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Need to Know: Should the Redskins give Pierre Garçon an extension?

Need to Know: Should the Redskins give Pierre Garçon an extension?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 7, two days before the start of NFL free agency.

Five thoughts on the Redskins as free agency gets underway

—There is some buzz about a possible contract extension for Pierre Garçon. He has a cap figure of just over $10 million. A simple restructure is not possible since he is in the last year of his deal. If the Redskins think he can be productive for another 2-3 years, which would carry him into his age 32 or 33 season, they could guarantee him some money, cut his 2016 cap hit down to around $6 million, and keep him around through at least 2017.

—The reason why they need to hold on to both Garçon and DeSean Jackson is that the free agent wide receivers who are capable of stepping in and starting right away as a No. 1 or No. 2 option are going to get expensive. After two years of bumper crops of receivers being available in the draft the group of pass catchers is of low quality this year. Teams in need will be bidding for the available free agent talent and it looks like demand will exceed supply. That will lead to good paydays for some receivers who haven’t done much, guys like Mohamed Sanu and Rueben Randle. The Redskins would be well advised to stay away from the free agent market and grab a receiver in the first few rounds of the draft.

—We’re still looking to see if S Duke Ihenacho and OT/TE Tom Compton are going to get offered restricted free agent tenders. I think the Redskins would like to have both of them back, at least to compete for roster spots. But I don’t think that they want to pay either player the $1.5 million or so needed to tender them and get the right to match any offer that they may get. If they aren’t tendered by 4 p.m. on Wednesday they will become unrestricted free agents.

—There is likely to be a waiting game at backup quarterback. It looks like Colt McCoy is going to at least explore his options before he considers an offer from the Redskins. Nobody is going to snatch up the other veteran backups either. The Redskins may go until close to the start of offseason workouts on April 18 with Cousins as the only QB on the roster.

—As free agency gets going remember that you can’t judge the acquisition of a player without considering the price. Even if the player is pretty good, if the contract is bad, it’s a bad deal. And even if the player is just OK, if he has a contract to match you can live with that. For example, although Jeron Johnson didn't do much last year, his contract was only for two years, $2.5 million with $350,000 guaranteed. That wasn't a bad signing. And Jason Hatcher has played better than his sack numbers indicate but the team has already spent over $13.5 million for him for two years and even if he takes a pay cut for 2017 he will cost a few million dollars more. That was a bad signing.



—The Redskins last played a game 57 days ago. It will be about 188 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 3; Redskins offseason workouts start 43; 2016 NFL draft 53

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Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 24, 36 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.


Days until:

NFL free agency starts 44
—NFL Draft 93
First Sunday of 2017 season 229

Gruden's fate rests on Manusky, McCloughan

In his press conference the day after the Redskins lost to the Giants to end their season, Jay Gruden talked about the decision-making process that would unfold if there were changes in the coaching staff.

“Ultimately I would think it is my call – our call,” he said. “Bruce [Allen] will have some input, Dan [Snyder] will have some input, Scot [McCloughan] will have some input, but from a staff standpoint, I like to think I have a lot of pull on that one.”

That doesn’t make it sound like he was completely free to replace the fired Joe Barry and new Rams head coach Sean McVay with whomever he chose. Others could make suggestions and have input and possibly veto power.

The decision to make Greg Manusky the defensive coordinator likely was influenced by and/or had the approval of, McCloughan. Manusky ran the defense in San Francisco when McCloughan was the GM there. McCloughan was instrumental in getting Manusky to come to the Redskins to coach the outside linebackers a year ago, after he was fired as the Colts’ defensive coordinator.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Greg Manusky

Having McCloughan’s approval for the hire provides Gruden with some degree of security. If it doesn’t work out, if the Redskins upgrade the talent on defense and still don’t get better results, the heat will be on McCloughan as well as Gruden.

Still, Gruden will be the one in the spotlight this season. When the annual media lists of coaches on the hot season in 2017 come out, Gruden is sure to be atop many of them. It’s simple math, really. In Gruden’s three seasons the team has gone 4-12, 9-7, and 8-7-1. A return to double-digit loss territory would be a regression and there would be legitimate concern over whether Gruden is the guy who can make progress and then maintain it and build on it.

Did Gruden get his first pick for the job? Probably not. It seems that Gus Bradley was the favorite, having built the aggressive Seattle defense and having ties with McCloughan from there and with Gruden and Allen from Tampa Bay. But he decided to head west and take over the Chargers’ defense, perhaps wondering about Gruden’s job security. If Bradley didn’t top the list, then Gruden’s top choice probably was Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. But he is under contract and the Bengals denied permission for him to talk about making a lateral move.

More Redskins: Redskins stay in house

Wade Phillips decided to go to the Rams, who have decidedly better defensive personnel than the Redskins, before he had a chance to meet with Washington. We’re not sure how seriously Gruden pursued Phillips but it’s possible that he would have taken him over Manusky if he had the chance. That means that Manusky was at best Plan C or Plan D.

But that’s water under the bridge. Gruden’s fate now lies in the hands of Manusky and in the hands of McCloughan, who must set out to get the new defensive coordinator a significant talent upgrade. If Gruden gets a better defense and can maintain a top offensive attack (given Kirk Cousins’ contract status, he needs McCloughan’s help there, too) and the Redskins can take the next step he should be expecting to start serious extension talks in 2018.

If the Redskins spin their wheels and end up around .500 again or if they regress and post double-digit losses like they did for five out of six years from 2009-2014 they could be cleaning house and starting over again. That wouldn’t be a good scenario for anyone. The organization is counting on Manusky, who was Plan C, and McCloughan to help Gruden get things on track.

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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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The Redskins newest coach has a rap video in his honor

The Redskins newest coach has a rap video in his honor

On Monday morning, the Redskins made several new coaching hires official, including Jim Tomsula as the new defensive line coach.

Tomsula was out of football in 2016 after serving as the 49ers head coach for the 2015 season in which the team finished 5-11.

Despite struggling as a head coach, Tomsula gained an odd, if not heavy cult following. It made little sense considering he has the look and demeanor of someone who was put on this earth to coach football and coach football only. But through the glories of the internet came this:

The Jimmy Tomsula rap song.


It's just a demo, and I suppose the full version could be out there somewhere since this song is over a year old. But there's something hypnotizing about 60 consecutive seconds of "Open up my shirt like im Jimmy Tom-Sula."

How long before we begin hearing this song at FedEx Field on Sundays?