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How Should the Redskins Spend $36 Million this Offseason?

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The trade for Alex Smith has not been finalized just yet, but his 2018 salary of $17 million should hit the Redskins books in early March. Before they agreed to trade for Smith, their estimated cap space was around $53 million. Subtract $17 million, add a pinch of this and a dash of that, and the Skins should be somewhere in the ballpark of $36 million in salary cap space for 2018.

So, how can the team spend that money?

Taking care of their own:

  1. Give Zach Brown the contract he deserves. I think something in the neighborhood of $6-7 million a year over four years should be the number.
  2. Re-sign Spencer Long. I believe continuity on the offensive line is very important, and in Long, you have a guy who has been here for a few years, knows the system, and can play center or guard. He shouldn't break the bank - maybe $5-6 million/year.
  3. Bring back Junior Galette. He was our best pass rusher last year, even though the sacks may not show that. He was healthy, and looked explosive when he was on the field.

Even though the average yearly salary may be over $17 million for these three, the Redskins can probably minimize the 2018 cap hit to somewhere around $10-12 million, giving them plenty to make a priority signing or two in open free agency.

Open Free agency:

For the sake of discussion, I will assume we have $20-$22 million to spend on the open market - setting aside $4 million for draft picks and some scratch during the season. This is not taking into account any cuts or re-structures we are likely to make.

Needs:

Wide Receiver

Running Back

Defensive Tackle

Cornerback

Safety

I would like to see us enter the 2018 NFL Draft with as little needs as possible. If we look at some possible available free agents, I see wide receiver, and defensive back being two areas we can immediately improve our team. There is a possibility we could move on from Terrell McClain and target a defensive tackle at well.

Targets:

WR ($8 million budget):

Paul Richardson WR Seahawks

Sammy Watkins WR Rams

Donte Moncrief WR Colts

DB ($7 million budget):

Malcolm Butler CB Patriots

Kenny Vaccaro S Saints

LaMarcus Joyner S/Nickle Rams

Tre Boston S Chargers

DT ($5-$6 million budget):

Sheldon Richardson DT Seahawks

Star Lotulelei DT Panthers

Is this money well spent? How would you better the Redskins to the tune of $36 million?