Players on the Bubble--Possible June Cuts

The Turk used to wait until August to visit a player with the dreaded words, "Coach wants to see you—bring your playbook." Now the Turk is employed 12 months a year and he could be rather busy around Redskins Park next month. Here's a look at some of the players he might be visiting and just what effect some post-June 1 cuts would have on the Redskins' salary cap.

Cap information provided by PC in Oz, resident capologist at WarpathInsiders.com.

June 1 is just around the corner and on that date the salary cap bonus allocations for NFL players are frozen for the 2005 season. This means that a team can save the amount of a player's '05 salary by cutting or trading him after June 1. Any acceleration of signing bonus will not be charged until the 2006 season, when it appears as the notorious "dead cap". There are several players that the Redskins might be looking at cutting and accruing some short-term gain at the cost of varying degrees of future pain. Here's a look at the present savings and future costs of jettisoning some of the Redskins' players who are considered by some to be on the bubble.

Mike Barrow – He was signed to be the starter at middle linebacker, but a nagging knee injury never healed and he finished the year on injured reserve. There are younger options at his position such as Lemar Marshall and cheaper ones such as the just-signed Warrick Holdman. The Redskins would save $1.7 million against the 2005 cap if they released him after June 1. The leftover bonus acceleration would count $1.7 million in dead cap in 2006. If he stays, his '06 cap charge will be $3.4 million.

Chad Morton – He was a disappointment as a big-play returner and third-down back even before a knee injury ended his season. His release would save $540,000 if done after June 1, and he would count $1 million in dead cap in 2006. His 2006 cap charge will be $2.3 million if he stays.

Darnerien McCants – McCants is neither a starter nor does he play special teams and that makes him a member of an endangered species at Redskins Park. Washington would save $545,000 if he is released post June 1 and he would count $667,000 in 2006 dead cap compared to $2.167m in '06 cap charge if he stayed.

Cory Raymer and Lennie Freidman – The Redskins signed Casey Rabach to be their starting center and there's no need to go three deep with veterans at that position. One if not both of these two, who shared the starting job last year, will almost certainly be released. Cutting Raymer after June 1 would save $975,000 and that would put $134,000 in dead cap on the 2006 books. His cap charge will be $1.1 million in 2006 if he stays. Releasing Freidman offers less in '05 savings ($650,000) but less dead cap in 2006 ($50,000). The cost of keeping him in '06 ($1.1 million) is virtually the same as of keeping Raymer.

It should also be remembered that when a player is released and his cap savings realised, another player takes his place on the list of top 51 salaries and as such that players cap hit will then count against the cap. This means, for example, that the net cap effect of releasing Barrow would be a savings of just about $1.3 million since the player replacing him on the list of 51 makes nearly $400,

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