The Redskins will roll into the 2020 season with about $48 million in salary-cap space. For a team that’s rebuilding after a terrible 2019 campaign, and will at least have a new head coach if not other significant front office changes, nearly $50 million in cap space should be appealing.
Here’s the thing, Washington can and should create much more room.
There is an easy five-step process to creating more than $40 million additional salary cap space. Here it goes (salary information via OvertheCap.com).
Cut Josh Norman / $12.5M saved and $3M hit
-After benching Norman for most of the last half of the 2019 season, it’s a complete no brainer for the Redskins to release him this offseason. Both parties need a fresh start, and Washington could be looking seriously at a first-round cornerback in the NFL draft.
Cut Paul Richardson (post June 1 designation) / $6.5M saved and $2M cap hit
- Two years, 48 catches and two trips to the injured reserve mark a disappointing run for Richardson in Washington. With the emergence of Terry McLaurin and the possibility of picking a star WR like Jerry Jeudy in the first round of the 2020 Draft, it just doesn’t make sense to keep Richardson.
Cut or reach settlement with Jordan Reed / $8.5M saved and $1.8M cap hit
- It’s entirely possible Reed’s NFL career is over after a concussion from August, his seventh documented concussion since his days at the University of Florida. He could retire or maybe the Redskins reach an injury settlement with the talented yet frequently injured tight end. Either way, don’t expect him back in Burgundy and Gold.
Trade or cut Ryan Kerrigan / $11.7M saved and $0 cap hit
- This is far from a sure thing. Very far in fact. Kerrigan is a cornerstone of this franchise and had been the most durable player on the Redskins since he was drafted in 2011. That he finally missed a game and subsequently ended the 2019 season on injured reserve notwithstanding, a new coach or front office could easily elect to keep Kerrigan on the squad in 2020. But, saving nearly $12 million on the cap for a 31-year-old edge rusher with a lot of miles on the tires could be a shrewd move too, particularly if the Redskins embrace a total rebuild. It’s also possible to trade Kerrigan rather than release him; plenty of other teams understand his value.
Trade or cut Trent Williams / $12.75M savings and $2M cap hit
- One way or another, expect Trent Williams to be out of Washington in 2020. A contract holdout and medical scare turned nuclear in 2019 when the club refused to trade the disgruntled Pro Bowl tackle, and now after Williams finally broke his silence, the bridge is not only burnt but it’s completely disintegrated. Once the Redskins settle on a new coach and whatever changes, if any, occur in the front office are complete, trading Williams needs to be priority No. 1.
Complete all those moves and Washington would have more than $90 million in cap space. With some expiring contracts that could creep near $100 million. Of course, the team will also sign free agents and need to pay for a full draft class, but that type of money could alter the course of the franchise.
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