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Need to Know: Redskins’ restructure money already spent

Sep 5, 2013, 5:55 AM EDT

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Stephen-Bowen

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 5, four days before the Redskins open up their season against the Eagles at FedEx Field.

Nickel coverage

1. Pierre Garçon says that he is 100 percent healthy after missing six games last year with a toe injury and having surgery to repair a torn labrum during the offseason. It is typical for athletes to say they are “fine” when dealing with an injury when they are anything but. In this case, however, it seems that the athlete is accurate in his self-assessment. Garçon took a few days off during training camp but no more than most other veteran players. He didn’t play a whole lot in preseason but neither did Alfred Morris. Certainly something could happen along the way but for right now it looks like all systems are go for the player who helps the Redskins’ offense go.

2. The Redskins restructured the contracts of Stephen Bowen, Adam Carriker, and Barry Cofield in recent days to create some cap room. But don’t get excited about the prospects of them going after a free agent. As Bruce Allen indicated during training camp, the Redskins are restructuring deals just to be able to stay under the salary cap. During the offseason only the top 51 contracts count towards the cap. Once the season starts, the contracts of all 53 active players plus players on PUP and injured reserve and the practice squad count towards. The Redskins had some trimming to do to get in compliance with the cap and to give themselves some cushion during the season. In short, the savings from the restructures are already spent.

3. I predicted yesterday that the conversation on RG3 would turn the corner from “concerns” and other such controversies to playing in games. And what transpired during Griffin’s Wednesday press conference was in line with that. There were 19 questions asked and only two of them had to do with what has transpired since Thursday, when Dr. James Andrews cleared Griffin to play against the Eagles, i. e. the “concerns”. To be sure, many of the others dealt with returning from the injury but those would be there even if there had been total radio silence on the rehab from Redskins Park. We’re not out of the woods on the knee talk yet but we’re getting there.

4. There is injury report today even though you have probably read that most of the other teams around the league had to issue one. That’s because when a team has a Monday night game the reports go out Thursday-Saturday instead of Wednesday-Friday. The only real concern this week seems to be Brandon Meriweather, who has a pulled groin in addition to his still-recovering knee.

5. Even though Griffin has been a spectator for much of the offseason, he remains the leader of the team. He was asked if he gave the rookies any advice. After joking that people were treating him like he was a five- or seven-year veteran, he got serious.

“For the rookies, you know, I talked to the guys on our team like Chris Thompson playing running back, you are here for a reason and you’ve got to believe it. Your coaches believe in you. That’s why they drafted you. That’s why you made the team. So if you step on that field and don’t feel like you don’t belong, then it will come out and you’ll play like you don’t belong. But if you go out on that field and play like you belong and trust in yourself and trust your preparation, then you have nothing to worry about.”

Stat of the day

—Of the 53 players who are on the Redskins’ roster, 11 are new to the organization since the end of last season. A total of 17 were not on the opening 53-man roster in 2012.

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Timeline

—Redskins quarterback Billy Kilmer was born on this day in 1939

—It’s been 239 days since the last Redskins game; there are four days until the next one

—Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 4; Redskins @ Packers 10; Lions @ Redskins 17

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Jim Haslett press conference 12:00; practice 1:00; Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan press conferences after practice (approx. 3:00)

Tandler looks at the Eagles

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