There were some relatively easy decisions to make in terms of roster cuts this year. The Redskins have a few vastly overpaid players at this point in their careers and they simply need to part ways with some of them to open up cap space.
Most notably, Josh Norman should be gone ahead of the final year of his deal. Cutting Norman, who the team effectively benched last season despite numerous injuries to corners at the end of the year, would save the team $12.5 million against the cap. While they’d still have a dead-cap charge of $3 million as a result of cutting Norman, it would be worth it to part with him.
Some may argue that because Ron Rivera is coming to Washington and Norman had his best years under Rivera that it may benefit the team to keep Norman around. But unless they can agree on a significantly restructured contract with Norman taking far less money, that doesn’t seem likely. Besides, Norman needs a fresh start anyway, so it may behoove him to play somewhere else anyway.
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Elsewhere, Jordan Reed should be cut by the ‘Skins. They can save $8.5 million against the cap if they part ways with him. While Reed has been a solid target when on the field, he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He missed all of last season with a concussion suffered in the preseason.
It was reported around the midpoint of the season that Reed’s career could be over because of concussion issues, so Reed may hang it up anyway. Either way, it doesn’t look likely that Reed will be back with the Redskins, whether it’s via retirement or being cut.
Finally, the hardest decision to make came regarding Paul Richardson. While cutting Richardson only saves $2.5 million against the cap, the team may still opt to part ways with him. Terry McLaurin looks like the team’s future No. 1 receiver while Steven Sims was solid in the slot down the stretch. And Kelvin Harmon was decent as a No. 2 guy.
So, how does Richardson fit in with the ‘Skins? As a highly paid backup? As a starter over Harmon? That doesn’t seem likely to fly. Washington would be better off investing in a veteran on a shorter-term contract to mentor these young receivers and serve as a true No. 2 wide-out. So, we’ll part with Richardson here, especially since he hasn’t been able to stay healthy or be productive with the Redskins.
Those were the notable cuts on the roster, but we didn’t jettison all the team’s talent. We did try to keep a handful of players as well.