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How much cap space will the Redskins need to sign their draft picks?

Apr 28, 2016, 11:07 AM EDT


After signing Josh Norman, the Redskins go into the draft with about $4.2 million in salary cap space. They will need a chunk of that to pay their draft picks but perhaps not as much as you might think.

Going into tonight’s first round the Redskins have eight picks. They have one in each of the first six rounds and two in the seventh. Thanks to the rookie salary slotting system, we know with a reasonable amount of accuracy what the 2016 cap hit will be for the contracts of each of those players.

Their top pick is the 21st overall. That player will carry a $1.84 million cap hit this year according to Here are the cap hits for each of the other picks currently held by the Redskins, rounded to the nearest $1,000.

Round (overall)-Cap hit

2 (53)-$804,000
3 (84)-$629,000
4 (120)-$585,000
5 (158)-$509,000
6 (187)-$484,000
7 (232)-$469,000
7 (242)-$466,000

The 2016 cap hits for the eight draft picks the Redskins have total $5.8 million. If you subtract that from the $4.2 million available you get a team that looks like it is $1.6 million in the hole.

But you don’t subtract nearly that much from the remaining cap space due to the Rule of 51. That rule applies during the offseason, from the start of the league year in March until Week 1 of the regular season. Teams have to be under the NFL salary cap of $155.27 million during that time, but since they can carry up to 90 players on the roster they can’t count everyone towards the cap. So the rule is that only the top 51 cap hits on the roster count towards cap during the offseason.

That means that when you add a player into the top 51 you drop the player with the lowest cap hit. So when the Redskins sign their first-round draft pick, OLB Desmond Bishop, who has a cap hit of $600,000, will drop out of the top 51, so you subtract his money from the cap total. So that $1.84 million deal counts a net of just $1.24 million.

When the second- and third-round picks are signed, they also will replace players who also have cap numbers of $600,000, making their net cap hits $204,000 and $29,000, respectively.

And when the draftees from the fourth round on sign with cap numbers of less than $600,000, they will be outside of the top 51 so they will not count against the offseason cap number at all.

If you add up the cap hits from the first three rounds, the only draftees who will count anything against the cap, it comes to $3.273 million. But then you subtract out $1.8 million ($600,000 X 3) for the cap hits removed due to the Rule of 51, the net is $1.43 million.

Subtract that from the $4.2 million and you get about $2.8 million in remaining cap space. They can fit their draft picks under the cap pretty easily.

What if they make trades? The net cap hit could go up or down some but when all of the adding and subtracting is done, unless they do something crazy like trade next year’s first-round pick for a second-rounder this year there really won’t be any significant difference. They will still be able to sign their picks and have some money left over.

To be sure, $2.8 million isn’t really enough to get through the season with the possible need to pay players on injured reserve and pay their practice squad. But they have a few moves in their pocket that they can pull out to do that when they need to.

  1. bangkokben - Apr 28, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    I believe I had this a few weeks ago. As to the moves to open up the cap, the two most obvious are releasing Roberts when he can pass his physical and signing Cousins to a long-term deal.

    • goback2rfk - Apr 28, 2016 at 7:49 PM

      Now is not the time to sign Cousins to a long term deal. The numbers are inflated and Cousins would likely be over payed if he gets a new contract now. I would say the chances Cousins regresses some this year is high. Its not like he is going to break Redskins records again. I think we let him play out this season and get his numbers back down to something reasonable. I firmly believe Cousins is a 16 mil to 17 mil a year guy. Something like 3 years 49 million sounds about right with Kirk. Not this 4 years 82 million I keep hearing about.

      • bangkokben - Apr 29, 2016 at 12:20 PM

        Goback, drink some more whiskey and keep making ignorant statements.

  2. cmehustle - Apr 28, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    We’re good for this season. I dont really care about any more cap space or signings pertaining to the ’16 season. But how about cap space for next season? Cousins, Breeland, Greene, Moses, plus Garcon and Jackson. I realize we’re probably starting over at reciever next season, but these other gents will need or be in the market for new contracts. Thats what scares me most about signing Norman.

    • ajbus1 - Apr 28, 2016 at 1:41 PM

      Maybe we can get somebody to give us the “Tom Brady discount”, converting salary to signing bonus. Or however that works.

      • Rich Tandler - Apr 28, 2016 at 2:38 PM

        Because of the various contract situations, no real candidates for a restructure that would save significant money.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 28, 2016 at 2:39 PM

      Redskins still have ~$38 million in 2017 cap space with the ability to create about $10 million more with ease.

    • bangkokben - Apr 28, 2016 at 3:22 PM

      After this weekend, we will have a better read on who the Redskins plan to do without next year. The drafting of Matt Jones signaled the end of the Alfred Morris era. Signing Cousins to a long-term deal will create room in this and next year’s caps freeing money up to extend Reed. Once Roberts is released both caps will increase (2016 by $3 million; 2017 by $5 million) and if they do nothing with that money this year, they can roll it over next year increasing next year’s cap by $8 million to a total of $46 million. Breeland and Moses have two years left on their contracts. so there’s no need to worry about them, yet. Culliver, Hall, Lauvao, and Lichtensteiger could all be cut next year with big savings — again the Redskins could tip their hand this weekend with who and where they draft their replacements.

