Editor's Note: I am not a salary cap expert. Feel free to heartily disagree with anything I say here, but let's remember that we are talking about moves that get made for a variety of reasons, only some of which are related to money.
There are many traditions in the NFL. Some are ancient, like taping rookies to goal posts. Other traditions have materialized in the modern era as a result of things like, well, the salary cap.
Enter the dreaded pool of "salary cap casualties."
It's kind of a morbid term, but also an apt term. Players do get cut in this league for no other reason than their contract, and the ways in which cutting that player impacts a team's salary cap situation. It happens every year.
Are there any Redskins that are anxiously pondering their potential to be cut loose by the team in the near term? With that in mind, I headed over to Overthecap.com to review the latest data on the Washington Redskins salary cap situation. You can get a great snapshot of that here.
Because we are in a post-June 1st world, I filtered for...post-June 1st moves. Moving on...
We won't be cutting Trent Williams any time soon, and can I just tell you how great it is to see our highest cap numbered guy be a left tackle that we drafted and is in the prime of his career? You know...as opposed to an over-priced, over-the-hill free agent that is already using Dan Snyder's money to front a record label or something like that?
As I hate it when people read from slides that everyone can read, I won't list out the information that you can easily see yourselves. I will, however point out a couple of names that jumped out to me at or near the top of the list. I was looking for a big cap savings number accompanied by a low dead cap value. i am not suggesting that the Redskins should cut these guys...at least not today.
DeAngelo Hall could save the team $4 million in cap space, while adding less than $1 million is dead money. Kory Lichtensteiger would save the team $3.75 million in cap space, while only adding $500k in dead money. I know that everyone points to Pierre Garcon here, and sure enough, he saves the team $7.5 million in cap space on a post-June 1st cut, creating about $2 million in dead money. I remain unconvinced that Garcon doesn't factor heavily in Jay Gruden's offense this season, though. Given what we have in place on offense right now, I am operating under the assumption that this team very much wants at least another season of production out of Garcon.
I open up the floor to any and all suggestions for salary cap management going forward, but I wonder just how likely it is that the team would cut loose two veterans like Lichtensteiger and Hall. I don't think anyone "in the know" considers Kory to be the center in Gruden's dreams--in general, Gruden favors size, strength and power. Still, if the team is serious about starting both Spencer Long and Brandon Scherff this season, it wouldn't hurt to have a veteran over the ball, at least initially. His experience all of a sudden becomes material.
Similarly, DeAngelo Hall plays in an area of the field where we have struggled mightily. Our secondary has simply been...a problem. On one hand, we could all get on the Bashaud Breeland/Chris Culliver train with David Amerson hopefully proving he can be a reliable nickel corner. This would seem to make Hall expendable, except we have not gotten through a season without needing four cornerbacks going back quite some time. Hall is a veteran coming back from an injury (an injury of an injury? not sure how that works). He will need to show he can still compete, but assuming he does, I just don't see how we can afford to lose his services this season. You can see at the top of the page how much of a disparity there is between what and who we are paying on offense versus defense. I might argue we need to keep DHall just to maintain a credible investment in the defense period.
At least part of any decision made will also take into account other players around the league that get cut and could be added in Washington at a key position. Feel free to make a suggested salary cap cut that may coincide with a likely cut somewhere else--far be it for me to contain your imaginations! Just don't be trying to ell me J.J. Watt is getting cut, or anyone along those lines!