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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins free agent targets

Need to Know: Five possible Redskins free agent targets

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 11, 57 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 49
NFL draft 106
First Sunday of 2017 season 242

Five free agents who could draw the Redskins’ interest

DT Bennie Logan, Eagles—Logan is a load at 6-2, 309. The former third-round pick of the Eagles can play nose tackle in a 3-4 or tackle in a 4-3 so he would be good for whatever scheme the Redskins’ new defensive coordinator will run. He doesn’t have any impressive numbers to throw out there; Logan just eats up space in the middle. Although at age 27 he will be in demand, his contract should not get out of hand. This could be one of those free agent acquisitions that counts double as it would strengthen your team while weakening a division rival.

RELATED: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Mike Pettine

WR Kenny Stills, Dolphins—If DeSean Jackson leaves as a free agent, Stills could be a solid replacement. He doesn’t have Jackson’s speed—very few do—but he still has managed to average 16.7 yards per reception over his four-year career, just about a yard less than Jackson’s career average. Stills is six year younger than Jackson, durable (missed one game in four seasons in the NFL) and probably will cost a couple of million bucks less per season.

S D.J. Swearinger, Cardinals—He comes with a “buyer beware” label after having played on three different teams in four years in the NFL. Swearinger was a second-round pick of the Texans but he has bounced to the Bucs and Cardinals since getting drafted. The 25-year-old seemed to have gotten his act together in 2016, playing in 16 games and getting three interceptions and two sacks. The price would have to be right but he could be part of a long-term solution at safety.

LB Zach Brown, Bills—Brown could give the Redskins a quicker, speedier option at inside linebacker if they stay in the 3-4 base or he could play on the outside in a 4-3. He was a second-round pick of the Titans in 2012 who will be 27 when the season starts. Brown has seven career interceptions and 14 sacks.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins opponents had the green light in the red zone

DE Lawrence Guy, Ravens—Who? Guy has bounced around the league since the Packers picked him in the seventh round of the 2011 draft. He never played in Green Bay; Guy had stints with the Colts and Chargers before landing with the Ravens during the 2014 season. In the last two years, he has played in every game with 17 starts and has 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Guy might not be a front-line player but he can be a younger (turns 27 in March) and better rotational lineman than they have now.

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

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Redskins 2017 position outlook: Wide receiver

Redskins 2017 position outlook: Wide receiver

With the season opener fast approaching, it’s time to put the Redskins’ depth chart under the microscope. Over the coming days we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Wide receivers

Starters: Terrelle Pryor, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder (slot)
Other roster locks: Ryan Grant, Maurice Harris.
On the bubble: Robert Davis, Brian Quick

How the wide receivers compare:

To the rest of the NFL: This is an unproven group, with Pryor in his second year playing the position and Doctson coming off a lost rookie season. You don’t have to look far to find receiving groups with more proven production. The Giants have added Brandon Marshall to Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard to form one of the top groups in the NFL. It’s arguable that the Cowboys have a better corps. But Pryor has produced a 1000-yard season, Crowder improved from his rookie year to last year and Doctson is a recognized talent. They’re outside of the top 10 but not too far down the list, somewhere in the teens.

RELATED: 5 TAKEAWAYS FROM REDSKINS' LOSS TO PACKERS

To the 2016 Redskins: The Redskins became the first team to lose two 1000-yard receivers in a single offseason when both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon left in free agency. They managed to recover about as well as could be expected by signing Pryor and having Doctson in the wings. And maybe the backups could be better than they were last year. Ryan Grant has been catching everything thrown near him in practice and Maurice Harris will have his rookie year out of the way. But the harsh reality is that you don’t easily replace receivers like Garçon and, especially, the speedy Jackson easily. This group must be considered a downgrade until we see production on the field that indicates otherwise.

2017 outlook:

Biggest upside: Doctson was off to a great start in training camp before he suffered a hamstring injury. His talent for high-pointing the ball could make him a favorite red zone and third down target.

Most to prove: Ryan Grant has been a favorite of the coaches since he was a fifth-round pick in 2014. But he had only nine receptions in 16 games last year. If he wants an NFL future here or elsewhere, he needs to catch passes.

MORE REDSKINS: REDSKINS-PACKERS MUST-SEE PHOTOS

Rookie watch: Sixth-round pick Davis has been targeted 11 times in two preseason games and he has 20- and 31-yard receptions. He is going to have to fight off Quick to remain on the roster but he appears to be ahead in that battle. Davis is helping his case by working as a gunner on the punt team.

Bottom line: There is no doubt that the team will miss the ability of Jackson to go deep, opening things up underneath. But it also is clear that the bigger, more physical receivers will help move the chains and increase red zone productivity. The size does not necessarily compensate for the loss of speed but Kirk Cousins still should find quality targets.

Quote-unquote

Jay Gruden on Ryan Grant:

He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent. Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right. No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do – he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever positon and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them. He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is.

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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Report: Despite off-field turmoil, NFL close to extension with commissioner Roger Goodell

goodell.jpg
USA Today Sports

Report: Despite off-field turmoil, NFL close to extension with commissioner Roger Goodell

Despite off-field turmoil and a seemingly endless list of controversies, the NFL plans to extend the tenure of commissioner Roger Goodell, per a report from the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. 

Goodell took over the top NFL job in 2006, replacing the long-tenured Paul Tagliabue. The extension reportedly will extend his era as commissioner through 2024, though Garafolo said the league and Goodell have a few "minor issues" to work through.

In 2016, Goodell reportedly made $34 million as commissioner. 

Under Goodell, the league has seen a windfall of cash, but also numerous off-field controversies.

The commissioner's role with player punishments has dramatically increased, and seems to grow more litigious year after year.

RELATED: ALL-PRO WIDE RECEIVER ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Things seemed to hit their peak when the NFL suspended New England Patriots QB Tom Brady four games for possibly deflating footballs, though the evidence was far from concrete.

There have been plenty of other major controversies during Goodell's leadership: the ongoing concussion lawsuits and settlements, Ray Rice's domestic violence incident, Michael Vick's dog-fighting ring, Ben Roethlisberger's sexual assault allegations, and more. 

This year — right now — Goodell is in the middle of dealing with an announced six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott and the ongoing controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick's inability to land a job in the NFL. 

Ultimately, it appears cash matters most for the league and its commissioner. 

It's also worth adding that the NFL has not lost any games due to labor stoppage under Goodell's leadership. That could change, however, when the next collective bargaining agreement comes up after the 2020 season. NFL Player's Association leader DeMaurice Smith has talked of a possible strike or lockout, and some vocal critics of Goodell and the NFL, like Richard Sherman, have said that the players need to be prepared to strike to elicit actual change. 

There was some speculation that NFL owners, particularly Robert Kraft in New England and Jerry Jones in Dallas, might push for a change at the top as Goodell's autocratic disciplinary style found league stars suspended. Assuming a contract gets done, that speculation appears to be false. 

Goodell was commissioner in 2012 when the NFL penalized the Redskins $36 million against the salary cap for overspending during the uncapped 2010 season.

Redskins officials adamantly denied any wrongdoing, and the penalties had a significant impact on the team's ability to compete for free agents and roster depth. 

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