Re-Evaluating Washington Redskins' 5 Worst Player Contracts
But it also relegated him to keep some overpaid players on his roster.
So despite entering the 2014 NFL offseason with close to $30 million in cap space, the Redskins have some house cleaning to do when it comes to their cap sheet.
With that said, here is a reevaluation of five of Washington's worst contracts:
Salary cap information is courtesy of OverTheCap.com.
Contract: Four-year, $14.25 million deal in 2012.
An owner of nine career sacks and just 125 tackles, you'd be right to wonder how Adam Carriker got this contract to start with.
Fact is, though, as a 3-4 defensive end, Carriker's numbers were never going to jump off the page at you. While players like Justin Smith and J.J. Watt break this mold, players in Carriker's position typically are tasked with being space-eaters.
The problem with Carriker is, for two consecutive seasons, he's taken up space on Washington's injured reserve list.
Carriker has been limited by a torn quadriceps and played just two games the past two years. Then there's the fact that he carries a cap charge of $6.7 million in 2014.
With this being an injury that has ended the careers of other players, the Skins would be wise to sever ties with Carriker, as doing so would net $3.2 million in cap space.
Contract: Five-year, $27.5 million deal in 2011.
Signed because of his staunch run defense, Stephen Bowen proved to be an effective pass-rusher in his inaugural season in Washington.
In 2011, Bowen had a career-high six sacks.
Fast forward to present day, and Bowen has only tallied one sack since.
Approaching the age of 30, the microfracture surgery Bowen underwent on his right knee to end 2013 shouldn't give the Redskins much hope that he'll reverse this trend going forward.
Injured and carrying a cap charge of $7.02 million in 2014, releasing Bowen may be the best route for Washington to rid itself of his contract.
Contract: Five-year, $20 million deal in 2011.
Let's be real, is there any bigger indictment of an offensive line than the benching of a healthy quarterback out of fear of injury?
Didn't think so.
As the Redskins highest-paid member of this unit outside of Trent Williams, who also had his struggles in 2013, Chris Chester was bound to find himself on this list.
Now, is he the worst starter on the line?
No—that would be Tyler Polumbus. But as ESPN.com's John Keim notes, Chester is just too expensive given his play.
In regards to Chester's play, Matt Harmon of ProFootballSpot.com said: "His skills have all but eroded. He was a liability on the field in 2013, in both the run and pass game."
With two years remaining on his deal, and at 31 years old, a trade probably isn't in the cards for Washington.
Due to count $4.3 million against the cap, the Redskins best move is to cut ties with Chester and collect $2.7 million in cap savings.
Contract: Six-year, $36 million deal in 2011.
A serviceable and durable player in his tenure in Washington, Barry Cofield is here because he was given a contract he'd never live up to.
After starting his career as a member of the New York Giants' vaunted defensive line, Cofield's play has waned as the talent around him as decreased.
Despite seeing more playing time with the Redskins, Cofield has yet to reach the heights he set in New York.
He hasn't come close to surpassing his career-high mark of 54 tackles in 2010 and hasn't tallied more than three sacks in any season.
Ask CSNWashington.com's Rich Tandler, and Cofield's production can be tied to an improper fit.
With his best skill being rushing the passer, Cofield doesn't fit the mold of a 3-4 nose tackle who's job is to clog up running lanes.
Owning a cap number of $7.67 million, the Skins would only save $1.44 million if they cut Cofield.
So while the best course for Washington would be to try and restructure Cofield's contract, his lack of fit in the Skins' 3-4 defense could make him reluctant to do so.
Furthermore, with Cofield being a rotational player at his best, the Skins would be hard pressed to find many trade suitors.
Therefore, releasing Cofield and eating his hefty contract may be Washington's lone option here.
Contract: Three-year, $2 million deal in 2012.
As minimal as Tyler Polumbus' contract is, he's still overpaid.
It's no secret that Washington struggled to protect the quarterback in 2013, and at the forefront of the 43 sacks it surrendered was Polumbus.
Most notably being the four sacks he surrendered to Justin Tuck in Week 13.
But believe it or not, in a contract Tuck must have written, Polumbus will actually receive a raise in 2014. Polumbus is set to make $1.5 million in base salary next season.
Considering how stocked the NFL Draft is in offensive tackle prospects, and how inadequate Polumbus has been, the Redskins should have no problem releasing Polumbus.
Especially since they'd gain $1.5 million in cap space.