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.
The Redskins last played a game 191 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 61 days.
—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.
Tandler on Twitter
If the Redskins can’t figure out how to work around < 3% of the cap ($25mm vs. $20mm) need to get new guys in charge. https://t.co/EFx0d12EPV— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) July 10, 2017
In case you missed it
- Ranking the 2017 Redskins roster: 53-41
- True or False: Kirk Cousins will pass for 5,000 yards in 2017
- Redskins QB depth chart is set in stone — for now, anyway
- Looking ahead: The Redskins' core offensive players in 2020
- Looking ahead: The Redskins' core defensive players in 2020
- Santana Moss: Crowder will thrive in offense