A lot was made of Robert Griffin III saying he had an a-ha moment during OTAs last week. Here is what he said during his press conference on Thursday:As far as the offense and knowing what Im doing, I think I had that a-ha moment yesterday. The defense was getting after us a little bit. We came into the last session of the day, and we just tore them up so we continued that toward the beginning of practice, today and then it evened out as practice went on. It felt good to know that as long as you know where youre going with the ball, as long as youre aggressive and confident in what youre doing, you can complete any pass and do anything.You have to love the confidence there, a rookie quarterback talking about being aggressive and being able to complete any pass. The media was not present for that Wednesday OTA and from what we could see on Thursday, RG3 was mostly confident and aggressive. But he didnt complete every pass nor did he do anything he wanted. That is to be expected from any quarterback learning a new offense, especially a rookie.There are many more a-ha moments to come for RG3. He will have one in late July when they they are practicing a near full speed in pads against the first team defense. Another one will come in the preseason opener when the yellow no contact jersey goes away and opposing pass rushers who would love to get a piece of the hyped Heisman Trophy winner will be after him. At some point hell turn on the jets and find that there are guys out there who are just as fast as he is. When he goes for four quarters against the Saints starting defense with the intensity turned up several notches when the games start to count there will be more revelations to the rookie.For Griffin, its so far, so good. But there is a long way to go.
Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 22, 15 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.
—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 7
—NFL Combine (3/2) 8
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 54
—NFL Draft (4/27) 64
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 200
Why not both Garçon and DJax?
Today's question is from my Facebook page.
Thanks for the good words, Dennis. There are a few reasons why the Redskins are unlikely to bring back both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson and why it’s possible that neither wide receiver will be back for the 2017 season.
One factor is age. Garçon will be 31 early in training camp and Jackson will turn the same age on December 1. While both are in great shape, investing fairly big money (more on that in a moment) in even one aging receiver is risky. Investing it in two is asking for major cap problems in a year or two.
Both receivers will get substantial contracts. In a market that is thin at the position, each player will get three- or four-year deals worth around $10 million per year. While either one could be cut prior to the end of the deal, the contracts likely will be structured so that if they are released after a year or two the team letting the player go will have to absorb an uncomfortable salary cap hit.
Having that much money tied up in two aging players at one position is dicey in and of itself. But a complicating factor here is Jamison Crowder. He is the team’s future at the position. This year he will complete the third year of his rookie deal making him eligible for a contract extension. If he continues to improve he will want something in that $10 million per year neighborhood. He might not get that much but he’ll get at least $8 million.
So, looking at 2018, if they signed both Garçon and Jackson this year and extend Crowder next season the Redskins would have three receivers taking up close to $30 million in cap space. That is too much. The Redskins were second in the league in spending on WR’s last year with “only” $23.5 million. The organization would be squeezed when it came to paying players at other positions.
I’ll hit on one more thing quickly, since I’m going to write a full post about it soon. Assuming the Redskins tag Kirk Cousins, they suddenly don’t have a whole lot of cap space. Their $64 million available would shrink to around $40 million. That’s still a pretty good chunk of money but they also must get 1-2 defensive linemen and perhaps a safety in free agency, and be prepared to handle possible extensions for Morgan Moses, Spencer Long, Trent Murphy, and Bashaud Breeland.
They could still squeeze one or both receivers in under the cap this year. That would mean some short-term gain for some long-term (as in the next two or three seasons) pain.
Tandler on Twitter
Assuming another tag, Kirk Cousins ($23.9M), Josh Norman ($20M), & Trent Williams ($15.1M) will account for $59M (35%) of the #Redskins cap.— Spotrac (@spotrac) February 21, 2017
Higher % of cap to top 3 players than any NFC or AFC 2016 playoff team. Could change after free agency. Not a huge problem but not ideal. https://t.co/PgfAKfiRWP— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) February 21, 2017
In case you missed it
- Redskins position Outlook: Cravens will help, but safety needs more
- Is Budda Baker the Redskins' solution at safety?
- Report: Cousins won't sign with Redskins before getting tagged
- Under the radar issues for the Redskins
- #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Is being nice hurting Kirk Cousins?
JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are back for Episode 52 of the #RedskinsTalk Podcast.
With franchise tag day fast approaching, JP and Rich continue to discuss the Kirk Cousins contract situation. Cousins is a positive guy with a great attitude.
But does his happy-go-lucky demeanor actually hurt him at the bargaining table?
Fire up the podcast below.
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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!