As the Redskins kicked off their 80th anniversary celebrations with the unveiling of the practice bubble, Mike Shanahan said he has 'never been more excited for a season to get started.' As he explained why he felt this way, one would even describe the head coach as jovial. Yes, Mike Shanahan.Those in a attendance saw a few different sides of Mike Shanahan.First, there was 'The Architect.' Since his arrival in Washington, Shanahan has methodically constructed his team, noting that only 15 of the 90 players from 2 years ago remain in Washington. "When you work for for a couple of years and what you are trying to do is get a foundation built and you see the foundation coming togetheryou feel pretty good. It's like building a house, if you build a home and you don't have a foundationyou know it may last for a week, it may last for 6 months, a year, 5 years but eventually that house is going to fall apart. I really believe we have a foundation with our football team, right now, that gives us a chance to have success for a long time."This a far cry from the role his previous role of 'Doctor,' which had Shanahan placing a band-aid over the Redskins holes, especially in regards to the quarterback position. It's no surprise that the foundation the Shanahan spoke of, is Robert Griffin III."With the addition of our quarterback, a franchise quarterback that will be here for the next 15 yearsyou will see in time, its not going to happen over night,we'll have some growing pains but I promise you, he will do things you have never seen quarterbacks do"Then Shanhan, 'The Pupil,' spoke as the coach noted that he arrived at this conclusion, because he had studied RG3, watching him day in and day out. While Griffin has the speed, arm and athletic ability, Shanahan was most impressed in his ability to be a natural leader, the quality Shanahan believes a franchise can be built around. While these statements are nothing new to come out of Redskins Park, it was the fervor, in which the coach said them amongst Redskins greats, which made the words so poignant.Up next was Shanahan, 'The Warrior,' who spoke of the character and work ethic of his current regime,"I promise you-the 90 guys we have now, you want to go to war withwe've hit a few skilled positions that give us a chance to be very very competitive within the NFC East."A squadron created through competition at various positions."As we've gone into this off-season for four full weeks we've had 98 participation. We got a lot of competition at a lot of different positions and as everyone knows when you have competition and people that care, you gotta chance to do something special."Between the 'I promises' and 'I guarantees,' did we also hear from Shanahan 'The Salesman'? Or was it just Shanahan 'The Future Hall of Fame Coach,' speaking? If the coach can deliver on his promises, then he will become Shanahan, 'The Prophet,' to burgundy and gold faithful."You're going to enjoy this season. We're going to be young, but you'll see a different attitude on the field this year then you've seen in a long time."Mike Shanahan could have easily been talking about himself.
Cut bait. Sunk cost. Under water.
Whatever the term might be, all industries deploy a certain phrase for wasted money. In the NFL, that term is dead cap, or the salary cap space a team must allocate for a particular player that has been cut or traded.
In the specific case of the Redskins, the team carries more than $5.2 millon in dead cap space. Where did it come from? Who's to blame? Let's take a look.
Terrell McClain ($3.75M) - The Redskins signed McClain away from the Cowboys early in the 2017 free agency period. The move wasn't quite a disaster, but it wasn't very good. Washington gave McClain a four-year deal worth $21 million, and paid out nearly $7.5 million for the 2017 season. McClain never played well for the Redskins, started just two games and this offseason he agreed to give up a significant chunk of guaranteed money. Without that move from McClain, this cap hit would have been much worse.
Su'a Cravens ($711k) - The money isn't as big of a loss as the talent. The Redskins selected Cravens in the second round of the 2016 Draft and he showed promise as a rookie while also dealing with injuries. In 2017, however, things fell apart as Cravens dealt with a training camp injury, discussed retiring from football and eventually found himself on the reserved/left squad list for the season. Prior to the 2018 Draft, the Redskins worked a deal to send Cravens to Denver for an additional fifth round pick as well as swapping picks.
Kendall Fuller ($360k) - A promising young cornerback, the Redskins traded Fuller to Kansas City this offseason as part of a package to acquire QB Alex Smith. Losing Fullers stings — even head coach Jay Gruden admitted that — but Washington had to find a quarterback after the long-discussed Kirk Cousins saga veered toward, and eventually ended in, separation.
Matt Jones ($150k) - One of the worst Redskins draft picks in the last five years, Washington reached for Jones in the third-round in 2015. As a rookie, Jones looked like a solid contributor, but in the 2016 season he developed a bad fumbling habit and found his way to the bench. From there, things got worse, as Jones ended the season on the inactive list after a squabble about playing special teams. In 2017, Jones was cut. He signed with the Colts, where he played in just five games and was cut earlier this year. This offseason, Jones signed with the Eagles.
