One of the more frequently asked questions around here concerns the contract of Robert Griffin III. Specifically, folks want to know what the holdup is in getting it signed.We had some footage here earlier today about both RG3 and Mike Shanahan being confident that a deal will get done in plenty of time for Griffin to make all of the team activities. The CBA pretty well dictates that the contract will be four years with a team option for a fifth and worth about 20 million. The Redskins will have no problem guaranteeing the whole deal.So, again, whats the holdup?It could be something that wont be a part of this deal and will never effect Griffin, a technicality called offset language.Cowboys COO Stephen Jones told NFL.com that offsets are why none of the top eight picks of the 2012 draft have signed yet. Thats whats probably holding everybody up, because the moneys the money, said Jones. I think everybody wants to be consistent at the end of the day. Thats whats holding everybody up.What the heck are offsets? If you have offset language in your contract, if you are released with guaranteed money on your contract, any money from a new deal with another team will be deducted from what your original club owes you. So, if the Browns release you with 2 million in guaranteed salary left on your deal and you sign with the Rams for 1 million, the Browns only owe you 1 million. So, management wants offset language.If you dont have an offset clause, you collect the 2 million from Cleveland and the other 1 million from St. Louis. Obviously, players and their agents dont want offsets.An offset is not likely to come into play with the Redskins and Griffin if only because there is is zero chance that the Redskins would release Griffin inside of four years. There just is no possibility of him getting money from another team in that time.But its not as simple as that. The Redskins may not want to set a precedent for putting offsets into rookie deals and Ben Dogra, Griffins agent, might not want to roll over in it, either.However, offsets could be holding back a Redskins-Griffin deal because the issue is holding up deals for the other picks around him. Even in the era of contracts where the CBA dictates the vast majority of the terms, agents are very reluctant to sign their clients to deals when no player drafted near them has been signed as they are afraid that a subsequent deal might make theirs look bad.So, as long as Luke Kuechly, the ninth overall pick by the Panthers, remains the highest-picked player to have signed a deal, RG3 will most likely remain unsigned. And until someone gives in on offsets, the chances are that many in the top eight will be unsigned.Its not a big deal yet and the chances are very good that as training camp approaches the logjam will break and the top picks, including RG3, will be signed in plenty of time. But it youre looking for an answer as to why it isnt already done, it could be right there.
The NFL has announced every team’s picks in the upcoming draft. Here are the Redskins’ 10 selections:
Round-pick in round-overall pick
1-17-17 own pick
2-17-49 own pick
3-17-81 own pick
4-7-114 from Saints
4-17-124 own pick
5-10-154 from Jets
6-17-201 own pick
6-25-209 from Texans
7-2-220 from 49ers
7-17-235 own pick
The picks from the Saints, Jets, and Texans are from trades made during last year’s draft. The Redskins sent their fifth-round pick to the 49ers for TE Derek Carrier, who also sent their seventh-round pick in the deal.
The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.
That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.
Will DeSean Jackson be back?
Tandler: For the second time in three seasons with the Redskins, DeSean Jackson led the NFL in yards per reception. In 2016, he averaged 17.9 yards per catch with 19 receptions that were good for more than 20 yards. The nine-year veteran was second on the team with 1,005 yards receiving.
That is some pretty solid production but the Redskins may have to find a way to replace it in 2017. Jackson is a free agent and his return to the team is very much in doubt.
During the season, Jackson said that he was looking forward to the experience of being in the free agency process for the first time in his career. He was a free agent in 2014 but he came to the Redskins after the Eagles cut him in April, well after most teams had finished with the process. Now he will be on the market with 32 potential suitors.
It seems likely that one of the 31 teams not called the Redskins will offer Jackson a contract that Washington will decline to match. He could get a deal with an average annual value in excess of $10 million and with Jamison Crowder eligible for an extension in a year and Pierre Garçon, also a pending free agent, possibly being a higher priority for the organization, it seems that will be too much for the Redskins.
Jackson may not have the offseason workout habits that the Redskins would like him to have but if it’s a matter of money then it will be understandable if he does end up leaving. Still, that production will have to be replaced and Jackson will get paid well precisely because few have his combination of speed and ball-tracking ability.
Finlay: Seems hard to see a scenario where DeSean comes back to the Redskins, and it will be a big loss for the team, and not just statistically. Jackson's elite speed and ball-tracking ability make him a threat that opposing defense's must constantly account for, in turn opening up the middle of the field for crossing routes and underneath patterns that Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed run so well.
Money will be the deciding factor, as it almost always is. Jackson wants to get paid when he has a chance to look all around the league. There are plenty of teams that could make sense, starting with his old squad in Philadelphia and elsewhere around the league destinations like Tampa, Kansas City and even San Francisco could make sense.
Asked about bringing back Pierre Garçon or Jackson, this quote from Jay Gruden at the end-of-season press conference speaks volumes about the team's plans for DeSean:
When you finish a season in the National Football League, you’re probably dreaming if you think you’re going to have the exact same roster back as you had a year ago. We’re going to have a draft with new players. We’re going to have free agents. We’re going to lose some of our free agents. It’s our job to make sure we target the ones we definitely want back that really have an impact on this football team, not only from a talent standpoint but from a leadership standpoint. Both of those areas are very important to me, almost more so as a leadership standpoint. A lot of these guys have talent, but we have got to make sure we keep the great leaders in this building.
More offseason questions:
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