In wake of recent signings, Redskins just $30,000 under salary cap

April 9, 2013
The Redskins managed to bring back almost all of their key players -- Fred Davis, above, included -- despite the $18 million cap penalty. (Brian Blanco/The Associated Press)
The Redskins managed to bring back almost all of their key players — Fred Davis, above, included — despite the $18 million cap penalty. (Brian Blanco/The Associated Press)

The Redskins are about $30,000 under the salary cap, according to a person with knowledge of NFL cap figures.

The team managed to fit the recent signings of tight end Fred Davis, cornerback DeAngelo Hall and quarterbacks Rex Grossman and Pat White beneath the salary cap without any further reworkings of other players’ contracts to clear cap space.

Hall’s deal has a base salary of $1 million and includes a signing bonus of $250,000. It also includes $1.25 million in incentives but only carries a cap hit of $1.25  million.

Grossman’s one-year deal has a base salary of $940,000 and a bonus of $10,000. If he is active for eight games, he receives an additional $30,000. If active for 12, he receives an additional $45,000. Grossman was active for only two regular season games last season.

Only the top 51 players under contract to a team count against the cap during the offseason. So modest deals like those given to Grossman and White have little to no effect on a team’s remaining cap space, given that they often merely bump another player out of the top 51 and the cap room is reduced by only the difference between the two contracts.

Still, the Redskins’ cap situation remains extremely tight and the team will have to make further moves to clear cap room for any maneuvering later in the offseason. The Redskins apparently remain in the running to sign free agent cornerback Antoine Winfield. They also must sign the rookies they select in this month’s NFL draft.

The Redskins reworked the contracts of wide receiver Santana Moss, safety Brandon Meriweather and defensive end Adam Carriker earlier in the offseason to create maneuvering room beneath the cap. But team officials stressed that in those cases, they did not place any additional burden on the club’s salary cap in future years with the contract reworkings. Instead, players agreed to salary reductions. In at least some of those cases, the player’s reworked contract contains incentives enabling him to possibly earn back the money lost in the salary reduction.

The Redskins, even while absorbing the second half of their two-year, $36 million salary cap reduction by the league this year, mostly have managed to keep intact the team that won the NFC East last season, thanks to the recent deals with Davis and Hall and a series of earlier re-signings. The team’s lone significant loss in free agency was linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, a Pro Bowl selection on special teams last season.

With the $18 million salary cap penalty and the $4.2 million that they carried over from last season’s cap, as NFL cap rules permit, the Redskins are operating with a salary cap of about $109.2 million this year, compared to $123 million for other teams (before those clubs’ carry-over cap amounts from last season are factored in).

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Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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