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Old 01-02-2020, 09:52 AM   #3
Schneed10's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Newtown Square, PA
Posts: 11,955
Re: Redskins Salary Cap Status - 2020

A note on the Alex Smith situation since it has such a large impact on our salary cap.

Alex Smith is currently under contract for three more years. His $16M salary this year is guaranteed, and we still have yet to recognize $16.2M of his signing bonus on our cap. This means that if we cut him or trade him before June 1 of this year, it will actually hurt our cap and reduce our available cap space by ($10.8M).

If cut him with a post-June 1 designation, or trade him after June 1, then we save no money against the cap this season, our cap will be entirely unchanged. Because with that $16M salary guaranteed, we'd carry another $5.4M of the prorated bonus in 2020, putting his cap number right back at $21.4M in 2020, where it would be if he were still on the roster. But in 2021 he'd come off the cap and we'd save $13.6M.

The same thing would happen in 2021 if we kept him through this season, and then cut him prior to June 1 of 2021. Our cap space in 2021 would go up $13.6M, the same impact as if we let him go after June 1 of this year.

Due to all this, I'm calling it likely that he remains a Redskin through this season and serves as the backup to Dwayne Haskins. He'll likely continue serving as a mentor while he works his way back - and collects a paycheck.

Despite the likelihood that he sticks with us in 2020, we'll still have the available cap space I list in my original post above, and the Redskins will likely plan for 2021 to say goodbye to Alex, and plan their free agency this year to account for the fact that 2021 will have $13.6M more in cap space than it would with Alex on the roster.

In that sense, it would be wise to push some chips into the table in free agency this year. If Haskins continues to progress, the Redskins have two years to take advantage of the rookie contract window (2021 and 2022). In 2023 they'll either need to execute the 5th year option on Haskins or extend him long term.
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