Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 31, 27 days before the April 27 NFL draft.
—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 17
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 42
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 54
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 106
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 154
Three and out
1. I did a Twitter poll yesterday to gauge the optimism level of the Redskins fan base after I wrote about Jay Gruden ticking off a list of reasons why people should be excited about his team.
Poll: Jay Gruden says he’s “optimistic” and “excited” about the 2017 #Redskins. What is your feeling right now?— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) March 30, 2017
It’s kind of a split result. The plurality is on the optimistic side, with 41% at “somewhat optimistic”. Overall, however, adding up both replies on the pessimistic side shows a slight endge in favor of the pessimistic veiw (somewhtat and very pessimistic totaling 51%) with those seeing things in a more positive light.
The takeaway here is that while what I see on Twitter and Facebook and hear on talk radio is more negative than positive, that doesn’t reflect the fan base as a whole. However, the Redskins had better pay attention if half of their fans are pessimistic about the future. Often the next step from pessimism is apathy and that is a feeling that few sports franchises can withstand.
Finally, I got a lot of tweets like this in response that seem to sum things up:
Somewhat optimistic for immediate future. Nervous as Hell for long term future.— Strick 9 (@SpiderStrick) March 30, 2017
2. Every offseason a few rather obscure backups become fan favorites. One of this year’s faves is ILB Zach Vigil. I’ve seen a few tweets like this during the offseason.
with shallow ILB group does Vigil look to get any time? Thanks.— Steve Tama (@22Steve) March 20, 2017
Vigil made the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent out of Utah in 2015. He played 16 games as a rookie, starting two. But last year he was on and off of the Miami game-day roster and was released after Week 15. The Redskins claimed him and saw some action on special teams in the final two games.
This is from his NFL.com draft profile: “One of the most productive linebackers in college football. Never quits on a play. Active pass rusher who worked well in team blitz scheme. Team leader.”
That was from the “strengths” area. Under weaknesses: “Gets overwhelmed by offensive linemen. Not a take-on linebacker and below average at slipping blocks.”
I haven’t seen enough of his play to add much to that. But he sounds like a “football player” and if he responds to coaching he could get a shot at some snaps on defense.
3. A site that could work for a new Redskins stadium appears to be opening up for development.
Redskins’ next stadium could find a home near Dulles airport. My Post Express column. https://t.co/5Db8s7LRF8— Rick Snider (@Snide_Remarks) March 30, 2017
This site happens to be about 10 minutes from my house. It’s adjacent to the Silver Line Metro Station, which is good. Another positive is that there are plenty of roads leading there so not everyone would be coming from the same direction. The down side is that it is a long way from DC and an even longer way from the Maryland suburbs. But a tract of land big enough that is close to the population center may be too costly to make the project work.
As I said here recently, I think that a stadium announcement could come this year, before Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe is term limited out of office. There are still a lot of moving parts and then a long way to go after something gets announced.
Out—Albert Breer of MMQB reported a contract offer to Kirk Cousins that was for five years beyond this coming season. But beyond the $23.94 million he is already guaranteed for this season there are no financial terms reported by Breer. Allen told Breer that the offer is “proof” that the team is serious about keeping Cousins for the long term. But the length of the deal is only a part of getting something done, perhaps a small part.
While the length of the deal may provide two pieces of bread, you need to see the meat to evaluate the sandwich. The team’s offer of $20 million per year that was reported during the NFL Combine is like a slice of baloney. This sandwich needs to be piled high with lots of quality cold cuts, to the tune of at least $24 million per year with at least $52 million fully guaranteed. Otherwise, it’s a Blues Brothers wish sandwich.
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