- Even though it gives me no pleasure to watch the New England Patriots win yet another title, they sure did earn their most recent trophy. I tip my hat to them and thank them for providing a compelling game to watch—after all, this NFL postseason has been devoid of great games except for two (Green Bay over Dallas and Pittsburgh over Kansas City). I have never really been squarely in the “hater” category when it comes to New England, but I have always been far from “supporter.” I still recall them going for it on fourth down against us late in a game they were blowing us out of...and that sting remains. Still, for the most part, they have mostly just been dominant under Belichick and Brady, and football fans are able to process how good they are, despite the average willingness to admit it (Duke basketball is different, however...for some reason).
- Something that struck me before and after the game was the manner in which the owners of both Super Bowl teams spoke about their respective quarterbacks. We heard Arthur Blank tell folks that his guy—Matt Ryan—was in line to get paid an awful lot (despite his contract not yet being up) and we have all been hearing and continue to hear about the relationship between Brady and Robert Kraft. I am intimately familiar with the rule/fact that not all things work the same for all teams. I know we have a...unique...ownership situation. We as a fanbase have spent a lot of pixels on this site complaining about the meddlesome habits of our owner, Dan Snyder, in past seasons. The last thing I want to see is a return to such habits, but one thing we have always recognized is that when a guy sits on top of a billion-dollar business, he is likely going to want to have some say, or some role, in the operation. To be very clear, Dan Snyder has played pretty darn nice in the sandbox for quite some time. I see him at this point as an owner who has successfully put a management structure in place beneath him that is showing signs of success. This is everything we could have hoped for as recently as five or seven years ago. I only mention this because of how ridiculous what I’m about to say might sound to some people.
- If there was ever a time when hearing from the owner mattered in any meaningful way, it would be now. That’s right...I think I’m calling on the owner to clear up the whole Kirk Cousins matter. I don’t think anyone else’s thoughts on the subject matter more right now, and I don’t think it would be viewed as “meddling.” When you hire someone for somewhere between $100 and $200 million, you’re essentially forming a business partnership. Whether Scot “McLovin” McCloughan needs Snyder’s permission or not to ink Cousins to a long-term deal, the kind of money involved inherently puts Snyder in a rather active role in this decision. If we lock Kirk down, him and Snyder are basically a tag team duo (a la the Hart Foundation or Road Warriors). It would not be out of line for Snyder to add his two cents ahead of such a pairing. In fact, his thoughts on the subject could go an awfully long way towards eliminating the chasm that currently separates the pro-Kirk camp from the anti-Kirk camp.
- If we are actually going down this route—the route of making Kirk Cousins “our guy”—than it would be meaningful for us to receive some kind of sentiment out of Dan Snyder. We all know the lukecold history between the owner and the player. I think it would be unfair to characterize their relationship as “bad,” because I believe this situation could and would be worse if that was really and/or very true. Listen, Snyder had Cousins jammed down his throat by Shanahan. Even when Snyder hired a coach to develop his guy (Robert Griffin III...been a while since his name has been in a Sixpack!), Jay Gruden ended up being the one who finally benched him for good and elevated Cousins to the starting role. Simply put, Dan Snyder has been working on finishing a six-foot party-size turd sandwich in the owner’s suite. To me, this actually enhances any statement he would make on the subject, especially if it would be to come in full support of paying the number it would take to lock up Cousins. If McLovin and Bruce Allen decide that Kirk is the franchise guy who we will build a team around for years to come, there doesn’t need to be any mixing of signals, or sleight of hand. There doesn’t need to be any acrimony and there doesn’t need to be any public doubt. I know one thing for certain: countless fans believe one of the biggest obstacles to getting a deal done with Cousins is Snyder and his attitude on Kirk. Dan is more than entitled to his opinion of a player he pays, and if he truly can’t bring himself to pay this player, he should make that clear. For all the talk about whether or not McLovin “likes to pay top-dollar” for whatever position you name, we would all be kidding ourselves if we failed to understand that a franchise quarterback is a different beast.
- When an organization discovers a franchise quarterback, it is a momentous time. It is a time for celebration and happiness. It is almost never a begrudgingly-made move, right? I mean, when you find and commit to a young and proven (I’m gonna pay for using that word) signal-caller, it is a great day for your team. Further, Dan Snyder has never stood on the bridge of such a sound ship, and all signs point to greater stability and flotation security to come. Why not get out in front of this matter? Why not be the voice that champions the true inauguration of the next era of Redskins football? After putting us through so many circus sideshows, it would be quite the treat if Snyder said something like what we heard out of Arthur Blank when he spoke about his own quarterback. I don’t want Snyder to say something he doesn’t truly feel, but I think he should feel pretty excited to have a quarterback of the present and future. I think he could and should make it clear that his money is being well-spent on this player. If there is any acrimony at all that lingers from the history involved here, I think the billionaire owner should lead the way with words of unity and sincerity. If this is the path we are about to embark on, let it begin from the absolute top with an endorsement of the path and an excitement about investing in the path. In short, I guess I am saying that there is, in fact, a good time for Dan Snyder to let his voice be heard on football matters. That time is now.
- On The Audible this week, I will be digging out of the hole I dug today when I actually suggested that Dan Snyder should get actively involved in football matters. I’m really looking forward to that, and I will do my best to credit all of you who ring in on the subject until then. As for the offseason, this is when it really starts to get good for us. Meaningful player movement is not that far off. Year Three of the rebuild is about to take serious shape. Wins will no longer be “ahead of schedule.” The Redskins will and should be expected to win and contend next season. I honestly can’t think of a better name for our show than “Offseason On the Brink.”
Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays
If there was ever a good time for Dan Snyder to go public on a football matter, it would be to endorse Kirk Cousins.