If the Redskins are going to as they say “blow it up” then they should blow it up the right way.
The Redskins have a number of holds to fill but “Blowing it Up” won’t create that many more, with no option to push money forward as dead cap money and hurt future teams ability to upgrade. Dumping salary just to throw it at another player that’s only going to be around for a few years would be a waste of time. Finding lower level free agents that will contribute their first year at a reasonable cost is what is needed over the next few years.
There will be a lot of big names on the market and they will come with big price tags. The only big name this team should go after is DeAngelo Hall.
The Redskins need to focus on what they started when Joe Gibbs headed back to NASCAR. Zorn had quite a bit over turn over last year but it went un-noticed for the most part. Gibbs left and his staff stayed, but he also left a lot of young players for Zorn to build around. Players like Chris Cooley, Chris Wilson, Lorenzo Alexander, LaRon Landry, H.B. Blades, and Roger McIntosh were all brought in by Gibbs and will continue to produce for Zorn. Most will be free agents in 2010 along with the two guys drafted out of Auburn in 2005. Add in last year’s draft class, and you have a pretty good core of young (26 or younger) players.
Cutting players to clear cap space will require the team to find cheap replacements and hope they can fill the void. The Redskins have thrown money away for years which is why they were always rumored to be in “salary cap hell”. Every year it was the same thing then they would re-work (backload) a bunch of already bloated contracts and be ready for their annual shopping spree. That can’t happen this year.
With the CBA up in the air there are a few restrictions that will prevent the Redskins from going about business as usual. So it’s time to BLOW IT UP
Re-working Jason Taylor’s last year would free up some cap space, but why not just let him walk. Cutting him not only frees up $8,500,000 in cap space but it allows a 23 year old Rob Jackson to learn on the job after only playing in three games last year (Taylor missed three games in 2008). They can use the money to resign Demetric Evans who is five years younger and had four more tackles than Taylor in 2008 and still have $7 million to play with. Andre Carter’s release would only add $266,000 but a veteran presents will be needed, Phillip Daniels on the other hand would save another $2,493,353 after not playing a down last year but might also be worth keeping around. Cornelius Griffin’s release would give the team $3,616,667 in space which would allow them to make middle to high tenders to Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery (middle to high tenders will bring draft picks if they sign elsewhere).
There has been lots of talk about restructuring Shawn Springs final year and moving him to safety to extend his career, although Chris Horton played extremely well at times last season and Kareem Moore didn’t look bad when healthy and given the opportunity. The six million saved by releasing Springs should be more than enough to cover the first year hit for signing DeAngelo Hall to a long term deal.
H.B Blades had 60 tackles last year and finished in the top five on the team, he played in every game and started four of the six the Marcus Washington (finished the year with only 44 tackles) missed. That’s $4,500,000 in space but no new holes.
The Redskins are currently about $3,979,000 over the 2009 cap…
Lets say Evans, Golston and Montgomery all get the middle tender for free agents (2009 it will be $1,545,000) and Hall gets his long term deal that has a cap hit of $5,000,000 in 2009, while Taylor, Daniels, Griffin, Washington and Springs all get their walking papers the team would have about $11,487,200 in cap space.
That’s money to sign maybe a Chris Canty (TtiT), Rocky Bernard (Seahawks), and a Bart Scott (Ravens) if they play their cards right. At any rate that’s eleven million dollars under the cap and no real damage done to the chemistry or the core of the roster.
Switching to the offensive side of the ball it gets a little tricky if we stick with last year’s draft class to look for help, but so far so good.
Lots of pass catchers were drafted last year, Devin Thomas had the best year of the three that were drafted in the second round last year, but was no where near the production that is needed. Washington only “dressed” four WR most games in 2008 so help is still needed at this position. Releasing Antwaan Randle-El and James Thrash would equal a savings of $201,501, Thomas should be able to replace Randle-El on punt return duties (he only needs to run north and south) and Malcolm Kelly can’t be hurt for ever. Todd Yoder’s departure would free up another $770,000 and allow Fred Davis to be more involved. With three less pass catchers do they really need three quarterbacks? That would make Todd Collins the odd man out with (1) the biggest cap hit (bigger than Jason’s and Colt’s combined) (2) the oldest guy on the team (3) almost $2 million in cap savings. Everyone wanted Brennan to replace Campbell last year, he better be good enough to be the number two. So using the rookies drafted last year allows the team to free up another $2,871,800 in cap space. They’ll have to find a wide out that knows the west coast offense and a third string QB with that money; Hank Baskett (Eagles) would be a nice fit and wouldn’t cost much. Not sure where to go for that third quarterback.
We’ll just stick to “blowing this thing up” and deal with free agents and draft picks later, so as it stands the Redskins would be around $14,359,000 under the cap. Throw in middle to low tenders for Justin Geisinger and Shaun Suisham and they still have about $10 million under. Casey Rabach has to go if for no other reason than the fact that at 32 years of age he’ll free up enough cap space to allow the team to send Jon Jansen packing a year early. Together their releases will net the team another $1,178,500 in cap room.
Not much more can be done until 2010 but use the $11 million or so to get younger. The players listed here really didn’t produce to much this year, however Griffin, Springs, Daniels and Randle-El may be missed but they have to start somewhere. Next year they can finish the job my releasing Randy Thomas, Clinton Portis, London Fletcher, Ladell Betts, Santana Moss, Andre Carter, Chris Samuels, Fred Smoot, Mike Sellers, and Rock Cartwright. These 2010 moves will cut $17 million off of next year’s Cap (if there is one).
For the record releasing Mike Sellers, and Rock Cartwright this year would free up another $1,415,000, which would put Washington at $10,705,991 under the cap. The 2009 moves would wipe out everyone over the age of 30 with the exception of Chris Samuels (31), Randy Thomas (32), and London Fletcher (33), including them this year would add $10,595,917 to the cap or lower the space under the cap to a little more than $110,000.
These moves could make the Redskins very young, very quick but if that don’t use the cap space right they’ll be right back here in a few years. These moves can start being made after Feb. 5th and can continue through the end of the month. Then Free Agency starts and restraint must be shown. We must also keep in mind that after the 2009 season
Matt Sinclair, Carlos Rogers, Jason Campbell, Chris Wilson, Stephon Heyer, and Roger McIntosh all will be free agents. It is possible for the Redskins to go into the 2010 season only12 or 13 players that are currently on the roster. Chris Cooley would be the oldest player on the team and those 12 or 13 players would all be players that were drafted by the Washington Redskins.
This is the group that will escape the explosion: LaRon Landry, Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Chad Rinehart, Justin Tryon, H.B. Blades, Kareem Moore, Colt Brennan, Rob Jackson, Chris Horton, and Devin Clark