The Redskins’ decision to leave Jammal Brown on the physically unable to perform list for the rest of the season means that he certainly will not be lining up at right tackle for the Redskins this season. Not only that, it seems unlikely that he will ever play another down for the team again.
If that is the case, two questions need to be asked. First, how and when will the Redskins remove Brown and the remaining three years of the 5-year, $27.5 million contract he signed prior to last season from the roster? And who will play right tackle in 2013 and beyond?
There are really two choices when considering the first question. They could release him and absorb all of the remaining prorated portion of his signing bonus, which is $3.3 million, in 2013. Or they could choose to designate him as a post-June 1 release, which would have $1.1 million of the dead cap get charged to 2013 and the remaining $2.2 million to 2014.
Under Bruce Allen, the team has primarily chosen a “pay now” approach. However, in 2013 the Redskins will still be laboring under the second half of the $36 million salary cap penalty they were hit with this year. That missing $18 million might motivate them to push the $2.2 million into 2014.
So assuming Brown is gone, who will be the right tackle next year?
Tyler Polumbus, 27, has played every snap at right tackle this year. He has been inconsistent this year, with some good games and some poor ones. Polumbus has given up 39 quarterback pressures this year. In comparison, Trent Williams on the left side, where he generally faces the opposition’s toughest pass rushers, has given up just 16 pressures.
Polumbus doesn’t need to be Trent Williams, of course, but he needs to do a better job of keeping pressure out of Robert Griffin III’s face. He will get the rest of the season to prove himself.
This season, Polumbus is making $700,000 and, with a cap credit for veteran players making the minimum his cap number is $540,000. If the Redskins plan on making him the starter they would have to pay him more than that, but not necessarily a lot more. They probably could get him for three years, $4 million with minimal guarantees.
Jordan Black, who has been active as the swing tackle every game this year, is likely to return to the retirement that he had started before the Redskins called him early in training camp when Brown was shelved.
Maurice Hurt was drafted as a tackle and he played there some during training camp and the preseason. But he has been playing guard for the most part and it seems like any future he has with the team is there.
The Redskins do seem to think that practice squad tackle Tom Compton, who was their sixth-round draft pick last April, has a future with the team. Earlier this month the team reportedly increases his practice squad pay to considerably more than the minimum to decrease the chances of jumping to another team’s 53-man roster.
Other than the players on the current roster the Redskins could find a right tackle in the draft or in the veteran free agency market. They don’t have a first-round draft pick due to the Robert Griffin III trade and they are hampered by an $18 million salary cap penalty so it might be difficult to land a top-line player through those methods.
What will they end up doing? The guess here is that they will re-sign Polumbus and then hope that Compton can progress enough to take over for him either during the season or by 2014 at the latest. Perhaps they will invest a mid-round pick in a tackle and/or bring in a minimum-salary veteran to compete for depth.