Could the Redskins have prevented three of their best players from leaving?

Day one of Free Agency, and away from the management situation, the Redskins just let three of their best players walk out the door. I say “let”, I don’t know with any certainty how much effort was made to keep these guys. But I wanted to use this opportunity to break down what contracts their new teams gave them and ask one simple question – could we have bettered it?

A thanks and shout out to for this information.

DeSean Jackson

Years: 3
Total value: $33.5m
Guarantees: $20m at signing


I have to say, this is a really smart deal by the Buccaneers. Although the headline numbers are 3 years for $33.5m – for all intents and purposes, this is a 2 year, $22.5m deal. For a 30-year-old receiver, still highly productive but all based on speed, this is an excellent contract.

The Buccaneers have foregone any signing bonus and instead opted for a $6m roster bonus that Jackson will earn in year one. That means there is no money pro-rated throughout the length of the deal, which in turn means the Buccaneers have given themselves the easiest of get-out clauses in year three. I find myself wondering why the Redskins didn’t go down this route with Vernon Davis.

Could the Redskins have beaten this deal?

They could, but I suspect anything north of $10m was probably going to be a no-no for them. Don’t forget they currently only have just over $30m of space with Kirk on the tag, so it would have been a luxury purchase. Ultimately I’m fine with Jackson leaving, the money is better spent elsewhere.

Pierre Garcon

Years: 5
Total value: $47.5m
Guarantees: $17m at signing, $20m potential


Rumours of Garcon getting a huge, front-loaded pay-day appear to be false. It’s actually a deal pretty comparable to what he signed five years ago with the Redskins. The guarantees are made up of a $12m signing bonus, fully guaranteed base salary in year one, and a partially guaranteed base salary in year two. This is a fairly typical kind of contract and the 49ers look to be committed to Garcon for three years at the very least, at which point they probably visit that $11.3m cap hit and assess whether to leave it, adjust it, or part ways. San Francisco also reportedly has an option on the final three years.

Could the Redskins have beaten this deal?

I believe they could. The $9.5m average is right in the middle of the ballpark of what Garcon was expected to command, so I find it hard to believe he signed with the 49ers because the deal was too good to pass on. If they don’t add a comparable replacement, I’ll look on this as a missed opportunity.

Chris Baker

Years: 3
Total value: $15.75m
Guarantees: $6m at signing, $9m potential


Baker’s 2017 salary is fully guaranteed, and comprises $3m base and a $3m roster bonus. $3m of his 2018 salary becomes guaranteed on the 5th day of the 2018 league year. This means the pressure is on Big Swaggy somewhat to perform in 2017, because if he doesn’t, this essentially works out to be a one year deal for $6m. More likely, it’s a two-year deal for just under $11m.

This one is a shocker to me. I had previously predicted a 4 year deal for Baker for at least $28m – or $7m per year, and thought his play over the last two seasons more than warranted it. I also mentioned the possibility he may suffer from having a relatively small reputation compared to other free agents at his position. That’s the only thing I can imagine is at play here. Baker got underpaid big time as far as I’m concerned, and also got a deal that benefits the team way more than it benefits him.

Could the Redskins have beaten this deal?

Yes. 100% they could. No problem at all. Am I getting a point across here? There is only one reasonable and logical explanation as to why they didn’t – they simply didn’t want to.

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