Washington Redskins defensive tackle Barry Cofield has restructured his contract to help the organization slip under the NFL-imposed salary cap for the 2013 season.
“It doesn’t really change my situation too much,” Cofield said. “Just some complex math that my agent had to explain to me. So if it frees up money for the team…They don’t do that type of thing for guys they don’t plan on having in the future. It shows some confidence in me and I plan to repay it.”
Cofield said he still hopes to play in the season-opening game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9. He practiced on Monday despite a broken right hand sustained Aug. 19 in a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cofield had the hand completely wrapped in a cast, including his fingers. Whether that type of cast holds for the Eagles game remains to be seen. He called it “an experimental week.”
Cofield’s base salary was supposed to be $4.05 million this season with bonuses of up to $450,000. According to a report in the Washington Post, that now drops to $840,000 – the league minimum for a player of Cofield’s tenure – with the remaining cash converting to $3.21 million in bonus money that can be spread out over the final four years of Cofield’s contract. According to the Post report, that saves the team $2.4 million on the cap this season. That money allows Washington to sign all 53 roster players plus the eight practice squad additions made Sunday and remain under the cap.
Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is suffering from a sprained right foot, says he will be available to play against Philadelphia behind starter Robert Griffin III.
Cousins was hurt during the Aug. 19 Pittsburgh game and didn’t appear in the final two preseason contests. He was limited in practice last week.
“I do. I expect to be ready for Monday,” Cousins said. “I feel good now and I’ll be feeling good then.”
Washington coach Mike Shanahan said strong safety Brandon Meriweather did not practice on Monday thanks to a tight groin. He played in his first game last Thursday since tearing the ACL in his right knee last Nov. 18 and came out of it sore. The Redskins next practice on Wednesday. Shanahan said he will have an update on Meriweather then.
Preseason is over and Shanahan has definitely shifted into mystery mode. Who is the starting punt returner against the Eagles? He wouldn’t say. Rookie Chris Thompson looks like the guy after his punt return for a touchdown against Tampa Bay. And yet Shanahan mentioned veterans Santana Moss and Josh Morgan as other options.
Okay – so how about the team’s use of Griffin. Will that change at all based on his injury? Can he be eased in with the offense tweaked to keep him healthy?
“We’ll you’re going to have to come to the game. You’re going to have to decide yourself what we’re doing.”
And how he expects second-round draft pick David Amerson to handle a starting assignment against Philadelphia in his debut:
“We’ll find out…IF he starts.”