- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Redskins didn’t want to restructure contracts unless they viewed a player as a longterm part of their future. Mike Shanahan made that clear during the offseason. But they view nose tackle Barry Cofield that way. And, when they needed to free up cap space, they turned toward Cofield.
The Redskins restructured his contract, saving $2.4 million against the salary cap while pushing some money into the future. Cofield reduced his salary from $4.05 million to the veteran minimum of $840,000. He’ll receive $3.21 million in bonus money that will be paid out during the course of the season.
It helps the Redskins get in compliance with the salary cap, which all teams must do by 4 p.m. ET Wednesday. Cofield said the Redskins approached him a few days ago about restructuring.
“They don’t bother doing that type of thing with guys they don’t plan on having in the future,” Cofield said. “It shows confidence in me and I plan to repay it. The future is bright and I want to be here the rest of my career. Anything I can do to make this team better I’m going to do it.”
He could start by playing versus Philadelphia on Sept. 9. The Redskins say it's still too early to know if he'll be available, but it's hard to imagine him not playing. Cofield’s right hand is still in a cast -- it’s wrapped up to look like a club during practices. But Cofield’s game is built more on quickness, and, with his swim moves for example, he does not need to grab blockers to be effective.
“I’m not a big grab-take-up-space-type nose so I can get away with it more than the average nose,” Cofield said. “Especially with the Philly [offensive] scheme. They have the type of scheme where you don’t want to do too much grabbing. You want to play fast.”
With the Eagles' fast-paced attack, the Redskins will need depth along the defensive line. Not having Cofield available would put them in a tough spot.
14hJohn Keim and Adam Caplan