Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 1, 11 days before the start of the new league year and free agency.
A threat or a bluff?
When word got out earlier in the week that the Redskins were talking about suing the NFL over the salary cap penalty that was imposed a year ago, it seemed to be quite a bombshell. Some started looking at what the Redskins might do with a full cap to work with. I took all of my dress shirts to the cleaners in anticipation of having to report from a federal courtroom.
But since then—nothing. There has been no escalation to the situation but also no indication that the Redskins had completely abandoned the notion of taking legal action. We don’t know if the bombshell is a dud or if it has a ticking timer that could go off at any moment.
So, what’s going on? Nobody really knows anything except that the Redskins are one of the few teams in the league who started out over the salary cap (they’re about $3 million over) who have made no moves to get under the cap. No veterans have been released and there are no reports of any contract restructures to lower 2013 cap numbers. The clock keeps moving towards the Tuesday, March 12 deadline to get under cap and the Redskins are still waiting to make any moves.
The thing is that they can wait to see how their talk—whether it’s a threat or a bluff—plays out. If you negotiate a contract restructure in advance, executing it is a simple as sending a fax. If they need to release a player they can just send an email. In short, if their efforts to get the cap penalty completely or partially overturned fail, they can do what they need to do to get under the cap in a day or two.
“We do have a game plan for different scenarios,” said Mike Shanahan. “We’ll see how it plays out.”
But not any time soon.
Cap up to $123 million
The Redskins’ task of getting under the cap became a bit easier. According to our corporate cousins at Pro Football Talk the cap will be $123 million per team this year.
The earlier estimates figured that the cap, which is based on league revenues from the previous season, would be around $121.5 million. But evidently the NFL shook the money tree a bit harder and another $50 million or so fell out.
The combined cap for the 32 NFL teams, including about $200 million that have been carried over from previous years, is over $4.1 billion.
The Redskins, of course, have $18 million less to work with than do the other teams in the league. As noted above, they are about $3 million over the cap.
In case you missed it
- USC safety T. J. McDonald wants to follow in his father’s footsteps
- Can the Redskins find a few more starters out of their 2012 draft class?
- Beware of scouting reports
Days until: Start of new league year 11; NFL Draft 55; Training camp 146