Despite an $18 million salary cap penalty being slapped on the Redskins this year, the first 24 hours of free agency seems to be business as usual for the team.
They have signed two wide receivers with Pierre Garçon getting a deal with $8 million per year and Joshua Morgan and they are negotiating with a third. Defensive end Adam Carriker is back in the fold and the team still has money set aside for linebacker London Fletcher, who still is in negotiation with the team. They will need some money to pay Robert Griffin III and the rest of their draft class. And, according to John Keim of the Examiner, Giants cornerback Aaron Ross is schedule to visit Redskins Park on Friday.
How is all of this fitting into salary cap room that stood at right around $15 million when free agency started? By using account techniques like the one used for Morgan’s contract that was described on Pro Football Talk.
I won’t get into the weeds with the details, please click and read the PFT story if you’re interested. But the important point is that the Redskins signed Morgan to a five-year contract that will void after two years. That allows the Redskins to reduce what would have been a $2.75 million annual cap charge for his $5.5 million signing bonus down to $1.1 million.
It’s all perfectly legal (well, pending any NFL action two years from now). And although it does push cap consequences into future years, the salary cap will take a big jump in 2014 when the new, more lucrative TV deals kick in.