RICHMOND — Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said the team still wants to fight the salary cap penalty that removed $36 million of space over a two-year period. But he was vague about how they intended to fight this issue.
“I think the penalty was wrong and it was unfair,” Allen said. “There are plenty of things we can do. But now’s not the time….I know you guys are frustrated that we’ve been saying that for a year now, but the time’s coming up.”
The NFL stripped the Redskins of $36 million in cap space a day before free agency began in 2012. The league penalized them for how they handled the uncapped year of 2010 when the Redskins restructured deals, notably corner DeAngelo Hall and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, to apply the money to 2010. They had to split the penalty over a two-year span, starting last year. Coach Mike Shanahan has said consistently that he can’t talk about the issue because it’s ongoing, though the Redskins and Cowboys, who also lost space, had a grievance dismissed last spring.
Allen called March 12, the first day of free agency, a “real big day.” The Redskins are currently over the salary cap.
“We’ll have to address like every team being under the salary cap by then and we will,” Allen said.
Allen also touched on other topics:
The FedEx Field turf, privately criticized by Redskins players and publicly by opposing teams: “We’ve looked at that. We missed an opportunity last year. We had a window between the seventh [home game] and the 10th game to re-sod it. … Once the schedule comes out our people are ready to commit to a schedule so we have some new sod at the end of the year. We think that will address the playing field in December and hopefully in January.”
Allen said they will not install Field Turf.
Linebacker London Fletcher’s return: Fletcher has not announced yet whether or not he’ll return next season. Allen shed little light on the topic.
“He has another three or four good years in him,” Allen said. “We’ll let him decide what he wants to do.”
Tight end Fred Davis, recovering from an Achilles’ tear: “He’s progressing well. It’s a very serious injury. We won’t know a lot until later in the spring where he’s at. But he’s working hard and we expect him to have a full recovery.”
Left tackle Trent Williams, who could not play in the Pro Bowl after an off-field incident. Williams needed stitches (since removed) in his forehead: “He’s fine. I will say this, when we heard about it from the league officials they said not only did he not do anything wrong he did everything right. He handled himself like a professional.”
Special teams coordinator Keith Burns: “We had him for one year in Tampa and he oozes leadership. He’s a committed young man. He’ll do great in the future.”
Allen said they still haven’t filled the vacant receivers coach position.