What does the Commanders’ 2023 salary cap look like at the bye week?
The Washington Commanders are 7-5-1 with four games remaining in the 2022 NFL season. Washington, winners of six of its last eight games, hosts the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football in Week 15.
Before we prepare for Washington’s stretch run to a potential playoff berth, let’s look at the Commanders’ salary-cap situation for 2023. Washington fans should expect another busy offseason with players such as Daron Payne, Taylor Heinicke and Cole Holcomb slated for free agency. There’s also the quarterback situation, which always seems to linger over Washington’s offseason.
We’ll go over potential quarterback options at a later time, but let’s look at where the Commanders stand currently. As of Week 14, Washington has $19.3 million in available cap space for 2023, which is No. 15 in the NFL. The Commanders have $14.2 million in dead money for 2023, thanks to the trade of William Jackson III and the release of Landon Collins.
Washington’s cap space includes quarterback Carson Wentz’s $26.2 million cap hit for 2023. If Washington moves on from Wentz, there is no penalty, and that adds to the team’s available cap space for 2023.
The expectation is the Commanders will move on from Wentz. While head coach Ron Rivera is interested in Wentz’s potential upside, he would likely only return on a reduced cap figure in 2023.
The biggest free-agent domino is Payne. The fifth-year defensive tackle is tied for second in the NFL — with teammate Jonathan Allen — with 15 tackles for loss. Payne has already set a career-high in sacks with 8.5.
If Washington places the franchise tag on Payne, he will cost $18.1 million against the cap. However, if the Commanders agree to a long-term deal with Payne, his cap charge will be significantly smaller in the first year of a new deal.
There are other cap hits on Washington’s roster that could either be restructured or released.
Regardless, general manager Martin Mayhew and Rivera will have the money to re-sign key players and fill some holes along the offensive line.
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