Starting this week each Friday I am going to take a look at a possible free agency scenario for the Redskins using Manage the Cap. This is obviously just one of many scenarios of how free agency could play out, but I wanted to start the discussion and give everyone a place to post their own scenario's!
Follow along here: (note there is a glitch that didn't show Cofield and Paulsen among the cut players but rest assured they are no longer Skins and their cap hits did come off the salary cap)!
Cut: G Chris Chester, TE Logan Paulsen, DE Barry Cofield, DE Stephen Bowen, CB Tracy Porter
-These are all pretty easy cuts to make with the possible exception of Cofield. Before this injury filled year Cofield was one of the Redskins better defensive players from 2011-2013. Unfortunately his cap number is skyrocketing and his level of play has fallen off. The Redskins can better use that money to get younger and get more production from the position.
I decided not to go full "scorched earth" with cutting players and kept some questionable guys like Riley, Lauvao, Garcon (more likely to be traded) and Lichtensteiger. I'm sure I will run some scenarios getting rid of some of those guys, but this time I decided not to go too crazy.
I didn't restructure any players because as a rebuilding team pushing cap money forward isn't a great strategy and should only be used in rare occurrences.
TE Niles Paul- 3 years $2.15 million per year. He will only count $1.6 million next year.
-While I thought of maybe re-signing McCoy, Helu, or Jenkins I don't consider them priorities to re-sign this year. It's a new GM and he's probably going to want to put his stamp on this team so bringing back a lot of guys doesn't make sense. I did bring back Paul due to his versatility.
Paul last year showed he can be a decent pass catching TE and still be a good special teamer. With Paulsen cut and Reed a major question mark, I wanted to have one TE that I could count on. Now Paul is still not a good blocker (though he at least makes an effort), but he could have a solid role on this team moving forward.
Free Agent Signings:
FS Rahim Moore: 5 years $30.75 million- $3.69 million cap hit next year
C/G Rodney Hudson: 5 years $32.5 million - $3.9 million cap hit next year
CB Walter Thurmond: 3 years $18.25 million - $3.56 million cap hit next year
DT Dan Williams: 4 years $17 million - $2.975 million cap hit next year
OT Jeremy Parnell: 3 years $16.45 million - $3.11 million cap hit next year
SS Stevie Brown: 3 years $9.75 million - $2.43 million cap hit next year
C/G Doug Legursky: 3 years $7.5 million- $1.88 million cap hit next year
OLB Arthur Moats: 2 years $5 million - $2 million cap hit next year
QB Tyrod Taylor: 2 years $5 million - $2 million cap hit next year
$10.4 million in cap space left
-This was a tough scenario in my effort to fix the OL as a couple of the top OL were re-signed by their teams before hitting the market. Devin McCourtey was also re-signed making FS a thin market as well. So my top targets to start the free agency period were Rahim Moore and Rodney Hudson. There were some bigger name guards, but I didn't want to spend as much as I knew they would want.
While I don't see the Redskins being major free agent players I do think they will look to sign 1 or 2 bigger name guys and that is where Moore and Hudson come in. Moore is a good starter at FS, while Hudson can be used at either guard or center depending on what the team does in the draft.
After locking up the two key guys, I was looking for value and role players. I also decided to take advantage of some of the new coaching hires and get some players they are familiar with. OT Jeremy Parnell played under Bill Callahan in Dallas the past few years and could be a good option to fix the RT spot. Parnell made 7 starts (including playoffs) this past year for Dallas and overall played pretty well. With Morgan Moses recovering from a major injury, the Redskins could use some certainty at RT. While they can maybe find one in the early rounds of the draft, now they don't have to force a RT in a spot if they don't want to.
New secondary coach Perry Fewell was the Giants defensive coordinator the past few years and has some familiarity with both safety Stevie Brown and corner Walter Thurmond. Both players are coming off some injury concerns, but that is why you can get those players for a reduced rate. Brown led the Giants with 8 INT's in 2012 before suffering an ACL injury during the 2013 preseason. Last year he came back to make 8 starts and play in 16 games. His play wasn't on the 2012, but was still better than anything the Redskins had back there. Now two years removed from the ACL injury he has the chance to be a bargain if he can rebound. Thurmond only was with Fewell for one offseason and two games before he tore his Pectoral muscle last year, but he has a chance to be another really good bargain signing. He's got good size, speed and technique and if he's healthy he can be a very good starter opposite Breeland.
Defensive tackle Dan Williams hasn't lived up to his first round hype in Arizona, but what he has done is shown he is a good run stopping nose tackle. With the cutting of Cofield the Redskins could use a boost there and Williams provides that at a cheaper rate while a couple of years younger.
C/G Doug Legursky I thought was a good value signing for the Redskins. He's a versatile interior lineman capable of playing and starting if need be at all 3 interior spots. He's played in some power schemes and can be a solid back-up for the Redskins. If they hope to push Spencer Long (or even Josh LeRibeus) into a starting role or plan on drafting a guard early, Legursky could serve as insurance in case they falter.
OLB Arthur Moats is a good jack-of-all trades type of guy. He came into the league as a pass rusher and will primarily play OLB, but the Bills a couple years ago played him inside so he has some experience there. He can provide some nice depth and special teams ability for the Redskins at a cheap rate.
At quarterback I decided to bring in Tyrod Taylor as a back-up. The Redskins should definitely have a 3rd quarterback on the roster, and Tayor I think is an intriguing guy. He's done well for the Ravens in preseason and can be a solid back-up QB type. He also appeals to the Redskins given his mobility. If the Redskins are going to go with Robert Griffin III this year as the starter, they will probably try to tailor the gameplan to his skill set more than they did last year in an effort to get the most out of him. The problem with that is of course if he goes down with injury, what you have been practicing now doesn't work with Kirk Cousins. Taylor would provide an option to keep the same type of offense while Griffin is out.
Remaining Cap Space:
-I decided to not spend all of my free agent dollars to start taking advantage of the the new salary cap structure. With the ability to roll money forward, smart teams are saving money to spend when they need it, and it allows them to be in a better position going forward. In this scenario the Skins save $10 million to apply to the 2016 salary cap which would be a nice benefit for them.
Those are my thoughts on this scenario, let me know what you think and share your free agent scenarios below!