Salary cap space
As of March 17, 2021, Washington is projected to have $39,734,905 in cap space for 2021.
Washington rolled over $15.8 million in 2020 cap space.
March 10 update: The salary cap has been set at $182.5 million.
The Washington Football Team should be proud of what they were able to do on the field in 2020. It wasn’t the prettiest way to win a division but someone had to do it, and Washington took the NFC East at 7-9 and hosted a home playoff game. The head coach and quarterback combination of Alex Smith and Ron Rivera should be looked back on as two of the best stories of the NFL season.
Washington still needs a general manager, and this is an important offseason for the franchise that probably didn’t expect to be a division winner coming into 2020. There will be tough choices to make up and down the roster including at the quarterback position.
The NFL powered through its 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The league played without fans in most stadiums, and limited fans in a handful of locations. The decrease in gate revenue is going to result in a decrease in money shared between the 32 teams. This in turn means the salary cap is expected to decrease. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to a salary cap of no lower than $175 million. The latest report has the number landing between $180 and $181 million, which is a good bit lower than the $198.2 million of this past season. This will result in some tough choices for many teams.
All salary cap information below comes courtesy of the NFLPA Public Salary Cap Report.
The most important decision for any NFL franchise is what the quarterback position looks like. Washington used a number of quarterbacks in 2020 and ultimately cut Dwayne Haskins, resulting in $4,252,404 in dead money coming in 2021. Alex Smith held his own this year, but he is certainly an injury risk. If he returns, his base salary is set at $18,750,000 for 2021, so that would likely need to be restructured. There is also the possibility that he is satisfied with his incredible comeback story and calls it a career. He has yet to announce his future football plans.
Washington will need to make a decision on what to do with All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff. He played on the franchise tag in 2020, making $15,030,000 as his base salary. Since the season ended, Scherff said he would love to stay in Washington, and the team should love to keep him around, but it will likely come at a high price. He should be in for a huge pay day.
Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan just finished his 10th season playing for Washington, but it’s certainly possible he will be on the move this offseason. Currently an unrestricted free agent, he has said he wants to be a starter in his next contract, but Washington has a pair of young playmakers rushing the edges right now with former first round picks Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Washington is taking advantage of very beneficial deals for both of them, and there might not be much incentive to bringing back Kerrigan, who played on a $11.5 million base salary in 2020.