      • cmehustle - Apr 28, 2016 at 8:01 PM

        Yea Im agreeing with you, this draft will tip there hands as to whats going to happen next season. As for Breeland and Moses, if they repeat their performances these last couple of seasons theyre going to be looking at huge contract extensions. I feel you though about the cap situation. We have been far worse before, so I like what Im seeing Rich, thanks. Drafting well and signing our own is just fine with me.

        • bangkokben - Apr 29, 2016 at 12:22 PM

          First reaction, is that they are prepared to move on from Garcon. They basically got a bigger, younger, cheaper version. #88, make 2016 great.

  3. bangkokben - Apr 28, 2016 at 3:36 PM

    Ndamukong Suh, Darrelle Revis, Byron Maxwell, and Julius Thomas have provided the Lions, Patriots, Seahawks, and Broncos with the 95th, 96th, 97th, and 98th picks respectively due to the compensatory draft pick rules.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 28, 2016 at 3:39 PM

      Seahawks sure got the last laugh out of the Byron Maxwell signing.

      • bangkokben - Apr 28, 2016 at 4:00 PM

        Worked out great for them. But let’s remember, the signing team does not shell out these compensatory draft picks. There are an extra 32 draft picks awarded from the 3rd to the 7th round to teams based on losing “better” qualifying free agents than the ones they signed. Philly does, however, still have $4.8 million in dead money and traded Maxwell along with Kiko Alonso to Miami to move up to number 8 from 13 in the first round. (They have since moved up to number 2.) Maxwell now lives in sunny South Beach instead of Philly and got $25 million fully guaranteed.

  4. redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 28, 2016 at 9:31 PM

    It looks like after Tampa Bay’s first pick being CB #3 or #2 how you want to call it that the signing of Josh Norman may have been a pretty good idea!

  5. hail74 - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:14 PM

    Was hoping for Kelly, oh well. I’m thinking its Treadwell or Butler now.

    • hail74 - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:25 PM

      I’m assuming Jacks medical is a red flag. Would CB Jackson be BPA?

  6. mtskins - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:24 PM

    Getting close. Lots of options.

  7. hail74 - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    Nice, we actually did trade. One spot down, prob not much but hey

  8. mtskins - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    Called the trade out. But not only one slot and a 6th. Trade again Scot.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 28, 2016 at 11:16 PM

      Should have been here long time ago to make that claim. If you called it out then when did you do that?

  9. mtskins - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:39 PM

    Great pick. Rich gets his WR

    • hail74 - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:41 PM

      Have to love his hands, good size.

  10. goback2rfk - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:41 PM

    Yeah! Got a pretty decent Wide Receiver. Welcome Josh! Hail yeah !

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:51 PM

      He better be special but I see nothing about him that makes him a 21st pick. I trust Scot knows what he is doing but how can this be the best choice instead of trading back?

      • mtskins - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:57 PM

        They did sort of. I think they tried. No takers and as everybody has been saying it takes a team willing to move up to make a trade. Got a 6th. This is not a need pick but could be as soon as next year , nobody picking DL because it is so deep. Solid pick there in the 2nd will be available. Long time since Skins drafted WR high

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:58 PM

          Good points mtskins and I still holding out some to see out the 2nd round goes.

      • goback2rfk - Apr 29, 2016 at 12:22 AM

        Its a questionable pick. I did not think we would draft WR 1st. Lets hope this guy ends up being decent.
        I also questioned the 1st pick last year and Scherrif did good. Lets hope this years 1st pick will be good also.
        But if I have to give the GM a grade on the 1st pick:


  11. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:42 PM

    Doctson is going to make Kirk happy.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:54 PM

      Great for Kirk but what about Jaren Reed, Jalen Ramsey, etc????????????

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:56 PM

        Myles Jack sorry not Ramsey

        • hail74 - Apr 28, 2016 at 11:06 PM

          Both those guys have serious red flags. Reports are that the cartilage in Jacks knee is separating from the bone. Could require micro fracture surgery

        • hail74 - Apr 28, 2016 at 11:08 PM

          Sorry saw Ramsey, obviously Reed is healthy but maybe Scot only sees him as a two down player who will play maybe 35% of D snaps and not worth first round consideration

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 28, 2016 at 11:14 PM

          I get you Hail74 but I disagree about the micro fracture surgery is needed due to separation this means the cartilage can not be restored at all.

  12. redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 28, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    I support the pick but I’m think this is not the best player at 21.

  13. redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 28, 2016 at 11:37 PM

    So super bowl team Carolina gets Vernon Butler at DT and the Redskins are better at defense line, how?

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 28, 2016 at 11:48 PM

      We’re not better at it from today.

      But tomorrow is another day.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 29, 2016 at 12:01 AM

        I agree about reserving expectation until the draft is done but did Doctson have to be drafted now or could comparable WR have waited? He is not an elite wide out!

        • goback2rfk - Apr 29, 2016 at 12:18 AM

          The GM is going to be a hero or zero after this one for sure! The GM is making some tough calls like the Josh Norman deal. I did not see this pick coming. WR is not the biggest need at this point? I thought he liked Mike Evans type of wide receivers. This guy is an Anqouin Boldin wannabe. Oh well. On to the second round.
          And only got a 6th rounder in 2017 out of the deal?! Wtf. is up with that .Could of been a 3rd rounder

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 29, 2016 at 12:22 AM

          I’m not sure a 3rd rounder was equal but certainly there are bigger impact players at 22 than a 6’2 wide out how with a 4.5 speed is not going to out run many DBs. I don’t get it and I don’t like it but I respect Scot’s ability to see the tangibles that we don’t. Archives

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