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Will Shawn Springs be a Redskin or not?

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Depends who you ask. The Times and Post kind of sort of disagree -- cue the dueling banjos!

First, The Times:

Gibbs said that while the Redskins are still seeking to renegotiate Springs' $7.35 million salary cap number, the soon-to-be 32-year-old isn't going anywhere. And Smoot's arrival also might inspire Carlos Rogers, a first-round draft pick in 2005 who slumped last season.
    "Last year, we felt we got hurt with our depth at corner," Gibbs said. "You don't want to make the same mistake twice."
Well that sounds fairly settled. Or is it?

Per The Post:

According to sources, Springs, 31, believes the combination of his age, his future salary cap numbers and the club's reservations about his durability make it unlikely they would try to retain him beyond 2007, and he wants a resolution. Springs said he would play for the full worth of his contract this season, but not for a restructured deal that would result in him making less. He is open to a trade and is mulling over a tactic used by former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington last year, when he forfeited deferred payments to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent...

Weeks ago, Gibbs asked Springs to accept a roughly $2 million pay cut and he refused.

Admittedly there isn't really any dueling report here. Gibbs did say that Springs would remain here (per the Times) and Springs thinks he might be gone. Both claims can and likely are true.

Personally I would be fine with either Springs remaining or leaving town on a trade. The worst  case scenario is a straight up cut where we get no value for Springs who is, when healthy, still a very competent CB. His contract is high but not prohibitively expensive, in my opinion. He's worth the 7M we'll pay him 2007 if only because he'll cost the team more than that to play for someone else.

Most intriguing is the possibility of Springs buying out of a portion of his contract, though I think that is far less likely than was the case with Lavar. Arrington wanted to play and knew he was doomed to the lower rungs of the depth chart unless he got out of town. He had an opportunity (at the time) to play himself into a better contract before his career wound down and could have possibly made money by giving some back to the Redskins. That didn't turn out to be the case, but hindsight etc. etc.

Springs is still the starting CB for the Redskins and I cannot imagine the 31st ranked defense in the league can afford to bench him over a contractual dispute. There were always questions about the way Arrington was playing his position; no such questions surround Springs. He's definitely gone by 2008 unless he miraculously plays 16 games in '07 (which he won't) and Smoot or Rogers regress into totally unreliable players.

All that is unlikely but it is what it is. Rather than speculate without knowing on Springs ultimate destination, let's tie this into rumors per Redskins Insider (Hat tip: Pride of Detroit) that Dre Bly wants to be a Redskin (Detroit Free Press also thinks so). AOL Fanhouse's Ryan Wilson mentions Ladell Betts as possible trade fodder, but I think the team would be better off working a deal for Springs. If Bly gets dealt for Betts then Springs is cut, as the team has no need for a 7+M CB if they also have Bly, Smoot, and Rogers.

I'll keep an eye on what happens regarding a possible Bly trade. It would not surprise me if Springs was a Redskin in 2007 or if he wasn't as the reports are fairly ambiguous and it isn't clear whether even the principals involved are certain of Springs' future. Reader(s) are encouraged to post their own worst and best case Shawn Springs scenarios in the comments section.