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Plenty of pros and cons to Redskins' decision on RG3 contract option

Plenty of pros and cons to Redskins' decision on RG3 contract option

According to a Washington Post report, the Redskins may be inclined to exercise their fifth-year option on Robert Griffin III unless they end up selecting Marcus Mariota on April 30, the first day of the NFL draft. Since it seems unlikely that Mariota will still be available, it looks like they could decide to extend the option, which comes with a one-year salary of about $16.5 million.

There are upsides and there are downsides to activating Griffin’s option. If he reverts to the form that he displayed in 2012, when he was rookie of the year and led the Redskins to their only playoff appearance in the last seven years, then the $16.5 million will be a very reasonable salary for Griffin in 2016, perhaps a bargain. If he does not improve from 2014, when he struggled to be effective when passing from the pocket in head coach Jay Gruden’s offense and missed games to injury as well, the team can simply withdraw the option. It is guaranteed for injury only (and the injury bar is very high, to the point where he would have to miss the whole season) as long as they cancel it prior to the start of the league year in March.

But suppose he plays like he did in 2013, when he showed some flashes of his 2012 form but was inconsistent to the point where Mike Shanahan benched him at the end of the year? That might be good enough to want to keep him around to see if he will develop further but not good enough to warrant a $16.5 million salary. Of the possible outcomes here, boom, bust, or somewhere in between, this in between scenario is the most likely.

Then you are stuck with trying to negotiate a deal with him when he and his agent will see his starting point $16 million for 2016 since that essentially is the offer that’s on the table. The Redskins would essentially be trying to negotiate a pay cut for a player they want to build around. That’s never a good thing and Washington would be working from a position of weakness.

There is another option, although time is running short to get it done. I think that the best thing for the Redskins and Griffin to do is negotiate a short-term extension. Although exercising the option does not preclude working out an extension, it complicates it for the reasons outlined above.

He is guaranteed a $3.4 million salary for this year as part of his rookie deal so you have to write that into it. Do a two-year deal, guarantee him a total of $10 million and give him a modest 2016 salary that can escalate if he reaches performance benchmarks. After two years they will know where they stand and can either part ways or negotiate a longer extension.

The ace in the hole for the Redskins is the franchise tag. Should Griffin revert to his 2012 form in 2015 and the Redskins are having difficulty signing him they would have the option of giving him the franchise tag. That would be somewhere in the vicinity of $20 million. It’s not that $4 million more is not significant but in the scheme of a cap that is likely to be $150 million in 2016, it’s not a difference that is very damaging to the cap.

We will see what Scot McCloughan decides to do in the draft and then regarding the Griffin option. It will make for a few interesting days in early May.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—The injury bug, Fuller impresses

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—The injury bug, Fuller impresses

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, August 18, 15 days before the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 on September 2.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 229 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 23 days.

Today’s schedule: Practice 11 a.m.; Player availability after practice, approx. 12 p.m.

Days until:

—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 1
—Redskins @ Rams (9/17) 30
—Sunday night Raiders @ Redskins (9/24) 37

The Redskins week that was

A look back at some of the past week’s most popular posts and most important topics from CSNmidatlantic.com and RealRedskins.com.

Kendall Fuller impresses, Kirk Cousins frustrates—There’s no other way of putting it—Fuller struggled as a rookie last year. The third-round pick was mostly healthy last year but he lacked confidence in his repaired knee. He has been looking much better in camp this year; look for him to get plenty of snaps as the nickel corner.

5 observations from Redskins' empty loss to Ravens—I like doing these “gut reaction” posts right after coming back to the press box from the locker room. I haven’t re-watched the game but I’ve gathered a little more information from Jay Gruden and the players. Often these first reactions are the best, most accurate comments I make.

Redskins Su'a Cravens reportedly to miss 2-3 weeks—This report came before the surgery to repair some meniscus damage. The timetable didn’t get altered very much; the three-week mark would have been after the last preseason game anyway. Now he is supposed to be ready for Week 1. That’s likely but, as with all injuries, we don’t know until he actually gets on the field.

Report: Murphy suffers season-ending injury—While the impact of this injury is being minimized by some, Murphy was very good last year. He had nine sacks and forced three fumbles. The injury makes the Redskins more dependent on Junior Galette, who has not played since 2014. Yes, OLB was an area of depth but it’s tough when you start to burn through that depth in the first quarter of the first preseason game.

Redskins to keep Murphy on 90-man preseason roster—Instead of putting Murphy through waivers before putting him on injured reserve, the Redskins put him straight to IR. Read the post to see why this was a somewhat curious transaction but the explanation makes it clear that the Redskins are making moves with 2018 in mind.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Top 5: Redskins players and positions to watch vs. Packers

Top 5: Redskins players and positions to watch vs. Packers

The Redskins stumbled out of the gate in their preseason opener after falling to the Baltimore Ravens 23-3. Washington showed very little offense as they struggled to move the ball for most of the game, while the defense suffered some key injuries.

Kirk Cousins and company look to rebound in their second preseason game as they host the Green Bay Packers this Saturday at 7:30 PM. 

CSN's Julie Donaldson and former NFL GM Charley Casserly give their top five players and positions to keep an eye on in the Redskins second preseason game.

RELATED: FOSTER, BROWN TO START VS. PACKERS, GRUDEN SAYS.

Charley Casserly Top 5:

5. Matt Ioannidis: "I like Ioannidis. I thought he played the best of the rest of the defensive lineman. He's a high motor guy, he gives you effort, he's quick."

4. Deshazor Everett: "I thought he played well the other night. I thought he covered well, I thought he was aggressive against the run, he made good tackles."

3. Outside Linebackers: "Hey Preston Smith, this is your opportunity. This is a big year for him because hey, we drafted a guy. Anytime we draft a guy, the pressure is on."

2. Kirk Cousins: "He's got an advantage here. Green Bay is down, two of their top three corners aren't playing. This passing game should be in sync this week."

1. Offensive Line: "This offensive line did not play last week...you got to come out, dominate the line of scrimmage, control the line of scrimmage, and set the tone for the game."

Julie Donaldson's Top 5:

5. Nico Marley: "He has a lot of heart. He's making a name for himself... this guy has more to show for us than just being Bob's grandson, but I want to see can he do it again..."

4. Deshazor Everett: Cc'd: Casserly's comments

3. Samaje Perine: "There were so many expectations for him, he looked a little bit lost. I'm kinda hoping those are just nerves..."

2. Offensive Line: "If Kirk Cousins is going to have any success, or anybody that goes behind him, if that run game is going to have any success then we need to get that o-line in sync."

1. Colt McCoy: "We are one injury away from Coly McCoy taking over this team."