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Should Jay Gruden and the Redskins Renew Their Vows?

Perhaps the first domino to fall this Redskins offseason should be a long-term commitment to the head coach, Jay Gruden.

NFL: Preseason-New York Jets at Washington Redskins Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

On The Audible last night, we opened the latest installment of “Offseason On the Brink” with the following line of thought: so much has been made—and will continue to be made—about the defensive coordinator, the quarterback, the offensive coaching staff and of course general direction...what if there was a simple way to neatly signal both inwardly and outwardly that the Redskins are both loving the path they are on and are interested in investing further into that direction?

The show delves into a few other standard offseason topics in this half hour, but at its core is a discussion on the team and its head coach.

This is not a conversation about “what Jay Gruden deserves.” This is not a referendum on whether or not the Redskins “have done right” by the head coach. Instead, I very straightforwardly suggest that should the Redskins extend their head coach right now, it would be one of the strongest moves possible.

Let’s quickly dismiss the premise that Jay Gruden “must be extended” in order to avoid lame duck seasons or to address a perceived lack of commitment to the coach. Gruden signed a five-year deal (of which he is three years into) and Dan Snyder made the not-so-common move of guaranteeing all five of those years. (Many times, a coach’s five year deal includes team options of some sort.) By most measures, the Redskins are properly committed to their coach and not leaving him hanging as a lame duck in the locker room.

What I tried to articulate on the show was that the Redskins are asking an awful lot of people to go all in on them right now. They have core players like Josh Norman, Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed and Trent Williams inked through that time frame. They will potentially be looking to put a quarterback in place through that time frame. They will be courting free agents (their own as well as those from other teams) who will want contracts of that kind of duration. They are asking coordinators to consider them as a landing spot to work under Scot “McLovin” McCloughan and Jay Gruden.

Further, firing Joe Barry and watching Sean McVay leave town all feed nicely into the narrative that the Redskins do see Jay Gruden as their “guy.” Why not renew some vows in front of everyone to kind of cement the notion that this train is not only staying on the tracks, but it is chugging full-steam ahead?

With two years still guaranteed, why not put a three-year extension in place that includes a couple of team options on the back end? It would be one of the splashier stories in recent memory for a variety of reasons. Dan Snyder has never extended a coach as our owner. Jay Gruden would be the first, making it historic! (haha)

I worry that Dan Snyder sees other teams shopping for things (coaches) that he is not in the market for at the moment. Wouldn’t it be a great way to scratch the itch by buying your own guy? Wouldn’t that domino potentially set off a number of other dominoes? I think it would help a coveted defensive coordinator decide to come here if he felt that much more comfortable with the head coaching situation. I think it would signal to players around the league that stability really has arrived in Washington, and it would become a more attractive (even if it is only slightly more) landing spot for prized free agents that have eschewed our city in the past in favor of franchises that display more consistency.

No, the Redskins don’t “owe” Jay Gruden an extension...but wouldn’t it be the kind of move that could jump-start so many other endeavors this offseason? Wouldn’t it perfectly firm up the footing of this very professional rebuild we are witnessing?