Washington Redskins salary cap outlook: Cap penalties set to expire after 2013

Brian McIntyre

The "Shutdown Countdown" is chugging along. In addition to previewing each team, "Shutdown Corner" will be taking a brief look at each team's salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the Washington Redskins.

2013 Adjusted Cap Number: $107.969 million (lowest in the NFL in 2013)

2013 Cap Room Remaining: $1.413 million (2nd-lowest amount of available cap space, as of July 25)

Best Bargain: The Redskins drafted Alfred Morris with the third pick in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft, a draft slot that came with a $123,100 signing bonus, the only guaranteed portion of a four-year, $2.2231 million contract. Morris earned $390,000 in base salary in a rookie season where he ran for 1,613 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns (both marks were second in the NFL) while playing in over 70 percent of the team's offensive snaps. Due to his playing-time percentage, and low cap number, Morris received $211,431 in "performance-based pay" earlier this year. Morris is expected to play a big role in the Redskins' offense this season, which means he'll likely earn another big bonus check in 2014 as he will earn the league minimum base salary ($480,000) with a $510,775 cap number that ranks 102nd among current running back contracts.

To put those numbers into context, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the only player who had more rushing yards than Morris last season, will earn $661,765 per week in 2013. Peterson earned $470,588 per week last year.

Potential Camp Cap Casualty: Last March, the Redskins signed wide receiver Josh Morgan to a two-year, $11.5 million contract. Morgan earned $7.5 million in the first year of the deal and had a team-high 48 receptions for 510 yards and two touchdowns. Injuries limited Morgan's effectiveness down the stretch, which saw him catch just one pass (for zero yards) on 11 targets in the regular season finale and the wild-card loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Morgan underwent three surgeries (right ankle, both hands) this offseason and is set to earn $3.8 million in currently non-guaranteed base salary this season.

Two other possibilities are Santana Moss and cornerback Josh Wilson, who both took pay cuts at the start of the 2013 league year. Moss is due $2 million in salary and has $450,000 in "per game active" roster bonuses and up to $2 million in incentives in his reworked deal. Wilson slashed his pay down to $2 million and has $500,000 in incentives. Of the $4.45 million in cash in the Moss and Wilson's deals, zero is guaranteed.

Looming Contract Issue: Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo had 28 sacks during his first three seasons in the NFL before a torn pectoral muscle cost him all but two games in 2012. When healthy, Orakpo is a force and he is set to post big sack numbers playing opposite another elite pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan. Orakpo is in the final year of his contract and the Redskins are wisely considering an extension before he even hits free agency. If an extension can't be reached, the Redskins could use the franchise tag on Orakpo next offseason. If the league-wide cap number remains flat, the linebacker tag is projected to be worth $9.407 million.

Tight end Fred Davis is also coming off an injury and will be a free agent in 2014. Davis received the franchise tag in 2011 and returned this season on a one-year, $3 million contract. Morgan, linebacker London Fletcher and safety Brandon Meriweather have contracts that will void five days after Super Bowl XLVIII. Defensive end Adam Carriker has a $2 million option bonus due in 2014, though he could repay the team $600k in the two weeks after Super Bowl XLVIII and become a free agent. The Redskins might also have to address the contract of wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who missed a good chunk of last season (the first of a five-year, $42.5 million deal) with a foot injury. Garcon is due $7.5 million in cash, including a $7.1 million base salary, and has a $9.7 million cap charge in 2014. If Garcon is on the Redskins' roster on the third day of the 2014 league year, $1.8 million of his base salary will be fully guaranteed.

Long-Term Cash/Cap Outlook: The Redskins' steep salary cap penalties imposed by the NFL expire after this season, so the Redskins will actually have cap space to work with in 2014. The team currently has 58 players under contract for next season, with the "Top 51" deals accounting for $89.2 million in salary cap commitments with an additional $7.3 million in bonus proration from voided contacts accelerating against the cap.

Previous salary cap outlooks

32. Oakland Raiders
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Arizona Cardinals
29. Buffalo Bills
28. Cleveland Browns
27. Tennessee Titans
26. Kansas City Chiefs
25. New York Jets
24. San Diego Chargers
23. Philadelphia Eagles
22. Miami Dolphins
21. St. Louis Rams
20. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. Dallas Cowboys
17. Detroit Lions
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
15. Indianapolis Colts
14. New Orleans Saints
13. Chicago Bears
12. New York Giants
11. Carolina Panthers

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