It appears Chase Minnifield cleared waivers. (During the off-season teams have several days to claim a player off the wire. But during the season, starting July 4th, "Independence" Day coincidentally enough, each team gets only 24 hours to file a claim for the man on the wire.)
Many people within the Skins organization (and more than a few of us die hard Skins fans) share the perspective that Jarvis Jenkins' healthy return equates to a second round pick this season.
Here's why I earnestly believe a fully recovered Chase Minnifield will be providing the Redskins the same delayed gratification next season:
- Chase had his microfracture surgery in January. That gave Chase zero time to recover. (The NFL Scouting Combine, in which he participated, was in February, and Chase's Pro Day was in March.)
- Studies of NBA players who had microfracture surgery indicate a slow, deliberate rehabilitation is what yields the best results. Obviously, Chase didn't allow himself this time. By next season Chase will have had one year of rehab, as opposed to the one month he gave himself in his deep desire to follow his dad's footsteps into the NFL.
- Despite rushing back too soon, Chase performed well athletically by many accounts.
- Haslett and others have specifically mentioned Chase Minnifield's intelligence. (Yes, it pains me to admit this, Jeff. ha ha. jk.) Chase earned his undergraduate degree at UVA in three and a half years, and was pursuing his graduate degree before the NFL draft. Sound like anyone else we know, who happens to be bright, hard-working and disciplined? How well did that guy perform his next two seasons after diligently rehabbing?
- Guess what the following athletes, to name only a few, have in common?: Anfernee Hardaway, Jason Kidd, Greg Oden, Allan Houston, Kenyon Martin, Tracy McGrady, Chris Webber, Amar'e Stoudemire and Jeff Clement. Yea, you guessed it, of course. They've all successfully rehabbed from microfracture surgery.
- Chase Minnifield will have his father, Frank, mentoring and guiding him through the coming year's rehabbing and conditioning grind. How well has that father-son mentoring relationship worked for another one of our young players?
- Here's something we should all recall about Chase's dad, Frank, the guy whose genetics were passed right on down to Chase. Frank Minnifield was one of the hardest working defenders and most dedicated players in NFL history. Frank went undrafted and had to play in the USFL for two seasons. Despite his inauspicious beginning, Minnifield became a 4 time NFL Pro Bowler. His performance was so outstanding he was voted to the NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I'm not alone in planning on seeing Chase in a Redskins jersey. I figure I just have to wait a season, just like we all did for Jarvis, who'll be making the Giants outings against the Skins this season even more excruciating for Eli.
No pressure, no diamonds. Godspeed, Chase Onassis Minnifield.