Sunday, April 21, 2013

Redskins Free Agency: The Good and Bad

   The past two seasons, the Washington Redskins have been penalized for the way they structured certain contracts in 2010 when there was no salary cap for the NFL. The penalty imposed by the league and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) was a $36 million reduction over the span of two years. 
   The team went to court last year and challenged the cap penalty, but in the end, the case was dismissed and the ruling stood. One person involved in the ruling just happens to be the owner of the New York Giants (one of the Redskins' division rivals) and to no surprise, he voted in favor of the punishment. In fact, he said, "What they did was in violation of the spirit of the salary cap. They attempted to take advantage of a one-year loophole, and quite frankly, I think they're lucky they didn't lose draft picks."
   All hope should not be lost though. The organization was able to bring back almost all of their own free agents that helped contribute to their playoff run and NFC East title last season. One of the only key losses was letting linebacker and special teams extraordinaire Lorenzo Alexander sign with the Arizona Cardinals for more money.
   According to, if next year's cap remains to be $123 million, the Redskins have about $80 million committed to that figure. That would leave them with $43 million to spend next season on bolstering the talent on the roster. To put that number into perspective, they began this current offseason about $3 million over the salary cap. Therefore, they were already in the hole before the start of free agency in 2013.
   On one hand it could potentially mean they go back to their old ways of spending money left and right. The other option is they will continue to be smart and spend wisely without offering bloated contracts. Perhaps in the end, this will be a valuable (no pun intended) lesson for the organization. The best way to show the league and the fans that this punishment won't affect their original plan, is to go out and win.