- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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It’s always a little risky signing players over 30 to big contracts in free agency. The Washington Redskins certainly had that thought in mind when they landed Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Jason Hatcher.
His four-year, $27.5 million contract would make it tough for the Redskins to cut him early in the deal. But considering he's coming off an 11-sack season it's hard to imagine them wanting to do so.
But if Hatcher's effectiveness wanes after two years? The Redskins are OK if they want to cut him and get out of the deal.
Hatcher received a $9-million signing bonus and has $10.5 million guaranteed. There's no guaranteed money after the first year and with his base salary escalating by a considerable amount in the third year, the Redskins could cut him and he would count $4.5 million against the cap (unless they can spread it out over two years at $2.25 million per). It's hard to imagine Hatcher getting to that final season considering his cap hit would be hefty for a player who would be 35 entering the season. But if he's still playing well? Different story.
Here's the breakdown, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:
Base salary: $1.5 million (fully guaranteed)
Cap hit: $3.75 million
Base salary: $3 million
Cap hit: $5.25 million
Base salary: $6.5 million
Cap hit: $8.75 million
Base salary: $7.5 million
Cap hit: $9.75 million