These days, when I see point spreads for 15 games spread over 16 weeks nearly 100 days before the first one is played the first thing that I wonder is what took so long. I’m surprised we didn’t see them the day after the schedule was announced.
Finally, CG Technology, a gaming technology company operation out of Las Vegas, has come up a spread for all but one of 2016 games that each team will play (Cantor did not establish a spread for Week 17 games).
Whatever method CG uses to come up with its spreads does not seem to be impressed with what the Redskins did in 2015 and during this offseason. The Redskins are favored in just two games, when they host the Browns (Redskins -7.5) in Week 4 and at home against the Eagles in Week 6 (Redskins -3). Their games at home against the Cowboys and at Chicago are both rated as pick ‘em games. So if you split those games these odds have the Redskins at 3-12 going into Week 17 against the Giants.
Such a record would qualify as a monumental disappointment and is well below the expectations of most local and national analysts. However, it should be noted that most of the spreads are close. The Redskins are underdogs by more than four points in only one game, at the Cardinals in Week 13. They are no worse than three-point underdogs in any of their home games. The two games where there are dogs by a field goal come in Week 1 against the Steelers and in Week 15 vs. the Panthers.
As everyone knows, as the games approach the lines will change. Injuries will play a key role and teams experience peaks and valleys during the season. I don’t see the Redskins going through the season being favored just three times.
But the spreads are reflective of what many have been saying—the Redskins have a schedule that looks pretty tough based on 2015 results, with games against six playoff teams. The Redskins will have to earn whatever they achieve and they probably won’t be able to return to the playoffs without beating at least one or two teams that finish the season with winning records.
Here is the list of the Redskins’ point spreads. Which ones do you think are out of whack?
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.
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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.