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What effect will Antonio Brown's big deal have on the Redskins and the WR market in free agency?

What effect will Antonio Brown's big deal have on the Redskins and the WR market in free agency?

Antonio Brown’s $68 million contract extension with the Steelers was good news for DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Kenny Britt, Alshon Jeffery, and any other good to very good wide receiver about to hit the free agent market.

The wide receiver market is of high interest to the Redskins this year. They may make an effort to sign one or both of Jackson and Garçon, their free agent pass catchers. If both end up leaving, they might need to sign a starting-caliber receiver as a replacement. They have been working internally to try to value the players who will be available but the market ultimately will determine how much they will make.

Brown got a $19 million signing bonus and he will get $29 million in new money through 2018 and $55.5 million through 2020. The deal averages $17 million per year in new money. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all ships and Brown getting the money that he got will boost the salaries of Jackson, Garçon, and company.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

But none of them should be expecting to make anything close to the money that Brown is making. Brown became the highest-paid receiver in NFL history because over the last four years nobody else in the league has more receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions than Brown. If he’s not the best in the game, he’s close.

The other receivers are not on Brown’s level and the question is, how much below his pay level should they be because of it. For example, Britt has been in the league for eight seasons and he just eked over the thousand-yard mark for the first time last year, picking up 1,002. He had nine touchdowns in 2010, his second year in the league, and he hasn’t had more than five in a season since then. His name shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath with Brown’s, probably not even the same paragraph.

But, despite his experience, he is relatively young (he’ll be 29 in December) and at 6-3 he has the size that teams are looking for. Britt averaged 16 years per reception over the past three years. It would be easy for his camp to point out that he played in what Todd Gurley called “a middle school offense” with the likes of Austin Davis, Shaun Hill, Case Keenum, and Jared Goff throwing him the ball.

Teams want to pay players based on what they think they will do in the future, not what they have done in the past. And it wouldn’t be surprising if a team thinks it can get $10 million worth of production out of Britt over the next few years.

A report yesterday said that the market for Stills could reach $12 million per year. That sounds like an agent-generated number. Stills has been in the league for four years and he gained 931 yards in his best season, and that was in New Orleans with Drew Brees throwing him the ball. That was his only season with over 50 receptions. Yes, he’s fast and he turns just 25 next month but $12 million seems to be a stretch.

More Redskins: Team entering uncharted waters in Cousins situation

Garçon and Jackson both turn 31 this year and they are looking for one last, big bite of the apple. They probably will look for something in the $10 million range for three or four years. Given Jackson’s speed and his incredible ball-tracking ability and Garçon’s consistent productivity, it won’t be surprising to see both of them at least come close to eight-figure territory.

Will the Redskins be willing to pay that much, whether it’s for one of their own players or for an outside free agent? They may not be planning on it but the tide that Brown lifted up may force them to.

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 @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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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.