- And...we’re back. Thanks for hanging with us through the lull between the draft and training camp. No one does lulls like the Redskins. While other teams are churning the fringes of their roster this time of year, the Redskins occasionally like to see a roaring fire at the heart of their entire operation. The last Sixpack I had planned a few weeks ago was all about some off-the-wall moves the front office could consider, but one of them involved exploring the market for our most valuable player(s). Of course, that is only because here at Hogs Haven, we always say that if you want to be serious about doing trades, you have to be willing to trade something of value. When the Trent Williams story broke, I quickly canceled that Sixpack because it did not read well—it seemed more like I was advocating for trading Trent, as opposed to making a completely random hypothetical. More on that below.
- Because of his contract AND the kind of man/athlete Alex Smith is, we knew from the get-go that we Redskins fans were going to be treated to a steady diet of “The Comeback.” As long as his leg has been auditioning for a role in Hellraiser, it has been relatively easy to ignore, but now that Alex Smith is playing dodgeball with Angie Goff at the mall, it’s officially on. I have said in the basement—with general agreement from Kevin and Tim—that there is NO WAY Alex Smith ever plays again. I based that opinion on the fact that the harrowing medical journey Smith has been on has completely changed his body—his body mass, his muscle tone, etc. I mean, he is said to have to learn how to run again. In an era where 6’6” behemoths on the defensive line are also running 4.4 40’s, it doesn’t strike me as a very welcoming place for someone who has lost not only his flexibility and muscle memory...but also his ability to (know how to) run. That said, post-spiral-fracture-Alex-Smith would still be a HUGE step up from having to start Mark Sanchez. As for the Disney movie that Dan Snyder was dying to bankroll before he drafted Dwayne Haskins, the Alex Smith comeback story seems destined for a ridiculous buildup that can only end with him under center if something else goes horribly wrong (like our first round pick somehow can’t play for whatever reason). I continue to be a big Alex Smith fan, but I feel like the possibility of his comeback is going to live only as long as it takes to pay him what he is guaranteed.
- The Redskins are keeping three quarterbacks this season. I think. I hope. Again, if for no other reason than a “Never Again” Mark Sanchez policy, these Redskins need options and depth at the quarterback position. At the point in time where Dwayne Haskins turns into a “ten-year guy” that becomes a cornerstone of the team and offense, the Redskins can consider keeping just him and his caddy. Until then, neither Case Keenum nor Colt McCoy provide enough juice to cut the other. My gut says we will need both of those guys at some point this season, and neither costs a fortune. If you want to talk about potential best-case scenarios for Alex Smith, what about him actually getting back into football shape and taking a minimum contract to back up Dwayne Haskins into his 40’s? Can’t we all agree that there are few things that say “Redskins” more than an over-the-hill quarterback taking snaps far past his prime?
- Besides the physical pain and anguish of the spiral fracture, to me the real ass-kicker of Alex Smith’s injury is the manner in which it completely prevents the Redskins from taking full advantage of having a rookie quarterback playing on a rookie salary. I have a hard time thinking of anything that makes a bigger impact on an NFL team than having a starting quarterback playing on his rookie deal. Given middle-of-the-road veterans can make as much as $20 million a year, you can pretty easily see the value in having a starter making $4 or $5 million a year. Teams like the Cowboys, Chiefs and Rams have all benefited greatly in recent seasons being able to spend big chunks of money at other key positions while their young starter was working on that first contract. The Redskins may still be able to net a season or two of that benefit, but not this year or next year thanks to the amount of dough owed to Alex Smith. The injury is nobody’s fault, and the Redskins and their fans should all feel good about getting a strong rookie prospect. There is still value to be extracted from the situation with Haskins playing on that rookie deal, but it is just worth noting that it won’t be the same as what we have seen elsewhere in the league. On the bright side, our salary cap space dedicated to the quarterback spot will be kind of locked in, preventing us from having to carve out space later.
- As long as we are talking about quarterbacks, can we just all take our Josh Doctson pulse real fast? My hope is that Doc pulls out an 85-catch, 1,000 yard season from out of nowhere with his NFL future on the line. It makes sense doesn’t it? There’s almost no way we could justify paying him “market value” at the end of the season after the body of work he has turned in his first four years, so him having a big year this season would simply come as zero surprise.
- Count me among those who feel that no news is good news on the Trent Williams front. If Trent and his business team are playing things close to the vest, that is fine by me. I don’t trust any narrative that would be cooked up and peddled by Bruce Allen, so I am glad to hear nothing from him. I know we have put millions of pixels to use on this topic already, but my stance is that I would gladly pay him a few extra million per season on his existing deal. I am hesitant to sign him to a new mega-deal with extra years. If a compromise was possible, and we could add one year to his current deal with some new money that would make his camp happy, that would be great. I would not hesitate to pay him his market value at the end of that three years, but I want the chance to have that choice at that point in time. And I need to stroke a gigantic check to Brandon Scherff at some point, so we need to keep a lot of this in mind.
The Sixpack returns with some rambling, rumbling thoughts on the Redskins offseason.