First it was the socks, then the no pressure, no diamonds slogan. Now Robert Griffin III has a new pop culture thing he can call his own.Griffining, as my friend atBurgundy Blogdubbed it, is sweeping the cyber world, or at least the part of it inhabited by fans who are pumped up over the quarterbacks stunning debut performance in Washingtons 40-32 win in New Orleans on Sunday. Which means, of course, virtually all Redskins fans.Like its predecessors Planking and Tebowing, Griffining involves assuming a pose and having someone take a picture of it, like this:The origin of the pose came on Sunday after Griffin threw his first NFL touchdown pass. Right after he threw the ball that Pierre Garon turned into an 88-yard TD, he was shoved to the ground. As he got up he saw Garon running to the end zone and raised his arms with his index fingers pointing upward. Heres one view of it:The Washington Post photographer caught it from the end zone and that picture (you can see it here) became the shot that inspired dozens if not hundreds of others to assume the same pose and have the same picture taken and tweeted for all to see.Some love it, others hate it. Im not endorsing the meme here, just letting you know about it and you can decide what camp youre in.
While we await the full details of Derek Carr’s contract extension we know enough to see what effect the deal will have on the Redskins’ efforts to negotiate a new deal with Kirk Cousins.
The Carr extension has been anticipated for months. The 2014 second-round pick was going into the final year of his contract. There were strong incentives for both sides to get a deal done. Absent a deal contract, Carr was looking at going through the risks of the NFL season on a salary $1.1 million. The Raiders faced starting the Redskins-Cousins style franchise tag dance with Carr in 2018.
It also seemed inevitable that Carr would become the highest-paid player in the game. He got there with a deal that has an average annual value (AAV) of $25 million per year in new money, $271,000 per year more than Andrew Luck got a year ago. That aspect of the deal, therefore, will not have much of an impact on Cousins. Since an AAV of around $25 million was expected, it has been baked in to any talks that have taken place so far.
The Redskins may point out that Carr’s deal was an extension that leaves his 2017 salary of $1.1 million intact. That means that Carr is committed to the Raiders for six years for a total of $126.1 million in compensation, an average of a shade over $21 million per year. If the team does that, however, Mike McCartney, Cousins’ agent, likely will laugh it off. The difference is leverage. Cousins is guaranteed $24 million this year compared to Carr’s $1.1 million salary prior to the extension. The starting points are apples and oranges.
However, the Redskins could legitimately look elsewhere for a point that might work in their favor. Carr’s deal contains only (only?) $40 million fully guaranteed at signing and $70 million in total guarantees, counting injury provisions. Compare that to Luck getting $47 million fully guaranteed at signing and a total of $87 million in guarantees.
So, the bar for guaranteed money in a big QB deal went down, not up. The Redskins will add this into their calculations in their offer.
MORE REDSKINS: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense
But, again, you can’t forget the $24 million in fully guaranteed money that Cousins already has in hand. He isn’t going to agree to a multiyear deal that pays him only (only?) an additional $16 million in full guarantees.
While it’s good to have comparable contracts to use in negotiations, each situation is unique. Cousins’ leverage sets him apart from Carr so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him surpass the Raider in terms of total and guaranteed money even though Carr is younger and generally thought to be a notch or so better than Cousins.
The Redskins will try to grasp on to any data point they can to justify paying Cousins as little as they can. But that might save them a few hundred thousand here and there. If they want to keep Cousins they are going to have to be prepared to pay a lot of money and guarantee a lot of it up front.
Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 23, 34 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.
The Redskins last played a game 173 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 79 days.
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 24
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 48
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 71
Fan questions—Twitter edition
I put up a tweet asking for fan questions and the questions I got required answers of the rapid-fire variety. So here we go (I answered some Facebook questions yesterday).
How much improvement can skins fans realistically expect on defensive side of ball with new coaches, FA,s & Draft additions?— Darin Boothe (@DBStyle21) June 20, 2017
I think fans should be cautious about believing that new is necessarily better. That said, I would look for some modest improvement. If the pass rush delivers they should be better on third down. If the addition of Jonathan Allen upgrades the line they should be better against the rush. How fast can Allen and Ryan Anderson get up to speed? Enough pieces might come together to move them up from sub-mediocre into the middle of the pack. But a lot can go wrong.
What's the back-up plan at center?— Dave Dombroski (@wireman651) June 20, 2017
Chances are that when they put out the first depth chart during training camp that rookie Chase Roullier, the sixth-round pick, will be the second-team center. If he is not ready, I think Roullier will be bound for the practice squad and the Redskins will find a veteran backup C on the waiver wire.
I’ve heard that floated around out there and it’s a pretty interesting proposal. There are some issues that would have to be worked out. For one thing, if the money is truly fully guaranteed then the Redskins would have to put every dime of it in escrow. They have a lot of cash but putting $88 million aside would create a cash flow pinch. And I’m not sure if it’s enough of a lure for Cousins. Big, long-term contracts are essentially guaranteed for at least three years because of the painful cap hit it would take to end the contract early so there wouldn’t be much added security.
Who do you think is most likely to be a surprise cut this summer?— Chet (@Purple_Dranks) June 20, 2017
That’s sort of a contradiction there, Chet. If a cut is “likely” in any way it’s not exactly a “surprise”. But to look at some who may go, I think that DeAngelo Hall could be in danger. His departure would surprise some. On the D-line, numbers may squeeze out Matt Ioannidis, a 2016 draft pick. There are a few more on the bubble but I don’t think any rise to the level of, say, Stephen Paea and Perry Riley getting cut in camp last year, something that in Junen few thought would happen.
Tandler on Twitter
Carr deal does not change much in #Redskins-Cousins dynamic because $$ about what was expected. Shock waves if much higher/lower. 1/2— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) June 22, 2017
Exception will be if details (fully guarantee, injury guarantee, payouts) turn out to be dramatic departure from norm. 2/2— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) June 22, 2017
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