With the Redskins on their bye week we have some time to take a look forward to next offseason when Scot McCloughan will work to continue to rebuild the team. A good place to start is with how much money they will have to sign free agents and bring back their own players. The news there is fairly positive.
According to OverTheCap.com, the Redskins have $118.7 million in salary cap expenditures for players under contract in 2017 and their dead money on the books. The salary cap estimate that most cap gurus are using for 2017 is $166 million. It is a shade over $155 million this year and projecting a seven percent increase seems about right. It could be higher, it could be a bit lower but as you’ll see in a minute the Redskins won’t have to sweat a few million bucks one way or the other.
The $166 million cap minus the $118.7 in contracts and dead money (which is around $5.3 million) leaves them with $47.3 million in cap space for 2017. That’s a substantial amount; only five teams have more.
But their available cap space will be more than that. They get to roll over their unspent cap expenditures from this year to next year. Currently the Redskins are $13.7 million under the cap for this year. Let’s say that they have to spend some money on some injury replacements so that will cut into that potential rollover some. A good, conservative estimate for rollover money is $12 million. So that pushes their 2017 cap room up to $59.3 million.
That’s not all. The Redskins are unlikely to keep all of the players that account for that $118.7 million in expenditures next year under contract. Here are some veterans who could be released:
Player-age on opening day 2017-net cap savings if released
- S DeAngelo Hall, 33, $4.25 million
- OL Kory Lichtensteiger, 32, $3.5 million
- S David Bruton, 30, $1.7 million
There also are some more players who could be let go who would save less than a million dollars but we will leave them out of the equation for the purposes of this long-term look.
Releasing all of those players (the Redskins may or may not do that; this is hypothetical) would save just under $9.5 million. If they do that they would have $109 million in player contracts plus dead money (which would increase if they released those players) for 2017. With a $166 million cap and the $12 million in rollover, the Redskins could go into 2017 with nearly $70 million in cap space.
There are some areas where they will absolutely have to spend some money. They have only Colt McCoy and Nate Sudfeld under contract at the quarterback position next year. Whether they sign Kirk Cousins or another starting caliber veteran it will cost them in the $15-$20 million range. With only slot receiver Jamison Crowder and the injured Josh Doctson under contract as potential top-line receivers under contract they will have to look at either bringing back Pierre Garçon and/or DeSean Jackson for something in the $10 million range or signing a receiver from outside for about the same money.
There are some players such as Bashaud Breeland and Morgan Moses who are under contract through 2017 that the Redskins might want to sign to extensions. As of right now it doesn’t look like they will very expensive to retain.
There will be plenty of other holes to fill but with $70 million in cap space, money will not be an issue in just about anything they want to do.