Some notes: For this week the main focus was on keeping a clean cap and saving money for the future. With the Redskins not expected to be contenders this year, having as much money as possible to roll over for 2016 is a smart strategy.
DL Stephen Bowen
DL Barry Cofield
DL Kedric Golston
CB Tracy Porter
TE Logan Paulsen
G Chris Chester
C Kory Lichtensteiger
-These are pretty standard. Cofield is just too pricey to keep even though he might have a decent bounce back year. Golston isn't bad for his role or price, but the Redskins should look to get younger and can replace him with a cheaper late round rookie. Lichtensteiger was probably the Redskins 2nd best offensive lineman last year, but that isn't really a compliment. He figures to fare even worse under Bill Callahan who may look to be more power oriented and favor bigger linemen (even if they did remain a zone heavy team he's probably looking for bigger linemen).
QB Colt McCoy- 1 years $2.25 million per- $2.25 million cap hit
TE Niles Paul- 3 years $2.5 million per- $1.875 million cap hit
-While you could make a case that they don't bring anyone back, McCoy and Paul make some sense. McCoy would already have some knowledge of the offense and proved to be some what of an effective back-up. If the QB battle is going to be between Cousins and Griffin, they don't have time or reps to give to a 3rd QB so having a guy with some experience and knowledge of the offense is a plus. As for Paul he provides good special teams play (still one of the few guys who does), and was a good fill in as a pass catching TE for Jordan Reed when Reed was injured. At that price he is well worth this deal and should be a good role player going forward.
FS Devin McCourty: 5 years $8.85 million per year, $44.25 million total- $5.31 million cap hit
RT Jermey Parnell: 3 years $3.85 million per year, $11.55 million total- $2.888 million cap hit
CB Darius Butler: 4 years $4.25 million per year, $17 million total- $2.975 million cap hit
S Kurt Coleman: 1 year $2.5 million, $2.5 million total- $2.5 million cap hit
TE Lee Smith: 1 year $1.55 million, $1.55 million total- $1.55 million cap hit
NT Jerrell Powe: 1 year $2.25 million, $2.25 million total- $2.25 million cap hit
-I went into free agency with the mindset that I would spend big on one or two free agents and then go cheap around them. When I saw Devin McCourty wasn't re-signed or franchised I made him my priority. Free safety is such a hard position to fill so spending big here not only makes sense, but it really is something we could see Scot McCloughan look to do. McCourty would bring a massive talent boost to the secondary and add another impact talent on a defense that is short on them. I paid McCourty well to come here as that deal would be among the highest for safeties, but let's be honest that is the only way he would come to Washington.
-Originally Jermey Parnell wasn't my first choice (or 2nd) for bolstering the offensive line, but those guys signed early so I had to start looking for 2nd tier options. Parnell is a good fit because of his experience under Callahan and he's done well for Dallas as a swing option. It's a very reasonable contract for the Redskins and he could offer decent starting ability over the next couple of years. If say Morgan Moses beats him out or some draft pick shines it's not the type of deal that kills the Redskins cap if he isn't the starter or is cut in a year.
-With some extra money available I starting looking for slot corners to fill one of the bigger holes on the Redskins. My first couple of options went quickly so I decided to pay up a little bit for Butler. Butler was a former 2nd rd pick by the Patriots who was cut after two years. He took a little longer to develop but he's been a solid piece of the Colts secondary the last three years as their slot corner and back-up starter. He's not a shutdown guy or anything like that, but he should offer nice value to the Redskins in continuing this role.
-After signing three guys to multi-year deals I decided I wasn't going to spend too much more money so I looked for 1 year stop gaps/role players. I landed safety Kurt Coleman who has been okay as a more in the box type of safety. If the Redskins can't find value in the draft or Phillip Thomas doesn't step up, he's a viable option to start next year along side McCourty. He's younger and more well-rounded then trying to use Meriweather one more year and he plays special teams.
-Tight end Lee Smith is not much of a receiver, but he's probably one of the best pure blocking tight ends in the league. He's basically everything that the Redskins are paying Logan Paulsen to be, but he actually produces. He's the type of guy who may only get 250-450 snaps (which is roughly 25-45%), but he offers major impact in high value short yardage situations.
-Nose Tackle Jerrell Powe was definitely a bit of an overpay, but the nose tackle market had dried up and I was desperate to bring in someone to help fill the position. Powe is young and has the potential to be a solid run defender, but he's just not done it yet at the NFL level. Still for one year the price while a bit high is not that much of a risk.
Unused Cap: $11.243 million
-This is big and something the Redskins really should look to do this year. The ability to roll over cap dollars is so big for teams in general, but really helps out rebuilding clubs. Jacksonville, Tennessee, NYJ and Cleveland all saved at least $10 million in cap room that they rolled over. Contenders benefited as well from saving money. The Eagles have more money on the books right now for 2015 than the Redskins, but have more in cap room because they rolled over more than $15 million in unused cap space. The Redskins could do that for next year and have a leg up on their division rivals for cap space. Their goal should be to save at least $10 million and possibly more if things allow it.
What did you think? Also feel free to share your own simulations in the comments below.