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Shawn and Sean say whatever to OTAs

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Update [2007-5-9 10:55:24 by Skin Patrol]: War Cry! beat me to it, with some good news on Springs per the Post:
"I'll be there in a couple, few weeks. It's not a statement about anything. All it has to do with is that I'm getting my work in here."
Also per the same article, the following players showed up: Phillip Daniels, Renaldo Wynn, Marcus Washington, Clinton Portis, Randy Thomas, Chris Samuels, Jason Campbell, and Demetric Evans.
Not good news per Redskins Insider. First, Shawn Springs:
I heard over the weekend that Springs had no plans to come in this month. He's still thinking he'll get cut - and who can blame him after being asked to take a pay cut then being shopped around the league all offseason? - and from what I hear, he's content to keep working out in Arizona and see what happens with the Skins.

He's said all along that if they can guarantee they'll keep him around at his slated salary, then he'll be the happiest camper around. But with the way this offseason has played out, he figures he might as well keep doing his thing and wait and see what happens by the time mandatory mini camp starts. Stay tuned.

Never encouraging to hear that your starting cornerback (who is overpaid given the limited amount of field he sees due to injury) is missing out on OTA football practice because he isn't in the loop with the coaches. A phone call that says "show up, you're on the team" could fix this. Even if you do plan on cutting him, it benefits everyone to have him at the OTAs helping rookies out with the defense. Trick him if you need to. Send a postage-paid box to his Arizona workout facility with "Extremely Fragile" on it and hope he jumps in and mails himself to camp.

On Sean Taylor:

As for Taylor, well his past speaks for itself. I'll know more tomorrow and maybe it turns out to be an "excused" absence, but as of late tonight the coaches and scouts didn't know of an excuse if there was one (and if upper management knew why Taylor wasn't here, they hadn't told anybody). I am told Sean was around the facility for the start of the workout program 5-6 weeks back and looked great and sounded great and the thought in the organization was that everything was cool ... but the players think otherwise and are convinced that Taylor isn't going to be around for a while and their read on the situation is that he wants to get paid.

Again, we'll see what the official word is on all of this, but his peers - many of whom had not talked to Sean in a while - were not surprised by his absence and figured it was an indication of his contract.

As Jason points out, missing the OTAs is especially eggregious for Taylor since it was his absence (due to a contractual dispute, incidentally) that partially led to his June, 2005 arrest for aggravated assault.

The good news is that despite his contractual dispute with the team, absence, and subsequent arrest, Sean Taylor showed up in 2005 and played his ass off. He buried any concerns I had with his on-field product given disagreement with the organization that year. Even though he regressed in 2006, I'm willing to blame much of that on the more general defensive woes the entire team suffered.

What is tragic about Sean Taylor is that he's about as talented a pure athlete as exists in the NFL. If he gave a shit and showed up to OTAs and threw himself into them (no matter how meaningless they may be) he could very well be the greatest safety in the National Football League. If he brought the same intensity he exudes during a game into the offseason, there's no reason this guy shouldn't develop into a legendary player. The difference between a great and an awe-inspiring player could very well be a bit of hard work. I don't say that to challenge Taylor's work ethic, but to say if he put in a bit more into these OTAs (as trivial as they may be) it could pay off on the field.

What the team could do is pay him what he deserves. If it does come out that his absence this time around is pecuniary, then we need to dip into those Redskins pockets to keep the best player on our defense paid. It occurs to me that Taylor, as the 8th highest paid defensive player on the roster, probably does feel sleighted and reasonably so. Especially since there's a backup DE (Renaldo Wynn) and a younger Carlos Rogers in front of him on the pay scale.

And thus it all comes back to the Redskins salary cap management. As much as I want to applaud the team for spending what it needs to win try really super hard, it isn't always best to pay right up to the salary cap. Sometimes having a little extra cash on hand is just what the doctor ordered, especially when your two best defensive backs decide they don't want to show up. As of six days ago we were just over 5M under the cap -- and still needing to sign all our rookies, free agents, and anyone else who decides to show up. You throw in Sean Taylor's financial needs (per his agent, Drew Rosenhaus) and there's not a lot of pie left from which to slice.