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What does Ryan Tannehill's extension mean for the Redskins' RG3?

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What does Ryan Tannehill's extension mean for the Redskins' RG3?

Ryan Tannehill of the Dolphins became the first of the quarterbacks who came out in the 2012 draft to sign a contract extension yesterday. The Redskins have one of those quarterbacks in Robert Griffin III. What effect will Tannehill’s deal have on Griffin?

First let’s look at the money. Tannehill was already under contract for the next two seasons with the last year of his rookie contract and the fifth-year option paying him a total of $18.3 million. The extension adds the years 2017-2020 to the deal and adds $77 million.

Tannehill’s contract gives him $21.5 million fully guaranteed at signing per Pro Football Talk. The total guaranteed money, which includes some that is currently guaranteed for injury only at the time the contract is signed, is $45 million.

So how does that compare to a contract extension that Griffin, who also has the last year of his rookie deal plus the option year left on his deal, might get? Looking at just their total career passing stats there is no reason to think that Griffin should get substantially less than Tannehill in a new contract. Here is a comparison of some key stats. (For detailed stats on each player go here for Tannehill and go here for Griffin.)

The two are equal in touchdown pass percentage and Tannehill is slightly better in avoiding sacks. But Griffin has the edge in completion percentage, interception percentage, gross yards per attempt, adjusted net yards per attempt and passer rating.

Griffin’s numbers include his stellar 2012 season, one that he did not come close to duplicating in his subsequent two seasons. But even Griffin’s 2013 season, which was widely considered to be a disappointment, was about the same as a typical Tannehill season. Here are some of Griffin’s numbers from that season compared to Tannehill’s career.

When it comes to the bottom line, wins and losses, there is no question that Tannehill’s Dolphins have been superior to Griffin’s Redskins. Miami is 23-25 in games Tannehill has started while Washington has gone 14-21 in Griffin’s starts.

However, the two quarterbacks have not had equal amounts of help when it comes to putting up wins. The Dolphins’ scoring defense has ranked 7th, 8th, and 20th in Tannehill’s three seasons; the Redskins have been 22nd, 29th, and 30th in scoring defense over the same three years.

All of the information above is the kind of data that Griffin’s agent will present to Scot McCloughan or Bruce Allen or whoever is negotiating a new contract on behalf of the Redskins, trying to argue that Griffin should get a deal at least as good as Tannehill’s or perhaps even better. But the Redskins will have plenty of data on their side to argue that Griffin isn’t worth as much as Tannehill.

Durability is the main quality that Tannehill has going for him over Griffin. The Dolphins have had him behind center for 48 of the 48 games they have played since draft him. He has been listed as questionable on the injury report just twice; other than that he has been either probably or not listed.

Griffin has started 36 of the Redskins’ 49 games since 2012 (counting the one playoff game in 2012). He missed one game due to injury as a rookie and was out six games injured last year. In addition, Griffin was “deactivated” for the last three games of 2013 and benched for performance for three starts last year. Tannehill has a clear advantage in terms of one of the most important “abilities”, availability.

The other thing that Tannehill has going for him is that he appears to be on the rise. In 2014 he posted career-best numbers in virtually every major category—completion percentage, touchdowns, interceptions, yards per attempt, passer rating, and adjusted net yards per attempt. He is doing what a young quarterback is supposed to do, learning and getting better.

Meanwhile, I’m sure it’s not necessary to detail the miserable 2014 season that Griffin had for the readers here. His arrow is currently pointed in the wrong direction.

Fortunately for both parties, it’s not necessary for Griffin and the Redskins to negotiate an extension right now. Griffin will have at least another year to try to turn things around. If he can, the $19.25 million per year that the new money in Tannehill’s contract will pay him would be well within his reach.

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A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

This week in Indianapolis the NFL world will converge at the Scouting Combine to watch college football players work out, sprint and lift weights in anticipation of the upcoming draft. For the Redskins front office, this draft needs to be a win.

The 2016 Draft could still yield strong results for Washington, but overall the class did not play particularly well as rookies. This year, Scot McCloughan has nine picks at his disposal, with the extra picks late in the draft in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

It's no secret that the 'Skins need help along the defensive line, a lot of help. That should be a major area of focus for the Redskins scouts and coaches, and that will make next Sunday arguably the most important of the week in Indianapolis. 

The combine divides players into 11 position groups, but Groups 7, 8 and 9 will matter most. Groups 7 and 8 represent defensive linemen and 9 are the linebackers. That group officially arrives on Thursday but won't work out on the field until Sunday. The days in between include interviews, psychological testing and the bench press.

Obviously the Redskins won't spend all nine picks on only defensive linemen. The team will likely invest in the offensive line as well, and that group will arrive earlier in the week and work out on Friday. Cornerbacks and safeties are the last to work out on Monday, March 6. 

With the likely departure of at least one of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon, and the possible departure of both, it would make sense for the 'Skins to bring in another receiver via the draft. They work out on Saturday, and should the Redskins decide to take a quarterback in the draft, the passers will work out that day too. 

Running back could be another spot the 'Skins invest. Jay Gruden said that Robert Kelley is locked into the RB1 role, but still the team might want increased competition at the position. The backs will work out Friday.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

The NFL has released the official schedule of when NFL coaches and executives will take the podium and address the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. You can find it right here but I’ll save you a click—nobody from the Redskins is scheduled to talk.

NFL teams are not required to have a representative speak at the combine but most do. This year only the Saints and Patriots are joining the Redskins in avoiding the media.

Bill Belichick never talks at the combine and I believe that the Saints have bypassed the opportunity to do so in the past. However, the Redskins head coach traditionally has gone to the podium in the past. Joe Gibbs spoke when he was in his second stint as the head coach. Mike Shanahan, as tight lipped as anyone, met with the press in Indy each of his four years as head coach. Jay Gruden has spoken during each of the three years that he has been head coach.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

And last year Scot McCloughan held a small media gaggle with local reporters in his hotel in Indianapolis.

This year the Redskins are going somewhat dark. McCloughan did not speak to reporters at the Senior Bowl (Gruden held a brief availability in Mobile), a departure from his first two years with the team. And now no Redskins representatives at the combine.

One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.

So why aren’t they talking? The best bet is that they are in a delicate stage when it comes to dealing with the future of quarterback Kirk Cousins. He is a pending free agent who is likely to be hit with the franchise tag on Wednesday, the day before the combine starts. At that point, the clock will be ticking on Cousins either signing a long-term contract or getting traded to a team that is willing to meet his asking price. It’s my guess that Jay Gruden does not want to face questions about Cousins’ future.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Gruden is not a very good liar; his poker face needs a lot of work. Perhaps that is a good quality for a human being but not a very good attribute for someone who would need to go out and talk about Cousins as the long-term quarterback for the team, or at least the QB for the coming season, when his status may be very much in doubt.

This is not to say that there is definitely going to be a trade of Cousins worked out at the combine. But it is very possible that a deal will be discussed with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers and any number of other quarterback-needy teams. And perhaps there is concern that Gruden will let something slip or, more likely, say a lot on the subject of Cousins by not saying anything.

Again, this is just reading the tea leaves on my part. But by going silent the Redskins are sending an invitation for people to fill in the blanks. I am just taking them up on it.

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.