Yesterday, the NFL informed all 32 teams that the salary cap for the 2015 NFL season will be set at $143.28 million which represents a $10 million increase from the 2014 season, and a $20 million increase over the last two years. The salary cap is projected to continue to grow at this rate next year due to money from various television deals and the new CBA. The announcement came yesterday because it was the deadline to use the franchise/transition tag, and the cap number is used to determine their value.
What does this mean for the Washington Redskins? According to the official numbers released by the NFLPA, the Redskins had a carryover from the 2014 salary cap of $108,621, which is $108,621 more than they carried over the previous year. There is also a salary cap adjustment of $3,203,124 which comes from contract incentives that were charged last year because they were considered likely to be earned. When the requirements were not met for whatever reason, that cap space gets credited back to the following season. You can give your best guess about who didn't earn their incentives in the comments.
This gives the Washington Redskins $146,591,745 to work with next year, and approximately $28 million in cap space after last week's cuts and the adjustments. The rumors are already swirling about the Redskins having interest in Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh, and Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams. Throw in New England Patriots FS Devin McCourty and the Redskins are linked with some potentially high-priced free agents. The Redskins are also exploring re-signing Brian Orakpo.
For years players and agents used the Redskins as a tool to get the best contract, and were the team to go to to get a better contract than the market called for. The Redskins are expected to be run differently with new GM Scot McCloughan in charge of personnel, but Team President and former GM Bruce Allen is still in charge of contracts. Owner Dan Snyder is still sitting at the top of the organization and reports continue to come out about his influence in free agency decisions.
The last bit of news that came out of the salary cap announcement was the price tag of the 5th year option for Robert Griffin III was set at $16.155 million, which is equal to the transition tag price for QBs. The Redskins have until May 3rd to make a decision on using the option for RG3 which is fully guaranteed for injury only. If Griffin would be on the opening day roster in 2016, his option year, the contract then becomes fully guaranteed for skill, cap, and injury. It seems unlikely at this time that the Redskins would use the option on Griffin after the last two seasons, but they could feel that it is a risk worth taking with a QB that they feel will improve going forward. Jay Gruden named Griffin the #1 QB going into the offseason, but that guarantees nothing for Week 1 and beyond. Griffin still has support up high in the organization, but is that faith worth $16.155 million against the cap in 2016? We'll find out in 2 months.
So the 2016 option for Colts QB Andrew Luck, Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill will cost $16.155 million.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 2, 2015