Redskins fans have been sputtering in outrage for days about the salary-cap penalties leveled by the NFL against their favorite team, but it’s been hard to know exactly how those penalties have affected the team’s roster.
I’m not sure if Lorenzo Alexander has inside information from the front-office, but he suggested last week that the penalties have already had serious ramifications. And he wasn’t very happy about those penalties, no sir.
“I don’t even want to talk about it — on an unwritten rule,” Alexander told SiriusXM’s James Miller and Alex Marvez from the NFLPA meetings, where he was representing the Skins. “When you look at it, we all know why the rule wasn’t written down on paper and signed by everybody as an agreement: — because that would have been illegal in itself.
“But it does hurt us. I mean, obviously we had a big offseason this year, we signed a couple guys, but we missed out on a guy maybe like Eric Winston, or a London Fletcher that hasn’t signed back. [Fletcher has] earned the right to ask for a certain amount of money, but because of this cap hit of $18 million this year, we’re unable to do that. Next year I’m up, we’ve got ‘Rak up, I think we have several other guys that are up that may go to a different team, because a team might not necessarily have the cap room to keep everybody happy and keep everybody there. So it is frustrating, it is hard, but it’s something you have to live with, I guess.”
Or maybe not. Again, I’m not sure if Alexander actually has inside information about the Fletcher negotiations or is just guessing, but you’d certainly think he’s been in touch with his fellow linebacker.
Alexander was also asked about the likely arrival of Robert Griffin III in April’s draft, and he was surprisingly blunt about the quarterback position.
“That’s exciting for us,” he said. “I think that’s probably one of the biggest missing pieces that we’ve had, is having a solid quarterback. Everybody’s excited. As players, though, we do realize he’s still gonna be a rookie guy, still has to get in there and be able to have DeMarcus Ware breathing down his neck and still make the type of throws he was making [at his pro day].
“But it is exciting, because he’s a very smart, intelligent guy, very athletic. So I think he’ll be able to come into D.C., be the face of the franchise and really grow and help our team get back to where we used to be 20 years ago, and that’s in the playoffs annually. And ultimately we want to play for a Super Bowl.”
And in one final nugget of interest to Redskins fans, Alexander spoke at length about the departure of LaRon Landry.
“LaRon is a phenomenal guy, works hard,” Alexander said. “I think that sometimes he works to his detriment, because he likes to work out so much. I actually think he would be a lot better player if he was maybe 10 to 15 pounds lighter, but he decides to go out there and works hard and he loves to do it and he can play.
“But I always refer to the example of Sean Taylor,” Alexander continued. “I don’t know if you remember, after his rookie year, he put on maybe 20 pounds, he got real big all of a sudden. And then the next year he came back and lost the weight but was more efficient. He was able to cover more ground, run just as fast and still was blowing cats up, but his body was built for a smaller frame. And I think that hurts LaRon sometimes. You know, you can be 250 or whatever he weighs, 230, 240, but that’s hard to carry if your frame can’t carry it, and I think that’s why his body breaks down.
“But he’s a great guy, he’s gonna go out there and play hard for you, he’s gonna go out there and hit guys, and that’s the type of guy that you want on your team. And he’s a worker. Ultimately it came down to a breakdown in the relationship obviously between ownership and him as far as how to handle his body this offseason with his Achilles. But at some point you can’t tell somebody how to deal with their body, and I respect him for that. He has to live with having that surgery or not having that surgery for the rest of his life, and you can’t be mad at a guy.”