Commanders release DB Bobby McCain to free cap space

The Washington Commanders released veteran defensive back Bobby McCain on Monday. The move frees salary cap space, but Washington also likes its young secondary, making this move doable.

Washington will save $2.32 million on the salary cap by releasing McCain, who started the past two seasons at safety. If he's designated as a post-June 1 release, the Commanders would save $4.42 million.

Although he started the season as the primary free safety, McCain also would play the slot corner position when the Commanders used their three-safety alignment.

The Commanders still have Kam Curl and Darrick Forrest. But they also like Percy Butler, a fourth-round pick last year, as a possible starter or key contributor next season. Speedy Butler could play the free safety role and could cover bigger targets when aligned near the box.

McCain originally signed a one-year deal with Washington in the 2021 offseason, then received a two-year contract last offseason. He spent his first six seasons with Miami, playing both corner and safety.

The Commanders also released quarterback Carson Wentz on Monday, freeing up another $26.176 million against the cap. Washington now has approximately $35 million in available cap space.

Washington also must decide whether it wants to keep veteran center Chase Roullier, who has suffered two season-ending injuries the past two seasons. If the Commanders cut him, they would save $4.32 million.

Another veteran, Logan Thomas, would save the team $5.175 million if cut, but it's uncertain whether Washington would release him or Roullier. Washington values Thomas' pass-catching ability, which could fit well with new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.

The Commanders also want to work out a long-term deal with defensive tackle Daron Payne, who will be a free agent. They will place the franchise tag on him before the March 7 deadline and continue to negotiate, a source close to the situation said.