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Need to Know: Should the Redskins give Pierre Garçon an extension?

Mar 7, 2016, 5:11 AM EDT

Garcon-winning-TD-vs-Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 7, two days before the start of NFL free agency.

Five thoughts on the Redskins as free agency gets underway

—There is some buzz about a possible contract extension for Pierre Garçon. He has a cap figure of just over $10 million. A simple restructure is not possible since he is in the last year of his deal. If the Redskins think he can be productive for another 2-3 years, which would carry him into his age 32 or 33 season, they could guarantee him some money, cut his 2016 cap hit down to around $6 million, and keep him around through at least 2017.

—The reason why they need to hold on to both Garçon and DeSean Jackson is that the free agent wide receivers who are capable of stepping in and starting right away as a No. 1 or No. 2 option are going to get expensive. After two years of bumper crops of receivers being available in the draft the group of pass catchers is of low quality this year. Teams in need will be bidding for the available free agent talent and it looks like demand will exceed supply. That will lead to good paydays for some receivers who haven’t done much, guys like Mohamed Sanu and Rueben Randle. The Redskins would be well advised to stay away from the free agent market and grab a receiver in the first few rounds of the draft.

—We’re still looking to see if S Duke Ihenacho and OT/TE Tom Compton are going to get offered restricted free agent tenders. I think the Redskins would like to have both of them back, at least to compete for roster spots. But I don’t think that they want to pay either player the $1.5 million or so needed to tender them and get the right to match any offer that they may get. If they aren’t tendered by 4 p.m. on Wednesday they will become unrestricted free agents.

—There is likely to be a waiting game at backup quarterback. It looks like Colt McCoy is going to at least explore his options before he considers an offer from the Redskins. Nobody is going to snatch up the other veteran backups either. The Redskins may go until close to the start of offseason workouts on April 18 with Cousins as the only QB on the roster.

—As free agency gets going remember that you can’t judge the acquisition of a player without considering the price. Even if the player is pretty good, if the contract is bad, it’s a bad deal. And even if the player is just OK, if he has a contract to match you can live with that. For example, although Jeron Johnson didn’t do much last year, his contract was only for two years, $2.5 million with $350,000 guaranteed. That wasn’t a bad signing. And Jason Hatcher has played better than his sack numbers indicate but the team has already spent over $13.5 million for him for two years and even if he takes a pay cut for 2017 he will cost a few million dollars more. That was a bad signing.

 

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 57 days ago. It will be about 188 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 3; Redskins offseason workouts start 43; 2016 NFL draft 53

In case you missed it

  1. colorofmyskinz - Mar 7, 2016 at 6:28 AM

    We need Garcon, but not at those numbers. Hatch was a bad signing period. He has been non productive for us since he stepped on the field. I really hope he chooses retirement, or willing to take a contract change. He is not worth $3 M. We need a big WR in the draft, al la, Michael Thomas. We will have garcon, DJax, and Reed up for departure in a big way next year. What we need is for Cousins to take a long term deal that would allow is to lock these 3 pass catchers down for another 3 years. It is all about Cousins price. He sets the budget and as of now, we have no budget because we sit on the Tag. Need to be aggressive with cousin to lock our known largest expense down to determine what the budget is for these other tough decisions. Sanu might be worth looking at if we can’t get Garcon to consider dropping his price through contracting. Sanu like Garcon had plenty of competition for the ball in 2015. Sanu is much younger and has more potential than Garcon to sign for 3+ years. I would go Sanu.

    • lezziemcdykerson - Mar 7, 2016 at 9:37 PM

      I think in regards to Cousins, they have a number in mind, they “know” what it’ll cost them. It’s just a matter of getting things done in the right order. If we can get some solid pieces in line THEN sign Cousins in July we’re good. Even if our cap is right at 0. I was told that it’d be shockingly dumb to draft a WR in the first round with all the help we need defensively.. Nice to see someone else is thinking about our future and how fast it can all go bad. Remember the Fred Davis situation? Seems like yesterday and we’re already flipping over couch cushions to find money to extend Reed. I think the draft is deep enough defensively to go after a WR in the first, don’t see any of the quality big receivers, Scot prefers, dropping to the second so we’d have to be aggressive. ESPN is reporting that DT Ian Williams could be a top FA we’re looking at. I give it some legs because it does seem that the MADTV guy prefers his old players. If that’s the scenario maybe there’s a case for him looking to fill the NT void with a FA though he is on record saying he prefers to build teams through the draft. I guess it depends on which void is most dire. Get a serviceable vet at NT and draft a WR or go young and hope the guy is as NFL ready as everyone says he is and try to pick through the WR pile after rd1. It gets very tricky after next year, Cousins, DJax, Garcon, Reed and that’s just on offense. Hopefully the crop of receivers grows next year.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 7, 2016 at 6:34 AM

    I don’t think we should. We need Garçon and Jackson this year.

