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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.

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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.

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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 Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Report: President Trump told pro sports commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

Report: President Trump told pro sports commissioners he believes NFL season should start on time

During a conference call with 13 professional sports commissioners Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he believes the 2020 NFL season should start as scheduled in September despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski.

Trump also reportedly remarked that he would like to allow fans back into stadiums and arenas by August or September.

The president used the call as an opportunity to commend the commissioners for their response to the pandemic. On March 11, the NBA became the first American professional sports league to suspend play in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The NHL, which was less than a month out from the start of the playoffs, followed suit—as eventually did the MLS, ATP, WTA, PGA Tour, NASCAR and MLB spring training.

With the NFL still in the midst of its offseason, there remains hope that the 2020 season will begin on time. So far, the league has canceled its annual league meaning and delayed OTAs. The draft will be held as expected while teams make their selections remotely rather than in Las Vegas as originally planned. While many free-agent deals have yet to be finalized due to the inability for teams to conduct physicals, the NFL has yet to be affected as much as other major sports.

The season is set to begin Thursday, Sept. 10 with opening Sunday coming Sept. 13.

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President Trump meets with league commissioners, commends their response to the coronavirus

President Trump meets with league commissioners, commends their response to the coronavirus

The White House says President Donald Trump spoke with commissioners of the country's sports leagues on Saturday and told them he recognizes "the good work being done by many teams and players" to care for their communities and fans dealing with the new coronavirus.

After the conference call that included the president, two of his advisers and 13 sports commissioners ended, ESPN reported that Trump "believes the NFL season should start on time in September."

The virus has decimated the sports world with the NBA and NHL suspending their seasons indefinitely and MLB postponing the start of its season.

The NCAA basketball tournament was also canceled, as were college spring sports such as baseball and softball, lacrosse and track and field. No representatives of the NCAA were reported to be in the call.

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The White House says the commissioners thanked Trump for his "national leadership and for his interest in the sports industry." He called on them to continue efforts to support their fellow Americans during the current challenge.

A wide range of sports league officials participated in the call, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

NBC Sports Washington's Matt Weyrich contributed to this report.

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