Earlier in the day, Mark Bullock took a closer look at how four of Washington’s cornerbacks played this season. Later this month, we’ll go position by position on The Insider with Mike Jones or Liz Clarke’s analysis on whether key players will be back next season. Then we’ll poll you to see which players you want back.
Cornerback is a good place to start because it’s such an important position, and was such a mixed bag for Washington in 2014. While fourth-round rookie Bashaud Breeland emerged as a potential franchise cornerstone, or at least a starter going forward, nobody else had a great season. Longtime corner and team leader DeAngelo Hall tore and re-tore an Achilles’ tendon, missing all but three games. David Amerson’s second season seemed like a step backward, especially after giving up high-profile touchdowns against Indianapolis and Dallas. Tracy Porter couldn’t stay on the field, and E.J. Biggers didn’t stand out.
Washington has lots of other needs, however, and salary considerations play a role here. Because neither was a first-round pick, Breeland and Amerson (cap numbers of $531,500 and $1.05 million) come relatively cheaply for cornerback starters. Washington could go with those two, or add another draft pick to the mix, and get by for a relative pittance at one of the game’s premium positions.
Hall, who would count nearly $2.5 million in dead money against the cap if cut, seems certain to be back, especially given his experience. But how much he can be counted on to do at 31 and coming off a serious injury is uncertain.
Washington’s financial house is mostly in order, with just $1.06 million in dead money against the 2015 cap. It’s unlikely that they’d be eager to create more, but a player like Tracy Porter, who contributed little, might be worth moving on from. He’s got a $2.25 million base salary for 2015 and a $3.8 million cap number, so cutting him would produce some savings and some dead money. If he were to be back, it probably wouldn’t be at that salary.
Mike Jones weighs on on whether each player will be back next season, and then you can weigh in as well.
|player||signed through||Mike Jones’s analysis|
|David Amerson||2016 ||The 2013 second-rounder didn’t have the impact year coaches hoped for, but he’ll return, looking to bounce back and take a step forward in his development. |
|Bashaud Breeland||2017 ||Breeland came out of nowhere to become one of Washington’s top defensive players and made plays to win both the first Dallas game and second Philadelphia matchup. He’ll only get better. |
|DeAngelo Hall||2017 ||Hall last offseason signed a four-year $17 million contract, but missed all but three games with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. He’ll likely return as the nickelback, or possibly try to transition to free safety. |
|E.J. Biggers||Free agent ||Solid in a pinch in 2013, Biggers struggled as he was called on to play more than anticipated because of the many injuries at defensive back. He’ll likely be elsewhere in 2015. |
|Tracy Porter||2015 ||Washington game him a two-year, $6 million deal – a head-scratcher given his history – and he wound up playing in only three games. He’ll count $3.8 million against the cap this year, and cutting him (which seems likely) would save $2.8 million. |
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