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Examining the ripple effects of Trent Murphy's possible suspension

Examining the ripple effects of Trent Murphy's possible suspension

There never is a good time to have the possibility of getting slapped with a four-game suspension looming over your head.

This is a particularly bad time for Trent Murphy to be in that situation.

The 2014 second-round pick of the Redskins is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. His value looked shaky during his first two years. Murphy played in 31 games with 23 starts and he totaled 6.5 sacks. He appeared to be headed to a career as a role player.


Then last year he started getting to the quarterback and making plays. He registered nine sacks and forced three fumbles.

In a year when everyone expected Preston Smith to break out in his second season, it was Murphy who became the team’s second pass rushing threat along with Ryan Kerrigan.

Under the CBA, Murphy is now eligible for a contract extension. While there have been no reports of any talks between the Redskins and Murphy’s representation, he would have been negotiating from a position of strength. He had the options either signing based on a string season that indicated that his career is on the upswing or waiting for free agency a year from now after possibly posting double-digit sacks and have an opportunity to cash in big.

Those options are not gone if Murphy does indeed serve the four-game suspension but his leverage will be diminished, especially if he waits a year until free agency. The PED suspension will turn off some teams but that’s not that big an issue. However, Murphy missing a quarter of the season will make it hard for him to put up the impressive numbers to attract a rush of teams in the free agent market.


Perhaps his absence will be a break for the Redskins, assuming they want to retain him.

Although it is just speculation, it seems logical that the PED issues stem from last year when the team first asked him to gain weight to convert to defensive end and then, after Junior Galette was lost for the season with a torn Achilles, wanted him to lose the added weight to go back to outside linebacker. The Redskins may be inclined to overlook the suspension and reduced statistical production because he took one for the team.

In the meantime, the Redskins may be in good shape to get through his absence and they may not. It depends on Galette. If he can stay on the field the Redskins should be fine with him, Smith and Kerrigan. But if Galette again has trouble staying healthy, they could be scrambling for someone to rotate in when Smith or Kerrigan needs a break.

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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Redskins Draft Room Revealed: Who works the phones, and who makes the call

Redskins Draft Room Revealed: Who works the phones, and who makes the call

Since the dismissal of former general manager Scot McCloughan, there's been little question who was in charge at Redskins Park. Unofficially anyway. 

Bruce Allen is back running the show, if he ever stopped, and will be at the center of the Redskins draft room and decision making process.

For weeks, Allen and Jay Gruden made clear that the entire Redskins front office - from scouts to the top brass - have input on draft grades. Those grades will determine what players the 'Skins take, and the team is unlikely to deviate from their draft board. 

On Monday, however, Washington director of college scouting Scott Campbell addressed the media and explained that when a decision needs to be made, it will be Allen's call. 

From Campbell:

The way we have the room when the draft is ongoing is we have Eric Schaffer and Alex Santos are constantly calling teams above us. They’re taking the phone calls from the other teams – also behind [us]. A lot of times per Bruce’s instructions, he’ll say, ‘Hey, you take these five teams. You take the next five teams. Start making calls.’ And then we’re receiving calls too at the same time. Once they get that information, they’ll tell the table in the front and say, ‘Hey, we can trade back for this, we can trade up for that.’ It would be me and Bruce and Jay saying ‘No, no, we’ve got enough guys there’ or say ‘I like these guys,’ or like, “Hey, there’s guys there.’ So it’s kind of a discussion amongst the people, and most times it’s Bruce saying, ‘Just tell them we’re not interested,’ or he says, ‘Get the league on the phone. We’re going to make that trade.’”

Campbell's comments reveal quite a lot. To start, it's interesting to know the roles of Schaffer and Santos during the draft. Both men carry a lot of impact in the team's personnel selection. Also, and it was fairly obvious since McCloughan's firing, but Jay Gruden's role continues to increase.

The biggest tell, however, is that ultimately Bruce Allen makes the decisions. It's not a surprise, but it is important to know. Officially.


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Redskins won't say if Joe Mixon is on their board but say character does count

Redskins won't say if Joe Mixon is on their board but say character does count

The Redskins may or may not have one of the most polarizing members of the 2017 draft class on their draft board. But they do believe that character counts.

Scott Campbell, the Redskins’ director of college scouting, would not say if  Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who is seen on video striking a woman and knocking her to the floor in an incident that occurred in July of 2014, is on the team’s board.

“We don't announce who's on and off the board for strategic reasons,” said Campbell on Monday at the team’s pre-draft news conference, saying that it’s the team’s policy.

He added that incidents like the one that Mixon was a part of do come into consideration.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 10.0

“Character is very important to me, it's very important to the Redskins,” said Campbell.

He explained that early in the scouting process, character issues are not taken into account.

“What I always told the scouts and how I was trained 30 years ago when I started is when you start to evaluate guys in the beginning, you don't factor in the character, you don't grade character, you grade talent,” said Campbell, who has been with the Redskins organization for 16 years. “You don't throw away somebody early who may have some redeeming quality or a part of the story you didn't know about.”

It’s later on that the scouts gather information on such incidents as problems with the law, failed drug tests, and other quarters of character.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often 

“Our scouts do a great job getting a lot of information,” said Campbell. “Some of the incidents you brought up happened after the season, at the combine, and just a few days ago. All those things are factored into an evaluation as they are gathered.”

With that information at hand, they start the process of elimination, deciding who fits and who doesn’t.

“When it comes close to the draft, you start weeding out all that, getting more information, deciding, OK, that guy's not our kind of guy, that guy's not a Redskin, this guy could be drafted but good luck to them,” said Campbell.

It seems like much more of a gut feel type of process than anything rigid. There is not much of a clue there as to whether or not the team will consider bringing Mixon aboard, who is inarguably one of the most talented running backs in the draft. The upside is that Mixon could provide a jolt to the team’s offense. The downside would be an immediate public relations hit. The team also must consider what will happen if Mixon were to run afoul of the NFL’s domestic abuse policy in the future, which calls for a six-game suspension for a first offense with penalties getting progressively worse if problems persist.

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.