”s then by all means pay the man. BUT NOT UNTIL PROVEN!!!! That is the point of the new rookie contract deals. They used to pay the rookie QB’s like Troy Aikman straight out of college. The new contracts make them prove they can win first. Washington should certainly not do any different with Cousins.

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