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What are the Redskins’ options with Pierre Garçon’s contract?

Feb 23, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT


There is chatter out there that the Redskins are looking to do something with Pierre Garçon’s contract. That deal has two years left to go with cap hits of $9.7 million this year and $10.2 million in 2016 and Redskins may want to lower that number.

The problem is that there isn’t a way to lower the wide receiver’s cap hit that makes sense for both the player and the team. Here are the possibilities.

A straight pay cut—This is the solution that will work out best for the team. Garçon would have to agree to a reduction in his base pay. His contract calls for a salary of $7.1 million plus a workout bonus of $150,000 and per-game roster bonuses that can total $250,000. The Redskins could offer to cut the base pay to somewhere in the $4-$5 million range. That would put the ball in the court of Garçon’s camp. They would rightfully ask why he should take a pay cut. His production didn’t drop from 113 receptions in 2013 to 68 last year due to anything he did wrong. Garçon was not responsible for the three-man carousel the Redskins had going at quarterback nor did he make the free agent deal that brought in DeSean Jackson, cutting into his chances. I can’t see any reason why Garçon would agree to a reduced salary.

A simple restructure—They could convert up to about $6 million of his salary to signing bonus and split that cap charge between this year and next. That would reduce his 2015 cap number to around $6.7 million. But his 2016 cap hit would balloon to over $13 million. It would add $3 million to the dead money if they decide they want to move on from him a year from now, when he will be 30 by the time the season starts. Since they aren’t in any particular cap problems as of right now and could create some room by releasing some older, costlier players, there isn’t any reason to make a move like this.

An extension—They could agree to a contract extension for Garçon, and format it in such a way that would reduce the cap hit this season. But, again, if Garçon doesn’t agree to take less money an extension that would kick in for his age 31 season just doesn’t make much sense. Some receivers still thrive well past 30; others see declining production. How much will Pierre Garçon be worth in 2017? It’s very risky to predict that right now. The Redskins could structure it in a way where they could get out of it with relatively little pain after 2016. But I don’t know why Garçon would agree to a deal that would very possibly put him on the free agent market at age 31.

From here, it looks like only three options are realistic in this situation:

Keep the status quo—Just pay him and focus on getting the ball to him more often.

Trade him—Perhaps a team would give up a third- or fourth-round pick for a player who had over 100 catches two years ago. The $7.5 million salary plus bonuses might be a little steep but the team landing Garçon would not pick up any guaranteed money obligations. The Redskins would incur $4.4 million in dead cap charges but save a net of $5.3 million against the cap this year and $8 million in 2016.

Release him—The cap consequences would be the same as trading him.

  1. troylok - Feb 23, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    I think they should ask for a straight pay cut. I don’t think he’s 100 percent. I think he still has some issues with the foot and I believe this contributed to his decline in performance. He’s not the same wide receiver that he was when he first landed in Washington.

    • bullets2586 - Feb 23, 2015 at 10:38 AM

      I agree, but would like to add that the QB situation also contributed to his drop in numbers. He’s still a good receiver and I think he still has a few good years in him.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 23, 2015 at 11:51 AM

      They can ask but why would Garçon accept a pay cut? Can’t do it unilaterally.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 23, 2015 at 2:39 PM

      Seriously? He hasn’t missed a game since mid-2012. Has been on the injury report once (calf) in last two seasons.

      > > >

  2. ronwsd - Feb 23, 2015 at 11:10 AM

    I haven’t seen a lot of this guy since we brought him here I think he is over rated and not the explosive playmaker we need on our team

    • jonevans511 - Feb 23, 2015 at 11:37 AM

      Do you watch the Skins, like ever? You haven’t “seen a lot of this guy”? Really? Not even when he caught 113 balls in 2013, one of only a few bright spots on a miserable team? What about during RGIII’s first game as a pro, when he found Garcon running across the field and Garcon took it 80 yards (from memory) to the house?

      If you think explosive playmakers are a dime a dozen in this league you’re smoking. PG is a very solid receiver with a great attitude and the heart of a lion. THAT is what we need, guys who come to play every day, who do not shy away from contact (except the QB lol), and who want the ball in their hands under any circumstance.

      Sure, it’s great to have a DJax who can stretch the field, but good luck getting him to come across the middle, take a huge hit from a Safety, and get up a second later with the ball secured . Garcon brings value to this organization every time he steps on the field. It’s not his fault he was offered this contract; a contract in which he’s EARNED EVERY CENT thus far. I challenge you to prove otherwise.

      • trevor - Feb 23, 2015 at 9:07 PM

        There is no rebutal to this…that was perfect

    • bangkokben - Feb 23, 2015 at 11:46 AM

      So you just started watching last year but missed the Tennessee game?

  3. kenlinkins - Feb 23, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    While I agree that Garcon’s contract is a much better fit for him then the Redskins (along with T. Williams due to the $13 million plus price tag in 2015) I do not believe these to be the on the top of the new GM’s “to do list”. These are things the new GM must clean up before Feb of 2016. IMO the answer is to trade Garcon before the trading deadline in 2015 with a team in true need due to injury and to start talks with T. Williams about a new contract now and see if a deal can be reached. If you do define “need” as part of the BPA system, the new GM must keep this in mind come draft day in both 2015 & 2016 (how long is the D. Jackson contract)! The Garcon contract is a major mess (IMO, the new GM must avoid any more major FA signings like this one) and there is no real good way out for either, so it is just a matter of when is the best time to pull the trigger on trading him or cutting him (seems GM Allen was not very good at exit ideas when signing FA). The problem with T. Williams contract seem to be it is the last one under the old CBA and benefits the player, add to that his injury concerns and $13 million seems like a lot, BUT if he plays like a true Pro Bowler for 16 games in 2015, $13 million seem a little cheap even vs. a number 1 draft pick at $7 million who has a 50% chance at being a bust. IMO GM Allen gave up exit plans for lower Cap numbers early in the contracts with FA in order to sign them.

