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Need to Know: Should the Redskins give Pierre Garçon an extension?

Need to Know: Should the Redskins give Pierre Garçon an extension?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 7, two days before the start of NFL free agency.

Five thoughts on the Redskins as free agency gets underway

—There is some buzz about a possible contract extension for Pierre Garçon. He has a cap figure of just over $10 million. A simple restructure is not possible since he is in the last year of his deal. If the Redskins think he can be productive for another 2-3 years, which would carry him into his age 32 or 33 season, they could guarantee him some money, cut his 2016 cap hit down to around $6 million, and keep him around through at least 2017.

—The reason why they need to hold on to both Garçon and DeSean Jackson is that the free agent wide receivers who are capable of stepping in and starting right away as a No. 1 or No. 2 option are going to get expensive. After two years of bumper crops of receivers being available in the draft the group of pass catchers is of low quality this year. Teams in need will be bidding for the available free agent talent and it looks like demand will exceed supply. That will lead to good paydays for some receivers who haven’t done much, guys like Mohamed Sanu and Rueben Randle. The Redskins would be well advised to stay away from the free agent market and grab a receiver in the first few rounds of the draft.

—We’re still looking to see if S Duke Ihenacho and OT/TE Tom Compton are going to get offered restricted free agent tenders. I think the Redskins would like to have both of them back, at least to compete for roster spots. But I don’t think that they want to pay either player the $1.5 million or so needed to tender them and get the right to match any offer that they may get. If they aren’t tendered by 4 p.m. on Wednesday they will become unrestricted free agents.

—There is likely to be a waiting game at backup quarterback. It looks like Colt McCoy is going to at least explore his options before he considers an offer from the Redskins. Nobody is going to snatch up the other veteran backups either. The Redskins may go until close to the start of offseason workouts on April 18 with Cousins as the only QB on the roster.

—As free agency gets going remember that you can’t judge the acquisition of a player without considering the price. Even if the player is pretty good, if the contract is bad, it’s a bad deal. And even if the player is just OK, if he has a contract to match you can live with that. For example, although Jeron Johnson didn't do much last year, his contract was only for two years, $2.5 million with $350,000 guaranteed. That wasn't a bad signing. And Jason Hatcher has played better than his sack numbers indicate but the team has already spent over $13.5 million for him for two years and even if he takes a pay cut for 2017 he will cost a few million dollars more. That was a bad signing.

 

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 57 days ago. It will be about 188 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 3; Redskins offseason workouts start 43; 2016 NFL draft 53

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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back