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Need to Know: Should the Redskins give Reed a new contract?

Need to Know: Should the Redskins give Reed a new contract?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 24, 31 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Five thoughts on the state of the Redskins

If you were hit by the Blizzard of 2016, I hope all is well and you and yours got through it safely. Here are a few thoughts on the Redskins:

—Should the Redskins sign Jordan Reed, who is slated to be a free agent after the 2016 season, to a contract extension a year early like they did with Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan? As of now, Reed is slated to make $685,888 in 2016, a very cheap pride for one of the top five players at his position. There is a lot to consider, including his injury history. Another consideration, however, is the need to avoid letting a grossly underpaid player take the field. The team is likely to ask some players to take pay cuts this year because they are not likely to play up to their salaries. That is a lot easier to do if your track record says you will reward players who over perform their contracts. If you say, “A deal is a deal” to your best offensive player when he is underpaid then why wouldn’t a player say the same when asking him to take a pay cut? Keeping Reed on the cheap this year could prove to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

—Another factor to consider in the Reed contract situation is the franchise tag. It’s relatively inexpensive for tight ends. Last year only the kicker/punter tag was worth less than the $8.33 million tight end tag. It will be more expensive in 2017 but it is unlikely to top $10 million and it is a very viable option if Reed plays through 2016 and they can’t come to a contract agreement. However, the franchise tag needs to be available and if they can’t come to an agreement with Kirk Cousins this year and need to tag him they will have to make a choice to tag one or the other a year from now. That is one of the dangers of just tagging Cousins rather than working out a contract with him; you lose leverage down the road.

—The time to rehash the Redskins career of Robert Griffin III will come soon enough but one thing, one misstep, sticks out in my mind. It was the week after he was injured against the Ravens, when Griffin scrambled towards the sideline but instead of running out of bounds he cut back to the middle of the field and met up with Haloti Ngata, who hit him and caused his knee to bend in an unnatural direction. A few days later I asked Kyle Shanahan if they told Griffin he should have proceed to go out of bounds. No, said the offensive coordinator, they were fine with him going for the extra yardage. Griffin also said he did not regret going back into the dangerous area of the field. The play was the beginning of the end of RG3 and the coaches, like Griffin, saw no need to have their high-cost asset protect himself.

—Should the Redskins re-sign Terrance Knighton? Teams didn’t test him very often running the ball, running 74 plays up the middle per the NFL. Only five teams faced fewer runs up the gut. But teams saw success when they did go there, averaging 5.1 yards per attempt, 29th in the NFL. Sure, it’s more complex than that and Pot Roast wasn’t necessarily in the lineup for all of those runs. But if you also look at plays off of left guard (30, 4.1 avg., 15th) and right guard (58, 3.8 avg., 15th), you don’t see some sort of impregnable fortress in the middle of the defense. This doesn’t equal letting Knighton walk necessarily but they will need better play from him if he stays.

 

—During the season I was thinking that there was zero chance that Alfred Morris would be back with the Redskins. I still think the chances are against it but now I’m not so sure. If they let him walk in free agency they would not have a reliable running back on the roster. They would have to sign one in free agency and it’s possible that Scot McCloughan will look around and find that Morris is the best option if they can come to a contract agreement. I still think the chances are against it but at this point I’m not going to rule it out.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 14 days ago. It will be about 231 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 31; NFL free agency starts 45; 2016 NFL draft 95

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—First round of draft could fall into place

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—First round of draft could fall into place

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 21, 96 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 39
NFL free agency starts 47
First Sunday of 2017 season 232

The Redskins week that was

A look back at the week with some of the top posts on RealRedskins.com and on CSNmidatlantic.com.  

 

An early look at 1st-round draft possibilities for the Redskins—This post marked 100 days until the draft and now were a few days closer. It’s very early but the preliminary big boards make it look like the Redskins are likely to have a defensive lineman such as Solomon Thomas of Stanford or Mailk McDowell of Michigan State wind up as the best available player so that both the fans a Scot McCloughan can be happy.

Cap room a dilemma for Redskins McCloughan?—There is plenty of talk about how expensive Kirk Cousins’ contract or franchise tag will be and how the expense could affect the ability to spend in other positions. But the team has $62 million in cap space. If they don’t spend a good chunk of it on Cousins what will they do with it? They could bring back Pierre Garçon, Chris Baker and make new deals for eligible 2014 draft picks like Bashaud Breeland and Morgan Moses and still have a lot left over. If they don’t spend it a quarterback, what will they do with it? I do know that if they have, say, $20 million in cap space left and they are around .500 again, the fans and media will not be happy.

Projecting the Redskins 2017 roster—Offense—The changes on this side of the ball will feel more like reloading than rebuilding. I’m assuming Cousins will be back one way (long-term deal) or another (tag). At least four out of the five O-linemen are set and the tight ends will get set if McCloughan can lure Vernon Davis back. We’ll see if the running back corps gets shaken up in the draft or in free agency. The one area that could be wide open is receiver and even that could remain relatively stable if Garçon returns.

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend—I think fans generally have become much more apathetic about Pro Bowl selections compared to, say, seven or eight years ago. Playing in the exhibition game is an “honor” that so many choose not to accept or, as was the case with Brandon Scherff, Ryan Kerrigan, and Jordan Reed, they are too injured after a 16-game season to take part. Meanwhile, alternates Cousins, Josh Norman, and Jamison Crowder (as a kick returner) have not yet heard their phones ring. Why does the NFL even bother with the Pro Bowl? People still watch it. Ratings for the last edition (4.5) were about a point lower than the MLB All-Star game (5.4) and a tick above the NBA All-Star game (4.3). Those are not huge ratings but big enough to turn a profit.  

The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins—I think that the first offer that both sides make here is going to be critical. If the Redskins lowball Cousins again it will set a bad tone. If Cousins’ offer is too high the Redskins could think that Cousins is determined to leave. And both sides need to be willing to negotiate. If any of that took place last year there was very little. With no give and take the talks will go nowhere. 

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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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Report: One more potential defensive coordinator is off the market for the Redskins

Report: One more potential defensive coordinator is off the market for the Redskins

Well it looks like the name many considered to be the Redskins top choice at defensive coordinator is off the market. Adam Schefter broke the news of Gus Bradley to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Redskins interviewed Bradley early in their process of selecting a new defensive coordinator. His latest gig ended poorly after he was fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Bradley's best success came as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks.

When he served in that role with Seattle, Bradley worked with Scot McCloughan. And prior to his coaching stint in Seattle, Bradley coached in Tampa, where he worked with both Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden.

Those connections, and his success in Seattle, had many fans hoping Bradley would take over for Joe Barry, who Washington dismissed more than two weeks ago.

The connection between Bradley and the Chargers comes as no surprise, and it leaves    Washington still in need of a defensive boss.

Mike Pettine probably jumps to the top of the ranks of other coaches the Redskins have interviewed, but it still seems internal candidate Greg Manusky could be in position to move up to coordinator. Manusky spent the 2016 season as outside linebackers coach and has prior coordinator experience.

The Skins have also interviewed Dennis Thurman, last of Buffalo, Jason Tarver, last of San Francisco, Rob Ryan, also last in Buffalo, and John Pagano, last with the Chargers.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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