The Washington Redskins finished 2016 with the third best offense in the NFL. By average, it was the passing game that ranked in the yardage but contracts have a funny way of turning a great situation into a moment of self-destruction. This is what the Redskins will be facing in the next few weeks. What to do with Kirk Cousins, DeSean Jackson, and Pierre Garcon?
Sounds simple right? Too bad it’s not.
The future of the Washington Redskins begins now. And while most fans will put that on the shoulders of Cousins, it’s two other players who will make a huge difference with a simple signature on a piece of paper. Image if the Redskins were to make that god awful trade that sends Kirk Cousins to the San Francisco 49ers and Tony Romo to the Skins. A trade may sound good at the moment. However, the ‘Skins will have to make the right decision on their future signal caller in a year or two thanks to Romo’s shaky past. Both health and on the field decision-making.
To make matters worst, the ‘Skins could also lose their top two pass catchers of the past two seasons. So, that’s no Cousins who threw for 4917 yards and 25 touchdowns, Jackson who caught 56 passes for 1005 yards and Garcon who caught 79 passes for 1041 yards. No matter how you view those stats, that’s a ton of production off the board.
It all depends on how Dan Snyder wishes to approach the situation.
The Washington Redskins are offensive heavy. And while each of their skill players will be looking for a big payday that may not be what Snyder has in mind. Cousins seemed like a no-brainer but the Franchise Tag he was hit with may just be a stalling point until a better solution comes along. It’s clear that Snyder doesn’t want to pay Cousins top QB money and that alone gives off the possibility of that 49ers trade.
The receivers are a different story.
Jackson’s market value has him in the neighborhood of $7.6M and that’s letting Synder off the hook. Jackson is worth more than $7.5M if you consider that he has outperformed the likes of Tavon Austin, Marvin Jones and others that make more annually than he does. Jackson understands his worth and this alone will force him to look at other teams like the Philadelphia Eagles especially if Snyder lets Cousins walk. Garcon is in the same boat as Jackson. Garcon is not mentioned as one of the top wideouts but he’s a consistent and reliable player that adds veteran leadership and experience to an offense. For the past two seasons, Garcon has accounted for 151 catches which give Cousins a nice security blanket across the middle if Jackson is not open deep.
Garcon has a market value at $8.7M. Despite their numbers, the Redskins may look to move forward without their top two receivers. If that happens the Redskins will put Cousins in a tight spot where he may have to deal with Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson who has 68 receptions between the two of them in 2016.
What was beginning to look like a finished product in DC may now be stripped to its core and started all over again. Contracts are a part of the game and so are egos. If Cousins feels as if he’s being given the cold shoulder then he could very well bolt next season. In doing so, he will leave the ‘Skins with nothing to show in return. Jackson and Garcon, feeling that Cousins is being done wrong could very well call the Redskins bluff now and decide to get paid elsewhere to avoid Snyder and his cheap pockets.
How do you replace your starting QB, and top two receivers and still expect to compete in a high-contested NFC East? The Dallas Cowboys, Eagles, and New York Giants have all improved on some level in 2016. The Washington Redskins must be smarter than this and do what’s necessary that they keep their core intact.