Yet another rookie QB named a starter

Yet another rookie QB named a starter

From Comcast SportsNetPete Carroll and John Schneider were overjoyed during the April NFL draft when the Seattle Seahawks were able to grab Russell Wilson in the third round.Even they couldn't anticipate that Wilson would be the Seahawks' Week 1 starter.Carroll announced Sunday night that the undersized, but highly successful rookie quarterback from Wisconsin will be the starter when the Seahawks open the regular season on Sept. 9 at Arizona. Wilson beat out Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson -- in the process of being traded to Buffalo -- for the starting gig."It's been a very exciting competition that has gone on and Russell has taken full advantage of his opportunities and has done everything that we have asked for on the field and more than what you guys could know off the field in meeting rooms and with our players and how he's represented. He's earned this job," Carroll said on a conference call Sunday night. "It was a legitimate competition as we said from the beginning and with the opportunity he's taken advantage of he deserves to start."Wilson has been a dynamic star during the preseason. For the first two weeks, his performance came against backups during the second halves of victories over Tennessee and Denver.But what Wilson displayed during those two halves were enough for Carroll to give him the start Friday night against Kansas City. Wilson's response: 13-of-19 passing for 185 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 134.8. And if he didn't show enough with his arm, Wilson added another 58 yards rushing.His total preseasons numbers thus far are eye-popping: 35 of 52 (67.3 percent) for 464 yards, five touchdowns and a league-leading 119.4 QB rating. Wilson's only preseason mistake was throwing a careless end zone interception against Tennessee.Otherwise, Wilson's been almost perfect."This isn't just based on the quarters we've seen him play. This is based on the practice and the challenges that he's undertaken here on the practice field," Carroll said. "We've combined everything and with the circumstances that have been presented he won this opening challenge here."Wilson's most recent performance had Seattle fans buzzing, with Twitter overrun with "Russellmania" comments Friday night as he picked apart the Chiefs. As the game progressed, most began accepting the idea that Wilson would be the starter.Carroll said Wilson took the news in stride."He expects to be good and he expects to be successful and he expects to make plays," Carroll said.Wilson has been able to pick up the Seahawks offense quicker because of his experience playing in a West Coast offensive system in college. He spent his first three seasons at North Carolina State before transferring for his final year to Wisconsin. In Madison, Wilson led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl and was named the first-team, all-Big Ten quarterback."He is so prepared. He doesn't seem like a first-year player," Carroll said. "He seems like he's been around. He gets it, he understands and he is a tremendous leader in that way. He doesn't do anything but the right thing in all of his work and his preparation and his competitiveness has been demonstrated again."Wilson being named the starter leaves Flynn on the sidelines and according to Carroll understandably disappointed. Flynn was Seattle's big free-agent splash in the offseason and the most highly sought after quarterback not named Manning after spending the last few seasons as Aaron Rodgers backup in Green Bay. But Flynn failed to show the same flashes as Wilson during his two preseason opportunities and sat out the game in Kansas City with a sore elbow.Flynn's injury isn't considered to be severe, but sitting out against the Chiefs didn't help his case for the job."Matt's done a great job for us in every way, just the opportunities didn't seem to come in as big a way as it did for Russell," Carroll said. "He made the most of his."

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Redskins free agent WR Pierre Garçon has simple question: 'Y'all hiring?'

Redskins free agent WR Pierre Garçon has simple question: 'Y'all hiring?'

Twice in the last five seasons Pierre Garçon logged more than 1,000 yards receiving as a member of the Washington Redskins, including the 2016 season. He's caught 376 passes in Washington for 21 touchdowns over 74 games.

Outside of a foot injury that cost his six games in 2012, Garçon has been arguably the Redskins most durable wide receiver, and he's known to be a hard worker in the weight room and the practice field. 

Despite all that, Garçon doesn't know that he will be back with the Burgundy and Gold once free agency opens. In fact, that uncertainty led the 30-year-old wideout to post a simple question on his Instagram page.

#YallHiring?

A post shared by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

The top of the Redskins offseason questions remains QB Kirk Cousins. Garçon and fellow wideout DeSean Jackson are headed for free agency, as is standout defensive lineman Chris Baker. Reports show that the team has made little to no contact with any of the players or their representatives, though many conversations could be planned for the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis later this month. 

Garçon's question seems simple, but the answer remains a mystery. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Redskins salary cap outlook: Cornerbacks

Redskins salary cap outlook: Cornerbacks

The Redskins have found their offensive and defensive coordinators and they are ready to get on with the business portion of the offseason. The big question between now and the middle of March is how they will divvy up their $62 million in cap space. Here we’ll take a position-by-position look at the cap situation and explore some of the Redskins’ options. 

Cap info via www.OverTheCap.com

The Redskins currently have these cornerbacks under contract.

—Josh Norman, 2017 cap hit $20 million, under contract through 2020
—Bashaud Breeland, $811,500, through 2018
—Kendall Fuller, $737,106, through 2019
—Tharold Simon, $775,000, through 2017
—Quinton Dunbar, $614,000, through 2019

Free agents: Greg Toler, Dashaun Phillips (exclusive rights)

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Notes:

—Norman is in the second year of the five-year, $75 million contract he signed last April. This is the peak cap hit in the deal; in the remaining three years of the deal his cap range from about $14 million to around $17 million.

—Having completed three years of his rookie contract, Breeland is eligible for a new deal. There has been no buzz that there are any talks going on. Breeland had his struggles last year and both sides may want to wait before making a long-term commitment.

Positional spending (all defensive backs)

2016: $17.8 million, 27th in NFL
2017: $29.9 million, 7th in NFL

Adding and subtracting:

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Redskins stay away from the free agent market here, at least a far as the players who would get big and even medium sized deals. The Norman deal precludes bringing in a premium corner like Trumaine Johnson of the Rams.

They could bring in a mid-level corner, although that could cause a problem if they want to keep Breeland. If Breeland signs an extension this offseason the average annual value probably would be in the $7 million. If they don’t agree to a deal (as noted, that seems to be the more likely scenario) and he improves, that could be closer to $9 million. If he becomes a Pro Bowl caliber player, the sky’s the limit.

Because his value is likely to increase, it’s my belief that Breeland will wait unless the Redskins offer him a deal that is too good to turn down.

As of now, Fuller and Dunbar are second on the depth chart with Fuller currently penciled in the slot. Fuller still has three years left on his rookie contract and Dunbar will be a restricted free agent after this season.

The Redskins could bring back Toler and he, Simon, and perhaps Phillips can compete with a possible draft pick or two and maybe a low-level free agent.

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Salary cap outlook series

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.​