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Redskins salary cap outlook: Wide receivers

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Redskins salary cap outlook: Wide receivers

As Jay Gruden and company finalize the coaching staff people in another part of the building at Redskins Park are looking forward to free agency and how best to utilize the approximately $20 million in cap space the Redskins have. Here we’ll take a position-by-position look at the cap situation and explore some of the Redskins’ options. Previously we looked at the interior offensive line and offensive tackle. Up today, wide receiver

The Redskins currently have five wide receivers under contract.

Notes:

—Garçon (age 29 before the season starts) and Jackson (age 28) have the second and third highest cap numbers on the team, respectively. They both are under contract for two more seasons with 2016 cap numbers of $10.2 million for Garçon and $9.25 million for Jackson.

—Jackson’s roster bonus of $3.75 million is guaranteed unless he has been suspended. He has the same guarantee for a roster bonus of the same amount in 2016.

—Roberts’ cap number is the 15th-highest on the team. His contract has three years to run with cap number of $5 million in both 2015 and 2016.

—Santana Moss, who has been with the team since 2005 and will be 36 in June, and 2011 third-round pick Leonard Hankerson, are unrestricted free agents.

—Grant has three years to go on his rookie contract with minimum salaries each year.

Adding and subtracting

At almost $24 million, the Redskins spend heavily at this position compared to the rest of the NFL. Only the Falcons, Dolphins, Lions and Cardinals have more cap dollars devoted to wide receivers than the Redskins. This has led some to speculate if they should try to trade or release one of their three higher-priced receivers.

Setting aside the on-field factors for the moment and looking strictly at the cap implications, Garçon would be the logical candidate to cut or trade. Although there would be a $4.4 million dead cap charge if he was cut or traded the net cap savings would be $5.3 million. The team could opt to designate him as a post-June 1 cut which would result in $7.5 million in savings for 2015 but a $2.2 million dead cap hit in 2016.

This decision would come down to new general manager Scot McCloughan looking at tape of Garçon’s season, which produced 68 catches for 752 yards and three touchdowns. Was the falloff in production from 2013 (113/1,346/5) due to Garçon’s play or more due to issues at the quarterback position? McCloughan will have to decide if Garçon is worth the $7.1 million salary that he is due.

McCloughan could also conclude that Roberts ($2.75 million salary) is not worth the expense but releasing him would result in just $750,000 in cap savings after a $3 million dead cap charge.

Jackson was their most productive receiver and that’s good because it would be costly to let him go. The guaranteed roster bonuses would mean a net cap charge of $2 million for releasing him. If they get a trade offer, however, they could consider that as the charges for the roster bonuses would be passed along to his new team.

We’ll take a deeper look at the possibility of the team moving on without Jackson or Garçon in our position outlook question later this afternoon.

Cap information from OverTheCap.com and other sources.

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10 Questions in 10 days: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

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10 Questions in 10 days: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

With Redskins Training Camp set to begin July 26th, JP Finlay takes a look at 10 of the most pressing questions for the Burgundy and Gold before the team heads to Richmond. 

No. 10: Major questions at linebacker on Redskins depth chart 

No. 9: What is Kevin O’Connell's new role in Redskins offense?

No. 8: More investments on D-Line, but who goes where?

No. 7: Do the Redskins have a 1,000-yard WR?

No. 6: Is Shawn Lauvao the concern, or is the issue bigger on the O-Line?

Right or wrong, fans blamed Shawn Lauvao for much of the Redskins struggles on the offensive line last season. Pro Football Focus backs up the fans, as Lauvao landed a -19.1 grade, among the worst in the NFL at the guard spot. 

It's worth pointing out that Lauvao was playing hurt during much of his nine starts before getting shut down for the season just before Thanksgiving. In fact, injuries have probably been the biggest issue for Lauvao in his four seasons with the Redskins. 

In four seasons in Washington, Lauvao has never played a full 16-game slate. Last year he played just nine games, and in 2015 he only played three games. 

That points to what may be the bigger issue for the Redskins: offensive line depth. Last season was wild with the amount of injuries Washington sustained up front. It seems almost impossible for the team to have that many injuries again.

Still, the Redskins lost Arie Kouandjio for the year in the offseason. Kouandjio played better last year than Lauvao, and having both men in Richmond would have provided real competition. 

And that might be the biggest question: Neither Lauvao or Kouandjio represent a difference maker at left guard, yet the team did little to address the position. 

All offseason, the Washington brass walked a fine line between confidence and arrogance. The organization believes strongly in the players they already have, and outside of signing Paul Richardson and re-signing Zach Brown, the team had a quiet offseason. The Redskins struggled to run the ball the last few years, and still, the team did not look to upgrade at LG. 

It's important to note that the Redskins have two All-Pro caliber offensive linemen in Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff. Morgan Moses is a plus at the right tackle spot too. The team likes Chase Roullier at center too, and they tried to add depth in drafting Geron Christian in the third round and bringing back swing tackle backup Ty Nsekhe as a restricted free agent. 

Left guard will be a question, and it's hard not to think that it will be the weakest position on the O-line. Should that submarine the group? It shouldn't. What if Lauvao gets hurt?  Then things get quite tricky.

For the Redskins, however, the expectation might be that the line needs to perform as a unit, and with talent like Williams and Scherff, that should cover up any weaknesses.

Time, and health, will tell if that plan works. 

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Need to Know: The best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 20, six days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the cornerbacks are up. They are roughly ranked by Pro Football Focus’ coverage metrics, although I did some juggling based on interception totals and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teamsreceivers, running backspass rushers, and quarterbacks

1. Patrick Peterson, Cardinals—The athletic Peterson has been All-Pro three times and has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his seven years in the league. He hasn’t had a big interception total since he got seven in 2012, but that is mostly because quarterbacks only throw his way about once every ten snaps he is in coverage. 

2. Jalen Ramsey, Jaguars—I could easily have ranked Ramsey over Peterson. I went with Peterson because he’s been doing it for longer and he’s only 28. Ramsey has justified his No. 5 selection in the 2016 draft. His long arms and ball skills serve him well. He has the size to defend the bigger receivers and the athleticism to be effective against shifty and speedy receivers. 

3. A.J. Bouye, Jaguars—If Alex Smith tries to throw away from Ramsey he will encounter trouble on the other side. It’s been trendy to say that Bouye is underrated for so long he’s in danger of becoming overrated. But he’s not there yet. Bouye was one of four full-time (played at least 60% of snaps) cornerbacks who did not allow a touchdown pass last year and he had by far the most plays in coverage. 

4. Malcolm Butler, Titans—If the Brady-Belichick Patriots don’t win another Super Bowl, the coach’s decision to keep Butler on the bench as Nick Foles shredded the New England secondary will be marked as the end of that era. Maybe Butler isn’t good enough to have made a difference, but it would have been interesting to see. He’s with the Titans now and he will give Smith problems in December. 

5. Marshon Lattimore, Saints—Last year’s defensive rookie of the year plays an aggressive style both in press man coverage and when tackling receivers who have caught the ball. An ankle injury sent him out of the game against the Redskins early, perhaps one of the reasons why Kirk Cousins was able to light them up for 322 yards and three touchdowns. 

Best of the rest: Desmond Trufant, Falcons; Brent Grimes, Bucs; Logan Ryan, Titans;k Jaire Alexander (rookie), Packers

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 6
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 20
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 43

The Redskins last played a game 201 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 51 days. 

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