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Looking ahead to 2017: Redskins will have more than ample cap room


Looking ahead to 2017: Redskins will have more than ample cap room

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, 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.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

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


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.