The Redskins sent notification to the media this morning that the Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan will be holding a press conference today at 4:30. All the announcement said was that it would be to “discuss free agency.”
Normally, a post about a news conference before it takes place would be pointless. And maybe this post will be, too, but I think there are some interesting aspects to the presser the Redskins scheduled for 4:30 today.
For one thing, the Redskins aren’t required to hold a press conference prior to the start of free agency. Pre-draft pressers are mandatory for NFL teams but nothing is required between the end of the season and mid-April. The Redskins rarely speak to the media when they don’t have to. For example, while most NFL teams have a representative take the podium at the NFL Combine, the Redskins were one of three teams that did not. So the fact that they are going to bring in the media when they don’t have to indicates to me that they have a message they want to deliver.
A pre-free agency press conference is not unprecedented for the Shanahan Redskins. They had one in 2010, his first year in Washington. There they announced the release of 10 veterans, including running backs Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright, wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, cornerback Fred Smoot, and guard Randy Thomas.
Allen handled that press conference. Both he and Shanahan will be doing this one. It’s the first time that the head coach and general manager have appeared at a press event together since the one to introduce Shanahan when he was hired.
So, what message do they want to get out? Shanahan has the final say in free agency including who is released from the roster. Allen’s area is the salary cap. Since they can’t sign any free agents until tomorrow, and they are unlikely to be big players due to the $18 million salary cap penalty anyway, they’re not going to be talking about new players.
One topic that is sure to come up is the players the Redskins re-signed over the weekend. But while the likes of Kory Lichtensteiger and Logan Paulsen are important players, you don’t call a press conference to discuss their returns.
There could be an announcement that some players have been released in order to get under the cap. As noted, that was the main topic of the last pre-free agent news conference.
The $18 million salary cap penalty the league imposed a year ago today is certainly going to be brought up. The Redskins haven’t been talked about their efforts to have the sanctions overturned much in the past year except for some cryptic comments that they were still working on it. Perhaps some light will be shed on that process by Allen.
Other than that, your guesses as to the topic