- As Bill laid out for us earlier in the day, we have some specifics on the Alex Smith contract. I appreciate the debate over what is and what is not a “good deal” depending on how you view Alex Smith, but to me, there are a couple core arguments to make. First, it looks like his contract averages out at $22.2 million per year, which puts him squarely inside the top ten quarterbacks in the league—it ranks seventh at the moment. With some big contracts coming up—Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan extensions could come sooner rather than later—this Alex Smith deal will undoubtedly get pushed down the list. Based on the ever-increasing scale on which signal callers are being compensated, it is not unreasonable to suggest that the Redskins could very soon be paying a middle-of-the-road rate. On behalf of those of you out there who are deathly afraid of having to count on a guy playing until he’s 37 to make this deal the best deal it can be...I’ll say it’s a risk. The other subtle/not-so-subtle aspect to this is that this deal is in line with what the Redskins allegedly offered Kirk Cousins last year. Some say this means that the team has/had no problem with piling guaranteed money on top of the quarterback position. If you want to heap praise on Bruce Allen for finding someone out there that would take the quarterback money he was willing to pay, I think you can, but to me it just means that the team finally made a market-based offer to a guy. Whatever your opinion on Kirk Cousins is or was, pretty much everyone knew how much he was going to be paid and the Redskins chased that from quite a distance back for two years. Either way, the Alex Smith contract is NOT a millstone tied to the team’s neck and it actually becomes more and more affordable each year. (Again...anything less than three years of service causes us some pain.)
- Since we last met in this space, the Redskins have added to the roster in some ways that definitely succeeded in quieting the very vocal segment of fans who were becoming increasingly upset about...well, that list is actually pretty long. The lack of a Zach Brown signing was easily at the top of the list for most of them. Upon hearing that the Redskins had managed to bring back Brown and his 127 tackles in 2018, I could not help but feel like a moment had occurred. If you have been a Redskins fan long enough, you know what I am talking about. It’s that moment in an offseason where you think, “You know something...these guys might actually have a chance to do something!”
- As much as I profusely apologize for participating in any of these moments in prior seasons (or even leading on some of them), this time—wait for it—feels (here it comes) different. Here is where I really surprise you: it’s not necessarily a “good” kind of different. In prior offseasons, the news that we had resigned a top priority defensive playmaker would have started parades. The official unveiling of an affordable and classy pro under center would have caused fireworks to spontaneously ignite. The march toward the draft, where an impact player surely awaits at #13 overall, would be a daily source of excitement. I am not saying that none of this true for us this year, but it just doesn’t seem...the same. I know part of it has to do with the Philadelphia Eagles just won the Super Bowl. If you are a Redskins fan, this new reality—the one where the Redskins are the team in the NFC East with the longest Super Bowl drought—is a stinging reality. The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants don’t appear to be losing ground from where they wrapped up 2017, which puts a weird taste on all of this. I mean, even when the Giants suck, we can’t regularly beat them. The moves lately feel like treading water, as opposed to actually making up ground. Before the Zach Brown deal, I felt like we were sinking, so treading water is a step in the right direction. Call it growth or maturity, but these deals just don’t strike the same chord that previous dealapaloozas did. Can we agree that is a good thing—and not necessarily the harbinger of a 4-12 season?
- When I was asked who the #1 priority was for the Redskins to resign this offseason, I went with Ryan Grant (Zach Brown was already very well-represented on the panel). Jay Gruden touted Grant’s versatility and Kevin has done a good job on our podcast pointing out the lack of said versatility in our WR corps without him. The seemingly inevitable loss of Bashaud Breeland kept getting overlooked—nobody thought we would have a realistic chance of keeping Breeland, making him a non-target for us. The fact that both of these players have now failed physicals that nullified deals they had in place with new teams is honestly pretty shocking. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that either of these players are coming back home to D.C. as a result of these physicals (especially because the Redskins just reportedly added Orlando Scandrick). It does speak to the issue that got tons of attention here last season, which was the manner in which it seemed like every employee of the Washington Redskins suffered some kind of lost-time injury. (Though, in fairness, it looks like Ryan Grant got Crabtree’d.)
- I hate signing former Dallas Cowboys.
- There is a lot going on, so I figured a good jumping off point today for the discussion below would just be to ask you, “Do the events of the last week change your overall view on the 2018 Redskins season, and perhaps as importantly, do they change your overall view of this front office?”
Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays
The Redskins 2018 roster is coming together. It will be interesting to see how the remaining weaknesses line up with player availability at #13 in the NFL Draft.