    By 2017, at least one of them needs to be replaced with a younger and cheaper player. Any extensions we do this year will just make that more expensive.
    ~

    • lezziemcdykerson - Mar 7, 2016 at 9:40 PM

      Exactly, I believe one of them stays but the order in which this is handled will affect our cap (and roster) for some time. Especially if any receiver ends up being a bust, I think we have to account for that opportunity cost as well.

  3. sidepull - Mar 7, 2016 at 6:38 AM

    Garcon; keep him. Hes a gritty player, good in the clutch. Be nice to lower the cap hit.
    I just wish Hatcher would just go on and retire. I dunno, maybe the draft a coupe DL and are able to find a gem that can get some much needed pressure .

  4. robert herrera - Mar 7, 2016 at 6:51 AM

    I believe in getting a young receiver in the draft and they are plenty of them. First let’s take a defensive player in the first two picks.

    • sidepull - Mar 7, 2016 at 7:27 AM

      I hope it falls that way Robert. Draft some you D studs!

  5. bk70 - Mar 7, 2016 at 7:50 AM

    I Like That…good article Rich. Before signing any FAs…
    IMO extend Garcon for 3 years and lower his 2016 cap hit, draft a WR in both 2016 and 2017, reduce the impact of 3 WR/TE with no contracts in 2017. Garcon has proven his value (he plays hard like the football players the GM desires). Jackson needs a great 2016 season (healthy too).
    Both Duke and Tom Compton should remain on the 53 man roster, pay them. Please lock up McCoy for 1-2 seasons and draft a rookie QB in the late rounds. Get him ready to become the BU.
    Hatcher needs to retire, time to move on for life with his family. Our draft picks should be prioritized for the defensive side, NT and Safety first, then ILB. Later rounds add a DE and CB. Offensive side priority should be a Center. In later rounds best available, QB, RB, WR or TE using the last three picks of the 8.

  6. babyteal1 - Mar 7, 2016 at 8:07 AM

    Extend both Jackson & Garcon. Reduce their cap #’s. Tender both Duke & Compton. Hatcher can go…lets get younger with 2 draft picks on the defensive line.

  7. abanig - Mar 7, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    I’m not a fan of Garcon and I was never a huge fan of his signing. I feel we overpaid back when we signed him and it’s coming to fruition now as he’s been overpaid each of the last two seasons for the production he’s produced. I’ve also heard plenty of people say he doesn’t Always run the best routes and that has lead to interceptions over the past several years. For example Cousins’ first int vs the Giants was mostly a result of Garcon’s lazy and poor route.

    I’d rather sign someone younger with more potential than Garcon.

    • bangkokben - Mar 7, 2016 at 9:14 AM

      The route part is true; the overpaying for production is not. In his four years with the Redskins he’s had 297 receptions (a significant number of 1st downs) and 18 TDs. He has cost the team $32,284,375 in cap space over that time. If you can’t draft them, this is what you pay for. His overall contract is 17th at his position and this year his cap hit 16th. Find 16 receivers who have been as good or better over that time that aren’t on their rookie deals.

      • abanig - Mar 7, 2016 at 9:44 AM

        Nearly 1/2 of those receptions were in one season when he was the only reliable receiving threat. In 2013 Griffin threw to him on nearly every pass. 18 tds is not a lot over 4 years when you’re paying a WR 8 to 10 million. That’s only 4.5 tds a year.

        • bangkokben - Mar 7, 2016 at 10:12 AM

          Until you can find 20 WRs – not under their rookie contracts – with the same or better production, I don’t think you can make the “overpaid” argument. You can’t just have one year contracts; so you have to take the superior with the average. The team has averaged just of $8M and have been adequately compensated. Now, if they could’ve drafted someone like Garcon, they’d be paying him close to $12 million/year in his first non-rookie contract but they’d have saved $24-$28M over the past four years.

        • abanig - Mar 7, 2016 at 5:26 PM

          I’m not sure why I’d need 20. Seems to me if there were 5 that are being paid around his contract and he wasn’t near their production level that he wouldn’t be worth the $.

          Maybe you like looking at the highest paid Redskins list and seeing an average Wr 2nd on that list but I don’t like it.

          His ypc #s look like a tight ends #s. He doesn’t catch many TDs. He doesn’t track deep balls well when they’re in the air. He doesn’t run great routes. He doesn’t high point or beat DBs to the ball when they’re in the air.

