2:03pm: Washington has officially confirmed the release of Cofield (via Twitter).
12:40pm: On the heels of the team’s agreement with free agent defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois, Washington has informed defensive tackle Barry Cofield that he will be released, according to agent Mike McCartney (Twitter link). The club has yet to formally announce the move, but it looks like it should become official shortly.
Cofield, who turns 31 next month, suffered his first major injury in 2014, as he missed about half the season after an ankle injury forced him onto the injured reserve list with the designation to return. While the veteran lineman returned to action in November, he only started three of eight games for the season, marking the first time since 2007 that he appeared in a game he didn’t start.
With a cap hit of $7.678MM due for 2015, Cofield was a potential cap casualty, and head coach Jay Gruden confirmed at the combine that the team had been in touch about a potential restructure or pay cut. It seems the two sides didn’t come to an agreement, however, so by releasing Cofield, Washington will carry $3.555MM in dead money on its books for the coming year, creating $4.123MM in cap savings.
It’s easy to point to those cap savings and deduce that they went directly toward paying Jean-Francois — the new three-year pact for the former Colt reportedly has a total base value of $9MM.