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Carr extension has some good news for Redskins but Cousins deal will still cost big bucks

Carr extension has some good news for Redskins but Cousins deal will still cost big bucks

While we await the full details of Derek Carr’s contract extension we know enough to see what effect the deal will have on the Redskins’ efforts to negotiate a new deal with Kirk Cousins.

The Carr extension has been anticipated for months. The 2014 second-round pick was going into the final year of his contract. There were strong incentives for both sides to get a deal done. Absent a deal, Carr was looking at going through the risks of the NFL season on a salary $1.1 million. The Raiders faced starting the Redskins-Cousins style franchise tag dance with Carr in 2018.

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It also seemed inevitable that Carr would become the highest-paid player in the game. He got there with a deal that has an average annual value (AAV) of $25 million per year in new money, $271,000 per year more than Andrew Luck got a year ago. That aspect of the deal, therefore, will not have much of an impact on Cousins. Since an AAV of around $25 million was expected, it has been baked into any talks that have taken place so far.

The Redskins may point out that Carr’s deal was an extension that leaves his 2017 salary of $1.1 million intact. That means that Carr is committed to the Raiders for six years for a total of $126.1 million in compensation, an average of a shade over $21 million per year. If the team does that, however, Mike McCartney, Cousins’ agent, likely will laugh it off. The difference is leverage. Cousins is guaranteed $24 million this year compared to Carr’s $1.1 million salary prior to the extension. The starting points are apples and oranges.

However, the Redskins could legitimately look elsewhere for a point that might work in their favor. Carr’s deal contains only (only?) $40 million fully guaranteed at signing and $70 million in total guarantees, counting injury provisions. Compare that to Luck getting $47 million fully guaranteed at signing and a total of $87 million in guarantees.

So, the bar for guaranteed money in a big QB deal went down, not up. The Redskins will add this into their calculations in their offer.

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But, again, you can’t forget the $24 million in fully guaranteed money that Cousins already has in hand. He isn’t going to agree to a multiyear deal that pays him only (only?) an additional $16 million in full guarantees.  

While it’s good to have comparable contracts to use in negotiations, each situation is unique. Cousins’ leverage sets him apart from Carr so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him surpass the Raider in terms of total and guaranteed money even though Carr is younger and generally thought to be a notch or so better than Cousins.

The Redskins will try to grasp on to any data point they can to justify paying Cousins as little as they can. But that might save them a few hundred thousand here and there. If they want to keep Cousins they are going to have to be prepared to pay a lot of money and guarantee a lot of it up front.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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It looks like Gregg Williams will coach with the Jets after all

It looks like Gregg Williams will coach with the Jets after all

After an interesting 24 hours of speculation, it looks like the Jets will finalize terms with Gregg Williams to be their next defensive coordinator.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the finished contract is near completion and that New York wanted Williams to run their defense all along, regardless of who took the job as head coach. 

Reports of Williams going to the Jets began as early as last week, but in the last two days, it seemed the contract got held up. New Jets head coach Adam Gase held an introductory press conference on Monday and Williams was not discussed as the contract wasn't finished. 

At Redskins Park, there was some hope Williams would come in for a meeting as his talks with the Jets stalled, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. 

Washington already met with Todd Bowles and Steve Wilks this offseason before both men took jobs with other teams as defensive coordinator. Bringing Williams in would be a selling point for fans that remember his work with the Redskins during Joe Gibbs second stint as head coach from 2004 to 2007. 

Nobody from the Jets or the Williams camp denied that the Redskins were interested or the deal was complete. 

In the end, it's entirely possible Williams or his representatives leveraged the Redskins interest into greater compensation or operational control from New York. That's the way business gets done. 

Now, it looks more and more like the Redskins will keep Greg Manusky on as defensive coordinator despite meeting with Bowles and Wilks and trying to meet with Williams. Awkward. 

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The case for Gregg Williams to pick the Redskins over the Jets

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USA TODAY Sports

The case for Gregg Williams to pick the Redskins over the Jets

Things looked like a done deal with Gregg Williams taking over as defensive coordinator of the New York Jets. 

Until they weren't

New Jets head coach Adam Gase held a 20-minute press conference on Monday, and there was no discussion of the future defensive coordinator. 

It appears contract discussions between Williams and the Jets hit a snag, and in the meantime, the Redskins are working to bring him down to Ashburn for a meeting, sources told NBC Sports Washington. 

That prospect is quite exciting for a number of Redskins fans. Of the last 20 years, Williams was here for the best seasons in Burgundy and Gold. He served as Joe Gibbs' defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2007, and the team twice made the playoffs. 

Yes, the 'Skins currently have Greg Manusky as defensive coordinator, but Williams is much more accomplished in that same position. 

The question in this process isn't why the Redskins would want Williams. That's obvious.

It's why would Williams want the Redskins?

Despite a seemingly endless series of calamities since the mid-November signing of Reuben Foster, the Redskins job should appeal to Williams. To start with, the Redskins are strong up front with Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis. Ryan Kerrigan is a perennial Pro Bowler on the edge. 

For a defensive coordinator that prides himself on aggressive schemes and running a 4-3 base defense, Williams would have some excellent tools in those four players. Add in Tim Settle and Ryan Anderson, and there are young developmental pieces in place as well along the defensive front. 

Beyond personnel, Williams might like the Redskins opportunity for the exact reason a number of other defensive coordinator candidates did not. 

In 2019, Jay Gruden will be coaching in the sixth-year of a seven year contract. Few coaches work on the last year of their deals, so in the pressure-packed world of NFL coaching, it's easy to look at next season and as make or break for Gruden.

For many coordinators, they'd rather sign up to work with a head coach that has lots of job security, armed with at least a four-year contract.

Williams might not mind a spot with a potential change on the horizon. 

In 2007, Williams was considered the heir apparent to Gibbs. Only when Gibbs retired, Williams did not get the top job, and he quickly moved on. There was talk of ill will between Williams and the organization, but the word around Ashburn is all of that has been smoothed over.

Now, if Williams believed he could come back to Washington and possibly be first in line for a head coaching opportunity if things go poorly for Gruden next season? That might be appealing. And knowing that the Redskins offense has major question marks at quarterback for 2019? Even moreso. 

That situation might be a better spot than the Jets, where Gase has the full support of ownership to develop young QB Sam Darnold.

Gase will get at least three years in New York. Gruden only has two years left on his contract. 

That kind of math is pretty simple for a 60-year-old coach that might want one last shot at being the boss. 

Something else could be afoot too.

Whatever the contractual holdup is with the Jets, leverage could help Williams get what he wants. A meeting with the Redskins represents that leverage. 

Williams could be meeting with the Redskins as soon as Tuesday. The team has already met with Steve Wilks and Todd Bowles, a pair of other highly regarded defensive coordinator candidates that took jobs elsewhere. 

In a lot of ways, Williams is the Redskins' last hope for a new, big-name coordinator in this coaching cycle. And he's certainly the name that will excite the fan base most. 

It's been a tough offseason in Washington, and it's only mid-January. Getting Williams in the building, and his name on a contract, would be a big win for the Redskins.

But for Williams, coming back to Washington more than a decade after his first successful stint as defensive coordinator, might offer a lot to like too.

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