Redskins cut Atogwe, Mike Sellers for more salary cap savings

It looks like Atogwe won't ever get that long-term deal after all (US Presswire)

In our story regarding the punishments meted out today by the NFL to the Redskins and Cowboys for viciously front-loading contracts in the uncapped 2010 season, colleague Will Brinson wrote that even though the NFL will take away $36 million of Washington’s spending budget, the Redskins still are significantly under the salary cap (about $13 million or so) if they split the punishment evenly between 2012 and 2013.

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That hasn’t stopped them from making expensive cuts, though, as the Redskins announced today they have released safety <span data-shortcode= and fullback Mike Sellers." data-canon="Washington Redskins" data-type="SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM" id="shortcode0">

You might recall that Atogwe was a standout with the Rams, and his signing with Washington before the 2011 season made significant news. He started only half the team’s games, finished with 66 tackles and three interceptions and lost his playing time toward the end of the season because of injuries and subpar play*.

*Pro Football Focus ranked Atogwe as the 25th-best safety in the league who was better than average in coverage but not very good against the run.

But the real trouble likely came when the Redskins looked at his paycheck total. Since Atogwe’s base salary of $3.4 million along with his bonuses counted $5.4 million against the 2012 salary cap -- according to Spotrac, that’s the fifth-highest figure on the team -- the Redskins likely got rid of him because of his financial implications.

If you’ll recall, about 13 months ago, Atogwe was frustrated because he couldn’t get that elusive long-term deal, especially when the Rams cut him before having to pay him $8 million for the 2011 season.

But it goes back further than that. He was franchise-tagged for 2009, and because of the labor strife, he reverted back to being a restricted free agent in 2010 where he was paid $2.1 million.

Now, it looks like Atogwe might never get his long-term deal, because of his injury history and because he’s not the player he once was.

In his long career, Sellers played most of his 12 seasons with the Redskins, and considering he’ll be 37 before next season, there is a big question about whether he’ll continue his career. Seller’s hit against the salary cap was only $1.57 million.

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