From 2005-2011, Santana Moss has played for a curious collection of quarterbacks that included the likes of Todd Collins and John Beck.But the eighth quarterback on that list, Moss said Monday, has broken the mold.Hes a guy who, when theres nothing there, he can make it happen, Moss said of rookie Robert Griffin III. Whether hes going to run with it, or run around and find somebody whos open...Him handling the offense the way he handles it? Moss added. I dont know. I couldnt sit here and tell you why and how. But Im glad he can. Thats the thing we didnt have.Moss was referring to the final drive Sunday in Tampa, where Griffin calmly and confidently led the Redskins on a methodical, seven-play, 56-yard drive that culminated in Billy Cundiffs 41-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining.After the game, it was revealed that the radio in Griffins helmet that allows the coaching staff to relay the play to him had malfunctioned in the final minutes. It left Griffin, 22, to make the play calls himself with a critical contest hanging in the balance. Just to recap, heres what happened: Completion, completion, completion, scramble for 15 yards, spike, completion, field goal. Game over.Thats why we prepare in practice, said Moss, who had three receptions for 33 yards, including a key 15-yarder on the final drive. We run the two-minute drill every week to end our week of practice. Thats something he has to do: He has to call the plays. When you put it in the game-time situation, that critical, game on the line, it makes it a little more, Wow.Asked if Griffins exploits are still shocking to the players and coaches on the Redskins sideline, Moss said its the new normal now.If it was OTAs and training camp, I probably would be surprised, he said. Right now, hes shown us, week in and week out, what type guy he is, what type of player he is. So theres nothing that should surprise us no more.Theres no more, Gosh, Moss continued. We already seen that he had it. When it comes to Robert, he just has that he was born with whatever he has. Its not like he says, Im going to go out and get better at this. Its already in him. You can be sure when something breaks down, hes going to make a play some kind of way. I havent played with a lot of those guys. Were fortunate to have that.As fortunate as the Redskins are to have a player of Griffins talent level, Moss said the rest of the offensive players must guard against putting too much on his shoulders.We want to make sure we handle our jobs, he said. You dont want to sit there and watch him make something happen.But, Moss added with a smile, when in doubt, run.
The Redskins have found their offensive and defensive coordinators and they are ready to get on with the business portion of the offseason. The big question between now and the middle of March is how they will divvy up their $62 million in cap space. Here we’ll take a position-by-position look at the cap situation and explore some of the Redskins’ options.
Cap info via www.OverTheCap.com
The Redskins currently have these safeties under contract.
—DeAngelo Hall, 2017 cap hit $5.1 million, under contract through 2017
—Will Blackmon, $1.1 million, through 2017
—Su’a Cravens, $1 million, through 2019
—Josh Evans, $775,000, through 2017
—Deshazor Everett, $615,000, through 2019
—Earl Wolff, $615,000, through 2018
Free agents: Donte Whither, Duke Ihenacho
—Cravens is on the second year of his four-year rookie contract. He will be eligible for an extension following the 2018 season.
—Evans had two stints on the Redskins roster last year but he played in only two games with no snaps on defense. When they signed him prior to their Week 17 game they tacked on a deal for this year so he will be around to see if he can get some run on defense.
Positional spending (all defensive backs)
2016: $7.7 million, 21st in NFL
2017: $8.1 million, 20th in NFL
Adding and subtracting:
—If Cravens can develop into a solid starter he would be a bargain for a couple of years. His cap number is $1.2 million in 2018 and $1.4 million in 2019. It could go up in 2019 as he will be eligible to have his deal redone. But getting productive seasons at a relative low rate prior to a second contract is one of the keys to success in NFL’s salary cap system.
—Hall has missed 31 games with injuries over the last three years. It is safe to say that he will not play this year for his contracted $4.25 million salary. He will either negotiate down to a lower salary or he will be released, which would save that $4.25 million off the cap. I would be leaning towards a release; even if he is willing to play for less money it would be hard to count on him.
—Assuming the Redskins do something with Hall’s salary they would have some cap room to work with to bolster this perpetually undermanned position. The median safety positional spending last year was around $10.5 million. If Hall is gone or his salary is reduced to $1 million, they would have room for a $7 million cap hit for a safety and still have spending at the position under control.
—That could mean they can afford someone like Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson, who is likely to get a deal somewhere in the $8 to $9 million range. The Redskins easily craft a deal like that with a $6 to $7 million 2017 cap hit.
—Drafting a safety such as Budda Baker in the first round would be a more economical route to take. The No. 17 pick will get a four-year contract worth $7.0 million with cap numbers increasing from $2.1 million in the first year to $3.7 million in 2020.
Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 24, 13 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.
—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 5
—NFL Combine (3/2) 6
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 52
—NFL Draft (4/27) 62
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 198
Friday quick hitters
What about Baker? I’m not sure what the Redskins’ thinking is regarding Chris Baker. As with all their other free agents the Redskins haven’t been in communication with Baker’s camp, waiting for the chance to scope out the market at the combine next week. I think that Baker’s fate will depend on cost. If they can get in for around $7 million or less, he stays. If the bidding pushes his deal up much higher than that I think he’s gone.
McCloughan’s status: It’s not exactly news that Scot McCloughan doesn’t have the full powers that many NFL GMs have. He has always been more of a super scout, in charge of stocking the roster. He is not frozen out when it comes to contracts and financial matters but they never have been his strong suit and they are best left to Bruce Allen and, particularly, Eric Schaffer.
RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0
Anything new? So, was there much new in Jerry Brewer’s column in the Post yesterday? Given that the power structure has been in place for over two years now, it doesn’t appear that there was. Brewer essentially said it himself: “McCloughan isn’t necessarily losing power as much as he is having his lack of power revealed.” So during this past two years, while the team improved from 4-12 to playoff contention, things have been how they are now. Let me be clear, there were some disturbing insights in Brewer’s article such as the team’s lack of a response to a request for comment on Chris Cooley’s on-air musing about McCloughan’s alcohol consumption. But on how things work on the organizational chart at Redskins Park it’s been the same.
Who wants Kirk? We are at a point where the popular perception among the fans and media is that Allen is the one who will run Kirk Cousins out of town, either this year or next, while McCloughan and Jay Gruden are begging for him to stay. The narrative is that Allen is the bad buy and McCloughan is the good guy because that’s the way fans and some in the media perceive it. But I would pump the brakes on the notion that McCloughan is willing to pay whatever it takes to keep Cousins around. We haven’t heard from him this year but last year he said on multiple occasions that while he was interested in keeping Cousins around for the long haul the team needs to be careful not to give up too much of the salary cap to one player. That doesn’t sound like he’s all in on giving Cousins a blank check.
More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?
Cousins is right to go for the money: Some fans in my Twitter timeline are calling for Cousins to take less money from the Redskins to help Allen and McCloughan pay other players. That’s not happening, nor should it. Jim Trotter of ESPN referred to Cousins as a “mercenary” and he meant it in a positive way. What he is doing is using the NFL system to maximize his earnings potential. Look around at what has been happening around the NFL over the last few weeks, with players getting dumped when they are no longer of use to their teams—and instances of players getting cut will increase exponentially soon—and you should understand why there’s not anything wrong with a player getting as much money as he can while he can. If you add in the short careers they have and the risk that they might spend the last 40-plus years of your life having trouble getting out of bed every morning or suffering from worse problems and you still don't get it, I can't help you. Cousins should get as much money as he can and it's the job of the team that voluntarily pays him that to figure out how to make it work around him.
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- Redskins free agency needs—Offense