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What effect does Kaepernick's deal have on RG3, Redskins?

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What effect does Kaepernick's deal have on RG3, Redskins?

Yesterday afternoon Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and other young quarterbacks who will be up for new contracts in the next few years had reason to celebrate. Colin Kaepernick signed new six-year deal with the 49ers and the reported top line numbers of up to $126 million with a record $61 million guaranteed apparently gave the other young guns a nice comparable deal to work with when negotiation time comes around.

But the devil is always in the contract details and as those have emerged the Redskins and other organizations that will have to write the checks are breathing easier. Florio has Kaepernick’s contract broken down on Pro Football Talk and you can go there if you want to wade through all of the provisions. But the bottom line is that far less than $61 million is fully guaranteed and Kaepernick’s salary can de-escalate by $2 million annually if he doesn’t make first- or second-team All-Pro or if the 49ers don’t make the Super Bowl.

The vast majority of the guaranteed money is guaranteed for injury only. In other words, if Kaepernick is healthy but underperforming, the 49ers can release him after this year and deal with only his $12.3 million signing bonus as far as dead cap.

How does this affect Griffin and the Redskins? While it’s interesting and certainly something that both Griffin’s agent and Bruce Allen will file away for future reference, it’s too soon to tell. Griffin’s deal has two more years to run and under CBA rules a player’s rookie deal can’t be renegotiated until only one year remains so nothing can be done this year. Since Griffin was a first-round draft pick, the Redskins have a fifth-year option on him that will keep him under team control for the 2016 season at a salary of about $15 million.

It’s likely that Griffin’s camp and the Redskins would rather not have Griffin play 2016 under the option salary (since Kaepernick was a second-round pick in 2011 there was no option year; he would have been a free agent after this season). The spring of 2016 is the likely target date for a new deal for Griffin.

Will he get the big money? Again, too soon to tell if Griffin will command a salary in the $20 million per year range. If he plays more like he did as a rookie in 2012 and the team has some success in the playoffs he could well cash in with a deal bigger than Kaepernick’s and one that perhaps has more fully guaranteed money. Note that the salary cap is likely to be some $20 million higher in 2016 than it is now, according to many projections. The agents for Griffin and the other young gun QB’s are going to want compensation adjusted accordingly. But if Griffin improves only marginally from his forgettable performance of last year, his potential payday will shrink.

But make no mistake about it, unless Griffin’s play completely falls off the face of the earth the Redskins will have to do whatever it takes to keep him in burgundy and gold well beyond his option year. There simply is too much invested in him both in terms of draft picks and marketing (yes, there are off-field considerations in contracts) to let him walk after fulfilling his rookie contract.

Griffin’s contract will become a more prominent topic for discussion after the last game of the upcoming season, when he will be eligible for a renegotiation. Until then, Kaepernick’s deal is a data point to ponder.

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Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Kirk Cousins had his eye on Kyle Shanahan's offense, but is there more to it?

Of course, Kirk Cousins is disappointed the Redskins didn’t make the playoffs, but among the various things he’s done in the offseason, one of them is a little curious.

Sunday, Cousins wasn’t just watching the Falcons dominate the Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship Game. He sent out a picture on Instagram from the stands of the Georgia Dome.

“Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!” Cousins wrote.

But — especially with rumors that Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will be offered the head coaching position with the 49ers — is there more to this post than the Redskins’ quarterback simply watching the game?

Shanahan was the Redskins’ offensive coordinator from 2010-2013 and was reportedly “integral” in the team selecting Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft.

So if Shanahan makes the move out to San Francisco and if the Redskins don’t put a franchise tag on Cousins, could the pair be reunited?

It’s possible, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who said, “don’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at Kirk Cousins if the Redskins do not make him their exclusive franchise player.”

There’s a lot of if’s involved for that to happen, but it’s possible. It’s also possible Cousins was just enjoying the NFC Championship Game and decided to Instagram about it. 

MORE REDSKINS: Why Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for Washington

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3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

3 reasons why Redskins promoting Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator makes sense

Championship Sunday produced a flurry of Redskins news. A pair of internal promotions erased the team's vacant coordinator positions, as Greg Manusky landed the defensive coordinator spot and Matt Cavanaugh will take over as offensive coordinator. When Sean McVay left to coach the Rams, many expected Cavanaugh to take over his spot. Here are three reasons why:

  1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - There was plenty to criticize from the Redskins the last two seasons, but not much of it came on offense. Cavanaugh joined the organization in 2015 as quarterback coach, and the offense has consistently improved in those two seasons. Though the team struggled to score TDs in the Red Zone, the 2016 version of the Redskins moved the ball at a team-record clip and ranked among the top offensive teams in NFL yardage. When something is working as well as the 'Skins offense, it's not wise to change it dramatically.
  2. Impressive work - Cavanaugh began coaching QBs for the Redskins in 2015. Kirk Cousins took over as Redskins starting quarterback in 2015. In two years working together, Cousins twice broke the Redskins franchise passing record and is now poised to get a mega-contract in free agency. Talking after the 'Skins loss to the Giants earlier this month, Jay Gruden said, "I think [Cousins'] really improved his game a lot in the last couple years. And a lot of it has to do with Matt Cavanaugh and Sean McVay."
  3. Make the call - The biggest question remaining for the Redskins - outside of the HUGE unknown surrounding Cousins - will be about play calling. All indications are that Jay Gruden will return to calling the plays from the Washington sideline, and obviously, that's a situation Cavanaugh understands. For two seasons now, Cavanaugh along with McVay, Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Callahan have had input on play calling. With McVay gone, Cavanaugh and Callahan will likely contribute even more in support of Gruden. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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