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How much cap space do the Redskins need to sign their draft picks?


How much cap space do the Redskins need to sign their draft picks?

According to the NFLPA, the Redskins have a little under $7 million in salary cap space remaining. They are better off than some teams; seven have less than $5 million left. But with some needs they have yet to fill they are in worse shape than many others as 11 teams have more than twice as much cap space as Washington.

The Redskins are not done adding players. They want to sign some more free agents and seven weeks from today they will start participating in the NFL draft. Their top pick is No. 34 overall and they have their own pick in every round other than the first for a total of six picks.

How much of the remaining cap space will the Redskins need to spend on signing their draft picks? Thanks to the rookie pay scale system and the rule of 51, not much.

Most have become familiar with the draft pick pay system, which came into existence with the 2011 CBA. Rookies are paid according to where they are drafted. It’s not a strict slotting system and there is some negotiation over some terms of the contracts but basically the signing bonus and salaries are set and the contracts are all four years long.

That system both keeps the cost of the contracts relatively low and allows team capologists to know right now how much the rookie deals will cost against the cap for the next four years. The Redskins have six picks in the draft. Here is the first-year cap number for each of their picks.

From the beginning of the league year (the day free agency starts) through the final cuts before the start of the regular season, only a team’s top 51 cap numbers count against the salary cap. That is how a team is able to carry 90 players on its offseason and training camp roster at a minimum salary of $405,000 and still stay under the cap.So, the Redskins are going to need just about $3.5 million is cap space set aside to sign their draft picks, right? No they won’t, thanks to the rule of 51.

When a team signs a player to a contract with a cap hit that puts it in the top 51 on the team, the player with cap hit number 51 is knocked out off of the cap number.

For example, Brandon Meriweather just signed a contract that counted $1 million against the 2014 cap. When his contract was added, the contract of Kai Forbath, which carries a cap hit of $570,000 became No. 52 on the list and was removed from the cap calculation. So, signing Meriweather added just $430,000 to the Redskins cap total, his $1 million added into the cap calculation minus Forbath’s $570,000.

The cap numbers for the players drafted in rounds 4 through seven have cap numbers of less than $570,000 so when they sign it will have no effect on the available cap space since their contracts will fall outside of the top 51.

When the third-round pick signs his deal, the Redskins will subtract just $24,534 from their cap space. His $594,534 cap hit will push a player making $570,000 out of the top 51. And the second-rounder will cost $431,209 in cap space ($1,001,209 minus $570,000 for the contract knocked out of the top 51).

So if you add up what the top two picks will cost, as of now the Redskins will have to set aside about $456,000 in cap space to sign their draft picks.

That could change some if they sign some other free agents between now and when they sign their draft picks. If they move around in the draft and get some extra picks or end up with fewer picks, that will change the calculation as well. But the changes will be in the tens of thousands of dollars, almost insignificant when compared to the $133 million salary cap.

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Adrian Peterson continues surprising run in Redskins' win over Cowboys

Adrian Peterson continues surprising run in Redskins' win over Cowboys

LANDOVER, Md. -- With 22 starters comprising offensive and defensive players, plus another faction handling special teams, football is the ultimate team sport.

Now imagine where the 2018 Washington Redskins find themselves if the front office never brings in Adrian Peterson for that mid-preseason workout. Even Jamie Lee Curtis finds that frightening.

Peterson’s return to football glory continued with 99 rushing yards on 24 carries in Washington’s 20-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday evening.

“I won’t say we wouldn’t be as good in the run game, but, yeah,” left tackle Trent Williams said of his former University of Oklahoma teammate.

“Obviously having [Adrian], I won’t say it’s everything, but it’s almost everything,” Williams continued. His eyes widened as the Pro Bowl lineman pondered the potential downside of this offense without the future Hall of Famer. That’s a dark timeline.

Peterson’s Redskins career now spans six regular-season games. Sunday’s display of power in tight spaces and speed when daylight exists wasn’t a one-off. In those six games, Peterson rushed for at least 96 yards four times including the last two games despite playing with a painful shoulder.

“I’m feeling good, man, we just got a W,” the smiling running back said from behind the podium inside the media room at his newish home stadium. “That makes everything feel a lot better. I feel better than I did last week, I’ll say that.”

Washington felt concerned enough about its running attack following the second preseason game to scour the free agent market. Peterson arriving at Redskins Park in August generated the expected “Whoa” from the casual NFL fans, who picture the player hammering silly defenders daring to tackle him. That player no longer existed. At least that’s what many assumed.

Peterson last topped 1,000 yards or 4.0 yards per rush in 2015. Injuries and inefficiency headlined his 2017 stops in New Orleans and Arizona. Running backs capable of carrying an offense aren’t just lying around for the taking like a rogue penny on a sidewalk. Yet, there was Peterson, waiting for a team to show interest. After losing Derrius Guice with a season-ending knee injury and recognizing the in-house options were not enough, the Redskins called.

 “We didn’t have many expectations,” Jay Gruden said after the Redskins improved to 4-2 and took a 1 ½ game lead in the NFC East. “We weren’t expecting him to be on our football team until we had a couple of injuries. Then we got him. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I know he looked great in that workout.”

That workout led to a signing and almost simultaneously, the starting gig. Now it’s hard contemplating anyone else in those early down and short yardage scenarios. Peterson had runs of 23 and 20 yards against the Cowboys. The latter help set up one of two Dustin Hopkins field goals. His overall production helped move the chains in yet another game where the Alex Smith-led passing game lacked oomph.

This random road to Redskins Park is why Peterson’s renaissance feels shocking to many with one significant exception.

“No, not at all. I think everyone else around is surprised. I’m not,” Peterson said. “I expect greatness from myself. That’s why I put the work in. God has blessed with me this talent. A lot of people see, and a lot of people don’t. … Just keep confidence in myself. When I’m presented with my opportunity, I’m going to take advantage of it every Sunday.”

Peterson is taking advantage of this opportunity with the Redskins because necessity is the mother of invention. It turns out Washington’s running attack needed a reboot more than the running back required a makeover.

“There are not many guys like [Adrian] walking around the street,” Williams said, “and luckily, we found a diamond in the rough.”

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Josh Norman rocks Bobby Boucher jersey following Redskins' win over Cowboys

Josh Norman rocks Bobby Boucher jersey following Redskins' win over Cowboys

Josh Norman just took the jersey game to a whole new level.

Prior to the Redskins' gutsy 20-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Norman showed up to FedEx Field repping a Bobby Boucher Bourbon Bowl jersey from the iconic Adam Sandler movie "The Waterboy." 

He also repped the jersey following the win in the locker room with the media.

Many believed it was a shot at Giants' Odell Beckham Jr., who made comments this week about disliking water. But according to Norman, he just really likes the South Central Louisiana Mud Dogs.

Norman is known for repping a soccer jersey or two following a game, but he has everyone else beat this week.