Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 16, 99 days before the start of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Redskins will be restricted in restricted free agency
There hasn’t been much movement at all in the NFL restricted free agent market lately. In fact, not one RFA changed teams last year. That could change this year but the Redskins won’t be doing any shopping, at least at the top end of the market.
I was asked about this yesterday when an item on Pro Football Talk about the pending RFA status of Victor Cruz, who is likely to be given the maximum tender of $2.879 million. That tender would mean that the Giants would be able to match any offer for Cruz or decline to match and take the team’s first-round draft pick as compensation. The PFT post concluded with the following:
If he becomes available, the Giants likely don’t have to worry about a division rival whom Cruz burned for a long, game-winning touchdown. Thanks to $36 million in cap penalties orchestrated in part by Giants co-owner John Mara, the Redskins have the cash but most likely not the cap space to fire a missile for Cruz.
It’s true that the Redskins don’t have the cap space to make a run a Cruz. They are reportedly $4 million over the cap. But even if they could somehow clear out enough space they could not make Cruz an offer sheet. That is because, assuming that the Giants tender Cruz at the first-round level, the Redskins don’t have a first-round draft pick. They traded it away in the deal to acquire Robert Griffin III. So they will be prohibited from making an offer to any restricted free agent tendered at the maximum, first-round level.
In theory, the Redskins could work out a trade for some different compensation, say two second-round picks, acquire Cruz and then negotiate a contract with him. But the chances of such a deal taking place between the Giants and Redskins are about the same as those of us seeing Barak Obama and John Boehner palling around over a few brews at the Tune Inn to negotiate a debt ceiling deal.
Sometimes the rumors turn out to be true
I came across the following in a Real Redskins post dated 1/25/12:
It appears that some buzz is starting to develop that the Redskins are going to make a move for Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
In an article about possible destinations for Colts QB Peyton Manning, Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network said that the Redskins were unlikely to sign Manning should the Colts release him. One of the reasons LaCanfora gave was that, “execs I talk to expect Washington to make a move for St. Louis' No. 2 overall slot in the draft, and select whichever quarterback doesn't go first overall (at this point, it looks like Griffin).”
This was about a month and a half prior to March 12, when the deal took place.
So while you shouldn’t believe everything you read you shouldn’t reject the rumor mill out of hand, either. The truth is usually in there somewhere.
In case you missed it
Days until: NFL Combine 37; start of free agency 56; OTA’s start 120