We're not sure the status of general manager Scot McCloughan. We don't know if the Washington Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins will agree to a long-term deal. We do know head coach Jay Gruden will be sticking around.
Gruden agreed to a two-year extension with the Redskins according to multiple reports, His original five-year contract signed ahead of the 2014 season had two years left. Typically head coaches don't enter the final, lame duck campaign, meaning 2017 shaped up as something of a win-or-else campaign. Not anymore fo the coach who directed Washington to the 2015 NFC East title and a 17-14-1 record over the last two seasons.
The timing is interesting. Washington could have pushed for this immediately after the season or before they searched for a new defensive coordinator after firing Joe Barry. Instead they wait until the middle of the NFL Combine, until McCloughan's absence from the public stage took another dramatic turn and just as extension talks with Cousins start getting interesting.
Perhaps the move is pure distraction. Washington took a significant PR hit last week over the handling of McCloughan's absence. Some critics have blasted the organization for not landing an extension with Cousins last year, which could lead to a higher price tag now -- assuming Cousins wants to stay with the Redskins. Regardless of why, giving the first extension to a head coach under owner Daniel Snyder does provide (at least the appearance of) stability.
My best educated guess says the reason/timing involves Cousins.
The Redskins' offense has put up huge stats over the last two seasons and yet it's possible they're still not all in on Cousins, at least not at financial terms desired by the quarterback's agent. Cousins will at least receive $23.94 million in 2017 after Washington placed the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive year.
It's possible they believe Gruden's system is the star and just want to keep him around regardless. It's possible Cousins feels better about a long-term deal if he know the offensive system will remain in place. The grandest conspiracy theory of all is that Cousins doesn't want to stick around and gets traded so Washington hands Gruden more time to retool. We'll see.
ESPN.com first reported the extension.