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Can the Redskins pull off a draft day trade back deal?

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Can the Redskins pull off a draft day trade back deal?

INDIANAPOLIS—If you polled Redskins fans about what they want their team to do with the fifth overall pick in the draft, the “trade back” option would at least win a plurality, if not a solid majority.

There has been plenty of unconfirmed talk here at the NFL Combine that the Redskins would indeed listen to offers to drop back and pick up some more selections to get to work on filling the myriad of team needs that currently exist.

So, let’s take a look at a few scenarios here. The one generating the biggest buzz while being the least likely is the Eagles trading up to get quarterback Marcus Mariota. Chip Kelly, formerly Mariota’s coach at Oregon, believes that Mariota would be the perfect QB for his system. The buzz is that he is willing to make major deal to try to get him.

One possibility being floated around is the Eagles moving up from their spot at 20th overall to the Redskins five hole spot in exchange for their first- and second-round picks in both 2015 and 2016.

I think that if it was any other team besides the Eagles the Redskins could be very interested in this deal. But the fact that they could be setting up their division rival with the quarterback they need to be competitive for the next 15 years would make Scot McCloughan think twice, even three times, about making a deal with Kelly. In fact, the Redskins might be inclined to take a lesser deal just to make sure that the Eagles don’t get Mariota.

A small deal they could make would be with the Jets, who pick right behind them at No. 6. New York may be in the market for Mariota and perhaps the Redskins could get a third to flip with the Jets. That would give the Jets insurance that the Redskins won’t make another deal and the Redskins could still get the player they wanted at No. 5.

There are options in between the huge deal and the little deal. There is talk that the Browns, who have the 12th and 19th picks, are very interested in Mariota. According to the draft trade points value chart, the Browns would be overpaying if they gave up both of their first-round picks for the fifth overall. The value chart is just a guideline so that doesn’t mean it won’t happen but perhaps that No. 12 and the Browns’ second-rounder is a more realistic price.

Those teams seem to be the primary candidates for Mariota’s services at the moment. But as the draft gets closer, other QB-needy teams might decide to jump in. But it seems unlikely that any deal will be made before the Redskins are on the clock. Their trading partner would need to make sure that Mariota is still there before pulling the trigger on a deal.

All the Redskins and potential trading partners can do is talk about possibilities and scenarios. If Mariota is still on the board when the Redskins’ pick comes up, the bidding could begin in earnest.

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Picking 10 Redskins players to protect in a hypothetical NFL expansion draft

Picking 10 Redskins players to protect in a hypothetical NFL expansion draft

With the NHL adding a team in Las Vegas and the league's expansion draft taking place Wednesday, the internet started thinking about a hypothetical NFL expansion draft.

Since it's June and there's more than a month until training camp, why not give it a shot with the Redskins in mind? 

Remember the rules: In the NHL, no first- or second-year players were eligible for the Vegas Knights to pluck, so the same applies here. Nobody in the last year of their deal, either.

Going off of those parameters, check out this list of Redskins players who'd be wise to protect against possible expansion.

  1. Kirk Cousins - Obvious. Every team needs a QB, and with a long-term deal or not, Cousins is very likely under contract with the Redskins at least for the next two seasons. That has a huge amount of value.
  2. Jordan Reed - This contract jumps big time in 2018, but Reed is arguably the best tight end in the NFL. An elite route runner and gifted athlete, in his last 17 starts Reed has posted more than 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns. The only thing that can slow Reed is his health, and that's a guy any team would want. 
  3. Trent Williams - Five straight Pro Bowls and perhaps the best left tackle in football makes this is a gimme. Williams is under contract through 2020, and by then, the money will seem like a bargain. 
  4. Jamison Crowder - Only two years left on his rookie deal, Crowder probably has the most valuable contract on the Redskins roster. Poised for his first 1,000 yard season in 2017, Crowder should emerge as one of the best slot WRs in the NFL. 
  5. Brandon Scherff - He was drafted to play tackle but it quickly became obvious that guard was the correct spot. Even with the shift in position, Scherff made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and looks primed to do the same for the next five years. Still on a rookie deal for two more years too. 
  6. Josh Norman - Don't be surprised that the first five protected players on this list come from the offense. Norman is an elite talent, yet he's being paid as such. In 2017, he will make $20 million. From 2018 to 2020, he will make at least $14.5 million per season. His skills are undeniable, but if you're building a team from scratch, that's a lot of salary cap. 
  7. Ryan Kerrigan - Pencil him in for double digit sacks. Count on him to work hard. Oh yeah, his contract runs through 2020. This one is easy. 
  8. Morgan Moses - Fresh off a new deal that will keep him with the Redskins through 2022, Moses is developing into one of the top right tackles in football. This contract would get snatched up in an expansion draft.
  9. Preston Smith - Two years left on his rookie deal and he still has all the potential in the world. Smith flashed serious sack potential as a rookie but fell off a bit in his second season. Year 3 will tell a lot, but in an expansion situation, the Redskins would rather have him than lose him.
  10. D.J. Swearinger - New to the Redskins, sure, but he played quite well for the Cardinals in 2016. Washington is desperate for some stability in the back end of the secondary, and Swearinger should provide it. Plus, he's signed through 2019. 

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Need to Know: Facebook Redskins mailbag—Media disrespect, Cousins risk

Need to Know: Facebook Redskins mailbag—Media disrespect, Cousins risk

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 22, 35 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 172 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles in FedEx Field in 80 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 25
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 49
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 72

Fan questions—Facebook edition

I put up a post on Facebook to get some questions from fans and while I got a lot of good ones I didn’t get any that would require an answer long enough for a full post. So I picked some questions to answer rapid-fire style.

I will do the same thing with questions I got on Twitter tomorrow.

Marc, the reality is that the Redskins took a step back last year. Their record was worse and they didn’t make the playoffs. Looking at the recent history of the Redskins, what reason would an analyst have to think that they wouldn’t continue to backslide. Quite simply, the Redskins are going to have to prove it on the field if pundits are going to predict that they will improve from year to year.

He takes risk but how much depends on why the hypothetical decline in his numbers happened. Is it simply because they passed less often? Was he less accurate? Did the receivers have trouble getting open and/or drop a lot of passes? Did game situations differ? Where there injury issues? NFL teams aren’t simply going to look at top-line numbers and determine his value from there. The “whys” will be very important.

I’m very confident that Su’a Cravens and D.J. Swearinger will be an upgrade over what they had at safety last year. Neither is going to the Pro Bowl but the new safeties should represent more than baby steps towards impriving the position. I also ask you to recall all of the talk of Josh Norman getting burned in training camp last year. He turned out to be pretty good.

I don’t make much out of them. He’s not going to bluff anyone into thinking that Nate Sudfeld is going to be a 2018 replacement for Cousins. And Mike McCartney isn’t going let a Williams “take one for the team” statement affect what he sees as a fair deal for his client. Carry on.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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