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How much cap space will the Redskins need to sign their 2017 draft picks?

How much cap space will the Redskins need to sign their 2017 draft picks?

The Redskins have $8.1 million in remaining cap space and 10 picks in the upcoming draft. At first glance it may look like it will be a tight squeeze but it really won’t be. Here’s why.

The Redskins top draft pick is the 17th overall selection. Due to the NFL’s rookie slotting system, we know that player will get a four-year contract worth $11.6 million (all salaries rounded to the nearest $1,000). The 2017 cap charge for that contract will be about $2.1 million (cap information via Over the Cap).

The Redskins’ next pick comes in the second round, the 49th pick overall. That deal will be cost $968,000 in 2017 cap space. Here are the remaining deals, rounded to the nearest $1,000.

Round 3 (81 overall)—$671,000
4 (114)—$630,000
4 (123)—$620,000
5 (154)—$534,000
6 (201)—$501,000
6 (209)—$499,000
7 (220)—$489,000
7 (235)—$485,000

That totals $7.5 million (may not be exact due to rounding). If you subtracted that from the $8.1 million in remaining cap space the Redskins would not have enough cap space left to get through the season.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 8.0

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 must be under the NFL salary cap of $167 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. When a player is signed to a deal that would be in the top 51 cap hits, the player with the 51st-highest cap hit is taken out of the calculation.

So, when the Redskins sign their first-round draft pick, safety Earl Wolff, who has a cap hit of $615,000, will drop out of the top 51, so you subtract his money from the cap total. So that deal with the 2017 cap hit of $2.1 million counts a net of just $1.485 million.

Signing the second-round pick to that deal with the 2017 cap hit of $986,000 pushes A.J. Francis and his $615,000 cap number off the list so the net effect on available cap space is just $353,000.

The process continues through the third and both fourth-round picks. Then you get to the fifth-round pick. That cap number isn’t high enough to make it into the top 51 so it’s “free” for offseason salary cap purposes. The same applies to the rest of the draft picks.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins seven-round mock draft

Going back up to the contracts that will count against the cap, the total 2017 cap charges for those is $4.989 million. Those five contracts will push players with total salaries of $3.075 million out of the cap calculation. That makes the net cap charge $1.914 million. That will be the amount of money subtracted from their available 2017 space.

That will leave the Redskins with about $6.2 million in cap space. They are likely to gain some more space with a renegotiation of DeAngelo Hall’s contract, which has a $4.25 million salary that is likely to be substantially reduced.

That would leave them with enough remaining cap space to get through the season and perhaps sign a player like Morgan Moses to a contract extension.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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