Tuesday, February 14, 2012
NFC East cap review: Redskins in the money
By Dan Graziano
You have been asking for salary cap numbers. I know. I hear you. I read the comments and still go into the mailbag every now and then (though not as much as I should, I know. Don't fret, it's not the only New Year's resolution I've been neglecting.) The great John Clayton led his mailbag with salary-cap stuff Monday, and so you can read that and learn all about how teams are able to roll over unused 2011 cap room into 2012, and which teams have the most.
One of those teams is your Washington Redskins, who are $47.568 million under the projected salary cap (which is expected to be close to last year's $120.375 million). That puts the Redskins in position to re-sign London Fletcher, which they hope to do, and fellow defensive mainstay Adam Carriker if they so choose and still do pretty much whatever they want to do in free agency. The Redskins need a No. 1 wide receiver, offensive line help, secondary help and of course a quarterback. They should be one of the league's most active teams in free agency, though I wouldn't expect a reversion to the old, splashy days in which they just grabbed the biggest names out there. Mike Shanahan has an idea about the kinds of players he wants and a list of specific names he plans to pursue. The Redskins' free-agent period will be well-funded, but it will also be focused and directed, which Redskins fans should appreciate. Something like last year's free agency for them, except with a focus primarily on offense instead of defense.
— The Philadelphia Eagles have about $14.9 million in cap room, so if they have their eye on someone who can help them at linebacker or at safety, or if they want to work on new deals for LeSean McCoy and/or DeSean Jackson, or if they want to sign a free-agent receiver to replace Jackson if they trade him, they'll have the same kind of flexibility they had last year. Oh, and a full offseason in which to integrate any new guys into their system. Which they say they now think is important.
— The Dallas Cowboys are about $12.667 million under the projected cap before the expected restructuring of some current deals. They will be able to seek the help they need for the interior of their offensive line and also hunt for a cornerback or a pass-rusher in free agency, then they should be able to use their first-round draft pick on whichever of those last two things they weren't able to get.
— As for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, they are one of four teams that has work to do in order to get under the cap by March 13. The Giants project to be about $7.25 million over the salary cap, and will need to restructure (or rid themselves of) Brandon Jacobs' contract and others before they can think about getting serious in free agency. Expect the Giants to look for a tight end but otherwise to focus on their own free agents, with decisions looming on Mario Manningham, Aaron Ross and others. They didn't do much in free agency last year and aren't likely to do so this year either. Difference is, this year they're probably not going to take as much heat for their inactivity. Those Super Bowl runs kind of help with that.