Posted on: July 30, 2010 9:18 am
Trent Williams, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, signed with the Redskins early Friday morning, according to a release from the team.
The deal reportedly is a six-year, $60 million max deal with $36.75 million in guaranteed money.
Williams is the highest drafted individual to sign with his team thus far, and the only top five pick to ink. That's a chunk of guaranteed cheddar, even for a blue-chip offensive line prospect, so it's reasonable to expect that you'll see Sam Bradford get up near (or above) that $50 million mark when he does sign with the Rams.
Of course, one important aspect of getting Williams signed early is that Washington expects him to start at left tackle and protect Donovan McNabb's blind side for the duration of the season; getting him into camp for the maximum amount of exposure to team activities was crucial for the Redskins.
Plus, now we all get to turn our attention back to Albert Haynesworth ... who just failed his second straight day of conditioning tests.
-- Will Brinson
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Posted on: July 29, 2010 2:13 pm
Eagles QB Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick got the day off from practice today, leaving fourth-round pick Mike Kafka as the only signal-caller taking snaps. But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about Kolb and what Philadelphia offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg expects from his starter this season.
What Mornhinweg really wants, as recounted by the Philadelphia Inquirer , is for Kolb to maintain a high completion percentage and a low interception total. This obviously makes sense for any quarterback at any level. But Kolb is replacing Donovan McNabb, who threw interceptions on only 2.1 percent of his attempts – currently the third-best percentage in NFL history.
Mornhinweg wants him to imitate that.
“The best qualities that Kevin has, and there’s many of them, is quick decision-making and his accuracy and his timing,” Mornhinweg told reporters. “He’s got a good amount of skill and ability. And he’s got some guts. And some gut-instincts as well.”
Kolb also learns quickly from his mistakes.
“He got into some regular-season games last year and played very well for the most part,” Mornhinweg said. “There were 2 or 3 critical errors that he made and he learned from them. I can remember there was a play early in his career, there was a blitz and he just did the wrong thing. A year later in his second game last year, he was in the same spot. Similar play, similar situation. He did the perfect thing and we gained 16-18 yards. So he learns quick. He learns from his mistakes.”
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Posted on: July 27, 2010 7:02 pm
A nice story here about Redskins QB Donovan McNabb sending Eagles QB Kevin Kolb a positive text message before Philadelphia opened training camp today.
"He told me to take one practice at a time and be patient," Kolb told reporters, including the Philadelphia Inquirer . "And I said, 'Yeah, I hear you. It's a long season.' That's what I was saying before. You kind of get caught up in the whole realm of the whole season and whatever expectations. Just take it one practice at a time at this time of year and that will help you get a lot better."
Since the Eagles jettisoned McNabb to Washington and replaced him with Kolb, the gesture was a classy one.
"(It) meant a lot because they're not even in camp yet," Kolb said. "He knew that we were coming to camp and he's paying attention. I appreciated him reaching out and offering good luck. Donovan's like that."
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Posted on: July 25, 2010 1:45 pm
Mike Jensen and Ashley Fox of the Philadelphia Inquirer have a feature today that tells the story of how the Eagles came to trading Donovan McNabb. Andy Reid, Eagles president Joe Banner and owner Jeffrey Lurie all spoke very openly about the topic.
According to Banner, Reid basically said: "I think either one of these guys (McNabb or Kevin Kolb) are top-quality guys and we can win [this year] with them."
Banner acknowledged that if no trade had occurred, McNabb presumably would have gone to training camp as the starter again.
"We weren't in a panic mode, because we could've waited another year and it could've played out that way - but if we waited a year, maybe there would've been much less market value for Donovan," Lurie said. "He wouldn't be under contract to us, so we probably would've had to franchise him to have market value."
"It wasn't an easy decision, just a slam dunk, for me," Reid said. "You've got to evaluate age and you've got to evaluate what's left in the tank, who has the upside and who doesn't. You want to make sure you got maximum value for your football team because I'm not into giving good players away. I don't want to do that.
"Brett Favre was the last big-time [quarterback] to go someplace, and Brett was a little bit older. Green Bay got a fourth-round pick for him, so if it was going to be Donovan McNabb, who I figured could probably pull the most for our organization, I wanted to make sure it was at least close to what he was worth."
Apparently, Kolb’s impressive performance in two early-season starts last year made quite an impression – at least on Howie Roseman, who was promoted from VP of player personnel to general manager after the season.
"Sunday Night Football came on (after the Kansas City game) – there was this graphic about Kevin Kolb, how he was the first player in NFL history to throw over 300 yards in his first two starts," Roseman said.
Roseman said he went to his office the next morning and closely watched Kolb on tape.
"You see his decision-making, you see his poise, his accuracy - you go, 'This guy needs an opportunity to be an NFL quarterback,' " Roseman said. "He's not going to be sitting on the bench next year, whether it's here or somewhere else. I think it was at that moment, when you see him with the live bullets flying, that you knew he deserved a chance."
Other factors involved included Kolb ’s impressive showings in the preseason and the fact that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was fond of Michael Vick being the No. 2 quarterback. Additionally, players spoke on the record about how the age gap between McNabb and Kolb impacted the locker room dynamics.
Offensive tackle Winston Justice put it like this: "Everybody liked Donovan. We all liked Donovan as a player. There was a little bit of an age gap. We didn't laugh at the same jokes. We didn't listen to the same music. But I don't think that played into the [Eagles' decision] at all. We respected him as a football player."
Another Eagles offensive lineman, Todd Herremans, said, "I would say probably the majority of the players are younger players, and they drew to Kevin a little better as the last year went on, especially being able to get in there and actually play with them a couple games. The younger players in the locker room kind of wanted to see Kevin take over and get their own print on the team. As long as Donovan was on the team, it was going to be his thing, not the young kids taking over."
