Washington Redskins: Jason Witten

Last week I broke down the Redskins' salary cap by position and how it compared to the rest of the NFL. This is one more extension of that so you can see how the Redskins' top cap hit compares to the five biggest cap hits at each position. For the most part, the Redskins have more bargains offensively in part because they've found younger contributors through the draft or they landed players such as DeSean Jackson after they'd been cut, thereby lowering their price. The Redskins have only one player who will count among the top five at their position in 2014 -- left tackle Trent Williams.


NFL's top five cap hits

Eli Manning, New York Giants, $20,400,000

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh, $18,895,000

Jay Cutler, Chicago, $18,500,000

Drew Brees, New Orleans, $18,400,000

Sam Bradford, St. Louis, $17,610,000

Redskins top cap hit

Robert Griffin III $5,759,754 (19th overall)

Summing it up: St. Louis is paying the price for a since-changed system when it comes to rookie contracts -- and the Redskins clearly have benefited. There’s little chance anyone would think Bradford is worth as much as his 2014 cap number. Manning has regressed the past two seasons, for whatever reason, and needed ankle surgery this offseason. Roethlisberger is excellent and Brees remains a top-five quarterback. But Cutler is an example of a guy who is being paid because of the position he plays. He's been a good quarterback, but it's tough to say he's been great. He's definitely not a top-five guy. The Redskins have Griffin at a lower cost the next two seasons and then, if he plays as they hope, his number will skyrocket.


NFL's top five cap hits

Mike Wallace, Miami, $17,250,000

Andre Johnson, Houston, $15,644,583

Percy Harvin, Seattle, $13,400,000

Calvin Johnson, Detroit, $13,058,000

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay, $12,432,000

Redskins top cap hit

Pierre Garcon $9,700,000 (seventh overall)

Summing it up: The top two at this position certainly didn't outperform Garcon, who led the NFL with 113 catches. Garcon only caught five touchdown passes, but that matches what Wallace and Andre Johnson did as well. Harvin played just 19 snaps all season. Calvin Johnson caught 84 passes, but 12 went for touchdowns and he averaged 17.8 yards per catch. Jackson caught 78 passes, seven for scores, and averaged 15.7 yards per catch. The Redskins received good value from their top earner at this spot. They have even more invested here now after adding DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts. The former will be a major bargain compared to the rest of this group if he puts up numbers similar to last year (82 catches, nine touchdowns, 1,332 yards. But keep in mind in his first five years Jackson averaged 54.8 catches, 4.6 touchdowns and 957 yards per season).

Running back

NFL's top five cap hits

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota, $14,400,000

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, $9,700,000

Ray Rice, Baltimore, $8,750,000

Arian Foster, Houston, $8,300,000

Matt Forte, Chicago, $7,900,000

Redskins top cap hit

Roy Helu $1,548,563 (38th overall)

Summing it up: Peterson and McCoy are two of the most dangerous offensive players in the NFL and are difference-makers. But what's also clear is why teams don't like to shell out huge money for running backs. Washington’s Alfred Morris, who is 93rd on the list of running backs when it comes to 2014 cap figures ($600,775), was as productive running the ball as Peterson. Morris ran for 1,275 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards a carry. Peterson rushed for 1,266 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per rush. Rice ran for 660 yards in 15 games, averaging 3.1 yards on 214 carries. Foster only played in eight games. Forte is an excellent all-around back and was productive. But the Redskins are fortunate they won’t have to shell out more money here for two more years.

Offensive line

NFL's top five cap hits

LT Joe Thomas, Cleveland, $12,300,000

LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, New York Jets, $11,698,666

LT Russell Okung, Seattle, $11,240,000

G Jahri Evans, New Orleans, $11,000,000

LT Trent Williams, Washington, $10,980,393

Redskins top cap hit


Summing it up: Williams is one of the games best tackles so for him to be in this group makes absolute sense. He could be more consistent and avoid the occasional clunker game, but overall Williams has proven himself and earned two Pro Bowl trips. I'd have a hard time paying a guard as much as Evans, but at least he's an elite player with five consecutive All-Pro nods (in addition to five straight Pro Bowl berths). Okung, drafted one spot after Williams in 2010, has missed 19 games in his career and made one Pro Bowl team. Williams has played in every game the past two seasons. Because of his athleticism, the Redskins can use him differently than other teams use their tackles. And he can escape problems because of it as well (and because of his longer arms).

Tight end

NFL's top five cap hits

Jason Witten, Dallas, $8,412,000

Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville, $8,250,000

Greg Olsen, Carolina, $7,800,000

Antonio Gates, San Diego, $7,362,500

Vernon Davis, San Francisco, $7,342,916

Redskins top cap hit

Logan Paulsen $2,236,666 (21st overall)

Summing it up: Yet another position where the Redskins have a bargain for a few more seasons. This isn’t about how Paulsen stacks up, but really about Jordan Reed. If he can stay healthy, this will be the company he keeps statistically. I love watching Davis because of the matchup headaches he causes based on his athleticism. It’s the same with Reed. Marcedes Lewis has had a nice eight-year career and is an excellent blocker, but No. 2 on this list? He has 25 career touchdown catches, but 10 came in one season. The others are proven pass threats. Of course, this list will change once Jimmy Graham's situation is settled with New Orleans.

Redskins impressed by Tony Romo

October, 7, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- The offense they just happen to face next put on an impressive display: 48 points; 522 yards; five touchdown passes. It didn’t leave Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall shaking, afraid or fearful. It did leave him appreciative.

Dallas might have lost to Denver, 51-48, Sunday but the Cowboys forced others to take notice -- at least of their offensive potential.

“They looked amazing,” Hall said of the Cowboys’ offense. “I didn’t think there would be an offense that could keep up with Peyton [Manning] and those guys. Dallas and Tony Romo never cease to amaze me.”

The Redskins play at Dallas on Sunday night -- and face Denver two weeks later. Washington enters ranked 32 overall and 27th against the pass.

“We definitely look forward to the challenge,” Hall said. “[Familiarity] will help us a lot. We know these guys going against them twice a year for the last couple years. The offense isn’t going to change. Those guys were just in a zone.”

Especially the quarterback.

Romo threw for 506 yards and one untimely interception in the loss. He finished with a passer rating of 140.0.

“He was just in a zone, he was locked in,” Hall said. “When you play the best it brings the best out of you, and Tony knowing it was Peyton Manning and knowing that kind of offense, they probably had a lot of motivation. Those guys came to play. Dez [Bryant] came to play. … They were out there running and gunning.

“When you’re in a zone like Michael Jordan or Kobe [Bryant], you feel like the rim is as wide as the ocean and it seems like it could go in. Watching the game from the couch it felt like that with Tony. Everything worked perfect. When you’re in a zone, it’s hard to combat that.”

Meanwhile, three teammates -- tight end Jason Witten, receiver Dez Bryant and receiver Terrance Williams all finished with at least 121 yards receiving.

“It just shows how powerful their offense can be,” Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen said. “They have a good group on offense, man.”

“Tony Romo was on point,” Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather said. “The receivers were on point with him.”

But Hall said that he noticed a difference in how Denver's corners played Dallas, saying they might have taken a slightly different approach if they were as familiar with them as the Redskins.

"I was so frustrated watching [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie]," Hall said of the Denver corner. "I felt he was in good position a couple times, but not knowing that Dallas offense he eased up for one second. If you ease up for one second it can be six or 70 yards or 80 yards. That's what happened a couple times to the Denver secondary."