Alfred Morris does not count against the salary cap

openingkicklogoIn perusing the Redskins’ salary data, while batting around ways to create an interactive tool for fans to use, I noticed an eye-opening peculiarity.

As you have surely heard by now, in the offseason, only the top 51 contracts count against the cap, even though there are 74 or 75 players on the roster at the moment.

The highest cap figures on the team for next season are Pierre Garcon at $8.2 million, Trent Williams at $7.99 million, Barry Cofield at $6.3 million, London Fletcher at $6.2 million and Stephen Bowen at $5.5 million. Williams makes left tackle money, Fletcher is the heart and soul of the defense and is being paid like it, and the other three guys have high cap numbers because they signed free-agent deals with good-size bonuses recently. Since the Redskins restructured a handful of contracts this offseason to comply with the $18 million salary cap penalty, there aren’t many bloated deals left.

Because of the rookie pool and recommended salaries according to draft slot, Robert Griffin III, who will someday be the highest-paid Redskins player, ranks just ninth in 2013 cap hit at $4.8 million, following the top five, Josh Wilson, Brian Orakpo and Josh Morgan.

But RGIII’s fellow rookie star, who rushed for 1,610 yards last season plus 80 more in the playoffs, is merely the 54th-highest paid Redskin. Running back Alfred Morris, who makes less (the minimum $480,000 plus a $30,775 bonus) than linebackers Roderick Muckelroy and Vic So’oto (555,000 each), technically doesn’t count against the salary cap right now.

Just a little something to ponder this morning.

As Mark Maske pointed out when I mentioned this to him, it’s not all that abnormal for a sixth-round pick to be making a shade over the league minimum. Both Mike Jones and Maske reminded me that under the new CBA, rookies generally sign four-year deals and they can’t be renegotiated for two.

So not only did the new CBA rein in spending at the top of the draft, it allows for the NFL to get some baseball-like production for dirt cheap by young players “under team control.” Morris might have to take a pounding for two more seasons before he can be rewarded, though luckily for Washington, he doesn’t seem too pressed.

Meantime, as many as 30 Redskins have their deals expire after this season. Many of them aren’t significant, but extensions for Brian Orakpo and perhaps Perry Riley, and decisions on players like Fred Davis, Rob Jackson and Josh Morgan will have to be made after this season.

More Redskins from The Post:

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Draft prospects Amerson, Thomas & Williams visit

NT Baker signs restricted free agent tender

A roundup of Redskins in mock drafts

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Post Sports Live (full video): The Nats first week, Caps heat up & RGIII rehabs

Post Sports Live (clip): Are expectations too high for RGIII’s recovery?

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