Corner may not be last player team has to let go

ASHBURN -- The Redskins made their first painful move of the offseason. It came out of necessity. It still leaves a hole.

But the bottom line for Washington is that it needs money. And when they cut cornerback DeAngelo Hall, the Redskins freed $8 million in needed cap space. They're now $1 million under the salary cap with free agency starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The move wasn't surprising; coach Mike Shanahan said he had talked with Hall's representatives at last month's scouting combine. League sources said more than a week ago that they thought this was a possibility rather than restructuring or offering a pay cut.

Hall signed with Washington midway through the 2008 season and started 64 games since that time. He made the Pro Bowl after the 2010 season. While he surrendered his share of big plays, he also earned the coaches' praise for his ability and toughness.

"He's given everything I've asked him to give," Shanahan said. "The guy has played extremely hard for us."

Shanahan said if Hall does not find a better offer, he would be willing to re-sign the cornerback later.

The Redskins will not make a tender offer to returner Brandon Banks, signaling the end of their three-year relationship. Banks will become an unrestricted free agent. However, they did make a one year, $1.323 million right-of-first-refusal offer to defensive lineman Chris Baker. If a team makes him an offer, the Redskins have seven days to match, but they would receive no compensation if he leaves.

They also restructured defensive end Adam Carriker's contract. According to CBS Sports, Carriker turned $1.4 million of his $4 million salary into likely-to-be-earned incentives. They guaranteed $2 million of his salary. Had they released Carriker, they would have saved a little more than $2 million in cap space. But there was incentive for Carriker, coming off a season-ending knee injury, to agree to such a move.

The Redskins don't have to make another move to get in compliance with the salary cap, but they will have to do so if they want to sign anyone, whether it's a release or restructuring. That means in order to re-sign linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, they would have to either restructure another contract or cut a player. One source with knowledge of the talks said they had been productive, but there was no deal as of Monday night. Alexander had rejected an earlier offer.

Receiver Santana Moss, as of Monday night, remained on the roster. There were reports the Redskins were discussing a contract restructuring. But the Redskins are loath to add future years to deals, and Moss is entering his final season. It could end up looking more like a pay cut with incentives. If Moss were cut, the Redskins would create approximately $4 million in cap space.

Washington also signed offensive tackle Tony Pashos to a one-year contract. Pashos did not play last season while recovering from a ruptured tendon in his right foot. He missed 10 games in 2010 because of an ankle injury. It's hard to imagine him being more than a backup in Washington unless the Redskins can't afford anyone else. They have remained in talks with last year's starter, Tyler Polumbus, but there was little movement on a deal.