After missing the Redskins first two preseason games,Anthony Armstrong knows where he stands in the battle to nab one of the finaltwo jobs at wide receiver.And its not good.I know that time is short on opportunities to perform, Armstrongsaid Wednesday. Being two games back, you have to make up a lot of ground.Armstrong didnt need to be reminded of the players hescompeting against for fulltime employment in the NFL this season.Aldrick Robinson had a great game in Chicago, Armstrongsaid. Brandon Banks has played well. Dezmon Briscoe is doing well. A lot ofguys are doing a lot of special things. I have to find a way to do something,make my mark, at least throw my name in the hat.And at the end of the day, Armstrong added, well seewhat happens and hopefully Ill remain.Armstrong is a valuable contributor on special teams. Tomake the cut, though, hell likely need to have a big afternoon Saturdaycatching the ball against the Colts.I try not to look at it as pressure, he said. But it is awhat-have-you-done-for-me-lately type of league, and the 2010 season seems sofar away. But its still fresh in my mind. Its a level you know youre ableto perform at. You just want to make sure you sure you get back to it as soonas possible.Armstrong was referring to the dramatic drop off in hisproduction last season after a breakthrough performance the previous year. In2010, the 29-year-old hauled in 44 passes for 871 yards compared to sevencatches for 103 yards last fall.On Tuesday, Armstrong finally shed the yellow no-contactjersey had been sporting since spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder.On Saturday, hell be looking to make up for lost time.Feeling good, Armstrong said of his shoulder. Its maybe98-percent, if you want to be particular. Its good enough to be able to goand cover kicks and make tackles and do everything you need to do.
Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, June 28, 29 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.
The Redskins last played a game 178 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 74 days.
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 19
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 43
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 66
The five best wide receivers the Redskins will face in 2017
Odell Beckham, Giants, 1,367 yards in 2016—Josh Norman didn’t exactly shut him down in their two meetings as Beckham has 12 receptions for 165 yards. But Beckham didn’t score any touchdowns or have any other game-changing plays against the Redskins. Their first matchup this year comes under the lights at FedEx Field on Thanksgiving. Save room for popcorn after your Thanksgiving feast.
Amari Cooper, Raiders, 1,153 yards—There was plenty of chatter that the Redskins wanted to draft Cooper when they have the fifth selection in 2015. But the Raiders snapped him up right before the Redskins picked. Cooper has been a steady and consistent target for Derek Carr. In fact, Carr should get Cooper a really, really nice Christmas present with some of the $125 million contract he just signed, a deal that Cooper helped him get.
Michael Thomas, Saints, 1,136 yards—Others sucked up all the rookie of the year conversation in 2016 but Thomas, a second-round pick out of Ohio State was very worthy of some accolades. To be sure, the Saints’ offense, led by perennial 5,000-yard passer Drew Brees, is very friendly to racking up a lot of receiving yards. With Brandin Cooks traded to the Patriots, look for Thomas to get even more opportunities in 2017.
Doug Baldwin, Seahawks, 1,128 yards—He is coming off career highs in receptions (94) and receiving yards (1,128). Baldwin has only played against the Redskins twice in the regular season and once in the playoffs and he hasn’t done much damage.
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos, 1,083 yards—You have to think that Thomas misses Peyton Manning already. In 2016, he had his worst production in five years. Still, he made his fifth straight Pro Bowl.
Pierre Garçon, 49ers, 1,041 yards—Adding a sixth here because, hey, we know this guy. He was the Redskins’ leading receiver three of the five seasons he was in Washington. I don’t think there is any reason he should want revenge. He was treated well and played well while in Washington. But certainly, he has a ton of professional pride and he will want to do well against his former team.
Best of the rest: Larry Fitzgerald led the NFL in receptions last year with 107 although he averaged only 9.6 yards per catch. Demaryius Thomas’ teammate Emmanuel Sanders also had over 1,000 yards receiving. So did Michael Crabtree, Cooper’s teammate in Oakland. I’m not a big fan of Alshon Jeffery but he instantly becomes the Eagles’ best receiver. Brandon Marshall also came into the division with the Giants. And don’t forget about Dez Bryant even though he appears to have taken a step back; he still is very dangerous.
In all, the Redskins will face nine receivers who gained over 1,000 yards last year.
Tandler on Twitter
1/2 The Joe Flacco contract should serve as cautionary tale. Ravens gutted team to pay him after SB 47. Have missed playoffs 3/4 years since— trey wingo (@wingoz) June 27, 2017
Did they “gut the team”? Or did they miss on some draft picks, forcing them to bring in costly free agents? https://t.co/4B7Io9pm37— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) June 27, 2017
In case you missed it
Following a slew of reports that cast doubt on the Redskins reaching a long-term deal with Kirk Cousins, ESPN's Dianna Russini tweeted Tuesday that the impass is not about money.
There’s a lot of water under the bridge between Kirk Cousins & Washington. Told a long term deal "doesn’t look promising" by 7/17 #Redskins— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) June 27, 2017
I have spoken to many in regards to Redskins and Cousins...told there isn't a real price that will make Kirk Cousins happy...this is deeper— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) June 27, 2017
20 days until this long term contract deadline. We are at a point...the Redskins and Cousins need each other... but don't want each other.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) June 27, 2017
If the report is true, then Washington has run out of good options for retaining Cousins in the long term.
It's possible the team could use a third-straight franchise tag to keep him next season, but the price tag around $34 million would be astronomical for one season.
The transition tag would be worth in the neighborhood of $28 million.
Russini doesn't elaborate on the reasons behind her report that Cousins wouldn't be happy in Washington regardless of price. But it's important to note that both teams and players have incentive to create leverage in contract negotiations through the media.
The Redskins have until July 17 to reach a long-term deal with Cousins.
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