Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 13, five days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL assemble in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.
Question of the day
We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.
Today’s question comes from Twitter:
@Rich_TandlerCSN Do you think that Barry Cofield will be back next year? #NTK— nc_ (@NC_SkinsFan) February 12, 2015
The first thing that should be noted here is that we don’t have any hard news, or even any substantial rumors, coming out of Redskins Park that anyone is going to be released. Any talk you’re hearing is speculation based on some combination of a player having a high cap number, a 30th birthday that has either already passed or will soon, and low on-field production.
Cap cuts certainly are being considered and some teams have started them already. I wouldn’t look for the Redskins to make any moves until we get much closer to the March 10 start of the league year. Scot McCloughan has had only about three and a half weeks for his personnel evaluations; he couldn’t get started in earnest until he got back from the Senior Bowl. So it will take some more time to get it all sorted out.
All that said, let’s take a look a Cofield. He is in the danger zone in all three of areas noted in the first paragraph here:
—His salary is $4.55 million and his cap number is $7.7 million, the fifth highest on the team. Releasing him would result in a dead cap hit of $3.6 million but net cap savings of $4.1 million.
—Cofield will turn 31 next month.
—He played in just eight games, spending half of the season on the injured reserve-designated for return list. Cofield landed there after he suffered a high ankle sprain in the season opener. He also had a sports hernia issue tended to while he was out. When it was all over he started three games, had five tackles and one sack.
Despite all of that, I think he survives for another season. They don’t really have a better alternative at nose tackle (Chris Baker, who subbed at nose while Cofield was out injured, is better suited to playing end). They may let go of Stephen Bowen, who has the fourth highest cap number on the team and will turn 31 about a week after Cofield does, and Kedric Golston, who will be 32 in a few months. Yes, they need a youth movement but you can’t all of a sudden cut half of your defensive linemen. That should keep Cofield around.
I think they will try to negotiate a cut in Cofield’s base salary, maybe cutting it in half and giving him the chance to earn some of it back with incentives and per-game roster bonuses. If he balks on taking a cut, perhaps things will change. But I think that one way or another he’s on the 53-man roster when the Redskins open up the 2015 season.
—It’s been 47 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 212 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL free agency starts 25; Redskins offseason workouts start 66; 2015 NFL Draft 76
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
In case you missed it