Saturday night’s change-the-narrative handshake quickly has become Monday’s official transaction.
Washington has announced that coach Jay Gruden has signed a “multi-year contract extension.” Technically that’s true; a two-year extension is a “multi-year” extension. But “multi-year” sounds a lot better and more permanent than “two years.”
The five-paragraph press release contains no quotes from Gruden or anyone else with the team, opting instead to recite his accomplishments in three years on the job. Specifically, the team point out that he has led the team to its first back-to-back winning seasons since 1996-97. Which will probably serve to depress fans more than excite or inspire them.
The prevailing thought in league circles continues to be that Gruden was at the right place at the right time when Washington suddenly became the wrong team at the wrong time for free agents. One league source firmly believes that owner Daniel Snyder insisted on the team generating a positive headline to end a negative string of developments and P.R. bungles. Advantage Gruden.
The next question becomes whether the appearance of stability at the head-coaching position will help the team keep the players that it wants and/or to attract those it is seeking. With the G.M. situation in apparent limbo and the quarterback situation also uncertain, some of the money that was spent on extending Gruden may need to be spent on players who otherwise won’t be inclined to accept an offer that isn’t significantly more than what another team puts on the table.