Right now if nothing changes, the Redskins are $3 million dollars over the estimated $123 million 2009 cap. This is before they attempt to resign any players currently on the roster that are becoming Free Agents, sign any players once Free Agency starts and sign our draftees.
Now before you freak out and start writing threads on ExtremeSkins about the Redskins being in "Cap Hell", I will remind you that the Redskins salary cap guys are masters of finding ways (usually restructuring or giving guaranteed payments thus reducing cap numbers) to get cap room. However, this year there are a few cuts that if (and possibly) are made it would drop the cap number down significantly and give the team some much needed room to bring in younger players.
So pretty much I came with three categories: Who is (should be) going, Who's on the bubble and Who's probably staying. I'm not discussing every player as most players either won't save the team money or we want to keep so it's not really worth discussing.
Jason Taylor: 2008 Salary- $8.5 million, release fee- $0; Net Savings: $8.5 million
Personally, I like Jason Taylor. He seems to be a nice guy. Does a lot of charity work and appears to be a real team leader. Problem is that he struggled through most of 2008 with injury being a large portion of the issue. 3.5 sacks and 29 tackles just isn't enough to justify the pay out the Redskins will need to make to keep him for 2009. Plus, with his size (244lbs.) he struggles against the run as a DE (something that is key in the Blache scheme). I know we spent a 2nd and a 6th to get him but I think the Skins are better off saving the money and cutting him loose (barring a major re-structuring/pay cut).
Marcus Washington: 2008 Salary- $6.52 million, release fee- $2.02 million; Net Savings- $4.5 million
This is a move I hate to see as Washington has been a real leader and when healthy a great OLB, but the problem is he can't stay healthy. His stats have been on the decline since 2006 and he has missed more games each year. The Skins may be able to do a restructuring or Washington may take a pay cut but either way the Skins should look for a new starting Strong OLB this year and I don't think there is anybody currently on the roster to fill that role.
Shawn Springs: 2008 salary- $8.483 million, release fee- $2.483 Million; Net Savings- $6 million
This move depends on many factors. First, the Skins must re-sign DeAngelo Hall or another top tier corner to work alongside Carlos Rogers. Second, the Skins need to ensure that they have the depth at corner and safety to be able to run their schemes effectively. If neither of these happen or if the Skins dangle Rogers for a trade (as been rumored a few times) then the Skins will have to keep Springs. Spring IMO is still a #1 and possibly a shutdown corner when he is healthy( he really doesn't look like he's lost that much). The problem is that in two of the last three years Springs has battled injuries and has missed a total of 14 games. This is also his last year of his contract and personally I would love to see Hall re-signed and Rogers extended instead of keeping an aging Springs. If the Redskins do this we have a pretty good corner tandem for the next five years or so.
These three cuts alone save the Skins $19 million and puts them $16 million under the cap before any restructuring occurs. Next part deals with some of the players who I think would be on the bubble and may be possible releases. Part three will deal with a few players that aren't going anywhere despite what the fans think.
Note: all cap numbers obtained from the Warpath's Redskin's Cap database/spreadsheet