On Monday of this week, the Washington Redskins signed offensive lineman Jason Fabini to a one-year contract. Fabini spent the 2006 season in Dallas where he was used exclusively as a back-up. He'll do the same in Washington.
The 10-year NFL veteran spent his first nine seasons with the New York Jets. New York drafted him in the fourth round of the 1998 NFL Draft out of the University of Cincinnati. He was a stalwart for the Jets starting all 114 of the games that he played there.
In Fabini, the Redskins get a tested and proven commodity and someone that considerably improves their depth. Fabini has more NFL experience than all of the other Redskins' reserve offensive linemen combined. Washington needed to add a back-up at tackle with re-signed Todd Wade likely moving inside to play guard and replace the departed Derrick Dockery.
Lance Briggs coming to the Redskins was a hot topic of conversation this week. If you believe what has been reported, Washington has already negotiated a contract with Briggs and all that remains to do now is swing a deal with the Bears. The deal is reportedly worth $7.5 Million per season with $20 Million in guaranteed money.
The trade would involve Washington getting Briggs and the 31st overall pick in the draft, while Chicago would move up to the Redskins' number six slot in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Don't pencil this deal in yet. Briggs' agent is Drew Rosenhaus and while where there's smoke, there's usually fire; with Rosenhaus it's often just smoke. Why else would this deal be 'working itself out' through the media as opposed to through the two franchises themselves?
Rosenhaus told the Daily Southtown of suburban Chicago that, "The two teams have talked and its in their hands now. It's out of my hands now."
It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that Rosenhaus sees a lot of fat free agent contracts being signed this off season, and a multi-year contract would mean considerably more for Rosenhaus than a one-year $7.5 Million deal would - could it?
The Bears put the franchise tag on Briggs to start this whole controversy. Briggs has vowed not to play for the Bears ever again because of being tagged, but is that bluster? The tag does guarantee Briggs a one-year pay day of $7.5 Million guaranteed. That might make it hard to convince Lance that it's 'worth' holding out for the season and subsequently losing that pay check - even for Rosenhaus.
It's worth considering that the standard compensation for a franchise player is two first round picks, so it would appear that the Redskins offer might be a little light. The Redskins could sweeten the pot and throw in a player - Rocky McIntosh has been mentioned - and give this deal a little more credibility. Otherwise, it's pretty easy to see why the Redskins would pull the trigger, but tough to see why Chicago would.
There is absolutely no need for Washington to rush the deal though. Briggs isn't going anywhere just yet, and the Redskins would be smart to listen to other trade offers leading up to the draft. If Washington can swing a deal with one of the teams that selects between seven and ten, they could conceivably then deal down not once, but twice. They might be able to package a player like McIntosh and their subsequent pick, for a deal with the Bears for Briggs.
The off season is all about posturing. Posturing is all about patience.