May 12, 2015, 5:25 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 12, 79 days before the Washington Redskins open training camp in Richmond, VA.
Question of the day
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It appears that Ryan Kerrigan will become a very rich man at some point soon. His camp and the Redskins are progressing in contract extension talks. A new contract likely would pay Kerrigan in the neighborhood of $10 million per year over several seasons. There’s the fortune, will fame follow?
First, let’s talk about “household names”. If you take the term literally there are very few of them in the NFL. If you knocked at the door of a randomly selected house in America and started naming football players, the recognition would probably stop at Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and maybe a few others. Robert Griffin III likely has a high degree of name recognition because of his performance his rookie year and due to the fact that much of what he has said and done since gets coverage on cable news, social media, and on pop culture type media outlets.
That may sound odd to NFL fans but keep in mind that according to the TV ratings over half of the people in America don’t even watch the Super Bowl.
But I think what you’re aiming at is something more like, say, J.J. Watt and Adrian Peterson, players who are on the tips of the tongues of even casual NFL fans. I don’t believe that is a status that Kerrigan, Robinson, or anyone else on the Redskins besides Griffin can attain.
For one thing, you have to be a really, really good player to be well known among people who are fans of the other 31 NFL team. You have to be an All-Pro, or at least get some votes. Kerrigan had 13.5 sacks last year. Justin Houston led the NFL with 22. That’s a long way away from earning All-Pro votes.
Watt, who, as noted, is a household name, had 20.5 sacks last year. It was the second 20-sack season of his four-year career. Last year was the first time that Kerrigan, who came into the league the same year as Watt, had double-digit sacks.
This isn’t to disparage Kerrigan at all. He’s a very good player. But he’s not nearly good enough to overcome the other issue with Kerrigan, Robinson, or anyone else on the team becoming a household name—the team’s record.
There are very few household names on losing teams. Going back a ways, Walter Payton managed to be very well known despite the fact that the Bears were pretty bad until the tail end of his career. The flip side of the coin is someone like Russell Wilson, who probably would be fairly anonymous if not for consecutive Super Bowl appearances.
If Kerrigan gets better players around him he could become more of a household name. He could get more sacks, which is the main metric for defenders becoming well known. And the team would be better, at least in theory, so his chances at fame would increase that way.
Robinson? I wouldn’t get too excited after one season as a starter. He has a chance at being pretty good, maybe making a Pro Bowl or two at some point down the road. But I don’t see him being good enough to be considered a household name.
—It’s been 135 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 124 days until they play another one.
—Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 36; Redskins training camp starts 79; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 135
If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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