Chargers reason No. 5: Washington may not want to pay up for a running back
Here is the current depth chart for the Redskins’ first five members of their running back group, as well as their 2018 stats and 2019 contract:
- Adrian Peterson: 1,250 total yards, eight touchdowns. 2019 contract: $1.78 million cap hit.
- Chris Thompson and Derrius Guice (both listed with the second unit): Thompson had 446 total yards and one touchdown, and carries a cap hit of $3.9 million. Guice did not play in 2018, but was the team’s second-round draft pick. His cap hit for 2019 is about $1.03 million.
- Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall (both listed with third unit). Perine had 37 total yards and zero touchdowns, and carries a 2019 cap hit of roughly $810,000. Marshall had 39 yards and zero touchdowns, and carries a 2019 cap hit of $720,000.
With five running backs carrying a total cap hit of $8.24 million this season, why trade for a running back who is set to make nearly as much as as Peterson, Thompson, and Guice combined, pre-extension?
If traded, the Redskins would likely have to also extend him as a part of the deal. Gordon won’t play for a team that won’t give him a raise, at least as far as his stance has shown thus far. Washington has $11.44 million in cap space this season; for comparison, guess who has the next fewest cap space right after them? It’s the Chargers, with about $10.97 million.
On paper and in terms of contracts, the solution comes with the trade of Williams, who carries a 2019 cap hit of $14.73 million. Getting out of that salary financially justifies the addition of a running back who, once extended, will want $13-15 million annually. But again, this isn’t whether the team can afford it or how they could afford it, rather the idea Washington has no desire to want to afford it. With a running back rotation they are comfortable with, why bring Gordon in? Now, Gordon as a back may be better right now than any of those five in Washington, but that brings us to the next point…