Prior to the 2006 season, the Redskins gave up two mid-round draft picks and $10 million to obtain Brandon Lloyd from the 49ers. But the team received little in return: 25 catches for 379 yards and zero TDs, plus an attitude that has ranged ever so widely from lackadaisical to nonchalant.
So what should the Redskins do with him? Here are the options and the ramifications of each (all salary cap data courtesy of PC’s Redskins Salary Cap site):
One: Cut him now
Lloyd is scheduled to count $4.2 million against the cap in 2008. If the Redskins were to do a straight cut right now there would be an acceleration of $7.1 million in signing and option bonuses already paid. That totals for a net charge of $2.9 million against the cap (negative savings, if you will). This option would allow for a clean start under the new coaching staff, it would get him off the books, and eliminate a lingering cap hit.
Option Two: Cut him now, designated as a June 1st waiver
This maneuver heads into its second year: a team can cut a player at the start of free agency, but arrange to have the cap hit come as though the move took place after June 1st. This option would push most of Lloyd’s dead cap into 2009. The Redskins would save $2.4 million of cap money this year (although it would stay on the books until 6/1), with a dead cap charge of $5.3 million in 2009.
Option Three: Cut him after June
The early June 1st cut is advantageous primarily to the player, giving him a chance to find a job while the market is still lively. While it’s highly unlikely that a team would give up a player or a pick for Lloyd, it might be worth keeping him around on the slim chance that someone might.
Option Four: Give him a shot at earning a roster spot
If the Redskins go with either Option Two or Three, they still will be hamstrung in free agency because that $2.4 million in savings won’t be available to them until after June 1st. As long as that’s the case, why not see if he can be productive with a fresh start? A new offense under a new coaching staff?
In the event that Lloyd performs well, it’s a plus for Zorn and the team finally gets some return on its investment.
If Lloyd doesn’t do well (the more likely outcome), the Redskins can cut him in camp and put the $2.4 million in savings toward extending Jason Campbell, or filling a need arising due to injury. This move, however, would necessitate negotiating a $1.5 million roster bonus that Lloyd is due on July 15th.
It’s possible that Lloyd will agree to this as he’ll be unable to make the $1 million in salary he’s due in ‘08 anywhere else. Possible, but unlikely.
If it were up to me, I’d go with either Option One or Four. You get rid of him, take your lumps, and move on—or give him a shot at doing something (assuming of course, the deletion of the roster bonus).
Of course, if I were in charge I would have done a simple Google search prior to making the deal. I would have made sure I knew what I was getting into. But that’s beside the point.