With the announcement that the 2013 salary cap would be $123 million, the Redskins, assuming that they will be unable to appeal or sue their way into regaining their penalized $18 million in salary cap space, are technically about $3 million over the salary cap. One simple move such as the lowering of DeAngelo Hall’s $7.5 salary to something more in line with his market value, somewhere around $3 million or so, would get them under the cap.
But, in reality, they have much more work to do.
The Redskins will need to be able to sign their draft picks, so they will have to create about $5 million more in cap space to do that. If they want to offer restricted free agent tenders to ensure that they will be able to keep players such as Rob Jackson, Darrel Young, and Logan Paulsen. Tendering those three players along would take up about $4 million.
You want to be able to go into the season with $5 million or so in cap space in order to be able to pay a full practice squad (that’s a minimum of about $800,000, more if you need to pay some players more to keep them around) and to cover injuries as players on injured reserve are generally paid their full salaries and that money is charged to the cap.
So they need to get to about $14 million under, meaning they have to cut $17 million, just to start to do business. Then they have to get to work to replace players like Dorson Boyce and Tristan Davis who are now on the roster counting against the salary cap at the second-year minimum of $405,000. Signing veterans will cost more, in some cases a lot more. There is not a punter or long snapper on the roster as Sav Rocca is an unrestricted free agent and Nick Sundberg is restricted.
The good news is that they to not have to clear all of the $17 million by March 12. One thing that they could do to help out immediately would be to sign Jackson, Young, and Paulsen to contracts that are more cap friendly this year. That would keep their $1.3 million tenders from hitting the books at their full value. Or, they could just let their RFA’s become unrestricted and give up the right to match an offer sheet from another team. And they don’t need to have the $5 million to go into the season with until training camp is over.
How will the Redskins get done what they need to get done? We don’t know, but we can outline some pathways to $14 million under. Look for those here over the next few days as we count down to March 12.