PALM BEACH, Fla.—Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan refused to directly answer questions Wednesday about the $36 million loss of salary cap space suffered by the team, but hinted it has become a factor in the team’s planning.
“I’d like to talk about that and when I can, I will,” Shanahan said at the NFC coaches’ breakfast. “But we’re not allowed to talk about it. Believe me, I’d like to. But I can’t.”
The Redskins must absorb at least half the reduction this year. The Dallas Cowboys were assessed a $10 million loss of cap space over two years. Both teams were penalized for the way they structured some player contracts in 2010, when the NFL had no salary cap. Both teams have challenged the decision via arbitration.
In response to a question about trying to sign free agent quarterback Peyton Manning, Shanahan said: “We talked some football. We talked personnel. At the end, I had a feeling what direction he may go, especially with our situation with the cap, which I can’t talk about in detail.”
On a question about re-signing free agent linebacker London Fletcher, Shanahan said: “You have to have a game plan with respect to the cap and we found out an hour before that the cap was changed.”
News about the NFL’s salary cap reductions given to the Redskins and Dallas Cowboys was reported on the day before the sport’s free agent market opened, however.