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Dashon Goldson's cap hit will force Redskins to make a decision

The Washington Redskins must decide not only which free agents they want to retain, but which players they might want to cut to free up money. As of now, the Redskins have approximately $10 million in available cap space, though that number could change after all the earned incentives from 2015 are factored in. But they can free up more money rather easily by releasing a handful of players. No player can be cut until Feb. 8, the day after the Super Bowl.

Over the next week or so, I'll take a look at players the Redskins might cut over the next few months. Not all will happen, of course, but these will be ones where they have possible replacements and represent a substantial saving.

Player: Dashon Goldson

Contract status: Signed through 2017.

2016 cap hit: $8 million

Potential savings: $8 million

Why they might cut him: I don’t think they will, but the one reason they might do so is because of his high cap number. If the team can’t work out a better deal, then Goldson at that high number would be difficult to keep around. His cap hit is the fourth highest among safeties (tied with New England’s Devin McCourty, who signed his deal last offseason) and is owed to the contract he signed with Tampa Bay three years ago. At 31, Goldson is one of the older safeties in the league and hasn’t been much of a playmaker (16 career interceptions and seven forced fumbles; he has two interceptions in the last three years combined). The Redskins liked what he added defensively, but this price might be too steep for them. So they’ll try to work something out with him, whether in the form of a restructure or outright paycut (I don’t know if Goldson would accept one, but I highly doubt he would get a $7.5 million base salary on the open market). That helps the Redskins.

Why they won’t: Because they still value what he provides, both in terms of leadership and on-field performance. The Redskins’ secondary had their issues, again, and some of them stemmed from a revolving door of players thanks to injuries. Goldson gives them a mostly-sure tackler who typically is in the right spot. They also like that he provides confidence and toughness and, while a leader, is not someone who loves being in front of the cameras. That went a long way with teammates. Really, it comes down to whether or not they can work something out with his contract. But McCloughan has always liked him, dating to their San Francisco days. The Redskins won't hesitate to add safeties in the offseason if there's one they like, but Goldson still factors into their future.