2014 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

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

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