Arie Kouandjio ($130K) - This is a weird one. Kouandjio was selected by the Redskins in 2015, and cut by the team in 2017. The dead money comes from that rookie deal. When Washington brought Kouandjio back late in the 2017 season off the Ravens' practice squad, the dead money from the rookie deal remained. Now, Kouandjio is injured and a candidate to start the 2018 season on the PUP list or maybe even the IR.
Robert Davis ($103k) - Drafted as a sixth-rounder in 2017, Davis did not make the team leaving training camp. Even though he got signed to the practice squad, the dead money tolls from the rookie deal.
Nate Sudfeld ($69k) - A late-round developmental prospect from the 2016 draft, Sudfeld made the team as a rookie but couldn't survive cuts in 2017. Quickly signed by the Eagles, Sudfeld ended up as the backup quarterback in Philadelphia's improbable Super Bowl run earlier this year. Dead money on the Redskins cap, but a Super Bowl ring in Philly. Strange.
Tyler Catalina and Kevin Bowen account for about $12,000 in dead cap space as well.
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We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the two games against the Giants.
Week 8 October 28, MetLife Stadium
Week 14 December 9, FedEx Field
2017 Giants: 3-13, fourth in NFC East
Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 6.5
Early line: Week 8 Redskins +3.5, Week 14 Redskins -1.5
Key additions: RB Saquon Barkley, LT Nate Solder, RB Jonathan Stewart, LB Alec Ogletree
Key losses: DE Jason Pierre-Paul, G Justin Pugh, C Weston Richburg
Notable: Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. returns after missing 12 games with a fractured ankle last year.
- Will Eli Manning reward the organization for bypassing the quarterback position with the No. 2 pick in the draft? Or will he continue his downhill slide?
- Will Barkley have sufficient impact to justify his status as the No. 2 overall pick?
- The last three years, the Giants defense has gone from being ranked 31stto 10thand back to 31st. Where is their true level?
Giants lead all-time series 92-65-3; after the Giants won five in a row from 2013-2015 the Redskins have taken three of the last five.
The first time: September 16, 1937, Griffith Stadium—This was the beginning of two eras: The Redskins first game in Washington and the start of Sammy Baugh’s NFL career. The game, however, belonged to Riley Smith as the Washington back scored all of his team’s points with a pair of field goals, his dazzling, 60-yard interception return in the fourth quarter and the extra point following that game-clinching touchdown in the home team’s 13-3 win.
The last time: December 31, 2017, Met Life Stadium—It was 16 degrees at kickoff, the Redskins had only four offensive players from their Week 1 starters in the lineup and all the Redskins had to play for was a non-losing season. These were just some of the reasons for Washington to be disinterested and it seems like they dragged down the Redskins. The apathy increased when a guy named Orleans Darkwa bolted 75 yards for a touchdown just 1:17 into the game. The Redskins never competed in the 18-10 loss.
The best time: November 27, 1966, D.C. Stadium—The Redskins scored on offense, on defense, on special teams, on the ground, and through the air in racking up the highest single-game scoring total ever in a regular season NFL game with 72 points. In a losing effort, the Giants scored 41, making the combined total of 113 points, another league record.
Backup running back A. D. Whitfield had a career day, scoring three touchdowns, one on a five-yard pass from Sonny Jurgensen, the other two on runs of one and 63 yards. All of those points came in the first half as the Redskins went into intermission with a 34-14 lead.
Charley Taylor jumped into the scoring extravaganza with a pair of third-quarter TD receptions from Jurgensen, one of 34 yards, the other covering 72. Brig Owens was the point scorer on the defensive side things, getting touchdowns on returns of a fumble and an interception.
In all, they scored a touchdown almost every way you can: four running, three passing and one each on a punt, fumble, and interception return. They also got nine extra points and a field goal.
More than 12,000 NFL games have been played since this one and, despite rule changes designed to favor the offense and increase scoring, both the Redskins’ 72 points and the combined 113 still stand as NFL records. Only once has a team put up as many as 70 points and the combined score has the next-highest total beaten by a touchdown.
The worst time: January 1, 2017, FedEx Field—The Redskins have had many costly losses to the Giants over the years but the sting from this one is still fresh. The home team would get a wild-card playoff spot with a win while New York, with its playoff seeding clinched, had nothing to play for. But it was the Redskins who had nothing. They were able to fight back from a 10-0 halftime deficit to tie it up in the fourth quarter. But after a Giants field goal, Kirk Cousins threw an unforgivable interception that sealed New York’s 19-10 win and the Redskins went home.
Redskins schedule series
- Weeks 7 & 12 vs. Cowboys
- Week 6 vs. Panthers
- Week 5 @ Saints
- Week 3 vs. Packers
- Week 2 vs. Colts
- Week 1 @ Cardinals
More 2018 Redskins
- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys