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Moss Gathers Long Green

May 5, 2005, 4:05 PM EST

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It wasn’t a surprise, but it certainly is raising some eyebrows. Santana Moss will sign a new deal with the Redskins today and he will collect #1 receiver type money, not bad for a player who caught passes for less than 900 yards last year. According to Redskins, the Washington Post:

Moss’s six-year deal totals about $31 million, sources said, with the first two seasons worth virtual guarantees of $11 million, including the signing bonus. The contract automatically voids the sixth year if Moss, 25, plays a minimum number of offensive snaps in any season between 2006 and 2010. Thus, sources said that the extension essentially is a five-year deal worth about $26 million.

It’s safe to assume that the “virtual guarantees” are a combination of a signing bonus and a 2006 roster bonus. Until the split on that is determined, it will be impossible to calculate the cap impact of the contract.

The size of the deal was not a surprise. It was widely reported that the Redskins had reached terms with Moss even before they acquired him from the Jets in return for Laveranues Coles and the numbers in the contract have been an open secret for several weeks. The only puzzling aspect is why it took so long to get it finalized. It was thought that they were waiting to jettison Rod Gardner and his $2.1 million cap charge before inking Moss, but the Redskins have been sitting at about $2 million under the cap for the past month.

The move means that every anticipated 2005 starter on both sides of the ball will be under contract through at least 2006.

Is this too much money? Did the Redskins overpay? If these questions are to be answered in the negative, two things must happen. First, Moss must stay healthy. That’s true of any player you sign to a premium deal, but in Moss’ case it’s a bigger “if” since he has a history of injuries, including a pulled hamstring that cost him some games last year.

The other variable is the state of Joe Gibbs’ offense. The passing game was largely horizontal last year. Moss is effective in a vertical game. It appears that last year’s offense was more a product of circumstances–Mark Brunell’s weak arm, Patrick Ramsey’s low comfort level in the offense and a weak offensive line–than of design. Gibbs has said repeatedly that he wants to throw deep more often and more effectively this coming season.

  1. mbarnes202 - May 5, 2005 at 7:20 PM

    I am re-posting my thoughts on Moss here, since this is a more appropriate topic header:

    Rich,
    Our worst fears have been confirmed:
    We just gave Santana Moss a contract extension that GIVES MOSS MORE MONEY THAN T.O. I seem to remember discussion on this post that the ‘Skins, after just eating $9MM in charges for Coles, would not be so stupid as to over pay Moss. Oops. Wrong. We did.

    Compare Gardner to Moss:
    Moss:
    ’02 30 catches, 433 yds (14.4) 4TD
    ’03 74 catches,1105 yds (14.9)10TD
    ’04 45 catches, 838 yds (18.6) 5TD

    Gardner:
    ’02 71 catches,1006 yds (14.2) 8TD
    ’03 59 catches, 600 yds (10.2) 5TD
    ’04 51 catches, 650 yds (12.7) 5TD

    Compare also Darrell Jackson’s #s:
    ’02 62 catches, 877 yds (14.1) 8TD
    ’03 68 catches,1137 yds (16.7) 9TD
    ’04 87 catches,1199 yds (13.8) 7TD

    Darrell Jackson, a FAR MORE CONSISTENT WR, signed a deal w/$8MM SB.

    Here are Moss’s new terms:
    $31MM / $26.55MM 6/5 year deal
    $11MM SB/Option Bonus !!!!

    Here’s T.O.’s numbers:
    $48.97 7 year deal
    $10.3MM SB
    $21MM of that $48.97MM is in the last three years of that deal; he’ll never see that. That then makes it a 4 year deal for about $28MM.

    So, we guarantee Moss more money than T.O. got, more money than Darrell Jackson got, more money than Lavarenaeus Coles got, and more money than Jerry Porter got.

    THis makes me sick. Here’s a prediction. Moss won’t make it 16 games this year– Roy Williams, Michael Lewis, or Brian Dawkins will injure him (he’ll drop the pass to boot), and he’ll play 10 games. More wasted money.

    Maybe, maybe it will all work out. We have made huge, huge gambles– unless they pan out (Brunnel, Portis, Moss, QB Campbell, etc.) the critics will be proven right– that our Front Office is a total joke and the laughing stock of the NFL.

  2. Anonymous - May 5, 2005 at 11:03 PM

    This makes me sick as well. Moss has had one good year. So did 50/50. Hell, 50/50 might be better.

  3. Wonder - May 6, 2005 at 12:36 AM

    ARE you guys real fan’s the skins will stop this mess and you all will be suck up when they win, fair weather fans, I’m a real fan “my boys”, will be fine, you people sound like cowboy fans

  4. mbarnes202 - May 6, 2005 at 1:02 AM

    Wonder,
    My guess is I was rooting for the Redskins before you were born. Fair weather fans? Please.
    Just to round out the WR situation, there are now hints Gardner will simply be released, although we don’t actually receive any salary cap benefit from releasing him after June 1, so I don’t know why we’re waiting.
    Here’s what Gibbs said on the Redskins.com site:

    “On Rod Gardner, Gibbs said he is “skeptical” that Gardner will be with the team next season. The Redskins have attempted to trade the fifth-year wide receiver since the 2004 regular season came to an end.

