Rich Tandlers five thoughts possibly related to the Washington Redskins and other matters (special rookie minicamp edition).5. It wasnt stunning news when Shanahan said yesterday that Robert Griffin III will be working with the first-team offense when the offseason program resumes on May 14. Still, it was important to have the coach say, Hes the starter, period. It was also interesting to hear Shanahan talk about tailoring the offense to what Griffin is comfortable with. Of course, Donovan McNabb and other critics dont think that Shanahan is capable of adjusting because ego will get in the way. Words are one thing and how the development of Griffin actually plays out is another. Not much is at stake here, just the teams success or failure over the next decade or so.4. Will Josh LeRibeus challenge Will Montgomery at center? The Redskins third-round pick spent most of the weekend snapping the ball to Griffin and Mike Shanahan said that he is capable of playing either guard or center. Montgomery got a 2.5 million roster bonus to re-sign before free agency started so he is not going anywhere this year. However, a bonus like that is not a guarantee of a starting job. It seems likely that either the rookie or Montgomery will be the starting center and the other will be a reserve at both center and guard. Its likely that Monty is the starter when the season begins but he will have to battle to hold off LeRibeus.3. Ill have a post on rookie linebacker Keenan Robinson coming up in the next day or two, I talked with him while he was coming off of the field on Sunday. He probably wont see much action on defense this year or maybe even next year. But he plans on doing what Perry Riley did, which was to glom on to London Fletcher and absorb as much knowledge as he could. It got Riley into the starting lineup a year and a half after the Redskins drafted him in the fourth round in 2010. It might take Robinson a bit longer to crack the first team as Fletcher is likely to be around for two more years but if the athletic ex-Longhorn is a student of the game and an enthusiastic pupil of Fletchers he should be ready to go when his turn comes.2. Look for a post about running back Alfred Morris, too. He grew up a Redskins fan so he was thrilled to be drafted by Washington. Last Saturday, Shanahan said that Morris is a tailback but he did line up at fullback from time to time during drills on Sunday. Since there is no backup to Darrel Young currently on the roster, Morris could enhance his chances of making the team and contributing this year if he can fill both roles. At 5-9, 219 he has the size to play fullback.1. Circling back to RG3, its easy to go overboard at how a quarterback looks when hes in shorts, not playing against a pass rush, and his receivers are either uncovered or guarded by someone who is unlikely to ever see a regular-season NFL snap. But Griffin did look the part of an NFL quarterback out there. His passes had zip and, for the most part, accuracy. For a quarterback who rarely played under center at Baylor, his footwork during his dropbacks was excellent. It seems apparent that he did a lot of work prior to the draft to get ready. This by no means indicates that he is a sure thing to be an NFL star. But it is a good start.Days until: OTAs start 14; minicamp 35; preseason opener 94; Redskins at Saints 125Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.
The Redskins won nine games and the NFC East title last season, but that hardly matters to the sports books..
Since odds came out in May, Bovada.lv gave the Dallas Cowboys the best chance to win the division, but given recent events, things shifted.
Last week in a preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo fell awkwardly and stayed on the ground in apparent pain.
Initial reports suggested Romo might have handled the hit unscathed, but news came out last weekend that Romo cracked vertebrae in his back and will miss extended action.
The Cowboys now turn to rookie Dak Prescott at QB - and in turn - Vegas turned elsewhere for their NFC East favorite.
Still, it's not the defending champion Redakins.
With odds of 7/4 Bovada likes the New York Giants to win the NFC East. The Redskins are now tied with the Cowboys at 12/5 while the Eagles come in at 6/1.
In late May Bovada put the odds of winning the NFC East as:
- Cowboys 7/4
- Giants 9/4
- (TIE) Redskins 15/4, Eagles 15/4
Curiously, the oddsmakers have moved up the Giants odds despite New York's struggles in the preseason.
Regardless, it's obvious that the wise guys still don't have high expectations for Washington.
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The first surprising Redskins cuts of the summer hit this morning when word got out that linebacker Perry Riley and defensive lineman Stephen Paea had been released. For coach Jay Gruden it was a decision that had to be made.
“It's what goes into every decision when we release anybody,” said Gruden. “It takes a lot of thought. A lot of times now when you have the depth we feel like we have it's not so much about the players we release as about the players we kept and we'll leave it at that. We've got some guys at linebacker we feel have played extremely well and we've got some guys on the defensive line we feel like are competing and playing well.”
The play of others certainly was part of the decisions to let Paea and Riley go. Although Gruden did not say it, it’s likely that money was involved as well. Releasing the two players saves a total of $7.3 million in salary. Although there is nearly $5 million in dead money that will have to be accounted for, that cash has already been spent. The bottom line is that Riley ($4 million) and Paea ($3.3 million) were making too much to be backups and that’s what thy were.
But to their teammates it’s much more than about dollars and positions on the depth chart. Riley and offensive tackle Trent Williams both came to the Redskins in the 2010 draft.
“It's tough, man, it's tough,” said Williams. “Especially with Perry. He was one of my best friends on the team, we came in together, we got drafted together, roommates together. I think the whole team was kind of blindsided by that one.”
Paea and Riley both are 28 and both are likely to get another shot at the NFL.
“Those two guys are excellent football players, I imagine they'll catch on somewhere else and do well,” said Gruden. “They have a lot of football left in their career. They're both great guys who worked hard and it was just a part of the decision process.”
Mason Foster should know. He came in after the season started last year when some linebackers started to get banged up. One of them was Riley. Foster took over the starting job when Riley went out with a broken foot. Now Foster is the starter and Riley is out of a job.
“He’s a great player, everybody knows he's a great player,” Foster said of Riley. “He'll get a chance to play someplace else.”
The Redskins have let go of two high-priced veterans as they move towards reducing their roster to 75 by today’s 4 p.m. deadline, according to multiple reports.
Released were linebacker Perry Riley, who was drafted in the fourth round in 2010 and had been a starter since midway through the 2011 season, and defensive lineman Stephen Paea, signed as a free agent in 2015. CSNmidatlantic.com was able to confirm Paea and Riley took to Twitter to announce his own release.
Paea signed a four-year, $21 million contract last year. He was expected to step in and become a starter and a force on the defensive line right away. But he struggled and spent the last part of the season on injured reserve.
This year Paea was relatively healthy but he found himself down near the bottom of the depth chart and he never was able to climb back up. He was schedule to make a $3.3 million salary. His release saves the Redskins a net of $3.4 million this year but they will face a $2.5 million dead cap hit in 2017.
Riley wasn’t able to beat out Mason Foster for the starting job this year and apparently the team figured that his $4 million salary was too much for a backup.
Riley’s release saves the team $4 million against the cap with about $1.6 million in dead cap.
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