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Coles Traded: It must be the toe

Coles Traded: It must be the toe

The on again, off again Laveranues Coles for Santana Moss trade finally happened on Saturday as the Jets ceded to Coles demand for a contract extension. From the Washington Post: The intermittently on-and-off trade between the New York Jets and Washington Redskins has been finally completed, shipping unhappy wide receiver Laveranues Coles to his old team, the Jets, for wideout Santana Moss, sources familiar with the development said today.

The main obstacle had been Coles's request for a contract extension from the Jets, partly because he believed that he initially had an agreement with Washington to be released, making him a free agent. But after fruitless talks over the past several days, the Jets and Coles's agent, Roosevelt Barnes, apparently made enough headway.According to broadcast reports the Redskins will not get any salary cap relief from Coles in this transaction. By not making this deal until after last Tuesday, it was already determined that the Redskins would take a 2005 salary cap hit of nearly $6 million if they traded or released Coles before June 1. Had Coles agreed to forgo part or all of $5 million payment on his original $13 signing bonus, they could have had that credited to their 2006 cap number. However, if the reports are correct--and that seems to be the way the deal has been heading in recent days--that won't happen.

So on April 1, the Redskins will have to cut a $5 million check and forward it to the Jets' facility. Ouch.

The question being asked is, of course, why? Why take such a big hit to trade a guy that the Skins just gave up a first-round pick and a ton of money for just two years ago? And why for Moss, who hasn't done much of anything special for the Jets?

To address the second part first, Moss doesn't suffer horribly in comparison to Coles. A first-round pick (16th overall) by the Jets, Moss has less tha half as many career catches as Coles (342-151), but has scored just one fewer touchdown (20-19) and has averaged 16 yards a catch for his career. Coles hasn't averaged that much for as much as a full season (save his rookie year when he had 22 catches). And Moss is two year younger than Coles is.

Still, even if you concede that Moss and Coles are roughly equal as players the fact is that this wasn't just a player for player trade from the Redskins' standpoint. There is the little matter of the cap hit and the wasted first rounder.

Coles' reported unhappiness with Joe Gibbs' offense was certainly the team evern considered the trade in the first place. But even is someone is desperately unhappy, you don't toss a first-rounder and five million bucks in the trash because of it. Nobody in the world, probably not even Coles, would have blamed the Redskins if they had told the receiver that they gave him big, big money so shut up and play. Coles, being the professional he is, probably would have.

Based on the facts we know, there is really only one reason that the Redskins would make this deal; they must think that Coles is damaged goods. His injured toe, the one on which he refuses to have surgery, has cost him much of the speed and explosiveness that led to the Redskins dangling the $13 million to lure him from the Jets in the first place. Rehabilitation without surgery didn't nearly do the trick to heal the toe last offseason. It was admirable that Coles gutted it out this past year, but it's safe to say that Gibbs' scheme wasn't the only factor at play in his 10.6 yards per catch average. The toe must have been a big issue as well.

Faced with diminishing returns, it appears that the Skins decided to cut their losses, get what they could for Coles, swallowed the bitter pill of the money and the first, and move on.

This is all speculation, mind you. But so was the notion that David Patten would be a good target for the Skins and, well, we know how that turned out.

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Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 6 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Cardinals Week 13

3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23

David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).

Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation

Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.

More Redskins: Will the first round fall into place?

Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run all season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!