Everybody knows the Redskins lost a number of players to injury this year. From stars like Chris Thompson and Jonathan Allen to starters like Shawn Lauvao or Spencer Long, many are gone, and their absences are hurting the team.
It's easy to watch Redskins games and see where those players are missed. Against the Cowboys in Dallas last week, it was very obvious Washington could have used Allen to plug gaping holes in the second half of that defeat.
In the same game, when Kirk Cousins throws to Byron Marshall in the flat, it was clear that the second-year running back out of Oregon is not Thompson. Marshall is quick, but Thompson makes quick look slow.
Add it all up, and the losses are significant. How significant? More than $25 million worth.
That information comes courtesy of Overthecap.com, and it's distressing. Keep in mind, too, that the injured reserve figure does not take into account Jordan Reed, who has missed five straight games and is on the books for nearly $6 million this season. Trent Williams has missed two games this year, and he makes a salary of $15 million in 2017.
As the numbers of games missed from all the different players continue to add up, consider the effect on special teams as well. When starters go down, and their proportion of the salary cap goes with it, the players behind usually make significantly less money. That means the backups play starter reps, and the "next man up" is on special teams. That "next man up" is usually being paid the league minimum.
Even more remarkable for the Redskins is that their $25 million on injured reserve doesn't come from one particularly high-salaried player. Teams like the Packers, Dolphins or Cardinals also have a lot of money on the IR, but that stems from quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Tannehill and Carson Palmer getting injured while making a ton of cash. Rodgers, for example, makes $20 million alone this season. All 15 players on Washington's injured reserve combined just make more than QB Kirk Cousins at $24 million.
Money makes the world — and football teams — go around. With nearly 15 percent of their salary cap on injured reserve, some of the Redskins struggles add up.
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