Allen: Talent, not finances, will guide roster

August, 16, 2013
8/16/13
11:05
AM ET
RICHMOND, Va. -- Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said the salary-cap penalties imposed the past two offseasons by the NFL will continue to haunt the franchise. But he made it clear that finances will not guide decisions about the 53-man roster.

Allen also discussed the relationship between Robert Griffin III and coach Mike Shanahan, Griffin’s Week 1 availability, and contract extensions for linebacker Brian Orakpo and Shanahan in a news conference Friday morning.

“The cap penalty will hurt us for a number of years,” Allen said. “It’s not just those two years because of the repercussions down the road. We’ll probably have to renegotiate contracts and maneuver around it, but we’ll keep the best 53.”

The Redskins lost $36 million in combined cap space over the past two offseasons for how they handled the 2010 uncapped year.

Allen said he doesn’t see any controversy at all surrounding Griffin and Shanahan’s well-documented relationship.

“We have a very competitive player who’s dying to play football and we have an experienced coach who is doing the right thing,” Allen said. "I know somewhere Billy [Kilmer] and Sonny [Jurgensen] are laughing that we created a quarterback controversy with Robert Griffin."

Of course, the biggest question surrounding Griffin is whether or not he’ll play against the Philadelphia Eagles in the opener. Griffin started taking 11-on-11 snaps against the scout team this week.

“He is ahead of schedule, he gets his work in,” Allen said, then knocking on wood as he continued. “We’ve had no setbacks so far. The goal is for him to play in Week 1. I don’t know if that will happen.”

Orakpo is a free agent after this season. Shanahan’s contract is up after the 2014 season.

“We’re trying to squeeze and see what the final 53-man roster is and make sure we’ll have the cap room for guys on the team,” Allen said, regarding Orakpo. “This isn’t the time we would be talking about the head coach or any of that stuff. Mike is really focused on this season and he’s put a lot of work into it and we’re more focused on what we do in the first game than we are about what will happen after that.”

Allen also said they're exploring their options for a new stadium, though their lease at FedEx Field isn't up until 2027. Allen said they're looking at sites in Prince George's County in Maryland, in Washington, D.C., and even in Virginia, where they train year round.

The Redskins' training camp, their first in Richmond, ends Friday.

"This has worked out tremendously," Allen said.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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