The Washington Redskins made a series of moves Wednesday that saved the team money, and also returned two players off of last year’s squad. The franchise decided to bring back two of their own Wednesday when they signed unrestricted free agent defensive lineman Ziggy Hood, and exclusive rights free agent offensive tackle Vinston Painter.

The team also decided to release defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois in a move that will save the team some much needed salary cap space. The Redskins started Free Agency with $63 million in free space, but that has dwindled down to $14.9 million within the last week.

Team has to have ninety players when camp opens

During free agency, sometimes teams make splashy moves that grab headlines, and then sometimes they just make moves that make sense inside the scheme and fill holes with able bodies. Every franchise must have 90 players on the roster at the start of training camp, so moves like bringing back Hood and Painter on the cheap make sense. While terms of the deals are not known yet, they are likely minimum deals. Hood appeared in 14 games last season, registering 23 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. Painter saw action in five games after being signed mid-season.

Releasing Francois saves the team much needed cap dollars

The Redskins needed to trim some extra cap dollars off the payroll, and cutting Ricky Jean Francois saved them nearly $3 million in the process.

Francois was a leader in the locker room but is also 31, and may be a bit over-priced at $4 million a season. Some may be unhappy with the release of Francois, but his production isn’t exactly top of the line for his cap number, as he only had 31 tackles and 3.5 sacks in two seasons.

The Redskins entered this offseason needing to re-build their defensive that has ranked at, or near the bottom of the National Football League the last few seasons.

They already signed run-stopping defensive lineman Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee to be rotational players in their 3-4 defense. Washington will likely attempt to sign another player, and maybe draft a couple as well as they continue to build their defensive line.