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Mike Shanahan Declines To Speak On Effect Of Redskins’ Cap Penalties

By ZAC BOYER | | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan briefly addressed the NFL’s salary cap sanctions against the team during a pre-draft press conference on Wednesday, though he deferred to the league’s request not to speak on the matter.

The Redskins were set to enter free agency on March 13 with approximately $40 million in salary cap space but were docked $36 million over two years for agreeing to contracts against league recommendations in 2010. With half of that penalty enforced this year and half to be enforced next year, Washington instead had a little more than half of the money to spend on free agents it expected to have available.

Both the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, who were similarly penalized by the league, will have an arbitration hearing regarding the sanctions on May 10. Until then, Shanahan said, he wasn’t able to address the issue further.

“Well, obviously, with that amount of money, there’s an impact, but I can’t really go into a lot of detail,” Shanahan said. “I can’t really talk specifically on that subject because it’s against the NFL rules. But after everything obviously is said and done, and everything’s approved, or denied, whatever it is – I’ll talk about it in more detail [then]. But right now, I can’t go down that road.”

Asked simply if the Redskins were greatly affected by the sanctions, Shanahan said they were. Still, the team has been able to sign 11 free agents and retain four players from last year since the start of the league year.

“Does it change your game plan? Yeah. Sure it does,” Shanahan said.