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Shutdown Corner

‘Shutdown Corner’ offseason TPS report: Washington Redskins

Shutdown Corner

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Robert Griffin had a sensational rookie season (USA Today Sports Images)

Over the next few weeks, "Shutdown Corner" will pay homage to "Office Space" (TPS reports) as we take a quick look back at each team's 2012 season and a look at what lies ahead for the 2013 offseason. We wrap up the NFC East with the Washington Redskins.

2012 record: 10-6

What went wrong: First-round quarterback Robert Griffin injured his right knee while scrambling during a 31-28 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 9. Griffin made a remarkable return a few weeks later, but aggravated the injury early in a wild-card playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, requiring surgery that included his anterior cruciate ligament, putting his availability for the 2013 season-opener in doubt.

In addition to Griffin's injury, the Redskins lost their top pass-rusher, Brian Orakpo, to a torn pectoral muscle in Week 2 and wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who was signed to a five-year, $42.5 million contract early in the 2012 free agent signing period, missed most of the first two months of the season with a foot injury. Speaking of injuries, safety Brandon Meriweather earned $3.5 million in his first season with the Redskins, but a knee injury limited the veteran to 42 snaps on defense and special teams.

The Redskins were one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, but ranked 28th in total defense, were 30th when defending the pass, and ranked 32nd on third downs, allowing opponents to convert on 44.19 percent of third down opportunities. According to Football Outsiders' advanced metrics, which adjust for opponent, the Redskins ranked 17th in defensive DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) and were 14th against the pass.

What went right: The Redskins traded a boatload of picks to move up to the No. 2 spot and select Griffin and the rookie from Baylor proved he was well worth it. Griffin passed for 3,200 yards with 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions for a passer rating of 102.4. According to Football Outsiders, Griffin ranked 11th in passing DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) and was fifth in rushing DYAR among quarterbacks, rushing for 815 yards and seven touchdowns and was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Another rookie in D.C. was Alfred Morris, a sixth-round running back from Florida Atlantic who finished second in the NFL with 1,613 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. Morris was fifth among NFL running backs in Football Outsiders' rushing DYAR and, along with Griffin, helped a Redskins offense that ranked fifth in total offense, but was first in yards per play, rushing yards per game, passing yards per play and was fourth in the red zone and scoring offense.

Coaching/front office changes: The Redskins hired Keith Burns to replace Danny Smith as special teams coordinator.

Estimated 2013 cap space: $5.118 million over their estimated adjusted cap number of $107.37 million.

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Releasing DeAngelo Hall would create considerable cap room (USA Today Sports Images)

Possible cap casualties: The Redskins will need to make some difficult decisions before the new league year begins on March 12. One of those decisions will involve cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who is due $8 million in cash compensation in 2013. If the Redskins released Hall, all $8 million erased from the team's salary cap thanks to the March 12, 2010 renegotiation of Hall's contract that contributed to the league-imposed cap penalties the Redskins are currently fighting. Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss is due $4.35 million in cash compensation in 2013, the final year of his current contract.

Inside linebacker London Fletcher remains uncertain about his future. Should Fletcher, who turns 38 this offseason, decide to retire, the Redskins would save $5.5 million in cash and $3.4 million in cap space.

Unrestricted free agents

Lorenzo Alexander, LB
Jordan Black, OT
Jammal Brown, OT
Chris Cooley, TE
Fred Davis, TE
Kedric Golston, DE
Cedric Griffin, CB
Rex Grossman, QB
Bryan Kehl, LB
Kory Lichtensteiger, OC
Tyler Polumbus, OT
Sav Rocca, P
Madieu Williams, S
Chris Wilson, LB

Restricted free agents

Chris Baker, NT
Brandon Banks, WR
Rob Jackson, LB
Logan Paulsen, TE
Nick Sundberg, LS
Darrel Young, FB

RFA tender amounts in 2013 are:

• $1.323 million for right of first refusal and/or original draft round compensation

• $2.023 for right of first refusal and second round draft selection

• $2.879 for right of first refusal and first round draft selection

Franchise Tag candidates: The Redskins used a $5.446 million franchise tag on tight end Fred Davis in 2012, but likely will not use it a second time – at a cost of $6.535 million – in 2013. Davis, 27, missed most of the season with a torn left Achilles, catching 24 passes for 325 yards and zero touchdowns in six-plus games of action.

Previous installments of the "Offseason TPS Reports" series:

AFC East: New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns
AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans
AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos
NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

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