Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 28, one day before the Washington Redskins visit the New York Giants.
Here are the five best/most significant Redskins quotes of the year (h/t to @michaelpRTD who reminded me of a few I’d forgotten):
Receiver Pierre Garçon:
“We have the potential to be the best offense ever, really. We can be the top offense in the league. We have a lot of great players at every position. We have a great offensive line, great tight ends, great receivers, running backs and quarterback.”
Robert Griffin III talking about Mike Shanahan’s practice schedule for him:
“I sat down and talked to a few people and had to make a decision – do I stop being who I am, stop being honest with you guys, and give you guys ammunition to turn against this team, or do I go into a shell and Bill Belichick it all week?”
Tight end Fred Davis:
“I’ve never slept through a whole meeting, but parts, yes. Everyone has. You’re watching film, you nod off, you wake up, you get something to drink and get back.”
Griffin, after diving for a first down against the Bears:
“I saw an opportunity to fly, so I got my wings and tried to fly. I hit the ground pretty hard. You know, people, we can’t really fly, no matter how much we dream about it.”
Mike Shanahan (needs no explanation):
“What I’m trying to do is be as honest as I can. And I don’t normally do that, because I don’t really think it’s anybody’s business, except the guys in our locker room.”
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Stat of the day
—Maybe third down conversions aren’t that important after all. The Redskins improved from converting 35.8 percent last year (24th in the NFL) to 41.9 percent (8th) this year. But they will have at least twice as many losses as in 2012.
—Days until: Redskins @ Giants 1; NFL free agency 73; 2014 NFL Draft 132
—Today’s schedule: No availability; Redskins @ Giants Sunday 1 p.m.
In case you missed it
3 and Out: Shanahan’s last stand?
The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.
Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction.
What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb.
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For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined.
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The Redskins and linebacker Zach Brown agreed to a three-year contract that will require Brown to continue to play at a high level if he is going to collect all of the $21 million the deal contains.
Brown’s camp reportedly was shopping for a contract that had some $20 million in guaranteed money. The actual deal fell well short of that.
Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before an assortment of injuries forced him to sit out the last three games, got a total of $5.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He got a $4.5 million signing bonus and his $1 million salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.
MORE REDSKINS: NFL MOCK DRAFT 6.0
After that, the remaining two seasons essentially are team options. In 2019 he has a $6.75 million salary and $4.5 million of that is guaranteed for injury. His 2020 salary is $7.5 million with no guarantees of any kind.
The contract also has per-game roster bonuses available at a rate of $15,625 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster in 2018 (total of $250,000 for the year) and $31,250 per game in 2019 and 2020 ($500,000 total).
The salary cap hits per year are as follows:
2018: $2.75 million
2019: $8.75 million
2020: $9.5 million
The average annual value of $7 million ranks ninth among inside linebackers.
Brown will need to continue to play well to collect on the contract. The team will be able to save $5.75 million on the 2019 cap if they terminate the deal after one season and $8 million if they do it in 2020.
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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.