Redskins seek more cap space
The Redskins have put contract negotiations with some of their players on hold, telling agents and players they remain hopeful they can recoup some of the salary cap space that was cut by the NFL last year, according to several people familiar with the situation.
Redskins officials have told those agents and players that they cannot negotiate in earnest until the salary cap matter is resolved. The players include some eligible for free agency in March and others who face the possibility of release unless their contracts are reworked, those people said.
The NFL’s free agent market is scheduled to open on March 12. That is also when teams must be in compliance with the salary cap, which is estimated to be $121 million to $122 million per club for the 2013 season.
Washington would have considerably less to spend if the salary cap cut remains in place, as several people familiar with the situation continue to expect. In 2013, the Redskins are scheduled to absorb the remaining $18 million of a $36 million reduction over two years that was imposed on them by the league, with the consent of the NFL Players Association, last March. The cut is a penalty for the way the team structured some player contracts in 2010, when there was no salary cap.
The Redskins and Cowboys, who lost $10 million in cap space over two years, challenged the penalties in arbitration last year but their case was dismissed. A federal judge has twice rejected a collusion complaint by the players’ union that accuses the NFL and teams of operating with a secret salary cap in the uncapped year.
49ers eye trade of QB Smith
San Francisco is feeling good about the prospects of trading former starting quarterback Alex Smith, league sources told ESPN.com. Smith lost his job to Colin Kaepernick while out with a concussion. Sources say Kansas City and Arizona have shown interest in Smith . . . Oakland is hoping to restructure quarterback Carson Palmer’s contract, league sources told ESPN.com. Palmer, who threw for 4,018 yards with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season, was traded from Cincinnati for two high draft picks in 2011.