Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 11, three days before NFL free agency starts.
Redskins salary cap notes and nuggets
—The invaluable website Over the Cap has updated team salary cap numbers to take this year’s trades into account even though the deals aren’t official until Wednesday. The Redskins have $31.4 million after adding Alex Smith and subtracting Kendall Fuller from the cap. That’s not a ton of money but they aren’t looking for spare change in the couch cushions at Redskins Park; they are right about in the middle of the pack with 13 teams having more room than Washington.
—Smith counts $17 million against the cap, with a $14.5 million salary, a $2 million roster bonus, and a $500,000 workout bonus. It is the highest cap number on the team, just topping Josh Norman’s figure of $16.93 million.
—There has been plenty of speculation that the Redskins may convert some of Smith’s salary into signing bonus for the four-year extension to which he has agreed. That would create more cap space this year while pushing back some cap money into later seasons. For example, in a simple restructure, they could convert $10 million of his 2018 salary into signing bonus, adding $8 million in space to this season and adding $2 million into each of the four years of the extension.
—Smith is not the only player they could restructure. They could create significant cap room by changing the contracts of Josh Norman, Trent Williams, or Ryan Kerrigan. It should be noted that this is not something the Redskins typically do unless they are forced to as they would rather operate on more of a pay as you go basis. They could do the restructure at any time, so they may keep it in their back pocket in case they need to make a move that requires more cap than they have.
—One other nugget I picked up from OTC was that the base salaries of several Redskins become fully guaranteed on March 18, four days after the start of the league year. Among those players is Terrell McClain, who has a $3.25 million salary and a $4.69 million cap hit. He was a disappointment after signing as a free agent last year. The delayed guarantee gives the Redskins a window where the can move on from him prior to the guarantee kicking in. If they make him a standard release they would save about $1 million in cap and $3.5 million in cash. They also could designate him as a post-June 1 release and save $3.4 million in cap this year while adding $2.5 million in dead cap to 2019. I haven’t heard that the Redskins are considering releasing McClain, but the opportunity is there if they want to do it.
Tandler on Twitter
If you’re an NFL player, you might want to check your text messages. Chances are good you’ve been traded to the Browns.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) March 9, 2018
—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 36
—NFL Draft (4/26) 46
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 182
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