          He doesn’t do very much well. Yeah, he can block, but even with his blocking on the edge our running game still sucked so I’m not sure what good that did us in 2015.

          I’m sure he’ll be back and I’m sure he’ll have another 70 catch, 700 yard season with 6 Tds or less.

        • bangkokben - Mar 8, 2016 at 9:19 AM

          I don’t necessarily disagree with your list of his weaknesses. However, I think you’re short changing his strengths a bit. (The Redskins don’t beat the Eagles without him last year, for instance.) Pierre has been clutch big time. As can be seen by the percentage of his catches that result in first downs – irregardless of the average yards per catch. A 14 yard catch on 3rd and 15 is inconsequential while a 9 yard catch on 3rd and 8 moves the chains.

          My main point is that since the Redskins haven’t been able to draft a receiver they had to get one in free agency and there is price for that. Here are the top paid receivers:
          http://overthecap.com/position/wide-receiver

        • abanig - Mar 8, 2016 at 9:56 AM

          The redskins beat the Eagles for many reasons. DHall had a fumble recovery for a TD. Smith had a few huge sacks. Jordan Reed was huge, Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson made plays.

          I guess my issue is when I look at the list of top paid Redskins and I see Garcon amongst the top 5 and he’s not a #1 WR it rubs me the wrong way.

        • bangkokben - Mar 8, 2016 at 1:48 PM

          I was referencing the first Eagles game, I should’ve made that clear. Garcon isn’t a #1 WR but there would be few debating that after 2013. There are very few #1 WRs. Is he the next tier? Yes, along with these guys who count more against the cap this year: Michael Crabtree, T.Y. Hilton, and Mike Wallace.

        • abanig - Mar 15, 2016 at 1:00 PM

          Again, I like Garcon, I’ve never liked looking up the top paid Redskins and seeing a WR be #3 that doesn’t sniff 1,000 yards or 10 tds.

          Garcon is a hard worker & a good blocker. I think he’s got some other issues inside that lockeroom and with his route running/effort of jump balls that not enough people know about, realize or talk about.

    • celeoinc - Mar 7, 2016 at 9:51 AM

      Garçon is also our best blocker as far receiver goes.

      • abanig - Mar 7, 2016 at 5:27 PM

        Which means little when the running game is still horrible and the WR only averages 10 yards per reception

  8. berniebernard666 - Mar 7, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Bruce Allen is not a CAP guru or talent expert. He was in charge and signed a 32 year old to a whopping 4 year contract. But he also allowed the other non talent expert…GRUDEN….to bring in Andre Roberts and now that is also a CAP hit for another non productive player. 6.5 million in dead Cap even if you cut both. Plus next year D. Jackson isn’t even on the roster but Allen push part of his bonus into 2017. So the Skins will have to eat another million dollars for a player who is long gone.

    The Giants have 60 million in Cap Space even with a 22 million dollar QB because they don’t overpay for average to below average players like the Redskins do. I hope Scott M will go ahead and cut several pieces of dead weight and now try and restructure and hurt the team next year and beyond.

    • bangkokben - Mar 7, 2016 at 10:30 AM

      Blaming Gruden for Andre Roberts is like blaming Gruden for not enough milk in your cereal.

      Free agent additions is not his responsibility nor has there been ANY reporting of him having ANY influence in this area.

      • berniebernard666 - Mar 7, 2016 at 10:44 AM

        you obviously think Bruce Allen was picking all the offensive players in 2015 without Grudens opinion. You need a new football 101 class.

        • bangkokben - Mar 7, 2016 at 11:00 AM

          Gruden wouldn’t have much input on the decision. First time and first year head coaches have plenty on their plates. There’s one thing to answer your opinion on a player that you’ve never scouted and may have never seen play in the NFL and actually doing all the scouting, drawing up the contract proposal and signing the player. Gruden was hired January 9 and Roberts was signed March 11. This move would be 99% Allen and a generous 1% for Gruden. It’s asinine and disingenuous to suggest anything else. It’s simply fodder for your coach hate. Gruden has plenty of things to held accountable for, Andre Robets isn’t one of them.

  9. berniebernard666 - Mar 7, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    thanks goodness the drama is OVER. RG3 is finally somebody else’s problem now. Finally he has been released.

  10. James McFullan - Mar 7, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    Rich, the Redskins so far have released Jason Hatcher, Dashon Goldson, RGIII, and Jeron Johnson. The Redskins are bringing in Chris Long to fill in for Jason Hatcher, but the Redskins are now about $25 million under the cap. Are they going to go after someone big in free agency and how are they going to fill the void at FS, Backup QB, and Backup SS.

  11. Tom - Mar 9, 2016 at 5:47 PM

    Absolutely give him an extention.

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