Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 16, 40 days before the NFL draft.
What’s taking so long?
If my Twitter timeline is any indication, many Redskins fans are wondering what is taking so long to complete deals for cornerback Aqib Talib and tight end Fred Davis. Here are a few reasons why the negotiations might be dragging.
For one thing, the Redskins, who appear to be the only active players for Davis, and the Patriots, the other team in competition for Talib’s services according to reports, generally play a very patient game when it comes to free agency. They have in mind what they are willing to pay and they won’t get caught feverishly bidding for a player’s services. Unlike the common practice prior to 2010, the Redskins now avoid the trap of wanting a player so badly that they will bid against themselves in order to sign him. The Patriots have been similarly restrained for a long time.
Another factor is that circumstances could be making both deals, well, complicated. Davis is coming off an Achilles injury and is in a situation where another positive drug test for marijuana could result in a one-year suspension. Talib is also in the drug programs for PED’s and he has had some off-field legal issues. Two years ago he was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in a Dallas suburb. It was only the most recent of a few brushes with the law for Talib and even thought the charges were ultimately dropped due to lack of evidence there are concerns that he may run afoul of Roger Goodell’s personal conduct policy at some point.
Because of these issues with the players involved, the negotiating teams likely want to build some language into the contract that protects them if past issues become future issues. When you get beyond talking about the usual contract terms like years, salary, and guaranteed money you can get into a very time consuming process.
The other complicating factor is that the Redskins currently don’t have the cap space to get a deal done. Although they could get it done with a simple restructure, usually a relatively quick process, maybe they are looking at clearing space by doing something more complex, like negotiating a contract extension with a player to lower his cap money that way. That could take longer than working the deals with Davis and/or Talib. There is no word that this is actually happening but it could be a factor.
The impatient among us should realize that as of this posting we are a little over three and a half days into free agency. In the real world, contracts that involve millions of dollars and multiple years take weeks, if not months, to negotiate. The Redskins will get deals done when they are done.
Cap penalty has Redskins in a tough spot
In case you missed it
- Point-Counterpoint: Did the Redskins make the right call on Hall?
- Lorenzo Alexander can’t be replaced but Redskins will move on
- NFL will “vigorously” police field conditions
Days until: NFL draft 40; OTA’s start 60; Minicamp 86
Tandler on Twitter
I'm alway happy to answer your questions.
@deanmo80 They could take a step back. But let's see who they have lining up in OTA's in May. Think they'll pull something together.— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) March 15, 2013