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And it begins: Restructures

Hat Tip: DC Sports Bog.

I had warned in the past about the dangers of restructuring players, though it was an inevitability given our cap situation.

The Post reports on the first and potential future restructures. James Thrash is numero uno, turning 1.3M in 2007 into a bit less than 1M (which is approaching league minimum for Thrash, who is 32). The near 400,000 we saved isn't going to end our cap woes by any means, so I view this as a bandaid.

Thrash also received a 2 year extension, which I think is excellent news. James isn't terribly productive as a receiver (although on his 12 receptions this year he still managed more touchdowns than Brandon Lloyd). Where he excels most are special teams, where he's been consistently productive the past three years, and as a blocking WR. His restructure isn't drastic enough to change any future equations should we be in a position to cut him (the additional 400k won't be a make or break deal, especially since I think we can definitely get 2 more years of ST value out of him). And we aren't paying Thrash all that much anyways.

I am concerned with this, from the article:

Several more players will have to agree to lower their cap figures in order to make space to sign free agents as the Redskins seek to improve a 5-11 team. They have approached several key veterans already, sources said, and likely will speak with agents for quarterback Mark Brunell, cornerback Shawn Springs, tackle Jon Jansen, and defensive linemen Renaldo Wynn and Phillip Daniels, among others.
There is a scary ambiguity here with "lower their cap figures". Does that mean paycut (probably not) or restructure? Because if it means the latter I say absolutely not on a few of those players.
  1. Mark Brunell is now being paid many millions more than any possible utility he can bring to the team. Merely restructuring his contract is a pointless endeavor, as it won't make any more sense in 2009 to pay him 4M -- of his 2007 salary -- than it does to pay him that now. It will make less sense, actually, as he'll be older and deeper on the depth chart. We don't need to postpone our grossly inflated payments to Mark Brunell, we need to cease them posthaste. Backup QBs don't make 6M a year. They don't make 6M a year straight up or 1M this year and 5M prorated over the remainder of their contract. Simply we cannot pay this man what his contract says he is owed.
  2. Renaldo Wynn will make 4M next year, which is more than either Andre Carter and Phillip Daniels. As we're going to draft a DE, it doesn't make sense to retain Wynn for that price. Nor does it make sense to postpone that payment for the forseeable future, unless we plan on cutting Phillip Daniels within the next year or so. Wynn is being paid starter money to play backup, and next year he'll likely be a backup's backup. As with Brunell, postponing payment doesn't make any sense as there isn't any justification for paying him that much in the future, either.
  3. I only mention Shawn Springs as a cautionary note. Springs' income is increasing 226% this year, up to 7.3M. He's a year older and certainly less likely to play a full season than he was in previous years (which he wasn't all that likely to do anyways). We're essentially paying huge volumes of cash to Springs for little production. Although he's great when he's on the field, I doubt whether he can remain on the field enough to justify his contracts. Gambling your future on a young player who does not have a history of injury concerns is a strategy I might endorse. Gambling on (an admitted excellent) cornerback who turns 32 in March and finished 2006 on injured reserve is a questionable move, in my opinion.