We have been keeping the discussion pumping here on the upcoming offseason in Washington. I have been enjoying reading what the other writers have been saying and I have very much appreciated the commentary from the readers. This calls for a Friday debate....for all you master debaters out there.
Depending on what site you choose to believe at any given moment, the Redskins have somewhere around $9-$10 million in 2016 salary cap space. Bill Barnwell reported it as $9.2 million, and was quick to point out that it was a meaningless number, since Robert Griffin III is almost certainly gone.
Remember all those offseasons where the Redskins figured out ways to clear millions of dollars of space to gear up for an exciting foray into free agency? Remember worrying about what the hell Vinny Cerrato was going to do with all that money? (SERENITY NOW!!!) (Remember getting excited no matter what he did?)
It appears that the Redskins will have--potentially--a nice big chunk of money to spend this offseason. We all know that the elimination of Griffin's $16 million is likely to be quickly replaced (and then some) with money to Kirk Cousins. It isn't a total wash, but close enough for this point in the conversation. What I didn't know was that cutting Chris Culliver was such an attractive salary cap space move. According to Barnwell:
Chris Culliver, a 2015 free-agent addition, had $8 million in 2016 guaranteed money void from his deal after an early-season suspension before he promptly tore his ACL and MCL in practice. Washington can save a minimum of $5.5 million on his deal by cutting Culliver, and it's money it can better use elsewhere.
It is hard to argue against that, even if cornerback is an area where we have been thin for some time. I like what Culliver brought when healthy, and I am sure the team will look to see how he bounces back from the injury, but the truth is that there will be some players out there that could potentially be better value.
Staying in the secondary, Dashon Goldson's release would create $8 million, and between you, me and the keyboard, there is a safety out in Seattle that McLovin is familiar with that could be available this spring. Kam Chancellor will not be an unrestricted free agent, but the Seahawks and the safety did not see eye-to-eye last offseason and it looks to be like the two parties will once again be seeking relationship counseling this offseason. To me, adding Chancellor to our secondary would be a fine move, even knowing that we would likely give the 27-year old player a new contract. This would make Dashon Goldson extremely expendable. Again, perhaps not a total wash on the ledger, but an upgrade in the secondary is what this defense needs.
I have heard plenty of talk about the impending release of Andre Roberts, which would create roughly $3 million in savings. On that though, I heard there were inquiries about him prior to the trade deadline last season. He was barely playing at the time and if they were planning on getting rid of him, that would have been a solid opportunity. It seems to me that the decision on Roberts could come down to what McLovin does with DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Everyone seems to think one or both of those players could be gone in 2016, and if that is true, maybe you don't also release a relatively cheap pro that could help you for a season while you groom a rookie.
Keenan Robinson is an unrestricted free agent and once again the Redskins face the prospect of deciding what to do with a linebacker that has battled injuries. In my humble opinion, I think you resign Robinson and focus on building up the player or players that end up next to him. You need linebackers that can run with tight ends and running backs and Robinson is our fastest and seemingly most athletic linebacker. I don't know what it would cost to keep him, but we don't have a long list of unrestricted free agents. After Cousins , we have Terrance Knighton, Alfred Morris and Robinson. If we go defensive lineman in the first or second round of the draft (or if we intend to, that is), maybe you don't break the bank on Pot Roast. To me, the 26-year old Robinson could be a contributor on this defense for the foreseeable future--if he can stay healthy!
This is just getting the discussion started. I am purposely leaving out the Alfred Morris piece today, but don't feel like you have to! I figured I would scan the league for that one player who could be available either by trade or through unrestricted free agency. Kam Chancellor jumped off the page, but I'll give you one more. (It should be noted that I fully expect this player to be resigned by his current team.) Josh Norman, the All-Pro corner for the Carolina Panthers, is set to hit unrestricted free agency. If you are going to break the bank on a player, an All-Pro corner is the one to do it on. I think Carolina has enough dough to keep him, but if Dan Snyder wanted to gas up the jet and bring him in for a visit, I would be okay with doing whatever it took to keep him from leaving without a deal. Imagine him and Odell Beckham facing off twice a year in the NFC East?!?!?!
Let's see where the comments take us, and then pick it up again next week with some more Armchair General Manager talk.