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Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

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Old 02-17-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
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Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

This is from John Keim's Redskins email report, sign up here

The native Washingtonian has a unique perspective on the Redskins, having worked in the front office as a salary cap analyst for two years. Heís now the director of football analytics for Priority Sports, and heís routinely a guest on local radio for his insight into the salary cap.

He didnít get too much into certain areas ó he can only say so much about another playerís market value considering he works for an agency. Iíd heard from a league source that linebacker London Fletcher could get a three-year deal worth around $6 million a year and Halsell agrees that sounds about right. And he agrees with the prevailing notion that running back Tim Hightower likely will have to sign a one-year deal and prove heís healthy.

Anyway, hereís the rest:

Q: It sounds as if Peyton Manning could get a deal for around $18 million a year when itís all said and done. Could the Redskins still do other things if they got him?

A: They could. I like to think the Redskins are building their roster for the long term. Any team that invests in Peyton Manning isnít making that decision from a long-term perspective; theyíre looking to make a one- or two-year run. He can probably play at an elite level for another one to two years. Do they have the cap space to make it happen? Absolutely. Is it necessarily the best decision from a long-term roster building perspective? Iíd say no, unless you get a young QB in the draft. They still need their QB of the future. I think at the end of the offseason youíll either see an RGIII or Peyton Manning at quarterback.

Q: It looks like the Redskins have played it wisely when it comes to the cap. Is that accurate?

A: Absolutely. If thereís a team that leveraged the uncapped year in 2010 to its full advantage to their books in order it was the Redskins. What they did with Albert and restructuring his deal and putting potential dead cap money in an uncapped year. Ö They did the same with D-Hall. Bruce Allen is a cap guy. Thatís how he came into the league, as an agent and as a cap guy. And Eric [Schaffer] is known as one of the brightest cap guys in the league. Thatís why heís been there since 2003. That team, more than any other, leveraged the uncapped year and has done a great job structuring their contracts since then. If thereís a team that can entice Peyton while at the same time protecting their interests if thereís a decline, itís the Redskins.

Q: Are there danger signs down the road?

A: No. Theyíre in great shape. Because Trent Williams is part of that last class under the old rookie compensation system. He has some high cap numbers going forward, but aside from that theyíve done a great job. They have a lot of young players on the team. That means a lot of cheap contracts. Theyíre able to roll over a ton of money in cap space from 2011 and roll it over to 2012, and thatís how you get to the $40 million in cap space. Theyíre in a really good situation. Itís a far cry from when I used to be there. Now itís one thing to manage the cap wisely, but now the players you have under that cap need to produce on the field. At least now the cap side is good to go and now itís a matter of bringing the right guys in there. The coaching staff and the owner have displayed a level of patience thus far. It takes a while.

Q: How much will the rookie wage scale help them when it comes to getting a quarterback?

A: As a No. 1 pick last year, Cam Newton got around $22 million guaranteed. Letís bank on $20 million guaranteed, but thatís over four years. So when youíre talking about the Redskins with $40 million in cap space, youíre talking about a potential franchise QB costing them $20 million over four years. You get a potential solid veteran starter in Kyle Orton who could cost $27 million over three. This is a team with plenty of cap space so they can make it work. It could be like what Atlanta did to get Julio Jones in the draft. You could see the Redskins make that type of commitment to get RGIII. If you feel thatís what you need to help your team get over the hump. But even though thereís $40 million in cap space, theyíll still be measured in free agency. I donít think it will be like the old days where theyíre buying up everybody. Thereís always a risk when you start paying top of the market deals to guys.

Q: What sort of deal is LaRon Landry looking at?

A: It only takes one team, thatís the motto from an agentís perspective. There will be a team out there that is probably willing to roll the dice on a LaRon and pay him more than the Redskins feel comfortable paying him. His history of injuries are documented. At the same time there might be a team out there that canít resist the athleticism and the plays he makes when heís healthy. His deal might be structured, whether itís in Washington or elsewhere, where a team can walk away after one year if he canít show that he can stay healthy.

Q: Do you think Chris Cooley will have to restructure his deal?

A: Letís say heís not the old Chris Cooley weíre used to seeing. Theyíd probably want him to take a pay cut. But because theyíre in such a good cap situation they could ride out the rest of his contract and be fine and still franchise Fred Davis.

Q: Would the Redskins be interested in Randy Moss?

A: Thatís not the type of guy I see the Redskins [signing], going back to the culture the organization is trying to instill. That organization needed cultural change. Ö That was the biggest thing they talked about around the draft ó the team captains they drafted. Roy Helu [a Priority Sports client] is a great kid. Heís soft spoken and football matters to him. All the kids they drafted were good character kids. Kerrigan is a great guy. When you pair good young players with solid professional veterans, it goes a long way toward changing the culture. I think that will continue in veteran free agency.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #2
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Re: Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

Really nice work. Love the insight that he brought to the table. Thanks for posting this Matty.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

This is great stuff.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:57 PM   #4
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Re: Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

Awesome, thanks Matty.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:32 PM   #5
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Re: Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

Based off his assessment i am leaning toward RGIII over Manning because u can get some quality veterans around the kid. 20 mil over 4 years is a killer deal for a quality QB.
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:45 PM   #6
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Re: Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

Find out about the 2012 rookie class who are Priority Sports' clients...
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Old 02-17-2012, 01:55 PM   #7
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Re: Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

Mohammad Sanu

Halsell is a beast as are Schaffer and Allen in this area.

Great interview. Thanks Ego
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

Good find Matty. I signed up for John Keim's email report to get this interview, but obviously because it is email based, I wasn't able to view it through that medium.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:23 PM   #9
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Re: Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

Really good stuff, were in good hands. (please don't say ALLSTATE)
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:55 PM   #10
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Great work
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:48 AM   #11
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Re: Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

Thanks Matty. Awesome.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:53 PM   #12
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Re: Q&A with: J.I. Halsell

As I used to say to my grandkids after they made poopy in the potty for the first time: Good job!

No, really Matty, awsome job. Great stuff!
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