I'll get the ugly business out of the way first—the money.
There's an argument that if you pay someone $42 million over five years—with some $20-odd million in guaranteed earnings—then he should be tearing up the field every week, and I'll concede that this is a valid standpoint. It doesn't really relate to football, however, except as a way to bluntly end a discussion.
Pierre Garçon had something of a career year in 2011, putting up 947 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 13.5 yards per reception.
On its own, that's maybe not enough to justify the money outlined above, but when his quarterbacks were Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky you suddenly gain respect for the man's potential. Peyton Manning didn't make him better—he did it himself.
The burden is now on him to become the No. 1 receiver that both he and the Redskins believe him to be, and in order to do this he will have to improve his catch percentage at the same time as learning a new offense.
Over the last three seasons this percentage hasn't risen above 56 percent and actually regressed to 52.2 percent in 2011, despite the higher yardage numbers. Looking at it another way, he ranks in the bottom 10 in terms of drop percentage from 2008-10.
He'll have some help from Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson—as well as an accurate quarterback—but the onus is on him to justify his coach's faith.