Redskins well-positioned financially for 2021 offseason
By Ian Cummings
The Redskins, with over $40 million in cap space, signed no big-name free agents in the 2020 offseason.
The Washington Redskins‘ most lucrative signing was Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Kendall Fuller, who inked a four-year deal worth $40 million. Aside from Fuller, most of Washington’s additions came from the bargain bin: Running back J.D. McKissic, tight end Logan Thomas, offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas, linebacker Thomas Davis, and safety Sean Davis, among others.
The Redskins’ roster exited free agency not much stronger than it had been when it entered. Questions still existed at various problem areas such as receiver, offensive tackle, linebacker, and cornerback. The Redskins at least infused their roster with enough depth to avoid forcing their own hand in the NFL Draft, even now, with the NFL Draft in the rear view mirror, the Redskins are well short of true contender status.
With that being said, the rebuild under Ron Rivera and Kyle Smith was always meant to be a long-term project, and winning in 2020 isn’t a long-term goal. The Redskins have enough young talent and enough of a cultural foundation to stimulate growth in 2020, and in the next year, they’ll have the resources to capitalize, and springboard toward a potential bid in 2021.
According to ESPN’s John Keim, relayed by Al Galdi of Team 980, the Redskins, without the near $20 million in rollover money saved in the 2020 offseason, already have approximately $75 million in 2021 cap space. Galdi also mentions that Washington could save an extra $13.6 million by releasing Alex Smith after 2020.
It’s unclear if Smith will end up being cut, as opposed to being restructured or repurposed, as he’s become a valuable mentor for Dwayne Haskins. But were the Redskins to cut ties with his contract, they’d have over $100 million in cap space in 2021. Without his release, they’d near the century mark as well.
Either way, the Washington Redskins are very well-positioned financially for the coming years. Even if they aren’t playoff contenders in 2020, they’ll have the necessary foundation to reach that level of success in the near future, perhaps within two or three years.
Now, it’s one thing to have the resources, and another thing to use them properly. The Redskins have exemplified that well in the previous decade. But it’s a new era, and Dan Snyder has entrusted Ron Rivera to reconstruct the franchise, and complete the building equation. In 2021, and the offseasons to follow, he’ll most certainly have his chance.