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Deadlines Looming--Today's the Day

Deadlines Looming--Today's the Day

The clock is ticking on two critical deadlines, one of them hard, one of them self-imposed, that will shape the face of the Washington Redskins for 2006 and for years to come.

The one hard deadline comes at midnight tonight. If that hour passes and Laveranues Coles is still a Redskin, any cap relief the team would get from Coles' forgoing all or part of the $5 million installment he is due on his signing bonus on April 1 will not be credited until 2006. That doesn't mean that Coles will remain a Redskin; he could still be traded and the team could absorb the full cap hit. But that doesn't seem to be something that the Redskins are willing to do. From an article by Jody Foldesy in today's Washington Times:
A trade involving Washington Redskins wide receiver Laveranues Coles just might be back on. The New York Jets, the most likely partner, seemed to breathe life back into the potential deal yesterday by signaling some willingness to work with the respective parties on a swap.The "work with" the Jets now seem willing to do is to give Coles a restructured deal including some guaranteed money so that Coles could give back all or part of the $5 million.
Under terms previously discussed, the Redskins would receive speedy wideout Santana Moss in exchange for Coles. Moss then would receive a new contract from Washington.

However, the specifics of Coles' financial prospects remain uncertain. The Jets could give Coles a new pact as part of the deal, or they could pick up part or all of the $5 million Washington is due to pay Coles on April 1. That $5 million represents the final installment on Coles' original $13 million signing bonus. This will either happen today or it won't happen at all, although a trade of Coles for Moss, or some other player, could still happen if the Redskins are willing to eat the $6 million cap hit due to accelleration of cap hit of his original $13 million sigining bonus.

The Coles situation has been a roller-coaster ride since it was revealed eight days ago that he was unhappy with the Redskins and wanted out. It's been so confusing that the identical article carries two very different headlines on the Washington Post website Sunday night. First, it was this:
After Trade Fails, Coles's Release Appears More LikelyWithin a couple of hours, it was changed to this:
After Trade Fails, Coles's Return Appears More LikelyThat pretty well sums it up. Dan Daly has as good an explanation as any as to the nexus of the confusion:
Frankly, it isn't hard to envision a scenario in which Coles went to Snyder, expressed his willingness to forgo the last installment of his $13Â million signing bonus in exchange for his freedom, and the Redskins owner, imagining what he could do with that $5Â million, saying, "We might be agreeable to that." (He did, I'll just point out, give Deion Sanders a big signing bonus and let him walk after only a year.)

One can also envision Snyder running the idea by Gibbs, and Coach Joe, rightfully, saying, "What are you, crazy? We gave up the 13th pick in the draft for that guy. He caught 90 passes for us last season. We can't just give him away. We've got to get something in return." Speaking of confusion, this article is still up as of Tuesday morning in regards to the Redskins interest in former Tennessee cornerback Samari Rolle. From our good friend Len Pasquarelli at ESPN.com:
Rolle could nab $15M signing bonus from Redskins

Despite denials from team officials, the Washington Redskins are pursuing a deal with cornerback Samari Rolle, one of six veterans released last week by the Tennessee Titans in a bloody salary cap purge, and a player who is among the most coveted free agents in the league.

Several league sources here said that Rolle, a seven-year veteran with superb cover skills, could command a signing bonus of as much as $15 million given the spending habits of Washington owner Daniel Snyder and the team's need for a cornerback.However, both the Times article referenced above and a Post article by Nunyo Demasio say that a potential deal for Rolle is dead or, more accurately, every existed.
Meanwhile, reports of Washington's imminent signing of cornerback Samari Rolle are false, said several sources familiar with the situation. According to one club source, Rolle hasn't even been on Washington's list of free-agent targets, largely because of his asking price. One of the hottest rumors at the Indianapolis combine was Rolle going to Washington for a signing bonus of up to $15 million. (Gregg Williams, Washington's assistant head coach of defense, was Rolle's defensive coordinator at Tennessee for Rolle's first three NFL seasons. And Rolle is a former teammate of Redskins safeties coach Steve Jackson.) However, the misinformation was apparently spread to exploit owner Daniel Snyder's reputation for free spending while increasing Rolle's value in free agency. According to one NFL source, Rolle is scheduled to visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday.So, if we are to believe the local papers, we have ESPN.com's Lenny P. getting played like a fiddle by Rolle's camp in order to drive up his price. Stunning.

The other deadline comes at 4:00 PM today. That's the self-imposed deadline for getting tackle Chris Samuels' contract restructured to give the team relief from his 2005 salary cap hit, which is currently almost $10 million. The team could use the cap room to deal Coles without any cap relief or sign free agents, either those from other teams or their own such as Fred Smoot and Antonio Pierce.

A deal between Samuels and the Redskins has appeared to be done for the past several days and it's unclear what the holdup in finalizing it. It's possible that Samuels' agent is actually reading the contract before having his client sign it, something that Lavar Arrington's agents apparently failed to do when he signed his extension late in 2003.

Meanwhile, it appears that Smoot and Pierce will both enter the free agent market at midnight. There is a chance that both will return, with the odds on Pierce being better than those on Smoot. From the Times article:
Some NFL executives believe Pierce will take the Redskins' best offer and shop it at least a day in free agency, but yesterday Pierce said he hoped to be back.

"I'm very optimistic," Pierce said in a phone interview. "Things are looking positive." The fact that the team is not after Rolle makes it more likely that Smoot will be back, but that prospect is still quite problematic. From the Post article:
"Fred's desire is Washington, but there's a whole lot of fish out there in the sea," Smoot's agent, Bus Cooke, said Monday night. "We've had amicable talks with Mr. Snyder and Mr. Gibbs. We'll see how it plays out."

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

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Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.

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I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.