Redskins are spending absurd money on players that aren't playing


The Redskins won their second game of the year Sunday, and in the victory, the team carried a shocking amount of wasted salary around. How much?

Let's count it. 

Alex Smith hasn't played all season, and he's on the books for a cool $20 million. Trent Williams hasn't played this season, and his base salary was more than $10 million before the season started. 

At tight end, the Redskins had more than $15 million in salary on the injured reserve between Jordan Reed ($9 million) and Vernon Davis ($6 million). 

Don't forget Josh Norman, who made the Redskins active roster against Detroit but didn't take a single defensive snap. Norman carries a $14.3 million price tag this year, and it's unclear if he will play much in the remaining five games of the year. The Redskins also unsuccessfully tried to move Norman before the late October trade deadline.

Those five players account for $58 million in salary cap space that the Redskins did not have on the field Sunday. That's astonishing. 

It should be pointed out that technically Norman played against the Lions. He played two snaps on special teams. Two snaps. $14 million. And Williams' salary cap number decreased significantly because of his contract holdout and then the Redskins subsequent decision to put him on the NFI list. 

That's not all of it though, as the Redskins still have dead money on their cap from players cut earlier this year. Who and how much?

  • Zach Brown - $3 million
  • Josh Doctson - $2.5 million
  • Stacy McGee - $2.4 million
  • D.J. Swearinger - $1.3 million

Want to dig deeper? Redskins running back Chris Thompson didn't play Sunday, and he hasn't played since Week 6 in Miami. He counts for nearly $4 million on the Redskins 2019 cap. 

This is an ugly game, and Washington can't be blamed for injuries. Questions can be asked about the Redskins persistent dependence on oft-injured players though. 

Here's the other part to consider. At this point, in late November, some might dismiss the more than $60 million of salary cap space the Redskins have tied up in players that aren't performing on the field because the money is already spent. It's gone. That's a shortsighted take. The salary cap is set to roll over year after year, and that brings significant advantages in creating more space for 2020 and beyond. 

When there's that much money on the sideline, or not even in the stadium, injuries will always be a factor, but it's also a sign of bad decisions. Then again, so is a 2-9 record. 


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