    • bangkokben - Feb 23, 2015 at 11:59 AM

      This wringing of hands over Trent Williams contract is lunacy. Do you know how much Tyron Smith is making this year? $13M. Another pro-bowl left tackle. That is the going rate for pro-bowl left tackles. He is 26 years-old and plays hurt. He has missed 1 game in three years despite the injuries. He earns his keep. You are not going to find an adequate replacement. The only teams that can skimp on LT are the teams with future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Last I checked we don’t have one of those. Left tackle is THE position you can’t just plug in a guy and save $ because you want to somehow get value. STOP! There are plenty of legit places to fix on this team and left tackle isn’t one of them. Mark my words, this is the same kind of ridiculous fan talk that we’ll hear about in 5 years about this current pick, maybe even in couple of years about Ryan Kerrigan. Just stop.

      • ajbus1 - Feb 23, 2015 at 6:19 PM

        I totally agree. What’s with the criticism of Williams deal when he’s easily a top ten LT. You definitely aren’t replacing him for less than what he’s making. We just need to extend him to a cap friendly deal.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 23, 2015 at 2:44 PM

      Disagree that Allen was not good at exit scenarios in contracts. Only deal the team has control over (i. e. non-rookie) that carries a negative cap hit if the player is cut—D. Jackson’s. Also very few deals are loaded with big roster bonuses or guarantees due if the player is still on the roster in March. Guarantees and the like are what you need to put in deals to get the players.

      > > >

    • captblood3000 - Feb 24, 2015 at 8:48 AM

      Ken, I said this to one of your comments on the last thread: need is a tiebreaker in BPA. McCloughan isn’t going to assign any safety a higher grade because the Redskins need safeties.

      That said, left tackle is a premium position because the most athletic linemen play it in college. This is why left tackles get picked early and often in the draft: they’re most often BPA.

  4. bangkokben - Feb 23, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    Honor the contract. If you didn’t think he was worth that when you made it – don’t offer it. Players can’t hold out when then over preform and teams shouldn’t get a break when players preform below expectations.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 23, 2015 at 2:07 PM

      Mostly agree…unless there’s a trade partner.

      Thanks to years of bad management, this team is still a LONG way from being a superbowl contender.

      Therefore: holding onto a high-priced guy who is going to be in the twilight of his career soon doesn’t make sense, if you can avoid it.

  5. bowlregard - Feb 23, 2015 at 1:03 PM

    The Skins are supposed to be emphasizing the draft now. They are going to have a fair amount of cap room when they cut Chester and a DLman or two. If they sign a couple of guys in free agency and then need some more room to sign somebody else, then maybe ask him to take one for the team. But I’m thinking, even if they take Kevin White at #5, then maybe cut Roberts. If you’re developing young WRs like White and Grant, what better environment than to have studs like Garcon and Jackson to emulate?

    • bangkokben - Feb 23, 2015 at 1:50 PM

      They will use the cap room to resign/extend Williams and Kerrigan.

      • murphsman - Feb 23, 2015 at 4:21 PM

        They’re not gonna extend Kerrigan, they just picked up his fifth year option. They’ll worry about that next year after the salary cap is finalized. They need to worry about setting up for the long term future first, not worrying about position players like Kerrigan and Williams who aren’t going anywhere this year.

  6. rcjur - Feb 23, 2015 at 1:20 PM

    Hopefully they can reduce his cap hit and get him for at least one more season. I think Hankerson is done; Grant is good but not ready yet for prime time. I would go into next season with Jackson, Garcon, Roberts and I hope we draft mid round Stephon Diggs MD! Jackson, Garcon and Diggs would be outstanding.

  7. bangkokben - Feb 23, 2015 at 2:13 PM

    The ‘skins don’t need to do anything with Garcon’s contract. There are a plethora of aging veterans on the lines that are at or beyond their sell by dates. They also don’t want to be a big player in free agency. Lastly, they may roll over some of the cap for next year as they will likely extend Williams, Kerrigan, and Morris. Not to mention that the quarterback position is likely to cost closer to normal next year regardless of who is on the roster. For instance this year Griffin and Cousins will cost about $7.5 in cap space while 17 teams have starters with caps of $14M or greater. Former ‘skin Chase Daniel has a cap hit of $4.8M this year.

  8. Dc native - Feb 23, 2015 at 3:23 PM

    The Redskins need to focus on the ol and dl and make cuts their before looking at PG.

    • ajbus1 - Feb 23, 2015 at 6:24 PM


  9. murphsman - Feb 23, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    Speaking of Kerrigan, I don’t see him going anywhere anytime soon. I fully expect him to resign with Washington for 2016 because he wants to be here and likes being here.

    • bowlregard - Feb 23, 2015 at 5:21 PM

      And when he’s done playing he’ll be on the radio. Or TV.

  10. ajbus1 - Feb 23, 2015 at 6:24 PM

    No reason to pinch pennies here and potentially tick-off Garcon by asking him to take less. Get players like Chester and Coefield to take a pay cut, flat out cut Bowen. That alone would free up some dollars. We aren’t gonna make a big free agent signing so those moves would leave us with plenty of cap space to operate.

  11. goback2rfk - Feb 23, 2015 at 11:52 PM

    I want to see a better number 3 receiver or slot guy. Keep Garcon around and get a guy like that little white dude on Dallas Cowboys Cole Beasely.. We need a slot guy bad to replace Roberts. Archives

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