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RG3 blackmailer pleads guilty

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RG3 blackmailer pleads guilty

DALLAS (AP) -- A former Baylor basketball player pleaded guilty Thursday to trying to extort 1 million from Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III by threatening to expose damaging information, prosecutors said. Richard Khamir Hurd, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of a threat related to extortion. He faces two to three years in prison when he's sentenced Nov. 21. The U.S. attorney's office said Hurd, a former walk-on basketball player at the school where Griffin won the Heisman Trophy, contacted one of Griffin's agents in June with a demand of 1 million in order not to release information that would damage the quarterback's reputation. According to an FBI affidavit, Hurd first gave the agent a deadline of June 18 but extended it to give the agent time to discuss the offer with others. Griffin's agent contacted authorities. Under the FBI's direction, the agent reached an agreement to pay Hurd 120,000 for the information and his signature on a non-disclosure agreement. Hurd arrived June 22 at a law office to sign the paperwork and collect the check. FBI agents arrested him afterward. Hurd's attorney didn't immediately return a phone message. Leaving court Thursday, Hurd responded to a request for comment with, "Sic em, Bears," the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. Griffin was drafted No. 2 by the Redskins this year and signed a four-year deal for more than 21 million. He has thrown for 747 yards and four touchdowns in three games. The Redskins are 1-2. A team spokesman declined to comment.

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DeAngelo Hall working through transition to safety, will 'pick it up quickly'

DeAngelo Hall working through transition to safety, will 'pick it up quickly'

For the vast majority of his 12-year career, DeAngelo Hall lined up at cornerback. For many of those years, Hall was considered one of the best in the NFL. The former Virginia Tech Hokie made three Pro Bowls, his last in 2010, and has logged 43 interceptions in his career.

But now, like a lot of other players on the roster, Hall is working through training camp trying to learn his position. That position, of course, safety -- not the cornerback slot he played for a dozen years.

"I think he’s going through it," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said on Friday. "I think it’s a totally different perspective at safety than it is at corner for him."

MORE REDSKINS: HOW NORMAN IS TRYING TO HELP THE OFFENSE, TOO

Last season was the first the Redskins saw Hall line up at safety, and the results were promising. The position change also allows the veteran to elongate his career, using his ballhawk skills from the back of the field. Not to mention, Hall showed a willingness to look from big hits from the safety spot in 2015.

More from Jay Gruden:

He’s just got to learn to see the quarterback and get in the right position, get his eyes right and then just trust what he sees and break. I think he’ll do that. It’s just going to take some time. Whether he’s a half-field player, middle player, covering the tight end, covering somebody out in the slot, whatever it is, he’s just got to get comfortable with his landmarks, his positioning and his eyes. And the more reps that he gets – he got 25 good reps in team period yesterday, not to mention the one-on-ones and the walkthrough – the more comfortable he’s going to be. We expect D-Hall to pick it up quickly because he’s that type of guy. He’s very competitive, very smart and he’ll do fine.

He’s just got to learn to see the quarterback and get in the right position, get his eyes right and then just trust what he sees and break.  It’s just going to take some time.

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When it comes to Madden corners, there's Josh Norman, then everyone else

When it comes to Madden corners, there's Josh Norman, then everyone else

What do Chris Harris Jr., Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis have in common? They're all excellent NFL corners — and they all rank behind Josh Norman when it comes to ratings in Madden 17.

The Bronco (93 overall), the Seahawk (92), the Cardinal (91) and the Jet (91) should be proud of the grades handed to them for the next edition of the legendary video game. It's Norman, though, who's at the top of these top-notch defenders, checking in with a skillset that's good enough for a 94 in the eyes of EA Sports.

"Norman is expected to be a lock down corner for the Redskins this season," reads the description underneath Norman's name in a post ranking the elite cornerbacks that was published Thursday. "He is best in zone with his 97 zone coverage rating, but has the ability to match up in man to man situations with 90 speed and 92 man coverage."

These numbers are subject to change during the course of the season, so if No. 24 has a rough outing or two, he could tumble down a few points and give up the crown to someone else. As it stands now, however, Madden thinks he's the preeminent man at his position. 

And that's something Odell Beckham Jr. can't say.

RELATED: WHY DID SCOT MCCLOUGHAN PUNCH WALL?

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Redskins activate Perry Riley from PUP list, LB set for practice

Redskins activate Perry Riley from PUP list, LB set for practice

After opening training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced that LB Perry Riley has been activated and will practice on Friday.

Riley went out last December with a foot injury and missed the Redskins run to the NFC East title. A six-year veteran, Riley was drafted by the 'Skins in 2010 and emerged as a starter in 2011. Riley struggled somewhat early in the 2015 season, but his play was improving into the second half of the year.

"I expect him to come on and continue his strides," Gruden said of Riley's improved play. 

Coindence or not, Riley's play improved once Will Compton took over at starting linebacker for Keenan Robinson.

"I think it did," Gruden said of Riley playing better paired with Compton. "Maybe it's just the whole entire defense got better as the season went on."

Gruden said that the defense as a whole was becoming more comfortable with new coordinator Joe Barry, and that should only increase this season. 

Some think with a $5 million cap number - and a potential savings of $4 million if he was released - Riley could be subject to a roster squeeze. But after Compton and Mason Foster, Riley is the only inside linebacker with significant NFL experience on the roster compared to Martrell Spaight, Steven Daniels and Terence Garvin. 

It will be interesting to watch Riley's return from injury, both to see how he looks, and to watch where he fits with the defense. In nine games last season, Riley grabbed two interceptions and 24 tackles.