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Did Coles intentionally spike the trade?

Did Coles intentionally spike the trade?

Ho hum.

Yet another story that loyal readers of this blog had a heads up about was reported breathlessly in the mainstream sports media on Saturday. From this blog's post last Wednesday:
For the past 48 hours or so the thinking here is that Coles is a goner, a dead Skin walking. That view is evolving more towards the Coles is staying scenario. There is still a chance that he'll be gone before the end of next season but I'd say it's about 60/40 that he stays. Included in that 40% chance of departure is about a 2% chance he will get his outright release with the rest if it being some sort of trade.
And then this "breaking" news story as reported on ESPN.com: Although Redskins officials were trying on Saturday evening to resuscitate the deal, a proposed trade between Washington and the New York Jets, in which the teams would have swapped their top wide receivers, appears dead.Now while getting the story right here, it worked out that way for the wrong reasons or at least for reasons that were not forseen here. Reasons that make you scratch your head a bit.

From that ESPN.com story:
The Jets backed away from the deal on Saturday morning when the representatives for Laveranues Coles apprised New York officials over breakfast that their client would likely want to upgrade his contract if traded. The Jets were eager to re-acquire Coles, who began his career in New York, in exchange for wide receiver Santana Moss.

The Jets wanted Coles under the remaining terms of the seven-year, $35 million contract that he signed with Washington in 2002. Told that Coles might not report to training camp if he was traded and did not receive a new contract, the Jets opted to end their pursuit.So, from reading this, it appears that Coles killed the trade.

The Redskins apparently were willing to eat the $5 million final installment on Coles' signing bonus and the subsequent net cap hit of about $6 million in order to accomodate his apparently desperate wish to get out of town. The Jets were looking forward to getting Coles back and were willing to pay him salaries of about $3 million in 2005 and then $6.8 million in '06, $5.3 million in '07, $6.8 million in '08 and $7.8 million in '09.

But then Coles threw a monkey wrench into the deal, demanding a new contract with New York. The Jets, as one might expect, looked at what they would be agreeing to pay him on an annual basis and considered that to be more than fair compensation. That team shouldn't have to expose itself to any future cap liability should, say, Coles' injured toe become an even bigger issue.

So, we had the Redskins, who did not particularly want to trade Coles had a willing, even eager trading partner in the Jets. Then it was Coles, the discontented one who was so unhappy a week ago that he was willing to give up five million bucks to get out of town, who spiked the deal.

A sudden change of heart (perhaps somebody showed him films of Monk, Clark, and Sanders)? Fear that the injured toe could prompt the Jets to cut him in the next year or two, a move that they could make without any adverse cap consequenses?

The Redskin likely hope it's the former, but there's probably more of the latter at play.

Media Sport: Taking Shots at Snyder

I don't want to leave this topic without addressing the some of the comments critical of the team, and of Dan Snyder in particular, made by some members of the local press. The column that got the most attention was by Sally Jenkins in the Post:

Here we go again, whiplashing around on that out-of-control carousel called the Washington Redskins. The question for owner Dan Snyder and his front office is: What's with all these crazy circular misunderstandings? How come what they seem to promise is never quite, when the spinning stops, what happens? Why do people always walk away rubbing the backs of their necks?

On winning NFL teams, players sometimes take less money to stay. On this team, they're willing to forfeit good money to leave. We have to wonder why. The answer may be that no amount is worth it to play for this team for very longWhile Jenkins goes on to bring up a couple of less-compelling cases indicting the organization of bungling and using bait and switch tactics with Lavar Arrington and Steve Spurrier, it's hard to refute that this situation with Coles has given the organization a black eye. Have you ever heard of a player willing to give back guaranteed money in order to buy his freedom? Even though the desire to get out apparently was related more the on-field differences rather than a beef with the organization as a whole, it still looks bad.

It must be pointed out, however, that while all of this was going on there was much more serious bungling going on elsewhere in the NFL. The Tennessee Titans had to cut six players, most of them starters, because they were some $30 million over the salary cap.

Then the Oakland Raiders quickly found themselves in cap hell after agreeing to trade for Randy Moss and signing receiver Jerry Porter to a contract extension. In a move that apparently stunned the team, cornerback Charles Woodson signed the tender offered by the Raiders as their franchise player, a move that locked up over $10 million in cap dollars. Even after quarterback Rich Gannon agreed to a pay cut that saved the team some $7 million against the '05 cap, they were still $10-$15 million over according to the Oakland Tribune.

And yet these teams are not getting ripped, they're not getting snyde comments made in their direction by Len Pasquerelli, they're just, well, trying to win. Meanwhile, the Redskins have rarely been forced to waive a starter or demand a $7 million pay cut for a player in order to get under the cap. But if you asked the average fan who manages their cap better, the Titans or the Redskins, Al Davis or Dan Snyder, I think we all know what the answer would be.

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Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports declared Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL. Prisco repeatedly points out that while Cousins is a good quarterback, the notion that he should be paid like one of the best passers in the league is what makes him overrated.

From Prisco:

After having six 300-yard-plus passing games in his first 11 games, including two over 400, Cousins had one in the final five games last season as the Redskins pushed for a playoff spot. He had five touchdown passes and five interceptions in those games, going 2-3 as Washington folded. It wasn't all on him, but that's the point. I don't think he's a quarterback who rises above situations when the team isn't going right. I am not going to sit here and pan him as a starter. He has proven to be that, and a pretty good one. It's just that the perception is he's much better than that, which is why he's my most overrated player in the NFL in 2017.

Here's the problem with Prisco's login: Simple market economics. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

An argument can be made Cousins is a Top 10 passer. He's certainly in the top half of the league at the position. Few, if any, would argue Cousins is a Top 5 quarterback, but his contract situation forces him to be paid like he is. Those are the exact terms of the franchise tag, even before the 20 percent increase Washington paid this season to use a second-straight tag.  

Since the Redskins lost their window to sign their single-season passing yards record holder to a team-friendly deal last year, Cousins has leverage and the advantage of inflated QB salaries on his side.

That doesn't mean Cousins is overrated. 

If the threshold for being overrated is money, then Brock Osweiler wins this thing in a landslide. After the 2016 season in Houston, Osweiler seems unlikely to ever again be considered a starting QB in the NFL. He's due to be paid $18 million this fall and his offseason trade to the Browns will go down as the first-ever salary dump in NFL history. 

Is Cousins overpaid? Probably. That's the way contracts work in pro football. 

Is Cousins overrated? Probably not. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards and completed about 68 percent of his passes over the last two seasons. 

There just aren't enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and guys that can play the position get paid handsomely. That doesn't make Cousins overrated. 


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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police


Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys.

The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.

The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.

The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation. The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 


Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.