Sept 18, 2011; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

Fast times at Redskins Park: From RGIII to salary cap woes

It feels like only yesterday when the Redskins were sitting pretty with over $31.1 million in cap space available for 2012 free agency and it’s probably because it ACTUALLY was yesterday that this was the case.

What a difference a day can make.

It’s now reported via ESPN that the Redskins are due to give up $36 million in cap space over the next two years as part of sanctions dolled out by the league for violations committed by Washington and Dallas in the uncapped year.

While the league isn’t officially deeming the cap reductions as violations but rather recent additions to the league’s new agreement with the players association, they sure don’t seem anything like rewards.

This is an especially huge blow for the Redskins given the power play the front office just orchestrated to move up to the No. 2 spot in the draft most recently occupied by the St. Louis Rams.

It’s no secret that the ‘Skins are locked in on Robert Griffin III and relinquished a healthy bounty of draft picks in order to do so. For the majority of those who decried the move up to get RG3, it was the large amount of cap space at the ‘Skins disposal that was going to help balance out the scales.

Consider the olive branch now half as green.

The Redskins, who have been targeting guard Carl Nicks and big-play wideout Vincent Jackson, are now faced with a tough decision: Which area of the offense – Receivers or O-line – requires the most TLC heading into the Summer?

It’s not an easy call to make given the Redskins’ lack of a big-play out wide and a constant shuffling of personnel along the front five.

This being a passer’s league, and all, it’s hard not to get excited about Jackson. He’s a big, explosive target that makes opposing secondaries weep. Speaking of weeping, many of us in D.C. have been doing a lot of that for over a decade as we’ve waited for a large, fleet-footed receiver to dress his talents in burgundy and gold.

Part of me thinks that a lot of this is Michael Westbrook’s fault.

Of course, inserting a talented guard like Nicks would be more than helpful, as well. Especially when you consider Trent Williams’ recent troubles and Kory Lichtensteiger rehabbing from a torn ACL. If we’re selling the farm for the most recent Heisman winner, then we’d better make sure he’s protected. Like, Fort Knox protected.

I’m struggling to make the call though. Griffin III needs weapons just as much as he needs defenses. The thing about RGIII, though, is that he has the ability to make big plays outside of the pocket on his own. To think that we’ll soon have a quarterback capable of improvisation is confounding on an elemental level.

With Santana Moss noticeably declining, The Redskins options out on the perimeter aren’t exactly encouraging. Sure, there is young talent in Niles Paul and Leonard Hankerson but if there’s anything we learned from the Thomas/Kelly incident of 2008, it’s that some receivers just aren’t destined to pan out.

The Redskins will still have a little over $16 million to play with this offseason. That’s not Scrooge McDuck money but it’s better than nothing and it may just be enough to sign either Jackson or Nicks.

It may require yet another flip of the coin.

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Tags: Carl Nicks Robert Griffin III Salary Cap Vincent Jackson Washington Redskins

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