Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 17, 2013, 87 days before the Redskins start their offseason conditioning program.
Wide receiver not likely to be a priority
It seems unlikely that the Redskins will target a wide receiver either in free agency or with a high pick in the draft.
I am asked about this quite often on Twitter so I figure it must be a thought that is buzzing around out there. So to perhaps save a few tweet responses (not that I ever mind giving them to you @Rich_TandlerCSN) let’s take a look at the topic.
Last year the Redskins paid $42.5 million with $20 million guaranteed to secure the services of Pierre Garçon. Josh Morgan set them back $12 million over two years. The year before they drafted three wide receivers (Niles Paul has been converted to a tight end) and signed Santana Moss to a three-year, $15 million contract.
That represents a lot of finite resources devoted to one position. Although the group lacked a dominant receiver, they performed well as a group, with Moss, Morgan, Garçon, and Leonard Hankerson all had at least 500 yards receiving. The Redskins led the NFL is yards per play and yards per pass play.
Would it be nice for the Redskins to add a Megatron, a Larry Fitzgerald, a true stud who would be a big target for RG3 not only in the red zone but from anywhere on the field? Sure.
But it is a luxury that the Redskins just can’t afford this year. Despite the fact that they were 10-6 there are other areas that need to be addressed. They don’t have a first-round draft pick and they will get hit with the second installment on their salary cap penalty, an $18 million whack.
They might add a wide receiver but if they do it will be a second- or third-tier free agent or a late-round draft pick. That’s all they can do with their limited resources.
NFL popularity still soaring
In case you were wondering if issues like the replacement referees, the overexposure from the season-long Thursday night games, or the player safety rules limiting hits to the head that sometimes lead to some ridiculous penalty flags have had a negative effect on the popularity of the NFL, consider the following:
--Newsday reports that 43.2 million people were watching the Atlanta-Seattle playoff game last Sunday at 4 p.m., towards the end of the game. One fourth of all American homes had a TV tuned in to the game. This game did not involve one of the NFL’s glamour teams or one of it’s high-profile stars. The game was coming to a thrilling conclusion with two lead changes in the last minute and that certainly boosted the audience.
--The game a week earlier between the Redskins and Seahawks drew 38.1 million viewers. At the time it was the most watched program on any network since NBC’s Olympics coverage on July 31.
--A recent Harris poll showed that the NFL is America’s most popular sport. That poll has come out with the NFL on top for 47 consecutive years. Pro football was named the favorite sport of 34 percent of the respondents. That was just shy of the popularity of the next three sports combined—baseball (16%), college football (11%), and auto racing (8%).
In case you missed it
- The Redskins have seven picks in the NFL draft and many needs
- Grading the tight ends: What about Fred?
- Five thoughts on Ike Hilliard’s departure
- Kiper has the Redskins taking a safety
Days until: NFL Combine in Indianapolis 34; start of free agency 53; NFL Kickoff Sunday 233