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Actions > Words and the Redskins Salary Cap

The least controversial measure of inefficient salary cap use would probably be the amount of dead cap hits, since dead cap hits are paid for on players who are necessarily no longer part of the franchise and thus incapable of contributing anything to the team. In essence they are always less valuable than the money being spent on them, since their value to the team is zero and the amount spent on them is some amount more than zero, sometimes amounts hundreds of thousands, millions, higher.

And we haven't been so efficient at avoiding dead cap hits, per Jason La Canfora:

How much blame to put on [VP of football administration Eric Schaffer] for the oodles of poor contracts and the NFL record $80-plus million in dead cap space since 2000 is hard to pinpoint, however, given how hands on owner Daniel Snyder is in this regard, and the fact that Vinny Cerrato and Joe Gibbs were also charting the course the past 4 years, with Schaffer taking cues from them and much lower down the hierarchy.
There are a couple of interesting points. I think we have had our fair share of bad contracts, such as the obvious Adam Archuleta and Brandon Lloyd fiascos. I've just said that dead cap space is about as useful a measure for a team's cap efficiency as anything else, so it is telling that we lead the league in wasted spending there as well. And finally Jason's last bit lends weight to the thinking that it simply isn't all that clear how decisions are made, by whom, on this team.

The reason the above question was raised about VP of football administration Eric Schaffer's degree of blame (or praise?) for the Redskins financial situation is because Your Washington Redskins aren't the only team that wants to employ him:

The New Orleans Saints have been looking to fill a void in their front office for a director of football administration since February and were recently rebuffed by the Redskins. The Saints wanted to interview Skins VP of football administration Eric Schaffer, but were denied, league sources said.
The reason for the cock block cited by Jason would be our proximity to the draft, which makes plenty of sense. There's no point giving up an additional mind so close to the 2008 NFL Draft.

Schaffer has been called our cap guru (perhaps ironically, I'm not sure) and was promoted within this organization at least as recently as 2005. And now he is being sought out by the Saints to interview for their own depleted football administration department.

So the question becomes: For a franchise that is so frequently criticized (by the likes of me) for its questionable cap strategies, excessive dead cap space, annual concerns over cap management, and frequent questionably large contracts to players that don't pan out, why is it that we have a guy who is wanted not only within the organization but elsewhere? It's one thing for the franchise itself to say "We have a high opinion of Eric Schaffer" but quite another for some other team to go out on a line and seek an interview with him. Are the Saints that dumb? Or is Eric Schaffer just lucky?

Or perhaps there's just something to be said for a guy who tends to a cap that media commenters and bloggers almost perennially challenge as untenable yet remains, year after year, tenable. How do the Redskins make a big splash in free agency, except this year of course, without facing the consequences of the cap? I don't know, I'm not smart enough to answer that question, but there are reasons to believe that Eric Schaffer is, reasons the Saints find compelling.

PS: We have a brand new Saints Blogger so go welcome him to SB Nation. He cites to a steroids story that does not involve any Redskins. Huzzah.

PPS: I don't care how much obviously smarter Eric Schaffer is than I am, I'm still against the current strategy of constantly restructuring contracts from unguaranteed base salaries to guaranteed but prorated bonuses. I will continue to beat that drum until the day I die, regardless of empirical evidence supporting the strategy. I'm simply too committed at this point to retreat now. My mantra is: If you must be wrong about something, it's best to do so spectacularly.