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Need to Know: The Redskins' free agency focus should shift to bringing back their own

Need to Know: The Redskins' free agency focus should shift to bringing back their own

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 13, 43 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (3/17) 33
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 58
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 70
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 122
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 179

Three and out

1. Why no interest in Hankins?

Johnathan Hankins of the Giants has drawn very little interest in free agency. He is young (24), large (320 lb.) and one of the main reasons the Giants turned around from being one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 2015 to one of the best last year. But not only is his phone not ringing with a 703 area code on the caller I.D., it’s not ringing from anywhere. That usually means that the player is looking for too much money. It seems to be taking a while for Hankins’ to come down to where teams are interested.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 5.0

We’ll see what happens as the rest of this week unfolds. He can’t wait too long. Although there is a lot of cap money out there, teams will go elsewhere to fill their needs.

2. I’ve been asked several times over the last couple of days if the Redskins were done in free agency.

With that said, they could be done. Perhaps they have squeezed all that they can out of this lemon of a free agent class. Last month I wrote that free agency is not the cure for what ails the Redskins. The pool of quality free agents was extremely thin. Add to that a lot of teams having a lot of cap space and you have a lot of inflated prices for players who won’t deliver sufficient bang for the buck. The Redskins should use their remaining cap resources to lock up their own players who are eligible for extensions such as Morgan Moses and Spencer Long and then turn the organization’s attention to the draft.

MORE REDSKINS: Pryor 'assumes' Cousins will be the QB

3. The Redskins’ next move in free agency may be to bring back some of their own. I’m not sure if all the starting center jobs around the league are filled but there aren’t many left. If John Sullivan can’t find a starting job, look for the Redskins to try to bring him back to back up at center. They could try to go the veteran minimum salary benefit route with some guaranteed money tacked on and have have his cap number count for less than his actual salary. I also wonder if Duke Ihenacho will be back for some safety depth.

Out—Inside/middle linebacker not a valued position in Washington

I thought this was the case and I went and looked it up on the indispensable Pro Football Reference and I was right. They also have only spend major free agency dollars on London Fletcher and that was a nice deal, not a blockbuster of any sort. Anyone thinking that the Redskins are going to go hard after Don’t’a Hightower should realize this. It’s just odd how some organizations through different owners, GMs, coaches, and defensive schemes just don’t value certain positions enough to spend major resources on them.

Tandler on Twitter

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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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

After a poor first preseason showing and some questions about the physicality of Redskins training camp, JP Finlay talks with Patriots Insider Phil Perry from CSN New England to discuss the differences between Washington's camp and how they run things in New England.

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

Few Redskins players draw more heated fan reaction than Ryan Grant. In three seasons with Washington, Grant has never missed a game, but he also hasn't produced much. His career stats: 39 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. 

Regardless, Jay Gruden and the Redskins coaching staff appreciates Grant in a way few fans understand. Grant is able to back up both the slot and outside receivers, and knows the roles of all the players.

"He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent," Gruden said of Grant. "Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right."

When Jamison Crowder missed time in Richmond with a hamstring strain, Grant stepped into Crowder's slot role. When Josh Doctson hurt his hamstring and missed time, Grant stepped into his role on the outside of the offense.

Throughout camp, Grant has displayed good hands and an adept knowledge of the offense. 

"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," Gruden said. "He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is."

Against the Ravens in the Redskins first preseason game, Grant hung on to a tough catch over the middle to give the team one of very few offensive sparks. The problem for fans as it relates to Grant has not been preseason play. It's been inconsistent play in regular season games. 

Gruden believes that could change this year.

"I think people may be surprised with how many balls Ryan Grant might catch. Either way, could happen, I don’t know. I can’t foresee the future there, but I would be just fine with Ryan Grant being the target of a lot of balls."

To state the obvious: Grant is definitely making the roster. Behind Terrelle Pyror, Crowder and Doctson, Grant is the Redskins fourth wideout and one of the few players on the roster that is interchangeable among the Washington receiver positions. 

Grant's career best season came in 2015 when he caught 23 balls for 268 yards and two TDs. Based on his preseason, it seems Grant could surpass those totals in 2017. Much of his early season work has been a result of injuries to Doctson and Crowder, but make no mistake, Grant has been impressive in practice. 

Will it translate to the real games? The opprotunity seems only likely to arise if the Redskins deal with injuries at the receiver spot. 

Last year, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards, but DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon accounted for more than 2,000 of those yards. Doctson, Crowder and certainly Pryor are likely to be the major recepients of Cousins' aerial prowess. Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson accounted for another 1,618 yards last year.

Keep in mind, this is the last year of Grant's rookie contract. If there was ever a time to show in games what coaches have long seen and loved in practice, this would be the year. It seems only an injury would give him a major opportunity. If the situation came to pass, Gruden would have faith in Grant. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!