Taking a look at some players who the Washington Redskins could either cut or somehow use to save money, perhaps by extending their contracts. The Redskins are approximately $10 million under the salary cap.
Player: DeSean Jackson
Contract status: Signed through 2016
2016 cap hit: $9.25 million
Potential savings: $8 million
Why they might cut him: OK, they're not going to cut him; or, rather, I'd be shocked if that happened. Like with Pierre Garcon, I could see something happening with his contract if they need to create room -- and want to keep him beyond this season. The combined cap hit for Jackson and Garcon is $19.45 million, a hefty total. The question for Jackson is would they want to extend his deal (and would they do so to both wideouts?). If they did so, they might be able to lower his hit this season by a little bit and secure his services for a couple more years. The only problem is Jackson has one big contract left to get. He turns 30 in December so it's hard to see him landing another huge deal in a few years just given the nature of his game -- a smaller guy built on speed.
Why they won't: Again, I can't see them cutting Jackson -- there's no doubt they like him. It's easy to see why: He's one of the best long-ball receivers in the NFL because of his speed and ability to track the ball. There's no reason to get rid of Jackson or Garcon (have yet to be told they would want to do so anyway) because it would then weaken their offense. A big part of the Redskins' success, and that of quarterback Kirk Cousins, was the talent in the passing game. The Redskins could use more help here, but if they for some reason got rid of either player they'd have to pay big money for a replacement (none exist on the roster). So stick with the guy you already know. There are a lot of things Jackson does not do: spring workouts, blocking, etc. But that speed adds a dimension to the Redskins' offense that they would sorely miss. Rashad Ross has speed; he does not have Jackson's game. The Redskins were able to build their passing attack at times around the attention focused on Jackson and tight end Jordan Reed. If they believe Jackson's game will remain near this same level for the next two or three years, perhaps they'd try to extend his deal.