The Redskins are wrapping up their organized team activities session of the off-season this week in Ashburn, but make no mistake about it: The work is just beginning.
On three fronts. Next week, the team will have a mandatory mini-camp that will likely be reduced to two days of practices.
Two enormous off-field storylines continue to simmer on the backburner as summer draws closer.
Will the Redskins get a long-term deal done with Kirk Cousins by July 15
? The answer? I don’t know but they better. They’ve screwed this situation up 17 ways to Sunday and now they have to egregiously overpay Cousins to get him under contract long term.
Dan Snyder is involved in the contract negotiations
per a report from Adam Schefter of ESPN
. Snyder, for several weeks, has been more involved in the recruitment process according to my 106.7 The FAN colleague, Grant Paulsen, has reported.
After Schefter’s report, I was told that Snyder is indeed very involved in this negotiation and more, which we’ll address shortly.
I know Redskins fans are going to think I am crazy, but this is a good thing for the Redskins.
Does it guarantee a deal? Of course not. Does it give the deal a better chance of happening? Yes.
Why? Because Snyder is not as fiscally conservative as Bruce Allen is and because Snyder is fearful of the franchise tag number that the Redskins are facing next off-season, if they can’t get a deal done.
NFL sources tell DCHotRead.com that Snyder realizes that a
$34.5 million cap hit and a total cash and cap pay-out of $78.36 million over three years
, is preposterous and not a good move for the organization.
As you may recall, Bruce Allen has said publicly that the Redskins could do this in 2018 if they cannot reach an agreement by this year’s deadline.
That’s all fine and good. The problem is that paying Cousins an absurd number only makes the problem worse for everyone.
It makes the organization look terrible, because it tells free-agents that you can do nearly everything right and still not get treated fairly or at least by fair NFL standards. It's also not good for Cousins because he would continue to not have long-term support from those that make the ultimate decisions.
Snyder realizes that while Cousins is not the marketing machine that Robert Griffin III was, but he is their best option moving forward at quarterback and you can win with "Captain Kirk."
It took him too long to reach this conclusion, but he apparently is there. Now he needs to make sure that Bruce Allen understands that the Redskins are in this position because of their previous mistakes and that they cannot absorb the terrible publicity and scorn by media and their customers/fans for another disaster.
The problem for the Redskins? They’ve handled everything wrong, possibly up until now. They are in a position where they probably have to overpay not only what they want to pay Cousins, but also, in all likelihood,
the established market.
Meaning? Ideally, if they only want to pay Cousins 22-23 million dollars per year as a last ditch effort, they are not only going to have to pay that, but they are going to have to pay more than what most experts have established as the current market.
If we use Cousins’ 2017 salary ($24 million) as a reasonable figure for an annual average value, the strong belief in the industry is that the Redskins are going to have to offer a minimum of $25 million per year on average and from what I’ve heard, it’s likely going to take more than that.
That’s with $60 + million in fully guaranteed funds.
Cousins is not being greedy. That’s Cousins getting paid what is fair based on the market, his performance and the scarcity at the position.
If Cousins settles for $23.5 million and say $55 million in fully guaranteed dollars, he and agent Mike McCartney are doing the Redskins a huge favor and they are leaving money on the table.
They have that right but it would seem odd to do that at this point when they are so close to what they desire, which is a true chance to determine his market value. They would already be giving up that opportunity and it would be highly unlikely they would make two huge concessions.
Snyder can help end this game and do the right thing for everybody. It’s a gamble, but it’s a reasonable and calculated gamble that makes sense for the franchise.
The Redskins should not have to pay Cousins the money that he wants and that he is worth by NFL standards, but they almost have no choice. They made their bed and lost badly. Now they have to fix it or be left with lesser options.
Colt McCoy is fine but he's not as good as Cousins is, obviously.. Drafting a quarterback next year might be the long-term answer but it is a huge risk for that to be the short-term vision.
Snyder is also very involved in the
re-organization of the front office
, which will be announced shortly.
Snyder was and is still embarrassed and humiliated by how badly the Scot McCloughan situation played out. Many Redskins fans completely blame the organization for their handling of it.
The Redskins handled it wrong in the end, but to say they are completely or mostly to blame is simply wrong and far from the reality.
The problem for Snyder and the Redskins? Nobody wants to hear or believe the truth. The track record of mistrust is so bad that nobody will give a true benefit of the doubt.
NFL sources continue to suggest that a decision will be made shortly and while nothing is official in any way, the most likely scenario is Doug Williams taking on a larger role, possibly with the title of general manager added on along with former senior executive, A.J. Smith, brought back in an advisory/executive role.
Sources suggest that Snyder’s involvement has led to
Williams’ chances increasing for a more visible and crucial role,
while Williams has demonstrated behind the scenes an ability to organize, lead and galvanize the personnel staff.
This is an interesting development because just a few weeks ago, it was looking like
Williams would be left behind and could have potentially left the organization
, a move that would make the Redskins look worse than they currently do.
fans on twitter and elsewhere continue to insist that they do not want Williams
to have more power and control and would not mind if he left the organization. For whatever reason they have
Some of those reasons might be valid. It’s not as if Williams’ work ethic and personnel skills are revered by others around the NFL, but Williams has earned his place on the field and off it.
Fans want a new name and fresh blood to be put in charge. That’s not happening, likely ever again, if it even happened with McCloughan. There’s fear of the unknown and the thought by several people in a high-ranking capacity that the building is stronger today than ever before.
Another name could be added to the mix and nothing is official in this regard, but sources say that Snyder is bent on fixing the image of the organization and the front office by being more involved in the hiring/structure process.
Why? Because Snyder is insisting on a group of men that will not embarrass the organization like he feels and everybody on the inside knows that McCloughan did.
It sounds weird and feels weird to say this, but a wiser and more mature Dan Snyder’s involvement in his true passion might be what the Redskins need at this moment.
Nobody wants or believes that Snyder will be evaluating tape and making most of the roster decisions, especially because he
now trusts Jay Gruden
and many others that are paid handsomely to deal with those situations. If Snyder can help ensure that a long-term deal for Cousins gets done (or has a legitimate chance) and if he can restore some public trust and goodwill back in the organizations’ hierarchy, is that a bad thing?
Especially if that translates to the Redskins winning more on the field and of course, the all-important off the field victories that the Snyder regime has experienced much more of than the former.
Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins for Monumental Sports Network (www.DCHotRead.com) & Warpath Magazine. Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN