Salary cap outlook: Offensive tackle
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. Up first is the offensive tackle position.
Cap info via www.OverTheCap.com
The Redskins currently have 3 offensive tackles under contract.
Trent Williams, 2017 cap hit $15.2 million
Morgan Moses, $984,000
Kevin Bowen: $465,000
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—Williams has four years left on a contract extension he signed in 2015. This season has the highest cap hit of any season on the contract; it declines into the $13-414 million range each season for the last four years on the contract. He will be 29 before training camp starts and he has made five straight Pro Bowls. The Redskins are happy to have him at this price.
—Moses just completed the third year of his four-year rookie contract. He is eligible to negotiate for an extension. While there have been no reports that extension is in the works, it would not be surprising if something got done in the next few months. The Redskins then would have their two starting tackles locked up for at least the next few years.
—Ty Nsekhe, who started when Williams was suspended for four games, is a restricted free agent.
—Vinston Painter, who was the swing tackle when Williams was out, is an exclusive rights free agent.
Positional spending (full O-line)
2016: Redskins $26.2 million, 11th in NFL
2017: $34 million, 7th in NFL
Adding and subtracting
The Redskins are going to hang on to Nsekhe one way or another. The restricted free agent tender to get a right of first refusal will be around $1.7 million. The Redskins could go that way or they could offer Nsekhe a two- or three-year deal with some guaranteed money attached (the RFA tag is not guaranteed). Although he is 31, he is low mileage with only two NFL games played prior to coming to the Redskins in 2015. Either way, it seems likely that Nsekhe will be back as the swing tackle.
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Moses’ contract could be a bit tricky to navigate due to Lane Johnson’s contract. The Eagles’ right tackle is on a deal that pays him an average of $11.2 million per year. The next eight highest-paid right tackles are in the $6 million range. Johnson signed the deal with the understanding that he will move to left tackle when Jason Peters retired. Peters is very likely to play in 2017, leaving Johnson’s deal as an outlier that the rest of the NFL trying to sign a right tackle will need to deal with. It could take closer to $7 million per year to lock up Moses, who will turn 26 next month and is just entering what should be his prime years. If he does sign a deal it will look like an overpay at the beginning but as he cap increases and salaries go up over the next few years it will look like a fair bargain.
Painter will almost certainly get an exclusive rights offer of the minimum salary $690,00. That is not guaranteed and he must earn a spot on the 53-man roster.
The Redskins are unlikely to be in the free agent market for a tackle unless they want a veteran to challenge in inexperienced Painter for the fourth tackle spot. Any additional contracts at tackle likely would be of the veteran minimum variety.