- While it never seems like an NFL contract has fully revealed itself until after every phrase and clause has either been exercised or mercilessly fought over, there seems to be consensus on the front side of the Alex Smith deal. Now that Spotrac (it’s not that I don’t like Over the Cap, I just have grown to lean a little more on Spotrac) pegs the 2018 cap hit for the Alex Smith contract at $17 million, I am feeling even better about the direction of things in Redskins Nation. To be clear—because this constantly comes up—this is less about how much I love Alex Smith and more about how much I love salary cap space and the prospect that we will spend it on a few players that could make a difference in Washington for the next three to five seasons. Maybe the Redskins could have figured out a way to keep the Kirk Cousins cap hit below $25 million in year one of his deal in Washington, though it would have skyrocketed from there. That difference is a starting wide receiver. Granted, you could end up being dead wrong about that wide receiver (cough...Terrelle Pryor...ahem). Hell, the Redskins found Zach Brown for $2 million...which won’t happen again. We’re not talking about Allen Robinson kind of money, but we are talking about Paul Richardson kind of money here.
- I try and balance out a little optimism with a little realism, and today, that has me wondering about the Sunday gameday experience this fall. I don’t know about any of you out there, but I have been hearing of a ridiculous amount of fans not renewing their seats for the upcoming season. While I understand this is the time when that kind of talk heats up, it feels a lot different this offseason. Like, I believe that a LOT more people are serious about bailing on season tickets this offseason than in almost any previous offseason in the last decade. An obvious discussion topic in the comments section is about whether or not you believe the stands will be more or less full when the season opens. For my part, I haven’t had season tickets for almost a decade, and I am not even close to considering getting back onto that horse. Are you someone who has been giving this any thought? If you are, where did you land on this?
- I don’t think it is a coincidence that the Redskins made an aggressive offer on Alex Smith very early in the game. To me, that is what the Kendall Fuller aspect of the trade meant—it was the Redskins making sure they did what they thought they had to do to give fans a reason to think twice before abandoning their season ticket contracts. On one side of the coin, they can certainly claim to have put a classy professional at the head of their offense on the field. On the other side of the coin...I am not hearing any kind of overwhelming reversal by legions of fans who seem to be...well, abandoning their season tickets. Maybe I’m just plain wrong on this, and the stadium will be full in week one of the regular season, but I am starting to honestly believe that won’t be the case.
- The draft and free agency are still looming, and they always bring plenty of folks back into the fold in Redskins Nation. The right free agent wide receiver, an affordable deal with Zach Brown and a couple of starters in the first and second rounds of the draft will surely inspire optimism in the fanbase. Will it be enough? I can’t ever remember a time when I have used this space to wonder about this exact subject. I haven’t really cared too much about it, to be frank. That said, I also don’t recall a time when so many hardcore fans have so strongly considered checking out on the home field experience.
- I will continue to bring this up periodically between now and September, because it could potentially be...a thing. Many of you would argue that it is already a thing. I have been to pretty much every game for the last 17 years, and I can tell you that we have been trending toward this for a while, but I have never fully believed in “Empty FedEx Theory.” The theory holds that Dan Snyder will eventually run out of blindly loyal Redskins fans (and Steelers/Eagles/Giants/Cowboys fans) to fill his stadium. He has moved seats out, and there are rumors that he will be removing more sections going into this season as well. Either way, color me CURIOUS to see how this shakes out in September.
- Though I am curious about such things, I look at what Jay Gruden is doing and I continue to think the team—on the field—could be at least as competitive as any 8-8/9-7 team out there. If that is true, a few bounces could legitimately be the difference between 7-9 and 10-6 in the 2018 season. On The Audible tomorrow night, you will hear the optimism in our voices about the on-field product. You will hear that Jay Gruden’s offense is in good hands, and that a second year under Greg Manusky (and Jim Tomsula) should net positive results. You will hear that diehard fans of this team are VERY capable of separating their passion for our favorite team from the criticism and even antipathy directed at the Steward’s Suite. Now more than in recent memory, we are tasked with spotlighting that which is worth celebrating, because we know that the light will continue to shine bright on those...other...areas. I think one thing that fascinates me is the feeling we will each feel when this team does put it together. Having wrestled with these...other...feelings for so long, here is my prediction about how it will feel: friggin’ great. What’s more, there are few fanbases who have stuck it out for each other more than the Redskins fanbase (unfortunately, I have to give the Eagles fans some props in this department). When we have our moment, the steward will try and make it about himself, but we will all look at each other and know what it means. (Yes, I realize the ridiculous way today’s Sixpack ended...we went from not showing up on Sundays to a Super Bowl parade. classic Sixpack lunacy.)
Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays
As things settle in the quiet days leading up to the start of free agency, the Redskins are preparing to spend...some...money!