Here we all have been, thinking that Sean Taylor has been boycotting the team's voluntary workouts because he wants a new contract. According to Joe Gibbs, quoted in a Washington Times article, that isn't the case:
'I really don't think [it's] contractual,' Gibbs said after the first of 14 days of voluntary organized team activities that followed offseason workouts that began March 21. 'I think Sean understands he's got a contract. And we expect him to honor it.'
Having yet to hear from Taylor this offseason, Gibbs recently sent contract negotiator Eric Schaffer to meet with Taylor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, but to no avail. Rosenhaus maintained his no-comment policy on Taylor's situation yesterday.
Taylor dumped the agent who negotiated his rookie contract and hired Rosenhaus, whose biography was entitled "A Shark Never Sleeps". Given that Rosenhaus has been asking for new deals for his clients from Ruben Droughns to Terrell Owens, and that a kind assessment of the contract that Taylor signed last year was that it favored the Redskins, it was a logical conclusion to figure that Taylor wanted to renegotiate. But maybe he just wants to hang out in Miami rather than in Ashburn. His teammate at Miami and now with the Redskins Clinton Portis:
Sean knows his responsibilities. He had a long season, going through the alcohol thing (a DUI arrest for which he was acquitted) and all that. When you're under the spotlight forever [and] you finally get away from it, you want to stay out of it for a little while. . .I'm not justifying Sean's actions ... [but] I'm sure if he has a Pro Bowl-type year, everybody will forget about this.
And it's possible that nobody would be paying much attention to this in the first place if not for the hiring of Rosenhaus, the DUI incident which cost Taylor a one-game suspension for missing practice, and Taylor blowing off the last part of a mandatory rookie orientation. No major transgressions to be sure, but there's enough of a cumulative effect there to cast a growing negative public image of Taylor.
Keep in mind that Taylor has drawn the ire of the fan base and of his head coach and hasn't missed a single mandatory activity this offseason. Minicamp will be next month and that's going to be the first indication of if there will be a holdout or not.
Meanwhile, we are left to guess. It would seem odd for Rosenhaus, whose contract negotiations for other players such as TO have been very much held in the public eye, to decline any comment on Taylor's status. Even if he's keeping things behind closed doors, it would appear that he hasn't even taken the first step towards renegotiating a contract, which would be to go to the man in charge (Gibbs) and say, "My client requires a new contract if he is to participate in the 2005 football season."
It's not that the OTA's that Taylor is missing now aren't important and clearly it would be better for the Redskins if he were there. But, as Portis said, Taylor managed to have a great season despite having missed the time in Ashburn in May, nobody will remember it.
If, however, he goes through a sophomore slump he will be in the crosshairs of public and press criticism even more than he has been. It's apparently a chance he has chosen to take.
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
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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!
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!