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What effect does Kaepernick's deal have on RG3, Redskins?


What effect does Kaepernick's deal have on RG3, Redskins?

Yesterday afternoon Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and other young quarterbacks who will be up for new contracts in the next few years had reason to celebrate. Colin Kaepernick signed new six-year deal with the 49ers and the reported top line numbers of up to $126 million with a record $61 million guaranteed apparently gave the other young guns a nice comparable deal to work with when negotiation time comes around.

But the devil is always in the contract details and as those have emerged the Redskins and other organizations that will have to write the checks are breathing easier. Florio has Kaepernick’s contract broken down on Pro Football Talk and you can go there if you want to wade through all of the provisions. But the bottom line is that far less than $61 million is fully guaranteed and Kaepernick’s salary can de-escalate by $2 million annually if he doesn’t make first- or second-team All-Pro or if the 49ers don’t make the Super Bowl.

The vast majority of the guaranteed money is guaranteed for injury only. In other words, if Kaepernick is healthy but underperforming, the 49ers can release him after this year and deal with only his $12.3 million signing bonus as far as dead cap.

How does this affect Griffin and the Redskins? While it’s interesting and certainly something that both Griffin’s agent and Bruce Allen will file away for future reference, it’s too soon to tell. Griffin’s deal has two more years to run and under CBA rules a player’s rookie deal can’t be renegotiated until only one year remains so nothing can be done this year. Since Griffin was a first-round draft pick, the Redskins have a fifth-year option on him that will keep him under team control for the 2016 season at a salary of about $15 million.

It’s likely that Griffin’s camp and the Redskins would rather not have Griffin play 2016 under the option salary (since Kaepernick was a second-round pick in 2011 there was no option year; he would have been a free agent after this season). The spring of 2016 is the likely target date for a new deal for Griffin.

Will he get the big money? Again, too soon to tell if Griffin will command a salary in the $20 million per year range. If he plays more like he did as a rookie in 2012 and the team has some success in the playoffs he could well cash in with a deal bigger than Kaepernick’s and one that perhaps has more fully guaranteed money. Note that the salary cap is likely to be some $20 million higher in 2016 than it is now, according to many projections. The agents for Griffin and the other young gun QB’s are going to want compensation adjusted accordingly. But if Griffin improves only marginally from his forgettable performance of last year, his potential payday will shrink.

But make no mistake about it, unless Griffin’s play completely falls off the face of the earth the Redskins will have to do whatever it takes to keep him in burgundy and gold well beyond his option year. There simply is too much invested in him both in terms of draft picks and marketing (yes, there are off-field considerations in contracts) to let him walk after fulfilling his rookie contract.

Griffin’s contract will become a more prominent topic for discussion after the last game of the upcoming season, when he will be eligible for a renegotiation. Until then, Kaepernick’s deal is a data point to ponder.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

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.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.