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Lichtensteiger's retirement saves cap space could pose a depth problem

Lichtensteiger's retirement saves cap space could pose a depth problem

The retirement of Kory Lichtensteiger will save the Redskins some salary cap money but it could leave them in search of a backup center.

The veteran offensive lineman was on the last year of a five-year, $15.5 million contract he signed in 2013. He was due to make $3.25 million in base salary plus up to $250,000 in roster bonuses. That adds up to $3.5 million in cap savings. There will be a $550,000 dead cap hit from the transaction.

Technically the Redskins could try to collect the $550,000 in prorated bonus since he retired voluntarily. But the contract he signed four years ago was very team friendly and it seems unlikely that the team will put in a claim to get it back.

RELATED: What happens if the Redskins lose Jackson or Garcon?

The retirement means that the Redskins have about $65 million in available salary cap space for the coming season.

Lichtensteiger established himself as the starter at left guard in 2010 and he switched to center in 2014. Injuries started to catch up to him in 2015, when he went on injured reserve with a disc problem in his neck. He was activated for and started the Redskins’ playoff game that season. Last year he suffered a strained calf in Week 4 and went on IR again. He was activated in Week 14 as a backup but he did not play.

The Redskins likely were going to take a hard look at Lichtensteiger’s salary in any case and decide if $3.5 million was too much for a player who has spent much more time rehabbing injuries than being available to play in recent seasons. His retirement makes that decision easy.

More Redskins: Five offseason predictions

But Lichtensteiger’s departure leaves the team without a backup center under contract. The Redskins signed veteran John Sullivan after Lichtensteiger was put on IR. Sullivan is a free agent and with Spencer Long entrenched as the Redskins’ starting center he could go looking for a better opportunity elsewhere.

The Redskins do have plenty of time to figure out a solution at backup center and, as noted above, plenty of cap money.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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The Steelers won't tag Le'Veon Bell, meaning the RB will soon be an unrestricted free agent

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The Steelers won't tag Le'Veon Bell, meaning the RB will soon be an unrestricted free agent

Most NFL teams spend years searching for All-Pro offensive weapons. But in the past few days, the Steelers have indicated they're about to move on from two such players.

On Tuesday, Antonio Brown met with team management, and the franchise reportedly decided trading Brown was in their best interest.

Then, on Wednesday, Pittsburgh's GM said there would be no more tags applied to Le'Veon Bell, meaning he'll be an unrestricted free agent this March. 

There had been speculation the Steelers may continue their messy relationship with the running back by placing the transition tag on him. In the end, though, he'll get what he's wanted for quite some time now, albeit later than he wanted it: a chance for a big new contract on the open market.

Now, for all the Redskins fans reading this (hopefully of which there are many, because that'll make my bosses happy), the obvious, yet longshot, question is: Any chance Bell comes to Washington?

The answer, as with any high-priced free agent these days, is almost definitely not. The Redskins don't have money to burn like they routinely did a decade ago, and Bell's going to be craving lots of cash.

Furthermore, if the 'Skins are going to sign a running back, they're much more likely to bring back that Hall of Famer who went over 1,000 yards in 2018 despite arriving in August. Adrian Peterson's yearly salary should be about a third of what Bell's will be, the deal will be shorter and everyone on the Burgundy and Gold would welcome additional time with that particular No. 26.

Bell's going to make someone's offense a lot scarier in 2019. Just don't expect it to be Jay Gruden's.


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2019 NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Who are the Redskins taking at 15?

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2019 NFL Mock Draft Roundup: Who are the Redskins taking at 15?

As the calendar turns toward spring, one thing consumes the NFL: mock drafts. Leading up to the NFL Draft on April 25, many will try to predict which players each of the 32 teams will select. Though no one will know for sure until the names are called, it's still interesting to see what potential directions teams might go in.

Let's take a look at what some people believe the Redskins will do with their first round pick.

ESPN's Mel Kiper's NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Drew Lock (QB, Missouri) Kiper currently has Washington taking a quarterback in the first-round, but maybe not the one people were expecting. While Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins are viewed as first-round locks by many, the Missouri product's placement in the draft is not as certain. In this scenario, Kiper has Murray and Haskins off the board before Washington gets on the clock, making Lock the best available passer remaining. In his senior seaosn, Lock finished with 3,498 passing yards and 28 touchdowns.

CBS Sports' R.J. White: Devin White (ILB, LSU) Not a quarterback here. White has the Redskins using a pick on the junior linebacker. With questions surrounding what will happen with Zach Brown as well as pass-rushing linebacker Preston Smith, White could fill a need for the Redskins. 

CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) The Redskins take a passer in both of these mocks as well, just a different one. Jones, the junior from Duke, slides in at No. 15 behind both Murray and Haskins. However, Wilson also has Lock going before the Redskins pick, while Trapasso has him falling to No. 28. 

Bleacher Report's Kristopher Knox: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) More Jones here for the Redskins. The passer, who threw for 22 touchdowns in 2018, is the fourth quarterback off the board in this mock draft as Haskins, Murray and Lock all go in the top 10. 

USA Today's Luke Easterling: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) Starting to see a theme here? Not only does this mock draft have the Redskins selecting Jones, but it has them moving up to No. 12 to make the selection. Easterling describes Jones as, "a raw but promising passer." 

NFL Analyst Charley Casserly: Daniel Jones (QB, Duke) Describing him as a passer with "excellent field vision, anticipation and accuracy," Casserly likes Jones in Washington.

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig: Montez Sweat (DE, Mississippi St.) As mentioned earlier, Preston Smith's time with the burgundy and gold could be coming to an end. Sweat, who recorded 11.5 sacks last season, impressed at the Senior Bowl and could make an impact from Day 1. While many see the Redskins taking a quarterback, Standig sees inside linebacker as a priority