It is expected that Rex Grossman will sign with the Washington Redskins soon after the starting gun for NFL free agency sounds at 6:01 p.m. on Friday and that he will compete with John Beck and perhaps a veteran free agent for the starting quarterback job.
There is talk that Mike Shanahan favors Beck for the job, giving the fifth-year quarterback with just five NFL games under his belt a leg up becoming the starter.
The NFL may just have handed Beck another boost in his effort to land the job.
One section of the NFL transition calendar that was released today reads as follows:
Veteran players who sign Player Contract on or after 6:00 p.m., New York Time, on July 29, 2011 shall be required to report to, and remain with, their Clubs . . . except that, prior to the start of the 2011 League Year, such players may not participate in on-field activities, workouts, weight training or other physical activities, but shall be required to attend meetings, classroom instruction and other non-physical activities scheduled during the Club's preseason training
The league year is not scheduled to start until August 4. That means that Grossman can be fully on board with rejoining the Redskins, sign a deal and then—do nothing. Well, he will be able to go to meetings, eat meals with the guys, and all of that. However, when the Redskins take the practice field on Friday, Grossman will be no more than a spectator. The same will go for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and so on until the next Thursday when Grossman will be able to take the field.
Meanwhile, Beck will get all of the first-team reps in practice. Grossman will have to play catch up.
This will give a substantial edge to Beck. By the time next Thursday rolls around there will about six practices left before the Redskins take on the Ravens. His chances to impress, and to prepare for the game against the Steelers, will be very limited.
If the Redskins should sign a veteran quarterback with the idea of having him compete for the starting job, he would be under the same restraints as Grossman.
This doesn’t mean that you can take a Sharpie and put Beck in the starting lineup against the New York Giants on Sept. 11, but he will have a substantial head start on the competition for that spot.