According to John Keim of ESPN, the Washington Redskins on Saturday night gave Head Coach Jay Gruden a 50th birthday present to remember; a two year contract extension.
Gruden was entering the 4th year of a 5 year deal, and given the uncertainty that had been swirling around the organization with new coordinators on both sides of the ball, the lack of a long term deal for the franchise Quarterback, and mystery surrounding the status of General Manager Scot McCloughan, extending Gruden for two years has some obvious benefits.
Does this mean it’s all positive, though? Well, perhaps, but also perhaps not. Let’s break it down.
- Extending Jay Gruden has the immediate obvious positive effect of shoring up at least a modicum of franchise stability at a crucial time period.
- Negotiations with potential free agent acquisitions no longer carry the fear that Washington may be 12 months away from a total reset.
- The status of new Offensive Coordinator Matt Cavanaugh and Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky is also fortified now as a result of the Gruden extension.
- In theory, efforts to sign Quarterback Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal receive a boost of attractiveness given this news.
- In a time where the organization is closing ranks and only selectively talking to the press, a coaching extension like this will necessitate a press conference, where President Bruce Allen is sure to face some uncomfortable questions.
- There have been some pundits around the team whom have speculated that the first move the Redskins would make as soon as they felt like Cousins was not interested in signing with the team would be to extend Gruden to avoid a total organizational meltdown. Now that Gruden’s job security is not tied to Cousins, perhaps this is what has occurred.
- Although McCloughan has no decision making power when it comes to the coaching staff, the timing of such an extension raises further questions about the status moving forward of McCloughan’s role with the team.
- Additionally, if philosophical football differences exist between McCloughan and Gruden, does such a re-signing give further impetus to a potential McCloughan departure?
Obviously, only time will tell the answer to most of these questions. On the whole, this is positive news for an organization bereft of the perception of stability, and the immediate impacts should outweigh and potential negatives. If nothing else, it moves owner Dan Snyder into new territory; the first Head Coach in his tenure to be extended.
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