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Redskins Restructure Josh Wilson’s Contract, Save $2 Million

By restructuring the cornerback’s contract, the Redskins will save an additional $2 million against the salary cap, allowing them to sign players they take in the NFL draft this weekend.

BY ZAC BOYER

The Redskins have saved roughly $2 million against the cap for the 2013 season by restructuring the contract of cornerback Josh Wilson, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Free Lance-Star.

Wilson

By restructuring the contract, the Redskins now remain slightly more than $2 million over the salary cap, which is enough room to begin signing the players they select in the NFL draft this weekend.

Wilson, 28, originally was set to count for $5.33 million against the cap in 2013, the final season of a three-year contract. With the restructure, he’ll make a base salary of just $2 million and can make up to an additional $1.3 in incentives. The length of the contract was not extended.

A starter in each of his two seasons with the Redskins, Wilson had 74 tackles, two interceptions, a sacked and three forced fumbles in 2012.

Washington entered Thursday with just under $30,000 in available cap room, and because of the expected slotted values of draft picks, would need roughly $2 million to sign their second- and third-round picks.

The Redskins did not have a first-round draft pick, having traded the selection to St. Louis last year in an exchange that led to Washington taking quarterback Robert Griffin III. Any players the Redskins take past the third round will not count against the salary cap during the offseason because their contracts will not be among the 51 largest on the team.

Though the team had been discussing the possibility of a pay cut with Wilson for some time, its ability to do so was maximized given the calendar. The Redskins could very likely select a cornerback in the second or third rounds of the draft, and the team also signed E.J. Biggers and hosted Quinton Jammer on a free agent visit last week.

Head coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday that the Redskins were working on a way to free up enough room against the salary cap.

“I like where we’re at and I can’t go specifically into it, but I think you’ll see at the end it’s a pretty good plan,” Shanahan said.

The Redskins have battled salary cap troubles for the past two offseasons after being assessed a $36 million penalty by the league in March 2012. The team split that penalty evenly over the last two years, restricting its ability to sign other free agents.

To free up money for the start of free agency, the Redskins also reworked the contracts of receiver Santana Moss, defensive end Adam Carriker and strong safety Brandon Meriweather. All told, Washington gained about $6.5 million by adjusting the four players’ contracts.

This report was originally posted on 4/26/13 at 12:59 p.m. and updated on 4/26/13 at 4:08 p.m.

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