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Redskins Keeping Options Open With Roster


Just a few years ago, June 1 was a significant date on the NFL calendar.

Remember 2000, when the Cowboys released Deion Sanders in a salary cap move on June 1 and the Redskins swooped in to quickly sign the veteran cornerback? Those types of off-season moves are becoming less frequent.

Why? As teams continue to adapt to the nuances of the salary cap, the June 1 cuts have become less necessary. This year, with a salary cap of $102 million, most NFL teams are not in panic mode to free up space.

Basically, NFL teams have the right to release a player post-June 1 and count future signing bonus proration the next season. As a result, savings under the salary cap can be significant.

Two years ago, the Redskins released linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, running back Trung Canidate and offensive lineman Dave Fiore after June 1. Last year, the team waived running back Chad Morton. The moves were largely expected, even by the players.

This year, the Redskins are not expected to release any veteran players after June 1. Of course, that could change should another team release a veteran player that would be of interest to the Redskins' personnel staff.

Asked recently about adding to the roster after June 1, head coach Joe Gibbs said: "Any way we can get a player, we're going to do it. We're going to be alert. The June cuts have become less and less [significant], though.

"If we feel like we have a need, we'll be ready to do something. It's an opportunity to improve your team and you try to make the most of it. You never can tell when a real good player is going to become available."

Another reason the Redskins would be forced to release a player post-June 1 is if the team needs cap space to sign draft picks. That's not expected to be an issue, however.

Washington's top draft pick, linebacker Roger "Rocky" McIntosh from the University of Miami, came in the second round, at No. 35 overall. The team also added five rookies in the late rounds of the draft.

The Redskins are in the middle of Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice sessions, leading into the June 16-18 mini-camp at Redskins Park.

After mini-camp, the Redskins coaches and players go on break for five weeks before the start of training camp.

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