Will the Washington Redskins make major changes in their receiving corps during the 2013 offseason to release some much needed salary space?
The top four wide receivers for the Washington Redskins—Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan were the only group of four NFL receivers on the same team to each have 500-plus receiving yards in the 2012 season.
While they accounted for 62 percent of the Redskins' receiving yards and all but seven touchdowns, to keep them will cost the Redskins over $14 million combined in 2013.
Should the team assess the contributions these receivers made to the team on offense and will any have to take a pay cut to remain on the 2013 roster?
Pierre Garcon was the Redskins' first free agent signed prior to the 2012 season after four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Garcon missed six games due to an injury to the bottom of his right foot, but led the team in receiving yards with 633 yards and four touchdowns.
His $2.1 million salary is going to more than double next season with a scheduled payout of $5.6 million. Garcon averaged 4.4 receptions and 14.4 yards per catch.
In his eighth year as a Redskin and 12th NFL season, Santana Moss led the team with eight receiving touchdowns and second with 573 receiving yards. Moss played every regular season game and averaged slightly over 2.5 receptions per game and 14 yards per reception.
Moss collected $2.65 million in 2012 and is due $4.15 million next season.
Leonard Hankerson entered his second season with the Redskins after missing much of 2011 either as a non-starter or while on injured reserve. He was the lowest paid receiver among the four with a 2012 salary of $465,000. He is scheduled to earn $555,000 next season.
Hankerson accounted for 38 catches for 543 yards and three touchdowns. His biggest game of his professional career occurred in Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns as Hankerson caught two touchdowns from quarterback Kirk Cousins en route to a 38--21 'Skins victory and the team's fifth straight win.
Josh Morgan signed a five-year contract in 2012 after four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. The first two years of his contract are secured and the Redskins have the option of nullifying the remaining three years.
In 2012, Morgan had two receiving touchdowns and 510 yards. His $1.8 million salary jumps to $3.8 million next season.
With salary cap space at a premium in 2013, should the team pare down the receiving corps or look for cuts elsewhere? The Redskins have a diverse, capable and productive receiving corps which kept defenses uncertain as to which receiver among the four would be targeted as the prime receiver.
Despite having the only wide receiver quartet to each have 500-plus yards, quarterback Robert Griffin III finished his rookie year ranked 22nd in passing yards among 2012 quarterbacks.
Griffin's rehabilitation from knee surgery could allow his return by the start of the 2013 season. During the offseason, the Redskins may evaluate the triple-threat, pistol formation offense to limit any further injuries to their quarterback of the future.
If that is the case, the Redskins could see an increased need for their top four receivers and a decrease in rushing by their quarterback as evidenced by Griffin's rushing total of 67 yards in the final two games of the 2012 regular season.
Statistical information provided by ESPN.com.
Follow on Twitter @JohnBibb