With rookies schedule to report to camp on Monday, the Redskins’ top pick in the draft and their most important player remains unsigned.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the holdup on a deal for Robert Griffin III is the same as it has been for quite some time now—offset language.
In case you’ve one of those fully sane individuals who has been spending your summer focusing on other things besides NFL player contract minutia, here’s a quick explanation. The basic terms of Griffin’s contract—four years, a bit over $21 million in salary and signing bonus—are set by the CBA and the deal will be fully guaranteed. In the highly unlikely event that the Redskins release before the contract is up, they want any unpaid guaranteed money to be offset by any money he might get in a contract with another team. Ben Dogra, Griffin’s agent, wants the Redskins to have to pay in full regardless of how much money Griffin might get from another team.
If this disagreement strikes you as being similar to one of those old debates about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, you have a point. There is absolutely zero chance that the Redskins will release RG3 in the next four years so there is absolutely zero chance that the offsets will come into play.
The Redskins know that and Dogra knows that. So why the holdup?
It’s about setting a precedent. Dogra wants to be able to tell future potential clients that he can get a deal done with no offset language. The Redskins want to establish that players they release won’t be able to double dip and get paid in full by both them and another team.
Up until now no harm has been done by the Redskins and Dogra having their debate over precedent and principle. But starting Monday morning Griffin, who in reality stands to gain or lose nothing in the offset debate, will start to miss time at Redskins Park.
The standoff will end at some point. Maybe Griffin will pick up the phone, call Dogra, and tell him to take the deal that’s on the table. Or the Redskins might blink, remove the offset language from the contract and deal with future issues down the road.
The sooner the end game plays out and a deal gets done the better it is for the Redskins’ 2012 prospects, the success of RG3 as a rookie, and the nerves of Redskins fans everywhere.