The Washington Redskins couldn't do as much as they wanted two years ago. They did rather little last offseason. But now that the NFL-imposed $36-million salary cap penalty is finished, the Redskins can be what they want to be: aggressive.
The Redskins will be approximately $30 million under the salary cap -- and possibly more, depending on the cap's final number and cuts they could make. That means an offseason of shopping to improve a team that went 3-13 this past season.
Redskins general manager Bruce Allen told SiriusXM NFL Radio hosts Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan that they are looking forward to free agency.
"We'll have some room," Allen said. "We're gonna have some room to do some things. But we have some players who are free agents, and we're going to talk to them first, to try to retain them. But we have the ability to maneuver around, and we'll be active in free agency."
The Redskins have to deal first with their own free agents, notably outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. Their starting corners from the past three seasons -- DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson -- both are free agents. So, too, is starting inside linebacker Perry Riley.
The Redskins will be busy trying to find defensive starters, whether from their own free agents or from other teams. They need help in the secondary and also must replace retired inside linebacker London Fletcher. Offensively, they could look to add another receiver and also pieces to bolster the line.
Free agency has not delivered much on-field success under owner Dan Snyder. The Redskins have had a mixed record of success in this area, from busts such as safety Adam Archuleta and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to hits like Fletcher and receiver Pierre Garcon.
The NFL imposed the cap penalty because of how the Redskins handled the 2010 uncapped year. Two years ago, they limited their big signings to Garcon and receiver Josh Morgan. Last offseason, they were limited to re-signing their own players and added no starter via free agency.