Commentary

FBO: New era for Redskins

The hiring of Bruce Allen signifies change in salary-cap management for Washington

Updated: December 20, 2009, 5:35 PM ET
By J.I. Halsell | Football Outsiders
PortisJames Lang/US PresswireWill Clinton Portis stay with the Redskins? Bruce Allen may have something to say on that topic.

As the Washington Redskins embark on the Bruce Allen era, after the surprising resignation of longtime team executive Vinny Cerrato, the team also approaches an offseason that is set to be without a salary cap. Given the high-spending and name-recognition signings of past offseasons, one would think that the prospects of an uncapped year would be a dream come true for owner Dan Snyder. However, not only does the hiring of Allen signify a potential change in player-acquisition strategy, but it also could signify a philosophical change in salary-cap management for the organization.

A former agent, Allen is well versed in player contracts and the salary cap. In Oakland and Tampa Bay, Allen was responsible for the negotiation of all player contracts. As a cap guy, Allen is known in league circles for not only his creativity in the mechanics of player contracts but also for his creativity in the naming of these mechanisms. For example, per league sources, the contract that he negotiated in Tampa for center Jeff Faine included what the contract called "The I-4 Off-Ramp," providing Faine the opportunity to void the final four seasons of his contract by paying back a significant amount of his signing bonus. This mechanism of explicitly paying back signing-bonus money in order to void years of a contract was a creative and novel idea, almost as creative as naming the clause after the interstate that connects Tampa to the rest of central Florida. As Allen makes the move to D.C., look for contract language such as the "Beltway Buyback" or the "Orakpo Filibuster."


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