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Redskins-Panthers officials are the most flag-happy crew in the NFL


Redskins-Panthers officials are the most flag-happy crew in the NFL

Did the Redskins end up on the wrong end of a couple of borderline calls that changed the course of their game against Carolina due to the men in stripes not liking the team name? Or is there a much simpler but perhaps, in the big picture of the NFL, more troubling explanation for the head-scratching flags?

There is no evidence for the first hypothesis beyond Jason Hatcher’s disappointment-fueled speculation after the game. But ESPN Stats and Info has come up with some interesting numbers that show that the Redskins may simply have been unlucky enough to have the crew of referee Jerome Boger assigned to the their game.

Through 10 games this season, Boger’s crew has averaged 20.8 penalty flags thrown per game (counting accepted, declined, and offsetting). That’s the highest average of any NFL officiating crew and about 50 percent more than the crew that calls the fewest penalties (headed by Bill Vinovich, 13.6 flags per game).

This should raise some eyebrows. Is Boger’s crew really assigned to games between teams that are more prone to commit penalties compare to the crew headed by Vinovich? That seems doubtful after a fairly strong sample size. It’s more likely that the two crews are very different in the way the interpret and enforce the rules.

Not only is Boger’s crew more flag happy, they are more apt to throw flags for penalties like unnecessary roughness, taunting, and unsportsmanlike conduct—in other words, the type of penalty that Chris Culliver was hit with—than any other crew. They have thrown 21 such flags this year, over three times more than the crew that has thrown the fewest.

The other flag that drew the ire of some players and many watching the game was a holding call on Jordan Reed that wiped out a Kirk Cousins read option run down to the Panthers three yard line.

“The Jordan Reed holding call to me shows an official who has no idea what blocking in the NFL is,” for Redskins tight end and current radio analyst Chris Cooley said on ESPN 980 via the DC Sports Bog. “It’s not a hold. [Reed] gets his hands inside, he jars the defender, who kind of leans forward because he’s jarred by the hands of Jordan Reed. And then as the defender tries to turn and make a play on the ball, Jordan Reed lets go. It isn’t a hold.”

As you might have guessed by now, no crew throws more flags for offensive holding than Boger’s crew. They are tied with Jeff Triplette’s group for most in the league with 40. It would have been better had Reed executed his block with Gene Steratore’s crew officiating; they have only dropped 20 flags for holding all year.

Roger Goodell is aware of the inconsistencies. “There should not be as much of a range,” he said to reporters in Minnesota on Sunday.

So it seems likely that the Redskins were more just unlucky for drawing Boger’s crew for the game than the were victims of any politically correct bias. It will be interesting to see if Goodell takes any action to take the luck of the officiating crew draw out of the game by taking concrete steps to improve consistency among the men wearing stripes and throwing flags.

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Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East


Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East

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. 


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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Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

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.


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.


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.