The Redskins have a dwindling supply of salary cap dollars, making it unlikely that they will be able to jump on any free agents that might pop onto the market (sorry, Jeremy Maclin fans).
Washington has $4.5 million in cap space left this year (all cap info via OverTheCap.com).
Only three NFL teams have less money to spend.
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They are right about where they usually are at this point in the offseason.
Since 2012, when unspent cap money could first be carried over to the next season, the Redskins have averaged $6.5 million in carryover cap each year. They have carried as much as $15 million, which is how much they brought into this year, and as little as zero dollars. That was what they had left over after the 2013 season after getting hit with the $36 million salary cap penalty, which was split between 2012 and 2013.
It is wise to carry about $5 million in salary cap space into a season. Once the season starts you have to pay your practice squad players and players who are on injured reserve (as well as the players who replace them on the roster). You don’t want to go into the last game on fumes like the Redskins had to in 2013.
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Back to this year, the Redskins do have an option to create more cap space.
Safety DeAngelo Hall is slated to make a salary of $4.25 million this year. Given that he has spent more time injured than playing the last three seasons it seems likely that the team will talk to him about taking a pay cut, a move that would create $2-$3 million in cap space. Hall indicated after last season that he would be amenable to a base pay cut so a redone deal seems to be a matter of when, not if.
The biggest chunk of money is being taken up by Kirk Cousins, who has a $23.94 million franchise tag contract that all counts against this year’s cap.
The second-highest cap hit is Josh Norman’s ($20 million) while Trent Williams ($15.1 million), Ryan Kerrigan ($11.7 million) and Terrelle Pryor ($6 million) round out the top five.