The Washington Times - August 2, 2012, 02:00PM

Now that right tackle Jammal Brown’s availability for the 2012 season is in doubt, the bill on the 5-year, $27.5 million contract the Redskins gave him in July 2011 seems close to coming due.

There remains $4.4 million of guaranteed bonus money on Brown’s deal, according to a source with knowledge of the contract. That’s a lot for a 31-year-old lineman who is now out indefinitely with two ailing hips. Of course, at the time the Redskins agreed to terms with Brown, they expected to have $36 million more salary cap space than they have now.

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Brown is scheduled to count $4.553 million against the salary cap in 2012, but he would count only $1.1 million if the Redskins released him before this season. That’s $3.453 million in cap savings.

In that scenario, however, Brown’s remaining $3.3 million in bonus money would count against the Redskins’ cap in 2013, a season in which they are scheduled to absorb an $18 million penalty.

The $3.3 million hit in 2013 also would apply if the Redskins placed Brown on injured reserve before this season and released him any time before June 1, 2013. It also would apply if Brown retired.

If the Redskins waited until after June 1, 2013 to release Brown, he’d count $1.1 million against the 2013 cap and $2.2 million against 2014. That scenario could be attractive because the Redskins’ salary cap penalties expire in 2013.

As the Redskins decide what to do with Brown, they must consider whether they need the $3.453 million of 2012 cap space they’d save by releasing him. Any remaining free agents or players cut in September wouldn’t be expensive additions.

Another option: Washington could keep Brown and his $4.553 million cap number on the roster all season, see if he could get healthy, decide on his status after next June 1 and possibly save $1.1 million on their penalty-reduced 2013 cap. And if Brown were to get healthy (a seemingly unlikely scenario since he hasn’t been healthy since his hip surgery in 2009), then the Redskins have a backup tackle.

Keep in mind that Brown’s contract calls for a non-guaranteed 2012 base salary of $3.25 million. He’ll get $191,176 for each week he’s on the active roster, reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list or injured reserve.

No matter what the Redskins do, Brown’s inability to get healthy so soon after signing his contract is going to cost them.