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Is It About the Money?

Is It About the Money?

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.

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Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 19, 98 days before the NFL draft.


Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 42
NFL free agency starts 50
First Sunday of 2017 season 235

The coordinator search and more

As noted above, we have 42 days until the deadline for the Redskins to put the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The immediate future of the franchise is contingent this situation being handled correctly by the organization. It’s time to turn the attention and the $100 in imaginary casino chips towards what might happen with Cousins as the process unfold. We will revisit this from time to time as the various deadlines approach so consider this the early odds.

Sign before the tag deadline, $5—This seems unlikely after his rather cold response to my question immediately following the season-ending loss to the Giants when he said, “The ball’s not in my court.” He indicated that it’s up to the Redskins to tag him. It doesn’t look like he and his agent will have much of an inclination to sit down to any serious negotiations before that happens.

Let him go into free agency, $5—Yes, I know that this is out there but it makes no sense to take the chance of the possibility that he could walk with zero compensation. While there might be some logic in finding out what Cousins would be worth in a true free market in order to establish the basis for a fair contract the risk of behind left empty-handed is just too great.

Tag and trade, $20—This also has been discussed by various media types as a possibility. It would involve giving Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would let him go out and negotiate a deal with another team. The Redskins could then match that offer or choose to get compensation. The CBA calls for compensation of two first-round picks although the two teams may negotiate something less. The most frequently suggested trade partner is the 49ers and their soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan but there are probably around half a dozen teams, maybe more, who could be interested. If the Redskins don’t think they will ever sign Cousins long term this could be the way to go.

Tag and sign by July 15 deadline, $30—This may be a little low for this possibility. Perhaps if the other options are off the table he will consider that he is a perfect match for Jay Gruden’s offense and that he might not be such a good fit elsewhere. There also is the possibility of injury or, for whatever reason, Cousins having a subpar season. Those thoughts could spur him to instruct his agent to get the best deal he can get in Washington.

Tag and play the season on the tag, $40—Right now, this appears to be the mostly likely scenario. They can afford the $24 million cap hit and it would get them one more year of his services. However, the prospects for him remaining in a Redskins uniform for 2018 and beyond would be very cloudy.

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In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed and Brandon Scherff will skip next week's Pro Bowl in Orlando a team spokesman confirmed to CSN. All three players dealt with injuries late in the season, most notably Reed, and playing in the exhibition game is not in the cards. Trent Williams, however, is still slated to play in the game. 

Reed suffered a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving playing against the Dallas Cowboys. For the rest of the season, Reed played through significant pain and his production dipped.

Kerrigan played much of the season with an injured elbow and hurt his finger in the final game against the Giants. Scherff played with ankle pain and was listed on the injury report much of the season's final four games.

For Reed and Scherff, this year marked their first Pro Bowl. The recognition was deserved for both players, and shows that the guard and tight end are gaining national spotlight for their play.

Kerrigan played in the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season. He finished this year with 11 sacks, 2.5 short os his career high 13.5 in 2014. 


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