Hat tip: Extreme Skins.
Speculation began on Todd Wade's role after he signed a 6M, two year deal last week. Would he replace Dockery at Left Guard? Or is he still the competent backup Tackle he was last year? Or perhaps some of both?
Inside Slant suggests he is filling Derrick Dockery's shoes:
After welcoming Leonard Davis (who signed with Dallas the next day) and Luke Petitgout (who signed with Tampa Bay the next day) to Redskin Park and mulling such other free agents as Edwin Mulitalo, Zach Wiegert and Adam Timmerman, Washington opted to re-sign Todd Wade with the idea of turning the career tackle into a guard.
I like Inside Slant as it is fairly informative and semi-frequent, though I don't know if I agree with the wording here. From above it sounds definitive what the Redskins plan on doing with Wade; Washington signed Todd Wade and they did so with the intention of starting him at Guard. Inside Slant is a journalist's piece and we should presume good sourcing when they make definitive claims. But then immediately after:
That's certainly is the message in the three-year contract they gave Wade on Mar. 14. The deal includes $3.5 million in guaranteed money and is worth $6.2 million over the first two years. The third year voids if Wade plays 80 percent of the offensive snaps in either 2007 or 2008. Backup offensive tackles don't see this kind of green, particularly backups to longtime iron men Chris Samuels and Jon Jansen.
Nevermind that The Post
pegged it at 4.25M guaranteed (so who is right?), this statement qualifies the original. Is Todd Wade the new Guard because a source from the Redskins explicitly said so, or is that merely the logical conclusion Inside Slant reaches based on the contract? That is an important distinction, in my opinion. As a hyper obsessed Redskins fan I want to know now
where Todd Wade is playing. An explicit claim from a team spokesperson is a lot more meaningful to that end than speculation based on contract details. I'm the one who does all the speculating around here, which is why my claims are usually unreliable and always uncreative. Inside Slant need not dwell in obscurity with me.
And while I agree with the premise, that backup Tackles don't get paid his money, starting Guards don't get paid Todd Wade's contract either. Dockery's 49M contract is a looooong ways away from the 6M Wade just signed. So is the cool 49M Leonard Davis picked up, and ostensibly the Cowboys will move him to Guard as well.
Maybe Todd Wade picked up a sweet backup Tackle contract because we could use him as starting Guard if we run out of options. Just because he's a bit overpaid for one position (and absolutely underpaid for another) doesn't mean that isn't where he'll eventually end up.
All that said, I'd be fine with Todd Wade getting a shot at that Guard position, and so is he:
"I wanted a chance to start at tackle for someone, but my market value was down because I only started one game last year," Wade said. "When Dock left, there was a job open here which changed my thoughts about coming back. I practiced at guard last year and I believe that I can get the job done there. I'm planning on seeing a lot of playing time."
He sounds enthusiastic and willing to play at that position and I trust him if the Coaches do. If we escape the 2007 season with a reliable starting Guard on Todd Wade's contract, we'll look like geniuses for letting Dockery go and refusing to participate in the recent O-Linemen friendly free agency period.
Perhaps a 3rd or 4th round draft pick (after we trade down, of course) could permanently secure our interests in that position. Thoughts?