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Redskins salary cap outlook: Linebackers

Redskins salary cap outlook: Linebackers

The Redskins have found their offensive and defensive coordinators and they are ready to get on with the business portion of the offseason. The big question between now and the middle of March is how they will divvy up their $62 million in cap space. Here we’ll take a position-by-position look at the cap situation and explore some of the Redskins’ options. 

Cap info via www.OverTheCap.com

The Redskins currently have these linebackers under contract.

—Ryan Kerrigan, 2017 cap hit $11.7 million, under contract through 2020
—Mason Foster, $2 million, through 2017
—Preston Smith, $1.6 million, through 2018
—Trent Murphy, $1.4 million, through 2017
—Junior Galette, $800,000, through 2017
—Zach Vigil, $615,000, through 2017
—Houston Bates, $615,000, through 2017
—Lynden Trail, $465,000, through 2018
—Pete Robertson, $465,000, through 2018
—Khairi Fortt, $540,000, through 2018
—Rufus Johnson, $540,000, through 2018
—Martrell Spaight, $674,000, through 2018
—Steven Daniels, $484,000, through 2019

Free agents: Will Compton (restricted), Terence Garvin

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Couins contract and more

Notes:

—Kerrigan is in the second year of the five-year, $57.5 million extension he signed in 2015. His cap number ramps up to $13.9 million in 2019 before dropping to $11.8 million in the final year of the deal.

—Foster signed a two-year deal a year ago after spending most of the 2015 season with the Redskins after joining them during the season. He will be a free agent at age 29 next year.

—Galette spent the 2016 season on the non-football injury list so the incentive-laden contract he signed last year tolls over to this season. He and the Redskins may tweak some aspects of the contract but it is likely to remain mostly as it is, a one-year deal with a low base salary, incentives for sacks and per-game roster bonuses.

—Murphy is eligible for a contract extension but it may not happen. After he broke out with an eight-sack season in 2016 he might want to bet that he can negotiate a better deal in a year if he can get into double-digit sack territory.

—Smith has completed two years of his rookie deal. He will be eligible for a new deal in a year. More consistency could help him earn a nice extension.

Positional spending

2016: $16.8 million, 15th in NFL
2017: $22.4 million, 8th in NFL

Adding and subtracting:

Compton almost certainly will be back. They will either give him a restricted free agent tender with a right to match any offers at a cost of around $1.3 million or sign him to a two- or three-year deal with some money up front. In either case, it’s unlikely that he will be going anywhere.

Garvin was on a one-year deal last year. He’s 26 and if he wants to return on a similar, near-minimum deal the Redskins will give him a chance to compete for the same role on special teams and as a reserve inside linebacker.

More Redskins: Redskins can't count on free agency to improve

Will the Redskins add any linebackers? Given Galette’s injury history, with two torn Achilles tendons in the last two years, they could be on the lookout for an edge rusher in the draft. It seems unlikely that they will make any significant free agent expenditures at either linebacker spot in the free agent market.

They could look at an upgrade at inside linebacker if one is there in the draft. They have spent some draft resources there in the last couple of years, taking Spaight in the fifth round in 2015 and Daniels in the seventh last year. But if there is an inside backer who could be a dynamic playmaker the Redskins could pull the trigger.

If Galette, Murphy, and Smith all have breakout years in 2017, the Redskins will have a problem. A good problem, mind you, but still a problem. They can afford to give only two linebackers big contracts. Kerrigan has one so they would have to choose one of the other three to keep and likely let the other two walk.

Salary cap outlook series

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: Brandon Scherff and Redskins 'far apart' on contract negotiations

Report: Brandon Scherff and Redskins 'far apart' on contract negotiations

Besides the quarterback competition between Case Keenum and rookie Dwayne Haskins, one of the biggest storylines from Redskins training camp will be whether the team and Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Scherff can agree on a contract extension before the start of the 2019 season.

On Monday, a report came out from 106.7 The Fan's Erin Hawksworth that Scherff has been offered multiple contract extensions from the Redskins, but "the two sides are far apart."

Scherff is entering the 2019 season on the last year of his rookie deal and set to be an unrestricted free agent at season's end. 

The fifth-year guard will make a base salary of $12.5 million in 2019 after the Redskins picked up his fifth-year option a year ago as part of his rookie deal.

Should Scherff hit the open market, he will be a hot commodity. 

He may not receive a contract as big as Cowboys' guard Zack Martin did, but expect him to command close to top-market money. Martin received a six-year, $84 million deal in 2018 with $40 million guaranteed. A contract extension for Scherff could look something like the five-year, $66.5 million deal Jaguars' guard Andrew Norwell signed in 2018. 

Besides tackle Trent Williams, Scherff is without a doubt the most important piece to the Redskins offensive line. With Williams currently holding out, Scherff's presence on the offensive line is even more important.

Scherff missed eight games a season ago with a torn pectoral muscle, and his absence was very visible.

One thing is for certain: if the Redskins are not willing to pay Scherff top-market money, barring something unexpected, he will certainly get it somewhere else. And no Redskins fan wants that.

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Five takeaways from the Redskins' Madden 20 ratings

Five takeaways from the Redskins' Madden 20 ratings

With the release of EA Sports' Madden NFL 20 just a few weeks away, the game released their individual player ratings on Monday.

