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Need to Know: Assessing the Redskins' pending free agents

Need to Know: Assessing the Redskins' pending free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 6, three days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 42
—NFL Draft (4/27) 52
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 131
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 188

Assessing the Redskins' free agents

The Redskins have 12 unrestricted free agents on their roster. With free agency coming this week, let’s take a look and separate them in to three categories.

Looking at big bucks

In this group are WR DeSean Jackson, WR Pierre Garçon, and defensive tackle Chris Baker. They will have plenty of options including the Redskins and they are likely to be signed sometime in the first few days of free agency. Baker seems to be the most likely to stay at about 50-50. I’ll go with about a 25 percent chance on Garçon sticking around with Jackson holding about a 10 percent chance, maybe less.

The second tier

These are guys who likely will wait for the first flurry of signings to pass before the phone starts ringing for them. Some think that the Redskins could wrap up TE Vernon Davis fairly early but he didn’t sign with them last year until March 31. He could take his time and look around for a better deal.

The Redskins may want C John Sullivan to stay around as a backup to Spencer Long but he will be looking for a starting job. He will turn 32 during training camp and perhaps other teams in need of starters might want to go to a bit younger so there’s a chance who will be back.

S Duke Ihenacho managed to stay healthy for the first time in his three seasons with the team and he started 10 games. The Redskins will try to add safety help in both the draft and in free agency. He might not be back in Washington but he should find work somewhere.

ILB Terence Garvin played in 16 games but only got 58 snaps on defense. He was a good special tams contributor but the team might want someone who can at least contribute a regular role on defense.

It’s possible that CB Greg Toler will get a contract but his roster spot would be far from guaranteed.

Likely on the way out

DL Kedric Golston is the longest-tenured Redskin but it’s hard to see the soon to be 34-year-old, who missed most of last year with a torn hamstring, getting a contract. Last year Golston’s absence led to elevated playing time for DL’s Ziggy Hood and Cullen Jenkins. Hood, who just turned 30, has a better chance of returning than Jenkins, who is 36. But it wouldn’t be surprising if neither returns.

Injuries and other players’ ineffectiveness led to S Donte Whitner starting nine games after coming off the street in Week 5. It seems unlikely that he will be back but if the Redskins can’t solve their perpetual safety problems you never know.

In case you missed it

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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Need to Know: The five Redskins under the most pressure entering camp

Need to Know: The five Redskins under the most pressure entering camp

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 21, six days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 201 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 51 days.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 20
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 29
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 43

Five Redskins who are under pressure going into training camp

QB Kirk Cousins–Going first with the most obvious. He’s under pressure to get this team back to the playoffs. Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine will help the running game and perhaps the defense will improve. But this team still will rise and fall by scoring points through the air. From his point of view, he’s on a one-year deal. If he is going to get a record long-term deal next year–or get the Redskins to cough up $35 million on the franchise tag–he’s going to need to play well.

WR Terrelle Pryor–He also is in the one-year contract situation so he needs to impress all 32 teams to drive up his value. He’s also being counted on to replace the 1,000-yard production of either Pierre Garçon or DeSean Jackson. Or maybe both. That’s a lot to put on the plate of a player in just his second full-time year at his position.

CB Josh Norman–Cousins has the highest 2017 salari on the team but Norman has the biggest contract on the team and he didn’t have the impact to match it last year. It’s not that he had a bad year but it’s reasonable to expect more interceptions and fewer penalties. It’s fair to give him a pass with it being his first year in the system. However, the Redskins have a window to release him without a debilitating cap hit after this season and if the value isn’t there you can’t rule out them pulling the trigger.

S Su’a Cravens–Everyone knows that Cravens is perhaps a step slow for a safety. He needs to make up for it with anticipation, which means paying attention to all the details in practice and doing a lot of extra film study. There is no questioning his work ethic but it’s a lot to absorb in a hurry.

OLB Preston Smith–When he is on, few are better. When he’s off, he can disappear for games on end. Consistency is the key for Smith this year. If he catches on and starts playing at his best all the time, he may be in line for a lucrative contract extension next offseason. If he falters, Trent Murphy, Junior Galette, and Ryan Anderson all will be waiting to lay claim to his snaps.

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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Rob Kelley hopes cutting out his favorite fast food restaurants means a better 2017

Rob Kelley hopes cutting out his favorite fast food restaurants means a better 2017

While his job and athletic ability separate him from most commoners, Rob Kelley is just like you and me when it comes to his diet. Well, when it came to his old diet, actually. 

Like many, the second-year Redskins running back loves him some crispy fried chicken, buttery, pillow-like biscuits and piping hot french fries. He also can get down with piles of nuggets, double cheesburgers and creamy milkshakes. 

But during this offseason, Fat Rob is looking less and less so, and that improvement is largely due to some new eating habits.

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"Changed the diet up," Kelley told CSN Redskins Insider JP Finlay this week at the former's youth camp (full video above). "Slowed down on the fast food and processed food and tried to eat more healthy."

When asked what places he's specifically cut out from his rotation, Kelley answered with a laugh. It wasn't a happy laugh, though — it was like one of those laughs people let out when they're feeling major pain but not trying to show it.

"Popeyes. McDonald's," he said. "Not trying to discredit those fast food places, but just, it's not working well for me."

Limiting trips to those establishments can no doubt be a difficult task (it's OK to nod your head in agreement) but it's also working for the 24-year-old. He told Finlay he thinks he's lost about six pounds since OTAs and now checks in at 229 thanks to his workouts and an increased reliance on Whole Foods, vegetables and his grill. 

But just because he's shedding pounds doesn't mean he's shedding the moniker that caught on during his rookie campaign. He may be trending closer to Svelte Rob than he is to Fat Rob these days, but No. 20 is going to keep his nickname moving forward anyway.

"It's always accurate," he said.

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