Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 25, 35 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.


Days until:

NFL free agency starts 43
—NFL Draft 92
First Sunday of 2017 season 228

Five players who will be salary cap bargains in 2017

RB Rob Kelley, cap number $540,000—Whether he starts or if he is the first back off the bench he is a good value player. Since he was an undrafted free agent there is no signing bonus money to add to his second-year minimum salary. Kelley’s contract calls for him to make the minimum salary of $630,000 next year and then he will be a restricted free agent.

WR Jamison Crowder, $751,406—He is as productive as some receivers making five to 10 times what he is. Crowder is under contract for two more years with similar cap hits but the team can redo his contract after the 2017 season. They would be wise to do so.

C Spencer Long, $853,450—The Redskins got some quality play at center from him in 2016 and there is no reason to think that he can’t continue that for the next several years. Long is now eligible for an extension and the smart move would be to lock him up with a new deal and remove him from the “cap bargain” category.

S Su’a Cravens, $1 million—Cravens is in the second year of his rookie contract. We don’t know how he will do at safety but if he can solve half of the Redskins’ longstanding problems at the position his contract will be a great deal for the team.


TE Jordan Reed, $5.8 million—Reed will have the 12th-highest cap hit among tight ends and that is before free agency likely places a few additional players in front of him on that list. He is behind Dwayne Allen and Julius Thomas in terms of dollars and he had more receptions for more yards last year than the two of them combined in 2016. The Redskins need to enjoy the savings while they can; next year his number goes up to $10.3 million.

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