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Jason Taylor not on Skins' dance card

Jason Taylor not on Skins' dance card

An aging but still effective star player becomes available. Add the player's Hollywood aspirations into the mix and you seem to have a match made in heaven.

Daniel Snyder, do you take Jason Taylor to be your lawfully contracted defensive end?

The answer, apparently, is no. Cancel the caterers and see if you can get your deposit back from the florist.

It appears that the union between Taylor and the Miami Dolphins, his team since the beginning of his NFL career in 1997, is over. According to the team's head coach Tony Sparano, Taylor won't be attending OTA's, minicamp, or training camp.

That Taylor and the Fins are on the outs isn't breaking news. It's well known that they shopped him hard during the draft, including an offer to deal him to the Washington Redskins. At the time, they turned down Miami's request for a second-round pick for Taylor.

Indications are that the Skins' interest in Taylor remains dormant. They don't want to give up the high draft pick that Miami is looking for as compensation and they don't want to pay Taylor some $16 million over the next two seasons.

It's not that Taylor, 34, is done as an effective player. He had 11 sacks on a horrid team last year, following up a 13.5-sack effort that earned him NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2006.

But the age certainly is a factor. While he appears to be in excellent shape and he should be an effective player for several more years, his best years clearly are behind him.

And there are legitimate questions about whether or not Taylor will play beyond his current two-year contract. He enjoyed the Hollywood gig with the Dancing With the Stars thing and nobody would be surprised if he hung up his jersey with some good seasons as a player left in the tank in favor of an acting career.

The Redskins are trying to build through the draft. They aren't one player away from making the Super Bowl. It would be counterproductive for them to expend a high draft pick and a big chunk of cap space on an aging player.

The Redskins were saved from themselves in the week before the draft when the Bengals rejected their offer for Chad Johnson. They appear to be taking their fate into their own hands here by steadfastly resisting the temptation to go dancing with Jason Taylor.

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Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.

Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.

Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.

In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.

Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.

One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.

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Redskins vs. Cardinals inactives: Reed out as expected

Redskins vs. Cardinals inactives: Reed out as expected

GLENDALE, AZ—As expected, the Redskins will be without star tight end Jordan Reed today against the Cardinals.

He is inactive due to a third-degree AC joint sprain in his left shoulder.

Reed gutted it out and played the second half on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas after being injured in the first but during the week he didn’t practice at all couldn’t regain the range of motion needed to play today.

Coach Jay Gruden said on Friday that the team is planning on having Reed play next week against the Eagles.

For this week, Vernon Davis will step into the starting role.

Also inactive is reserve defensive lineman Anthony Lanier, who was kicked in the lower leg in Dallas. Gruden said that the swelling was still too severe for him to be able to play.


The Redskins’ other inactive players today:

  • QB Nate Sudfeld
  • DL AJ Francis
  • RB Matt Jones
  • WR Rashad Ross
  • DB Dashaun Phillips