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Taylor deal a short-term fix

Taylor deal a short-term fix

I don't usually like to do pull quotes from something I wrote just a few hours ago, but I'll make an exception in this case:

From this article posted today a 4:16 PM EDT:

Trading for Jason Taylor and giving up a conditional fifth-round pick and having him work his contract to a cap-friendly deal that would contain a big roster bonus to be paid on opening day of 2009 would be OK. Giving up a second-rounder and having to work around his $8.1 million salary this year, making him a very expensive one-year rental, would be dumb.

The deal that went down this evening was the "dumb" deal and then some. The Washington Redskins gave up an '09 second and a '10 sixth for the right to Taylor's contract as is.

The only potential mitigating difference here is that Vinny Cerrato is "100 percent confident he'll play more than one year." There's some reason to believe that this is the case as, according to Jason LaCanfora, the relationship between Cerrato and Taylor's agent Gary Wichard is "uncommonly close" (not that there's anything wrong with that).

So, if Taylor plays for two or three years, the deal starts to make a little more sense—but only a little. A second is a lot to give up for a short-term player and by any definition two or three years is short term.

The trade does improve the defense, immediately and considerably. Taylor was the league's defensive MVP just two years ago and he immediately becomes the team's best defensive linemen, perhaps their best overall player. For the first time in years the Redskins will line up bookend defensive ends, both of whom should post double-digit sacks. Andre Carter posted 10.5 sacks in 2007.

It's the kind of deal that would be great for a team that is just a player away from being a legit Super Bowl contender. Are the Redskins, a playoff team two of the past three years, that sort of team?

If not for a couple of factors like a head coach and a quarterback who are going to be doing some on-the-job learning, maybe. By Zorn's own admission, it's going to take Jason Campbell a few years to master his version of the West Coast offense. Jason Taylor won't be playing here in a few years and neither will the second-round talent that the Redskins gave up to obtain him.

Initially, the news that the Redskins had pulled the trigger on this trade surprised me. It seemed like they were changing their ways and using draft picks on college players instead of dealing them for short term quick fixes.

But then I remembered all the way back to April when Cerrato had an offer of at least one first-round pick and possibly two for Chad Johnson. They were saved from that one by the Bengals insistence that they were not going to trade away Johnson.

The Dolphins weren't inclined to save the Redskins from themselves on this occasion.

Maybe Taylor will play for three seasons, post 35 sacks, and be a key to a couple of deep playoff runs. Or he may provide a few, very expensive thrills before riding off into the sunset after the 2009 season.

The Redskins are all in betting the former.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces retirement from NASCAR after 2017

Dale Earnhardt Jr. announces retirement from NASCAR after 2017

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

One of the longest eras in NASCAR will come to an end concluding the 2017 season.

Early on Tuesday morning, Hendrick Motorsports announced that 18-year veteran, longtime Redskins fan and popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. would retire at the conclusion of the current season.

Earnhardt, son of the late legendary seven-time champion, Dale Earnhardt Sr., told his No. 88 team members before the organization released the news.

Last season, the 42-year-old missed the final 18 races of the NASCAR season due to a concussion. The injury resulted in a 32nd place finish in the NASCAR standings and it was the first time he missed the association's 'playoffs' since 2010. 

Throughout his long career, Earnhardt captured 26 race wins, two being the elusive Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014. Due to the legendary status of his father, he never quite lived up to the level many placed on the Earnhardt family name. His win total is roughly a third of his father's and has not won a championship. Best career points finish for Earnahrdt was third in 2003, and finished fifth three times (2004, 2006, 2013). Starting in 603 total races, he has finished in the top 10 in nearly half of those races, 253 times.

Despite the lack of a championship, he was named NASCAR's most popular driver 14 times, trailing only Bill Elliott who won that honor 16 seasons. 

RELATED: EARNHARDT FORCED TO RACE IN EAGLES-THEMED CAR

At the end of 2017, Earnhardt's contract with Hendrick Motorsports was set to expire after 10 seasons with NASCAR's most successful team. Prior to his tenure with Hendrick, he was a part of Dale Earnhardt Inc. for eight years where he won 17 of his total 26 race wins. 

Currently, Earnhardt is 24th in the NASCAR standings, 50 points behind the cut-off for the final playoff spot. There are still 18 races remaining in the season for him to make up the ground with some of his best tracks still on the docket. In addition, a win would boost Earnhardt up into a playoff spot due to NASCAR's playoff system. 

With Earnhardt Jr. retiring, there will be one Earnhardt remaining in the Monster Energy Cup Series to carry the family name. Grandson of Dale Earnhardt Sr., and nephew of Jr., Jeffery Earnhardt is a regular in the series. 

Hendrick Motorsports announced in their release that they will not name a replacement for Earnhardt Jr. just yet. During his 18-race absence in 2016, he was replaced by a young prospect, Alex Bowman and four-time series champion Jeff Gordon.

It is anticipated either Bowman or 19-year-old William Byron, who Rick Hendrick signed to an Xfinity Series contract last season, will take his place. 

As a lifetime fan of the Washington football team, Earnhardt has been known to put his opinion of the team out there.

He was not happy with how the team handled Scot McCloughan situation, and publicly voiced his support of Kirk Cousins

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One significant stat that separates Christian McCaffery from Dalvin Cook

One significant stat that separates Christian McCaffery from Dalvin Cook

Football coaches hate fumbles, and Jay Gruden is no different. Remember that Matt Jones had established himself as the Redskins lead running back despite persistent fumbling issues his first two years in the NFL. That was until a goal line fumble Week 7 in Detroit. Jones never played again in 2016. 

Fast forward to Thursday night's NFL Draft, and the buzz surrounding the Redskins interest in Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey could all boil down to fumbles.

Both Cook and McCaffrey visited Redskins Park, and both players possess the speed and game-breaking ability that could deliver big returns to the Washington offense. Since the NFL Combine, McCaffrey has emerged as the higher draft pick.

Their college statistics are fairly similar. Both players went for more than 5,000 total yards in three college seasons. The size is similar too, Cook gets listed at 6-foot, 209 lbs., while McCaffrey gets listed at 5-foot-11 and 203 lbs.

One area that's quite different: Fumbles. 

An average NFL running back fumbles once every 100 carries. Rich Tandler researched an incredible stat about the two players:

  • McCaffrey averages one fumble every 243 carries.
  • Cook averages one fumble every 63 carries. 

The difference is staggering. And it could be enough to keep the 'Skins away from Cook at 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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