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Moss Gathers Long Green

Moss Gathers Long Green

It wasn't a surprise, but it certainly is raising some eyebrows. Santana Moss will sign a new deal with the Redskins today and he will collect #1 receiver type money, not bad for a player who caught passes for less than 900 yards last year. According to Redskins, the Washington Post: Moss's six-year deal totals about $31 million, sources said, with the first two seasons worth virtual guarantees of $11 million, including the signing bonus. The contract automatically voids the sixth year if Moss, 25, plays a minimum number of offensive snaps in any season between 2006 and 2010. Thus, sources said that the extension essentially is a five-year deal worth about $26 million.
It's safe to assume that the "virtual guarantees" are a combination of a signing bonus and a 2006 roster bonus. Until the split on that is determined, it will be impossible to calculate the cap impact of the contract.

The size of the deal was not a surprise. It was widely reported that the Redskins had reached terms with Moss even before they acquired him from the Jets in return for Laveranues Coles and the numbers in the contract have been an open secret for several weeks. The only puzzling aspect is why it took so long to get it finalized. It was thought that they were waiting to jettison Rod Gardner and his $2.1 million cap charge before inking Moss, but the Redskins have been sitting at about $2 million under the cap for the past month.

The move means that every anticipated 2005 starter on both sides of the ball will be under contract through at least 2006.

Is this too much money? Did the Redskins overpay? If these questions are to be answered in the negative, two things must happen. First, Moss must stay healthy. That's true of any player you sign to a premium deal, but in Moss' case it's a bigger "if" since he has a history of injuries, including a pulled hamstring that cost him some games last year.

The other variable is the state of Joe Gibbs' offense. The passing game was largely horizontal last year. Moss is effective in a vertical game. It appears that last year's offense was more a product of circumstances--Mark Brunell's weak arm, Patrick Ramsey's low comfort level in the offense and a weak offensive line--than of design. Gibbs has said repeatedly that he wants to throw deep more often and more effectively this coming season.

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Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

Redskins coaching staff believes backups on O-line will be 'ready to roll'

All signs point to the Redskins starting Arie Kouandjio at left guard this weekend against the Eagles, and the coaching staff knows it's a big chance for the second-year man.

Incumbent starter Shawn Lauvao injured his groin last week against the Cardinals, and has not practiced all week. Assuming he doesn't play, this would mark Kouandjio's second start this season. He also got the start against the Browns in Week 4.

Washington coach Jay Gruden did not speak glowingly of Kouandjio's play against Cleveland, but it wasn't a negative review, either.

"He’s played one game, he played OK," the coach said. "He has another great opportunity for him. He’s waited his turn, done what’s asked of him. Practiced hard, played hard, and it’s a great opportunity.”

With center Spencer Long currently in concussion protocol and backup John Sullivan started to go in the middle of the Redskins offensive line, the group will have a number of new faces against the Eagles. The right side of the line, with guard Brandon Scherff and tackle Morgan Moses, will be the same as its been all year, though both of those players are nursing ankle injuries. 

"We have confidence in the guys that if some of those guys that are backups need to step up and be ready to roll," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. 

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!

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

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!