The question in Washington should not be about how many wins the Redskins will scrape together in this disastrous season. Rather, it should be about how they have put themselves in the position to waste 21% of their salary cap next year on players who won't be on the roster. The salaries of Jeff George, Darrell Green, Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith (assuming, at 39, he's cut before next fall) could count $15.3 million against the projected $72.5 million cap next year. This franchise will be down for years.
There's also the matter of the present. No team is off to a more pathetic start. The Redskins (0-3) have been outscored 112-16. The latest was a 45-13 rout in their home opener on Sunday against the Chiefs, whose offense had struggled in its first two games. On Sunday, Kansas City piled up 546 yards. Adding to the humiliation was the fact that the man directing the Chiefs' offense was former Redskin Trent Green, who completed 21 passes in 26 attempts for 307 yards and three touchdowns. Green's big afternoon came four days after the Redskins' surprise release of George, a strong-armed quarterback who couldn't adjust to the short passing game that new coach Marty Schottenheimer has installed.
The Redskins' tackling was atrocious, and their effort may have been worse. "This game was downright disgusting," said Smith, who declined to answer when asked if Schottenheimer, after a physical training camp, had already lost the team. Sanders and former Redskins wideout Irving Fryar said Schottenheimer's unbending way was key to their decisions to stay away from football this fall.
"I don't know what the answers are, but I will find out," said Schottenheimer, who signed a four-year, $10 million deal in the off-season. "This is as disappointing as I've ever been in my coaching experience."
Aikman Ready If Situation Is Right
At the Meadowlands last Friday to prepare for his gig as a Fox analyst, Troy Aikman took time off during the Giants' practice to toss passes to the team's wideouts. "If the right situation came up," Aikman said later, "I would entertain the thought of coming back."
Aikman, 34, retired last spring after a series of concussions (he's had at least nine) and back injuries during his 12-year career with the Cowboys. However, it's been one of those Roberto Duran kind of retirements. When Aikman announced he was quitting, everyone close to him knew he still wanted to play—just not in the hopeless situation he faced with the rebuilding Cowboys. Since the season began, he hasn't had a solid offer, but that could change if the starter for a Super Bowl contender gets hurt. What may hinder Aikman is not his concussion history—he says he has been cleared to play—but his back. Aikman has a degenerative joint that gets stiff.
"People ask me if I miss it," Aikman said last Saturday. "I miss winning. I miss playing for an organization that does things the right way. I don't miss going 5-11. If I came back, it would have to be with a club that could compete, with an organization going in the right direction. That way, I could finish my career on a positive note."
What are the chances that he will play again? "Probably a long shot," he says.
My Two Cents
Let's Make a Deal