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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Redskins' 2018 cap room not as ample as it looks

Need to Know: Looking ahead—Redskins' 2018 cap room not as ample as it looks

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 11, 16 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 191 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 61 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 6
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 30
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 53

The Redskins’ 2018 cap situation is somewhat deceptive

It is the season for looking into the future, both to the 2017 season and beyond. 

Today, we’re going to take a look at the Redskins’ salary cap situation in 2018. Unless otherwise noted, cap data is from Over the Cap.

The Redskins currently have $54.7 million in cap space in 2018, based on a projected cap of $178 million. The actual cap may come in a few million dollars higher or lower and the Redskins could make some moves that would affect next year’s cap, such as signing a player to an extension this year. But that’s a good estimate to work with for right now.

That sounds like a good amount of cap room and, on the surface, it is. Only five teams have more cap room. But the devil is in the details and there are plenty of devils to consider when looking at the Redskins’ cap situation.

In the macro view, the Redskins won’t be as well off compared to the rest of the league when unused cap space from 2017 is rolled over into 2018. Washington will have about $5 million to roll over. That will help but that is a pittance compared to the $65 million the 49ers will have to roll over. That will push them from having less cap space than the Redskins to having about $60 million more.

The Browns ($50 million to roll over), Jaguars ($44 million), Titans ($41 million), and others will have more to work with than Washington. When other teams add in their rollovers the Redskins will be more in the middle of the pack in available space.

Turning to the roster and the players under contract in 2018, the Redskins will have plenty of needs they will need to fill with that cap space. Quarterback tops the list. We’ll know better how this looks after Kirk Cousins’ contract deadline next Monday but it’s safe to say that if he is on the roster he will take up a considerable amount of that $60 million.

The Redskins could decide to move on from Cousins next year and go with Colt McCoy ($3.6 million 2018 cap charge) and Nate Sudfeld ($664,000). Their salaries already are included in the 2018 calculation. But they have many needs beyond quarterback.

As of now, they have 21 players slated to be unrestricted free agents. Of these, seven are projected starters and seven others will have key roles this season. They will be able to fill some of these spots relatively inexpensively in the draft and in some cases players who are currently on the roster may be poised to step up. But it will cost, whether they re-sign their own free agents to fill the holes or if they have to find help from other rosters. (Note: A post listing 2018 free agents coming later this week)

All of this does not mean that the Redskins will be in any version of salary cap hell. They should be able to fill their needs even if they are paying Cousins (or another QB) top dollar. If they get into a pinch they can create more space by cutting some veterans (although there aren’t any who would create major savings) or by restructuring some contracts. But no fan should see $60 million in cap space and think that the Redskins are sitting pretty. A lot of that money is, in essence, gone.

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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Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Redskins sign linebacker Jon Bostic to try and help make up for the loss of Reuben Foster

Two days after losing Reuben Foster for the year, the Redskins made a move to at least provide reinforcements to a weakened linebacker group.

On Wednesday, Washington announced that they have signed Jon Bostic, a six-year veteran. The 'Skins also officially placed Foster on injured reserve.

Bostic was a 2013 second-round pick of the Bears out of Florida. He's since bounced around to New England, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh, where he started 14 times for the Steelers in 2018 and posted 73 tackles. He's been traded twice in his career and missed all of 2016 with a foot injury. 

So, what does the move accomplish for the Redskins?

Well, Bostic — or any other free agent signing at this point — isn't going to have close to the level of talent and potential that Foster had. However, getting another option at linebacker was necessary for the Burgundy and Gold, and the 28-year-old has played in 30 contests over the past two years, so he's relatively established. 

Yes, he's far from a gamechanger, considering he has just one interception and 5.5 sacks as a pro. But he's regarded as a solid run defender and tackler and should at least push Mason Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton. His presence also could alleviate some of the pressure that would've been on rookie Cole Holcomb. 

Signing a defender who's been with five franchises in six years isn't exactly inspiring, but Bostic has experience as a starter and could give the Redskins useful snaps on first and second down at a minimum. Now it's on him to take advantage of the opportunity he's been given.

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Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

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NBC Sports Washington

Landon Collins is thrilled to be with the Redskins and can't wait to get revenge on the Giants

You may not know the exact dates of the Redskins' two matchups with the Giants this season, which will take place Sep. 29 and Dec. 22 in 2019. But Landon Collins sure does.

"I'm gonna circle it for the next six years," the 'Skins new safety told ESPN in a recent interview. 

No, Collins isn't circling those dates from now until 2024 because he wants to be very organized and ensure he doesn't have any scheduling conflicts. He's doing it because he's dying to get revenge on his former team, who let him leave as a free agent in part because of their "culture change," according to him.

"All we wanted to do was win, and we spoke up because we had to get them to listen to us," Collins told ESPN, referring to himself and other now ex-Giants like Odell Beckham and Damon Harrison. "I think we were too vocal, and that platform was bigger than the Giants... If it's not good media, they don't want that kind of media."

In addition to the organization wanting to go in a different direction culture-wise, New York didn't want to pay the amount of money the Redskins ended up paying for Collins because he wasn't an ideal fit in their defense. The 25-year-old pushes back against the idea that he's strictly a "box safety," though, as do current and former players.

Interestingly enough, Collins isn't the only member of the Redskins' secondary who's in D.C. thanks to a decision by Dave Gettleman. Gettleman was also the same guy who decided the Panthers needed to move on from Josh Norman in April 2016.

Collins, for one, doesn't sound like he'll miss Gettleman at all. The defender didn't love how the GM consistently failed to make an effort to connect personally with his players. 

"I don't know him, he don't know me, that's kind of how it just kind of was," he explained.

All that, however, doesn't matter anymore. Collins is going to be the foundation of the Redskins' defense for quite some time, and that's a challenge he's ready to accept.

"I'm on a team that loves me and wanted me here," he said.

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