2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Redskins free agents become victims of cap penalty

By JOSEPH WHITE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-03-09 15:23

WASHINGTON (AP) - Kory Lichtensteiger had quite the season for the Washington Redskins. The team gave him its Ed Block Courage Award, recognizing his return from a serious knee injury. He helped anchor an offensive line that allowed Robert Griffin III to become an NFL sensation and Alfred Morris to set the franchise rushing record as the team won the NFC East for the first time in 13 years.

Kudos were also due for Lorenzo Alexander, the hard-working, do-anything special teams standout. He was again a team captain and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Lichtensteiger and Alexander are scheduled to become free agents on Tuesday. Coach Mike Shanahan likes them both. A lot. The feeling is mutual - they want to keep playing for the Redskins. Under normal circumstances, they probably would have already been re-signed by now with nice, richer contracts.

But Lichtensteiger, Alexander and, essentially, all the players on the Redskins roster are caught in the middle of a dispute not of their making. The second part of the NFL's $36 million salary cap penalty is about to kick in, leaving Shanahan strapped for spending cash and throwing an almighty wrench into his plans to keep the players he likes and to add players where upgrades are needed.

``I've played for five years,'' Lichtensteiger said. ``And I'm waiting for the big contract that kind of sets me apart, like a career-making contract. And to have that meddled with because of what I see as an unjust case again the Redskins, and to have some of that cap money taken away, I feel like that's potentially my money. And I haven't heard a good argument for why the Redskins have lost it. So, yeah, it's very frustrating, and I certainly hope they figure out a way to recoup some of that.''

The NFL docked the Redskins $18 million for both the 2012 and 2013 seasons for overspending in 2010, when they was no salary cap. The counterintuitive penalty has led to allegations of collusion by the players' union. The NFL says the sanction was warranted because the Redskins' financial maneuverings threatened the ``competitive balance'' of the league.

The innocent bystanders? Guys like Lichtensteiger and Alexander. Lichtensteiger said the Redskins told his agent that contract talks were on hold while the team figured out ways to mount a challenge to the penalty. Alexander got a token offer before the Pro Bowl but has heard nothing since.

``You've seen guys come in here and get pretty good deals,'' Alexander said. ``Whether they were justified or not is another thing, but guys getting paid pretty good money. Now it's your turn and you've worked hard and done things all the right ways and you've got to decide, `Do I want to take a little bit less money? Or do I go somewhere else where somebody's going to pay me whatever the market value may be?'

``I definitely believe that if everything financially were good, I would be here, no doubt. So that's the hardest part, being a guy that loves the community, that loves this area and now I'm forced to be placed in a situation that's not at my fault for doing anything wrong.''

Shanahan said he learned of the sanction hours before the start of last year's free agency, forcing him to scramble at the last minute to alter the team's plans. There's a clear look of anger in his face anytime he mentions the penalty, but he said he can't comment in detail until the matter is completely resolved. General Manager Bruce Allen last month called the sanctions ``wrong'' and ``unfair'' and said the Redskins were still trying to get them overturned.

But there's been no hint from the league that anything will change before the start of free agency on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Without the penalty, the Redskins would be substantially under the cap, able to not only re-sign their own players but also free to be a competitive bidder on the open market for their positions of need - notably safety, cornerback and right tackle.

With the penalty, the Redskins ended the season over the cap, meaning they would need to cut players and restructure contracts before the Tuesday deadline. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall and ageless linebacker London Fletcher, who had left ankle surgery Wednesday and then tweeted that he plans to return for a 16th season, are among those whose large 2013 cap numbers could merit some tinkering.

More than anything, the Redskins could use a big-time safety after a season in which they finished 30th in pass defense and allowed 58 completions of 20 yards or more. A first-round draft pick would normally be an option, but the team gave up its top pick in this year's draft in order to move up last year and take Griffin at No. 2 overall.

The cap penalty makes the search that much tougher. And it also means they might have to find a new special teams captain.

``There are three or four other teams that are definitely going to come after me,'' Alexander said. ``And I'll have to make the decision when it comes. I just hope the Redskins are in the ballpark.''

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group