Salary cap hell has returned to the Redskins.
Well, it’s not as bad as it used to be with the team scrambling to cut players and restructure contracts to get under the cap. But they received some bad news from the league today.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Redskins will lose $36 million in salary cap space that they can split between the 2012 and 2013 seasons. This is due to some unusual frontloading of contracts they did during the uncapped 2010 season.
The team’s front office restructured some contracts to take advantage of the fact that there was no limit spending, despite some warnings by the league that this could result in future penalties. The two biggest moves the made were to restructure the contracts of Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo all so that $21 million and $15 million of charges scheduled to go into future years were charged to 2010.
Those two moves total $36 million so it is logical to assume that they were the ones that triggered the penalty.
The Cowboys were penalized $10 million in salary cap space, apparently for giving receiver Miles Austin a $17 million salary in 2010 as part of a new contract.
According to a media report, the NFL Players Association agreed to the penalties. The money that is removed from the salary caps of the Redskins and Cowboys will be split between the other 30 NFl teams.
In possibly related news, the Redskins released fullback Mike Sellers and safety O. J. Atogwe on Monday. Both players are in their 30’s with declining performances and may have been released regardless of any salary cap penalties.
The Redskins were about $35 million under the salary cap going into free agency, which starts Tuesday at 4 p.m. It is not known how they will split up the penalty between this year and next but they could choose to leave themselves some substantial cap room if they choose.