The deadline for NFL teams to apply the franchise tag came and went Monday, and the Washington Redskins declined to use it on soon-to-be Free Agent, Fred Davis, or any other player for that matter.
Davis, who is entering his 7th season in the league, is still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon that forced him to miss the last 9 games of the 2012 season, as well as the playoffs, something which could diminish his value to other teams.
“Next week is Free Agency and the guy still can’t run full speed, can’t do any workouts or anything like that to show off for teams,” Mike Jones told 106.7 The Fan’s Lavar and Dukes Tuesday. “I think that’s why for [the Redskins], they feel like ‘Ok, we’re in a good situation here. We know what we’ve got.’ And everyone else is probably sitting back unsure if they want to take a risk on a guy like this.”
The Redskins neglected to apply the tag to Davis as they did after the 2011 season, avoiding what would likely cost them $6.45 million against an already limited salary cap.
So the team is taking a calculated risk with the tight end, but that doesn’t explain why they’ve yet to come to terms with any of the other 13 players on the roster due to hit Free Agency on March 12, or restructured any contracts to clear cap space. This lack of action lends itself to the idea that Washington is still considering filing a junction against the NFL to recoup part of the $18 million cap hit imposed by the league, which if successful, would delay the start of Free Agency for all 32 teams.
“They’ve got to file it before 4 p.m. on March 12 and it would seem like you would want to do it sooner than that, but if they’re trying to create the most leverage possible, maybe they wait,” Jones said. “Free Agents of theirs are still just waiting. There are several agents I’ve talked to who are saying ‘we’re basically resigned to the fact that we’re going to be testing that Free Agent market.’”
Although it’s important to mention, those same agents don’t believe the team’s lack of movement means Washington is no longer interested in their clients, but rather, are awaiting the results of its game of chicken with the NFL.
Unfortunately for the fans that are growing more and more impatient by the day, it may be unrealistic to expect this position to change any time before next week.
“From talking to a couple of people, they wouldn’t be surprised if the Redskins wait until the very last-minute, maybe the day before free agency to start making their cuts and restructures because they don’t want to show what they have, how much they’re going to be going after other players and how much money they have to work with.”