Entering his sixth season, Herremans said, "We would've loved to play with Donovan another year. But the majority of the locker room was leaning toward Kevin. It was not age or ability. They wanted to make their own mark in Eagles history right now."
The rest of the article gets into the Eagles’ conversations with McNabb’s agent (Fletcher Smith) and the back-and-forth that took place with various teams. It is excellent reporting, with all parties – Reid, Banner, Lurie and Smith – speaking very candidly. It’s highly recommended reading.
-- Andy Benoit
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Posted on: July 24, 2010 11:41 pm
The Redskins and Donovan McNabb haven't started talking about a contract extension since McNabb was traded from Philadelphia in April.
But that doesn't necessarily mean that the Redskins don't want him. In fact, Bruce Allen's recent statements indicate the opposite :
"We really haven't started [talks]," Allen said. "Donovan is so excited about this new opportunity -- the team has embraced him, our fans clearly have embraced him. We'll have plenty of time to get something done with him. We see him as part of our future. We would not have made the trade unless we see it that way, and he knows it.
"He's a mature player who knows that he's gonna be paid well, but there'll be a right time. We made a great investment in trading for him and we like the guy, we really like him as a leader on this team, and the players have really accepted him. And we think he's gonna be a great Redskin for years to come." Is it rude to point out that "years to come" technically only means "more than one"?
Or that McNabb will be 34 during the season?
Actually, those are probably both valid points, but more important is the issue that there are other, bigger-named quarterbacks out there who need extensions first. Also, if everything in Washington is sewn up before training camp, well, that takes all the fun out of rampantly speculating.
Posted on: July 21, 2010 4:51 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 4:56 pm
DeSean Jackson and Chris Johnson are in pretty similar situations: both were drafted in 2008, both were Pro Bowlers last year, both have similar skill sets, and both are grossly underpaid (relative to other professional football players anyway).
However, Jackson, unlike Johnson -- who is in the process of getting a "new" deal from the Tennessee Titans -- is unlikely to see any sort of increase in pay for the coming season, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer .
Jeff Lane cites a "league source familiar with the way the Eagles negotiate contracts" who believes its in Jackson's "best interests" to play another year before asking for more money.
Jackson hasn't threatened to hold out or skip training camp (although he did miss some workouts in June without providing a reason) and when I spoke with him at the Super Bowl in February , he made it clear that he wasn't "gonna make it a distraction."
The bad news for DeSean, financially speaking, is that he a) didn't receive a signing bonus because of his second round status and b) won't be getting paid if a new labor agreement isn't reached by 2011.
The good news, on the other hand, is that if he shows up for training camp, works as hard as he has thus far, makes the Pro Bowl at two positions again and helps the Eagles finish above the Redskins and former quarterback Donovan McNabb (that's a casual season, right?), Philadelphia will have to pay him, and pay him well.
-- Will Brinson
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Posted on: July 17, 2010 1:49 pm
Spike TV’s much-talked about Pro’s vs. Joes series is set to debut this Wednesday, July 21, at 10:00 pm ET/PT. You’ve heard about this show…it’s the one where Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens played basketball together. We’ll finally get a chance to see how McNabb and Owens – both of whom played hoops in college – interacted in their first encounter since the ugly divorce in ’05.
Pro’s vs. Joes is hosted by Michael Strahan and Jay Glazer. The folks at Spike sent Strahan on a media blitz Thursday, and Yours Truly gladly took the bait.
“The concept of (the show) is great,” Strahan said. “You take couch potatoes or Monday morning quarterbacks who say ‘I can do that,’ and they go out there and find out how tough it is and how competitive it is with guys who have made a living doing it. We also have NFL players going with guys who were in the NBA, which is an interesting dynamic.”
The show is designed for the Joes to learn from the Pros. Asked whether he, the Pro, learned from the Joes, Strahan replied, “You know what? This season, we had some Joes who actually had a chance to make it to the pros. From the Joe’s you learn that a lot of these guys could have made it, BUT ‘I didn’t want to go to class’ or ‘I could have made it, BUT I had to take care of my family.’ Everybody has a reason and it’s based on what’s going on in their life at the time. Sometimes they make a decision that leads to success in a certain field, and sometimes it’s a decision that leads to regret.”
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Posted on: June 21, 2010 12:59 pm
There are rumors that the Cowboys showed interest in Jammal Brown. The two-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle, of course, wound up in Washington. This could ultimately prove to be a power-shifter in the NFC East.
The Redskins did not have a quarterback who could consistently threaten a defense through the air in 2009. Obviously, the chaos with Sherm Lewis replacing Jim Zorn as the play-caller didn’t help. But whoever was calling plays couldn’t trust the mechanical, indecisive Jason Campbell.
When new head coach Mike Shanahan, along with GM Bruce Allen, solved this problem by trading for Donovan McNabb in the spring, critics tipped their caps, paused, then said, “Wait, your offensive line still stinks.” Indeed, there was no replacement for injured/retired Chris Samuels at left tackle, and Stephon Heyer’s fleckless technique and poor lower-body strength made for a hopeless situation on the right side.
Brown’s arrival also aids the rest of the front. Washington’s interior line – guards Derrick Dockery and Mike Williams, and center Casey Rabach – are cogs who play to the level of those around them. In other words, good tackle play makes for good guard play in Washington.
The only concern is that all of these linemen are road-grading blockers; how will they perform in Shanahan’s agility-based zone scheme? In the very least, with McNabb on board and an adequate front five, Washington will now be competitive in passing situations. A decent offense factored with what has been a rock-solid Redskin defense translates to a fourth playoff contender in the NFC East this year.