Blake: Give me the money!

The Redskins and Bills have balked at quarterback Jeff Blake's initial salary demands, leading to yet another delay in the quarterback situation for both teams.

The Buffalo News, according to anonymous sources, said Blake is seeking a signing bonus of $4 million, a figure others confirmed for The Insiders.

But that's not the only problem with the deal, at least for Washington. Blake apparently also is asking for a $2 million base salary in his first season.

We also hear he wants a five-year contract, making his cap number about $2.8 million for the first season. Simply put, the Redskins can't afford that.

Our sources indicate Washington has offered a contract worth about $1.5 million for the first season.

Surely the Bills, who are nearly $9 million under the salary cap, can afford Blake. But they're not willing to overpay for him, either. They know the Redskins can't pay much more than what they're offering. That leaves a market of one, unless the Redskins shift gears and create more cap room.

Both sides are doing plenty of posturing. Tom Donahoe spoke glowingly about backup Alex Van Pelt. And a Bills source told us Van Pelt is highly popular in the locker room.

But who would the Bills rather have? Van Pelt or Blake. That's an easy one. They just want him at a modest sum.

After all, Blake is merely a modest quarterback. True he's made one Pro Bowl, but he's also never finished with a QB rating higher than 83.0 as a starter. Granted, as a starter he's never been below 77, which makes him attractive.

The Bills still appear to like Blake. The Bills can also pay more money than Washington.

That's why it still makes more sense that Washington will end up with Shane Matthews and not Blake.

But Blake will have to lower his demands. And soon. Otherwise the Redskins will trade for Matthews and the Bills will lower their price, leaving Blake wondering what he was thinking earlier in the week.

John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers.


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