INDIANAPOLIS—Redskins coach Jay Gruden will address the media early this afternoon here at the NFL Combine. He has not formally spoken to reporters since the day after the regular season ended. There are a few things to catch up on and here are some of the questions we will ask him.
Did he recommend that Kirk Cousins do some offseason word with his brother Jon? This news just surfaced yesterday. We will see how much of a hand Jay had in sending Jon a week’s worth of work and what the coach thinks the quarterback can get out of it.
How is Morgan Moses progressing after suffering a late-season Lisfranc injury? The 2014 third-round draft pick filled in for about a game and a half for an injured Trent Williams. He did a few things well but it was apparent that he needs a lot of work. If he is going to miss a substantial portion of the offseason rehabbing, his chances of seriously competing for a starting job will be greatly diminished.
How well is he working with Scot McCloughan? The way the new GM explained it, he would be working with the coaches to figure out the types of players they need to run their systems. We will try to find out how that process is coming along and if we should expect to see anything different.
Are they considering cap cuts and should we expect to hear anything soon? Even though the Redskins are officially some $13 million under the cap, teams trim payroll every year. Although Gruden is unlikely to name names, perhaps we can get an idea of where the are in the process.
Do the plan on being active in free agency? McCloughan comes in with a philosophy of building through the draft. But there are immediate holes that the Redskins need to have filled. Will they go the free agent route, an approach that has not worked for the team in the past? Or will they patch things as best they can with the players on the roster?
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 22, five days before the April 27 NFL draft.
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 20
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 32
—Training camp starts (7/27) 96
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 141
The Redskins week that was
Redskins full 2017 schedule released—Even with the Caps and Wizards in full playoff mode, the DMV stops to take a look and see when the Redskins will be playing. The Thanksgiving game was surprising. It’s another working day but I worked at various places since I was 14 and last year was the first time I’ve had to work on Thanksgiving so I can’t complain too much about working two in a row. It’s a small price to pay for having the best job in the world.
Don't count out any RB for Redskins at 17—Yeah, I know that NFL teams aren’t supposed to take running backs in the first round any more. But that is one of those trends that comes and goes. In 2013 and 2014 there were no RBs taken in the first. Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott in the last couple of years began to shift the thinking. If the Redskins think that Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey can help them win games more than any other player on the board they should pull the trigger.
Rise of Patrick Mahomes could bring big payoff for Redskins—It seems likely that quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky will be taken before the Redskins pick at No. 17 goes on the clock. That means that two players in whom the Redskins might be interested will be available, pushed back by the quarter backs. Could Mahomes, out of Texas Tech, push a third player back to Washington. The buzz is that a team might grab him in the first half of the first round.
The Redskins' five best salary cap bargains for 2017—When I started pulling the numbers for this post I thought I’d find more key players with salaries of under $1 million. I only found three and one of them is the kicker. This means that they don’t have very many late-round or undrafted players who are contributing a lot of value. They need more out of players like Anthony Lanier, Matt Ioannidis and Maurice Harris. That is how a team thrives in the salary cap era. A couple of Saturday picks could make or break this draft.
Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often—There are a lot of ways the first 16 picks of this draft can work out. It seems almost certain that everyone’s favorite first-round pick, a stud defensive lineman, won’t be a realistic option on the board. This could send things in an odd direction for the Redskins. It’s fun to do a mock and I’ll do one or two more prior to draft day but there are too many variables to think that it has a high degree of accuracy.
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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In case you missed it
Coming into Friday the Redskins had two unsigned restricted free agents. Now, they have just one.
The team announced that running back Chris Thompson has re-signed. If he signed his restricted free agent tender, he will be under contract for one year with a salary of $2.7 million.
The announcement came just as the deadline for RFA’s to sign offer sheets with other teams passed. That meant that Thompson had no other practical options than to sign with the team.
MORE REDSKINS: ONE REASON EACH GAME ON THE SCHEDULE WILL BE MUST-SEE TV
Still unsigned is linebacker Will Compton. He got a restricted free agent tender for $1.8 million. We will see how his situation plays out.
Last season, Thompson was the team’s third-down back and he played in all 16 games for the first time in his career. He posted 68 rushing attempts for 356 yards and three touchdowns and 49 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns. All those stats were career highs for Thompson, a fifth-round pick of the Redskins in 2013.
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.