The clock is ticking towards the start of the new league year and free agency, which comes on Tuesday at 4 p.m. In fact, it’s ticking a little faster than it would over a normal weekend since the clocks spring ahead on Saturday night as Daylight Savings Time starts.
That means that time is running out for the Redskins to take legal action to block the start of free agency in an effort to get their $18 million salary cap penalty overturned. Where does that effort stand?
Nobody seems to know. The conclave of cardinals will not be operating under a greater shroud of secrecy than the Redskins currently are. All we can do is guess.
And the best guess here is that the NFL is running out the clock. If this was a game, Team Mara and Goodell would have the ball up by two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. The Redskins have no timeouts.
Maybe the Redskins can still make a game-changing play. But chances are they are destined to lose.
The $18 million penalty is not necessarily a death sentence for the 2013 season. You will recall that the Redskins were hit with the first half of the penalty a year ago with no time to plan for it. They still managed to have their best season in over a decade as they went 10-6 and won the NFC East.
Teams can be successful while spending substantially under the cap. Last year the Seahawks spent $13.2 million less than they were allotted and they went to the divisional round of the playoffs. The Broncos had the best record in the AFC while spending $11.5 million under the cap.
We will see. To switch to a poker analogy, the Redskins are bluffing with a weak hand. It is getting to be time for them to either push all of their chips into the middle of the table and see what the NFL does. Or they need to fold, cash in their chips (even if they are $18 million light) and get to work with what they have.