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Need to Know: For answers in the Redskins' saga, follow the money


Need to Know: For answers in the Redskins' saga, follow the money

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 14, one day before the Washington Redskins visit the Atlanta Falcons.

Follow the money

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder did not stand in the way of Mike Shanahan’s plan to shut quarterback Robert Griffin III down for the rest of the season, according to a report in the Washington Post. But it also sounds like he wasn’t necessarily as enthusiastic about it as Shanahan hinted he was during his Wednesday news conference.

Snyder “did not object” to the move to bench the 2012 rookie of the year because he believed it was the coach’s decision to make. But according to Shanahan if either Snyder or General Manager Bruce Allen was not “100 percent behind my reasoning” for benching Griffin he would maintain the “status quo” and keep Griffin as the starter.

It is not clear if Shanahan had that 100 percent backing from the owner. “He thought it was up to the coach, a coaching decision,” said one of the sources for the Post story. “Whether he agreed or didn’t agree is not the issue.”

The article also sheds some light on question of why Shanahan is still coaching the highly disappointing 3-10 Redskins. As is often the case, you can find the answer by following the money.

Shanahan has one more year left on his contract with a salary of $7 million. If he gets fired, he gets paid that money. If he quits he does not.

If Snyder fires Shanahan and the assistant coaches it would cost a total of about $12 million for him to pay off their contracts. He is probably on the hook for most of the assistants’ contracts anyway. But he certainly would like to be able to avoid paying that big chunk to Shanahan.

The standoff could end with a buyout in which Snyder would pay Shanahan part of what he is due. That seems to be the most likely scenario.

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—Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 1; Cowboys @ Redskins 8; 2014 NFL Draft 146

—Today’s schedule: No availability, team traveling to Atlanta

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Shanahan talks about benching RG3

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

The Redskins had to say good bye to several key players as the 2018 NFL free agency period began.

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland was one of those players.

On Tuesday, Breeland reported agreed to a 3-year, $24 million deal with the Carolina Panthers.

But on Friday afternoon it was reported that Breeland failed a physical, which means he won't be signing with the Panthers, per Panthers reporter Bill Voth.


If this sounds familiar, it's because it is familiar.

Redskins wide receiver Ryan Grant intended on signing a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens. But a failed physical just a day before his introductory press conference meant a voided contract and back to the drawing board.

According to multiple reports, Breeland's failed physical was due to a recent non-football injury. Breeland and the Panthers could still come to an agreement, but the former Clemson star is now back to being a free agent and will have to pass a physical before officially signing with a new team.

According to ESPN's David Newton, Breeland injured his foot on vacation in the Dominican Republic and will need his skin grafted in order to repair the injury.

The Redskins were one of the NFL's most injured teams in 2017, and that trend appears to have extended to the offseason.


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With Zach Brown back, a look at the Redskins' inside linebackers depth chart

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With Zach Brown back, a look at the Redskins' inside linebackers depth chart

The Redskins went into the offseason with their inside linebacker position very much up in the air. Starters Zach Brown and Mason Foster and top backup Will Compton were all heading into unrestricted free agency. They faced the prospect of needing to start all over.

Things started to look better in late January when Foster re-signed, agreeing to a two-year deal. “I had unfinished business here,” Foster said at the time.

As long as Brown remained unsigned, the Redskins also had unfinished business. They got it done yesterday as Brown inked what is reported to be a three-year deal worth $24 million. We will need to see some details to know just what the contract entails but it looks like a fair deal for both sides.


Compton remains unsigned. With Brown and Foster back he will not be in line for a starting job. We will see how things shake out for him.

Looking at the players under contract, the Redskins have Zach Vigil, who played well as a starter late in the season after injuries struck, Martrell Spaight, and Josh Harvey-Clemons.  

Vigil was released on the final roster cut and returned on November 15 after Compton went to injured reserve. He had 55 total tackles in seven games. If you project that out over a 16-game season that’s 126 tackles, which would have placed him in the top 10 in the NFL. He also plays special teams well. Vigil went from expendable last September to a very valued reserve at this point in time.

Spaight has been a spot starter when starters have been injured. This will be an important year for him as he goes into the final year of the contract he signed after the Redskins made him a fifth-round pick in the 2015 draft.


The Redskins might have been happier if Harvey-Clemons, a 2017 seventh-round pick, didn’t have to play all last year but injuries forced him into a regular role. He was converting from college safety to NFL nickel linebacker and was very much considered to be a project. Harvey-Clemons still needs to add some weight and he has a lot to learn. Still, even if injuries don’t hit this year he should play considerably more than the 93 snaps he logged as a rookie.

The Redskins usually carry nine total linebackers, going with either five inside and four outside or vice versa. So they could be set or perhaps they will bring back Compton or sign another veteran to compete with Spaight for the last roster spot.  

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