    “I don’t anticipate him being here for the off-season workouts,” Gibbs said. “We’ll just continue to work our way through it and figure out what’s the best resolution for him.”

    Hmm. Well, time will tell how that one works out too.

  5. Anonymous - May 6, 2005 at 1:10 PM

    L. Coles said it best. “Washington is the place you go to get paid.” Its not the place you go to win. As for Gardner, he’s not coming back. If cut, he will cost very little (if any) cap money for 2005, so cutting him wouldn’t be a problem, except that he was a first round pick, and just cutting him without getting some compensation really sucks. But, hey, what do you expect – this is the Redskins we’re talking about here. I only hope that they cut him late in the pre-season so that he doesn’t have a chance to catch on with any other teams. That would be the only enjoyment I could get out of the Gardner situation.

  6. Anonymous - May 6, 2005 at 3:12 PM

    Only the Redskins front office would give a number two receiver this kind of contract, then get rid of their potentially best receiver in 50/50 for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when he’s in his contract year and would probably bust his ass to show what he could do.

    Unf-cking believable.

  7. oneampoet - May 6, 2005 at 5:35 PM

    I have to agree with everyone I think this Moss deal is way to high and it doesnt have anything to do with being a fairweather fan, because anyone who is still a Redskin fan at this point after a decade and a half of pain has got to be either dedicated or suffering from Alzheimer’s…

    Also, its not just the $31 million contract, its the fact that we gave up another $5 million that Coles would have paid back…

    We could have kept Smoot and drafted Williams (who I think is the real deal) instead and still had some money left over.

    But having said that, I thought back in 91 that having Rypien as our quarterback was the worst thing ever and that turned out just fine…I gotta trust Gibbs, he’s earned it.

  8. Anonymous - May 7, 2005 at 11:18 PM

    We as Redskins fans have been condition over the past many years to think that any move/decision the Redskins make is a bad one. Why? Because every move the Redskins have made over the past 13 years or so HAVE been bad ones. Why should we think any different this time? If you’re playing the odds, you’d be stupid to think that anything the Redskins do would be anything but a failure. This Moss contract is easy to criticize, because, based on the past, its likely to be a disaster. But I find it interesting that there are NFL analysts out there who think its a pretty good move. Specifically, Cris Carter of HBO’s Inside the NFL who used to be a WR with the Vikings (I assume its the same one). Here’s what he had to say about Moss’ contract: “He (Moss) ended his holdout on Thursday – after getting a fair contract from the Washington Redskins. He’s basically getting $5 million a year and that’s what it’s going to take to get a quality starter in today’s NFL. I think it’s a good deal not only for him but also for the Redskins because they have their featured receiver locked up for six years. Plus, Moss had a tremendous amount of leverage because they traded for him”. Interesting – he thinks its a fair deal for the Redskins. Only time will tell, but I’ll say one thing, if Moss and Patten are successful at creating a feared deep threat (as is the intention), then watch out for Clinton Portis – he will absolutely shred some defenses.

  9. mbarnes202 - May 9, 2005 at 3:04 PM

    All,
    ProfootballWeekly.com posted an article on the very subject of WR compensation:

    Here are some excellent comparables:

    Comparison of top receivers’ contracts

    Derrick Mason — Five years, $20 million, $7 million SB (signed in February 2005)

    Chad Johnson — Five years, $25 million, $10.5 million-$12 million SB (Nov. 13, 2003)

    Joe Horn — Six years, $42 million, $8 million in bonuses (May 2005)

    Torry Holt — Seven years, $42 million, $12.5 million SB (July 18, 2003)

    Muhsin Muhammad — Six years, $30 million, $10 million SB (February 2005)

    Laveranues Coles — Five years, $35 million, $13 million SB (March 2003)

    Javon Walker — Six years, $9.5 million, $3 million SB (July 23, 2002)

    Isaac Bruce — Seven years, $42 million, $7 million SB (2000)

    Eric Moulds — Six years, $40 million, $12.5 million SB (January 2001)

    Darrell Jackson — Six years, $25 million, $8 million SB (March 8, 2004)

    Marvin Harrison — Seven years, $67 million, $13 million bonuses (November 2004)

    Terrell Owens — Seven years, $48 million, $8.5 million SB (March 2004)

    Here’s what they had to say about Santana Moss:
    Take the six-year, $31 million contract given by the Redskins to Santana Moss, for example. He’s considered by most teams to be a No. 2 receiver.

    I guess this shows that, if he stays healthy, and realizes his potential (at a minimum, becomes a TOP #2 WR), this won’t be too bad a deal for the ‘Skins. If he turns out to be a solid #1 WR, then we will come out ahead, and if he remains injury prone and/or inconsistent, we will have drastically overpaid for his services. Only time will tell.

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