It's going to be a quiet offseason in Washington.
Thanks to a massive salary-cap penalty leveled on the team in 2012, there is little wiggle room for the front office as the offseason gets under way. There will be no big free-agent moves and there will be few decisions regarding any players outside of the organization.
The most important work will come from the inside, where the Redskins have several players eligible for free agency—20 to be exact, including 15 unrestricted players who can test the market. It will be tough, if not impossible, to retain all of these players due to the cap situation.
Bruce Allen, Dan Snyder, and Mike Shanahan must seriously consider which players are worth the money and which are not.
Before I delve into the possibilities, it bears mentioning that there are moves the Redskins can make to alleviate the sting of the cap penalty. As it stands, Washington is about $4 million over the cap after the approximately $18 million penalty. By either releasing or restructuring the contracts of players like London Fletcher, DeAngelo Hall, Jammal Brown, Brandon Meriweather and Santana Moss, the Redskins can save themselves up to around $20-23 million.
There are also some free agents on the roster whom the team almost certainly will not bring back, such as Brandon Banks, Chris Cooley (as unfortunate as that may be) and Madieu Williams.
It will be very difficult to navigate the cap situation, but the Redskins can still gauge the value of some of their best free agents and find a way to keep them in Washington. Penalty or not, there should usually be a way to retain the players most critical to the organization.