DL depth chart still unclear after Baker signing

DL depth chart still unclear after Baker signing
February 28, 2014, 1:00 am
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With versatile defensive lineman Chris Baker now under contract, attention shifts to who along the line might be departing and what the rest of the depth chart will look like.

On the face of it, a contract worth $3 million per year over three years is a deal for a player who is probably going to be a starter. Working on that assumption, if the season started today (and it doesn’t but get used to that phrase as the offseason wears on) the Redskins would start Baker at right end, Barry Cofield at nose tackle, and Jarvis Jenkins at left end.

This doesn’t mean that the Redskins won’t target a free agent or draft pick who could break into the starting lineup. But, for now, we’re looking at the players they have.

That leaves two other players, both of whom are injured, with starter-sized contracts with uncertain futures. Stephen Bowen, recovering from microfracture surgery to his knee, has a $4.7 million salary and a $7 million cap number. Adam Carriker has not played since early in the 2012 season while recovering from a quad injury and he is slated to make $4.7 million while carrying a cap figure of $6.5 million. That’s a lot of money tied up in players who may not play. It seems certain that each player will have to take a substantial reduction in his salary or face being released.

If Carriker and Bowen are gone, what does the rest of the depth chart look like? Chris Neild ($656,000 cap hit), who has been an adequate relief nose tackle, will be back. So will end Kedric Golston, who will be going into his ninth season with a salary of $900,000 and a cap number of $1.2 million.

The Redskins will carry six or seven defensive linemen on their final 53-man roster in the fall. Doug Worthington ($495,000 cap hit) has played sparingly while spending time on the practice squad and on injured reserve. Worthington, along with any coming free agent signings or draft picks, will compete for the remaining one or two spots on the line.