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Need to Know: Can the Redskins save cap room using post June 1 cuts?

Need to Know: Can the Redskins save cap room using post June 1 cuts?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 23, 36 days before the NFL Draft.

I’m changing around the Need to Know format a bit. There may be some more tweaks in the coming days and weeks; your comments are welcome.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 73 days ago. It will be about 172 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 26; 2016 NFL draft 36; Redskins training camp starts 127

Hot topic

I was on the radio in Cleveland yesterday and the topic, of course, was Robert Griffin III. The host asked me to do a word association with the phrase “RG3 to the Browns”. My answer was that it would be a mistake for both of them.

From the Browns’ perspective, they won’t be able to keep Griffin happy, especially if they plan on drafting a quarterback with the No. 2 pick next month. Josh McCown is already there to serve as the placeholder until the rookie is ready. What would his role be?

From Griffin’s perspective, aside from the potential logjam at quarterback, he needs to consider that Cleveland is not a very talented team. They lost two of their best offensive linemen, C Alex Mack and T Mitchell Schwartz, in free agency. They don’t have much of a rushing attack. It will be hard enough for him to succeed under ideal conditions and the Browns are far from ideal.

Update: Looks like this might happen. We'll see if it works out.

Fan question of the day

Today’s question is from Oswizard in the Real Redskins comment section.

Well, not really. If they cut Andre Roberts now they would save his $4 million salary but they would incur a 2016 dead cap charge of $2 million for the prorated portion of his signing bonus. That would lead to net cap savings of $2 million.

If they wait until after June 1 (or release him now with a post-June 1 designation) they would have only $1 million in 2016 dead cap to account for so they would see savings this year of $3 million.

However, that $1 million doesn’t just go away. It would be charged as dead cap in 2017, giving the Redskins a million bucks less to spend next year.

So, they don’t really save anything, the account just shifts some of the money charged from one year to another. If it was a large amount of money and/or the Redskins were strapped for cap space it might be a good idea. But in this case it would be better to just account for all of the money this year and start of 2017 with the books as clean as possible.

Stat of the day

71—The number of mixed extra points in the NFL last year after the snap was moved back from the two yard line to the 15. That is more missed extra points than in the previous seven seasons combined.

On Tuesday the NFL owners voted to make the rule, which was being tried out last year, permanent.

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Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Need to Know: Another big day on the ground on tap for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 11, eight days before the Washington Redskins host the Carolina Panthers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles 1 p.m.

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 8; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 13; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Lanier (leg)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Final injury report

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The Redskins have not stopped a team in a goal to go situation since September. The Eagles are good in such situations, converting TDs 84 percent of the time. If the Redskins can get a stop and force a field goal try when the first time the Eagles get down there that would be a big psychological boost for the visitors. Or, better yet, maybe they can just not let the Eagles get any first and goal opportunities. That’s what happened when the teams played in Week 6.

—In that Week 6 meeting the Redskins rushed for 230 yards, their best performance on the ground this season by 79 yards. Matt Jones picked up 135 yards on 16 attempts, Rob Kelley had 5-59, and Chris Thompson kicked in with 9-37. It’s unlikely that Jones will be active so it will be up to Kelley to get things rolling on the ground.

—For all the talk about Kirk Cousins having the Eagles’ number, he had one of his worst statistical games of the year against them in Week 6. He completed just 52.9 percent of his passes, his lowest completion percentage of the season. Cousins also threw perhaps his worst interception of the year, a pick six that tied the game at 14 in the second quarter. The bottom line was that he made some plays and the Redskins won but he likely will have to play better this time for his team to prevail today.

—Carson Wentz has six interceptions in his last three games, including three last week against the Bengals. Josh Norman is due to get an interception, overdue, in fact. Don’t know what will happen but the chances seem good that a Redskin will get his hands on a Wentz pass today.

—We saw last week that the Redskins are not a lock to go on the road and win against a team that is desperately fighting for its playoff life. Fortunately for the Redskins, the Eagles do not have players who are the equals of David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. While plenty can go wrong I think the Redskins come away with with the win.

Redskins 28, Eagles 24

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Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

Redskins bring former starting center back to active roster

The Redskins officially brought Kory Lichtensteiger back to the active roster, and while the move is now for depth, it could have other ramifications down the road. 

The move is on the NFL's transaction report for Saturday. To make room for Lichtensteiger, the team released defensive lineman A.J. Francis. 

Dealing with injuries up and down the line of scrimmage, Lichtensteiger's return could give the offensive front more flexibility. When Lichtensteiger got injured Week 3 and sent to the injured reserve, third-year pro Spencer Long stepped in and performed well at center. Last week in Arizona, Long sustained a concussion.

That injury opened the door for John Sullivan, who will start this week in Philadelphia with Long ruled out. Sullivan was brought in as a backup to Long once Lichtensteiger was put on IR. With Long now in the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins need another center should Sullivan get hurt. Alas, Lichtensteiger's return from the IR. 

Left guard Shawn Lauvao also sustained an injured groin, and that's where things could get interesting. Long is capable of playing guard, as is Lichtensteiger in a pinch. Should Lauvao's injury persist, Lichtensteiger might be able to help there.

Against the Eagles, the plan certainly appears to be second-year man Arie Kouandjio starting in place of Lauvao. Kouandjio made one earlier start this season - Week 4 against Cleveland - and the results were mixed.

If Kouandjio stumbles and Lauvao needs more time, Lichtensteiger's return to the roster gives Jay Gruden and Bill Callahan more flexibility, especially when Long returns from injury.

In fact, once the team has Long, Lichtensteiger and Sullivan healthy, there could be a bit of a logjam roster-wise on the offensive line, but considering all the injuries, bumps and bruises that are part of O-line life by the last four games of the season, the Redskins staff likely won't mind figuring that out. 

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