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What does Ryan Tannehill's extension mean for the Redskins' RG3?

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What does Ryan Tannehill's extension mean for the Redskins' RG3?

Ryan Tannehill of the Dolphins became the first of the quarterbacks who came out in the 2012 draft to sign a contract extension yesterday. The Redskins have one of those quarterbacks in Robert Griffin III. What effect will Tannehill’s deal have on Griffin?

First let’s look at the money. Tannehill was already under contract for the next two seasons with the last year of his rookie contract and the fifth-year option paying him a total of $18.3 million. The extension adds the years 2017-2020 to the deal and adds $77 million.

Tannehill’s contract gives him $21.5 million fully guaranteed at signing per Pro Football Talk. The total guaranteed money, which includes some that is currently guaranteed for injury only at the time the contract is signed, is $45 million.

So how does that compare to a contract extension that Griffin, who also has the last year of his rookie deal plus the option year left on his deal, might get? Looking at just their total career passing stats there is no reason to think that Griffin should get substantially less than Tannehill in a new contract. Here is a comparison of some key stats. (For detailed stats on each player go here for Tannehill and go here for Griffin.)

The two are equal in touchdown pass percentage and Tannehill is slightly better in avoiding sacks. But Griffin has the edge in completion percentage, interception percentage, gross yards per attempt, adjusted net yards per attempt and passer rating.

Griffin’s numbers include his stellar 2012 season, one that he did not come close to duplicating in his subsequent two seasons. But even Griffin’s 2013 season, which was widely considered to be a disappointment, was about the same as a typical Tannehill season. Here are some of Griffin’s numbers from that season compared to Tannehill’s career.

When it comes to the bottom line, wins and losses, there is no question that Tannehill’s Dolphins have been superior to Griffin’s Redskins. Miami is 23-25 in games Tannehill has started while Washington has gone 14-21 in Griffin’s starts.

However, the two quarterbacks have not had equal amounts of help when it comes to putting up wins. The Dolphins’ scoring defense has ranked 7th, 8th, and 20th in Tannehill’s three seasons; the Redskins have been 22nd, 29th, and 30th in scoring defense over the same three years.

All of the information above is the kind of data that Griffin’s agent will present to Scot McCloughan or Bruce Allen or whoever is negotiating a new contract on behalf of the Redskins, trying to argue that Griffin should get a deal at least as good as Tannehill’s or perhaps even better. But the Redskins will have plenty of data on their side to argue that Griffin isn’t worth as much as Tannehill.

Durability is the main quality that Tannehill has going for him over Griffin. The Dolphins have had him behind center for 48 of the 48 games they have played since draft him. He has been listed as questionable on the injury report just twice; other than that he has been either probably or not listed.

Griffin has started 36 of the Redskins’ 49 games since 2012 (counting the one playoff game in 2012). He missed one game due to injury as a rookie and was out six games injured last year. In addition, Griffin was “deactivated” for the last three games of 2013 and benched for performance for three starts last year. Tannehill has a clear advantage in terms of one of the most important “abilities”, availability.

The other thing that Tannehill has going for him is that he appears to be on the rise. In 2014 he posted career-best numbers in virtually every major category—completion percentage, touchdowns, interceptions, yards per attempt, passer rating, and adjusted net yards per attempt. He is doing what a young quarterback is supposed to do, learning and getting better.

Meanwhile, I’m sure it’s not necessary to detail the miserable 2014 season that Griffin had for the readers here. His arrow is currently pointed in the wrong direction.

Fortunately for both parties, it’s not necessary for Griffin and the Redskins to negotiate an extension right now. Griffin will have at least another year to try to turn things around. If he can, the $19.25 million per year that the new money in Tannehill’s contract will pay him would be well within his reach.

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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.