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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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Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

In the third quarter of the Redskins’ Week 3 game against the Giants, New York drove to a first and goal at the Washington 10. A Trent Murphy sack and two incompletions later, Josh Brown came in and kicked a field goal.

Since then, opponents have had goal to go situations 12 times. They have scored touchdowns on every one of them.

The stop against the Giants was one of just two all year. They had one against the Cowboys in Week 2. Their opponents’ goal to go success rate is 90.5 percent. That’s the second worst in the NFL.

The failures have been costly. On Sunday, the Cardinals recovered a Kirk Cousins fumble and returned it to the Washington 10. The Redskins led 13-10 at the time and coming out of that situation with the game tied would have been large. But on third and goal at the six Carson Palmer hit Michael Floyd with a touchdown pass and the Cardinals had both the lead and the momentum.

Opponents usually haven’t had to work that hard. Teams have run 21 plays in goal to go and they have 10 touchdowns.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys got to goal to go three times. A stop on any one of them would have been a boost to the Redskins and would have changed the dynamic of the game. But Dallas was three for three.

The goal to go problems are a subset of the Redskins’ problems with red zone defense in general. Opponents have scored touchdowns on 27 of 40 red zone trips, a 67.5 percent success rate that puts the Redskins 30th in the NFL.  

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NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:

  1. The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
  2. It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
  3. Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous. 
  4. While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.

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