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Notes on the News 11.19.06

Jan 19, 2006, 4:29 AM EDT

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Notes on the News:

  • Should LaVar Arrington wind up staying with the Redskins, there will be all kinds of criticism of the writers who have said that there was virtually no chance he would be back in 2006 (including at least one who said that using words from Arrington’s own mouth). If a contract renegotiation takes place and he stays, it will be because he changed his mind, not because any journalist was trying to create a sensational story out of thin air.

  • Look for whatever happens with Arrington to happen during the couple of weeks after the Super Bowl. Although his $6.5 million roster bonus isn’t due until mid June, giving the team some time to decide about him before actually writing out a check, the entire amount will count against the cap until he is gone. That’s a pretty substantial handicap to go into free agent shopping with. On top of that, so many other decisions depend on what the implications of Arrington staying, going, or renegotiating are.

  • Those who think that it would be a disaster if Jason Campbell took meaningful snaps for the Redskins in 2006 had better take a look around the league. Second-year quarterbacks Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, rookie Kyle Orton, and third-year QB Chris Simms all led teams with good defenses and solid running games to division titles or, in Roethlisberger’s case, the conference title game.

  • Now that the Redskins have been eliminated from the playoffs it is now open season on their assistant coaches. They’re all still under contract and the team is working to extend all of them, but under NFL rules the contracts can be broken if another team is offering them a promotion. It could be interesting to see how such rules would work in the case of Greg Blache. His title is Defensive Coordinator, although in reality he’s the defensive line coach. Gregg Williams is the Assistant Head Coach—Defense. Would an offer of a promotion to a true coordinator position be enough to free him from his contract? It’s probably a moot point since he turned down chances to interview last year, but it would be an interesting ruling.

  • I’m torn on whether or not the Redskins should look for a new place kicker. John Hall will pull down a salary of $1.4 million in 2006 and somebody had better be pretty much automatic for that kind of money. It’s not just the missed 36-yarder in Seattle, it’s also the six-game hole in the season due to a leg injury. But if you bring in an untested kicker you risk going onto the kicker carousel again and signing a vet doesn’t save you much money and you have the same injury risk.

  • Everyone knows that the team’s two biggest priorities going in to this offseason are a wide receiver to take some heat off of Santana Moss and a pass-rushing defensive end. There are two ways to acquire such a player and I would sign a free agent receiver and draft the DE. It generally takes a couple of seasons for a wideout to develop in the NFL while an defensive end can come firing right out of the blocks. Let’s take a stab at the Skins signing Koren Robinson at receiver and drafting Darryl Tapp of Virginia Tech as the end.
  1. mbarnes202 - Jan 19, 2006 at 5:47 AM

    Rich,
    I wonder what the odds are of Arrington accepting less money in a renegotiated contract– how else can he stay? I’d love to see that because he is the face of the defense, and I think he will be better next year.
    As for the drafting the DE strategy– yes, that’s the only way to go, probably. It took a $20MM SB to sign kearse, and he’s no longer even a pro-bowler. Umeyiora was, I think, a 2nd round pick.
    As for WR, how about someone like Finneran, or perhaps even Jurevicious?
    As for Hall, he’s not yet been worth it, has he? If Novak could kick off better, I think we should go with him. He made a game winner and even a 50+ yarder @ Denver in the rain/snow. But he can’t, so, I’m with you– not sure.
    My FA / Draft priorities:

    1. DE– As discussed above. Our 2nd rounder.
    2. WR– As discussed above.
    3. LB– depending on where we go with Arrington. How is McCune looking, and how did the surgery for Clemons go?
    4. SS– We need a young athletic safety back there who can make plays on the ball. Not sure Clark is the guy. Will Bowen be better next year? Safeties are cheap.
    5. G/C. Brown’s gone, but he was an average backup at best anyway. We need a young guy here– 5th-7th rounder. Someone who can also play teams?
    6. CB. Springs is 31 and Harris is 29? Need a young guy to develop here. 4th rounder? (Do we have a fourth?) 3rd rounder?
    7. DT. A two-gap plugger to keep Salavea’ and Griffin fresh. Killings is the third down DT. 3rd round?
    8. Return specialist? A return guy who can also be our gunner on teams (to go with Jimoh) and maybe develop into either a WR or a CB?

  2. Joe - Jan 19, 2006 at 3:55 PM

    I believe the rule on assistant coaches is that they can only break their contracts if they’re being promoted to a head coaching position. Otherwise, I believe it’s up to the discretion of the team to let them out of said contract. Thus, the only way Blache, Lindsay, or anyone else would be able to leave in the middle of their contract would be if they were offered the top gig somewhere.

    As it stands, I haven’t heard anyone (other than Gregg Williams) mentioned in connection with vacant head coaching positions, so I’d say it’s likely that the staff will stay largely intact. It’s a little surprising to me that Greg Blache hasn’t garnered more interest for head coaching jobs.

  3. Anonymous - Jan 19, 2006 at 7:18 PM

    Speaking of coordinators, the skins just signed Al Saunders to be their new OC. If I’m Chris Cooley, Robert Royal, Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts, I’m salivating just thinking of the possibilities. If I’m the Oline, I start hitting the weights now as a means of diverting my overwhemling excitement. Gotta give Danny boy the credit, he will pump money into this team. W/ Gibbs’ wise judgement of talent and Danny’s wallet, we have an ELITE coaching staff.

    - Already excited about next year.

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