Madden ratings are usually a controversy-provoking topic. Each year, there are a lot more players disappointed with their initial Madden rating than those pleased with theirs.

This year was no different. Some players, such as Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, have said they will boycott the game after being so upset with their rating.

The game unleashed a new rating system this year, which is intended to reward star players and have them feel different than just an above average player.

So how did Madden rate the Redskins?

The Burgundy and Gold come in at the 16th best overall team in the game, despite only having one individual player rated 90 overall or higher.

Two of the Redskins' NFC East foes, the Philadelphia Cowboys and Dallas Cowboys, were the No. 1 and No. 2 overall rated teams in the game, respectively. The Eagles boast a rating of 89, and the Cowboys come in at an 88 overall.

The New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers were all the next highest with an 87 overall.

Here are five takeaways from the Redskins' Madden NFL 20 ratings.

1. Left tackle Trent Williams was rated a 95 overall, the second-highest rated left tackle in the game.

Williams' rating of a 95 is very deserved. He's consistently been the best player on the Redskins from year-to-year, and one of the best offensive lineman in the league. Madden has recognized Williams' importance to the Redskins as well as his overall skill; only the Packers' David Bakhtiari (97) had a higher rating at his position.

The Redskins' Silverback was the third-highest rated offensive lineman in the game, with Bakhtiari and Cowboys' guard Zack Martin ahead of him. He's the only Redskins player to receive an overall rating of a 90 or higher.

Williams has been a key offseason storyline for the Redskins, as he was absent from Redskins' mandatory mini-camp in June. His absence was at first rumored to him wanting a new contract, but reports came out later that he was upset with the team's handling of his medical situation from a season ago. It is unclear whether Williams will report to training camp, which begins July 25.

If the Madden ratings are any indication, Williams is as important to the Redskins as anyone. The Redskins need him on the field.

2. Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins have been rated just one number apart.

The main storyline throughout Redskins' training camp and the preseason will be the quarterback competition between veteran Case Keenum and rookie Dwayne Haskins. If the Madden ratings prove to be true, it's going to be a very close battle.

Keenum's initial Madden rating comes in at a 73 overall, while Haskins is a 72. In terms of specific ratings, Keenum slightly edges Haskins out in awareness (80 to 75) and speed (79 to 75), but Haskins has the edge in acceleration (83 to 82), agility (83 to 73) and strength (70 to 51). 

Of course, Keenum's ratings are based off his performance last season with the Denver Broncos, while Haskins' ratings are a rough estimate because he's a rookie. It's likely that both players could have a very different rating at the end of the season than they do now.

3. The Redskins have three defensive linemen all rated around the same number. 

The defensive line unit is probably the strongest position group on the Redskins and the Madden ratings agree with that.

Defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis and Daron Payne received an 83 overall rating, while Jonathan Allen received an 82 overall grade.

While all three had productive seasons in 2018, it is worth wondering how Allen is not the highest rated of the three.

In his second season, Allen finished second on the team in sacks (8.0) and tied for the team lead in tackles for loss (11). Out of the three, Allen had the most overall tackles, sacks, tackles for loss and quarterback hits.

While the Redskins expect Allen, Ioannidis and Payne all to have a major impact in 2019, don't be surprised if Allen has the highest overall rating of the three at the end of the year.

4. The Redskins' big free agent signing, safety Landon Collins, was rated a low 83 overall.

This number at first glance seems very low. In his four seasons in the NFL, Collins has made the Pro Bowl three times and first-team All-Pro once. 

But Madden has a whopping 10 free safeties rated higher than him. Recently acquired New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers has a higher rating than Collins, and anyone who's watched the two players over the past couple years knows that's questionable. 

A season ago, Collins was rated an 88 overall. Missing four games with a shoulder injury could be a partial reason for his dip, but the 25-year-old is still one of the elite safeties in the league. An 83 overall does not reflect that.

5. Haskins is the second-highest rated rookie QB in the game, while Giants' Daniel Jones is, uh, low.

While a 72 overall rating would not be flattering to anyone, Haskins has to be pleased being the second-highest rated rookie quarterback, only behind No.1 overall pick and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.

Overall, the rookie ratings are a lot lower in Madden 20 than they were in Madden 19. A year ago, five rookie quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen) started with a higher rating than Murray, who enters the game as a 73 overall.

When looking at the rookie quarterback class, perhaps the most surprising ranking has to be the Giants' Daniel Jones, who enters the game at a 63 overall.

In years past, a 63 overall would be given to a fringe roster player, not a top-ten first-round pick. For reference, Redskins' seventh-round pick Jimmy Moreland enters the game at a 64 overall. 

To put it into perspective, the next lowest top-ten pick was Denver's Devin Bush, who checked in at a 72. The Giants have seven rookies with a higher Madden rating.

Jones' low rating is in unprecedented territory for a top-ten pick, let alone a first-round pick.

The beauty of Madden ratings is that they change. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was a 77 entering the 2019 season.

A year later, he's a 97 overall, and arguably the biggest snub from the 99 overall club. While many players may be upset with their rating, they have the ability to let their play do the talking.

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