Offseason questions: What does the future hold for Santana Moss?

Santana Moss recorded a team-high eight touchdown catches in 2012. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Santana Moss recorded a team-high eight touchdown catches in 2012. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

As the Redskins continue preparations for the NFL scouting combine, free agency and the draft, we’re going to begin taking a look at players on the roster and questions  that surround them, as well as some of the decisions the team must make.

We’ll kick it off with a look at wide receiver Santana Moss:

The 12-year veteran experienced a resurgence last season, despite seeing his role reduced because of the additions of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, and the development of Leonard Hankerson. Despite not being a starter for the first time since his second NFL season, Moss remained productive, compiling a team-high eight touchdown catches (third-best in his career) and 41 catches for 573 yards (14.0 yards per catch).

Part of the key to Moss’s success was his dedication during the offseason, when he slimmed down and regained some speed and explosiveness. Of Moss’s 573 yards, 225 came after the catch. Moss also excelled because coaches kept him on a limited snap count to preserve his aging legs fresh and maximize his impact.

What does the future hold for Moss?

Set to turn 34 as he enters his 13the NFL season, Moss is entering the final year of a three-year deal signed in 2011. His cap figure for the 2013 season is just more than $6.1 million.

Can the Redskins afford to carry him at that figure?

Moss proved last season that despite his age, he can still have an impact. The Redskins don’t have a proven slot receiver on their roster. Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson saw some time there, but lacked the same effectiveness.

So, it would seem that keeping Moss is the right call for Washington. However, given his cap figure, and the fact that Washington is believed to be $3 million to $4 million over the cap, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Moss’ deal restructured. The Redskins will be working to create some financial flexibility by March 12 so they can make moves in free agency and sign players of their own whose contracts are expiring.

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