Quick Links

Need to Know: The five most underpaid Redskins

Need to Know: The five most underpaid Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 19, 9 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 100 days ago. It will be 146 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: 2016 NFL draft 9; Rookie minicamp 24; Redskins training camp starts 100

Hot topic

The five most underpaid Redskins:

Dustin Hopkins (2016 cap hit: $600,000)—I’m not sure that Redskins fans appreciated the value of a good kicker until they signed Hopkins a game into the season. He made kickoffs boring by consistently pounding him through the end zone. The wear and tear saved on the kickoff team alone make him a solid bargain.

Bashaud Breeland ($720,000)—Cornerback is one of the three or four most valuable positions on the field and Breeland is the team’s best corner. He has to play one more season before he would be eligible for a new contract so this year is a big one for him.

Junior Galette ($1.1 million)—It should be noted here that “underpaid” does not necessarily mean that anyone here got lowballed on their contract. Galette took a couple of weeks to look around for a better deal but the market wasn’t there. If he blows up and earns the incentives that will bring his contract up to the maximum of $4.5 million, the Redskins would really be getting a good deal. That would mean that they had a dominant pass rusher at a fraction of market price.

Jordan Reed $1.8 million—Reed has had some escalators from his rookie contract kick in so he is comfortably into seven figures with his contract. But top tight ends will earn in the $8 to $10 million range. Perhaps he and the Redskins will figure out a contract extension for him between now and the start of the season and he can

Preston Smith $1.3 million—Pass rusher is a position of high value and a player coming off of an eight-sack season in part-time duty would make six or seven times as much as Smith. Assuming he performs at least as well as he did last year he will again be well under market value.

Stat of the day

In 2015 the Redskins had 15 drives of 80 yards or longer. They scored touchdowns on all 15. The NFL average per team was 17.7 drives and 16.7 touchdowns.

In case you missed it

Quick Links

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

A Redskin fan's guide to the NFL Draft Combine

This week in Indianapolis the NFL world will converge at the Scouting Combine to watch college football players work out, sprint and lift weights in anticipation of the upcoming draft. For the Redskins front office, this draft needs to be a win.

The 2016 Draft could still yield strong results for Washington, but overall the class did not play particularly well as rookies. This year, Scot McCloughan has nine picks at his disposal, with the extra picks late in the draft in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds.

It's no secret that the 'Skins need help along the defensive line, a lot of help. That should be a major area of focus for the Redskins scouts and coaches, and that will make next Sunday arguably the most important of the week in Indianapolis. 

The combine divides players into 11 position groups, but Groups 7, 8 and 9 will matter most. Groups 7 and 8 represent defensive linemen and 9 are the linebackers. That group officially arrives on Thursday but won't work out on the field until Sunday. The days in between include interviews, psychological testing and the bench press.

Obviously the Redskins won't spend all nine picks on only defensive linemen. The team will likely invest in the offensive line as well, and that group will arrive earlier in the week and work out on Friday. Cornerbacks and safeties are the last to work out on Monday, March 6. 

With the likely departure of at least one of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon, and the possible departure of both, it would make sense for the 'Skins to bring in another receiver via the draft. They work out on Saturday, and should the Redskins decide to take a quarterback in the draft, the passers will work out that day too. 

Running back could be another spot the 'Skins invest. Jay Gruden said that Robert Kelley is locked into the RB1 role, but still the team might want increased competition at the position. The backs will work out Friday.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN 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!

 

Quick Links

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine?

The NFL has released the official schedule of when NFL coaches and executives will take the podium and address the media at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. You can find it right here but I’ll save you a click—nobody from the Redskins is scheduled to talk.

NFL teams are not required to have a representative speak at the combine but most do. This year only the Saints and Patriots are joining the Redskins in avoiding the media.

Bill Belichick never talks at the combine and I believe that the Saints have bypassed the opportunity to do so in the past. However, the Redskins head coach traditionally has gone to the podium in the past. Joe Gibbs spoke when he was in his second stint as the head coach. Mike Shanahan, as tight lipped as anyone, met with the press in Indy each of his four years as head coach. Jay Gruden has spoken during each of the three years that he has been head coach.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

And last year Scot McCloughan held a small media gaggle with local reporters in his hotel in Indianapolis.

This year the Redskins are going somewhat dark. McCloughan did not speak to reporters at the Senior Bowl (Gruden held a brief availability in Mobile), a departure from his first two years with the team. And now no Redskins representatives at the combine.

One of the problems with changing what has been a longstanding practice and going into radio silence is that it leaves people speculating. If the team doesn’t want to put any information out there that is the organization’s option. But if you choose not to fill in the blanks, the fans and media will.

So why aren’t they talking? The best bet is that they are in a delicate stage when it comes to dealing with the future of quarterback Kirk Cousins. He is a pending free agent who is likely to be hit with the franchise tag on Wednesday, the day before the combine starts. At that point, the clock will be ticking on Cousins either signing a long-term contract or getting traded to a team that is willing to meet his asking price. It’s my guess that Jay Gruden does not want to face questions about Cousins’ future.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Gruden is not a very good liar; his poker face needs a lot of work. Perhaps that is a good quality for a human being but not a very good attribute for someone who would need to go out and talk about Cousins as the long-term quarterback for the team, or at least the QB for the coming season, when his status may be very much in doubt.

This is not to say that there is definitely going to be a trade of Cousins worked out at the combine. But it is very possible that a deal will be discussed with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers and any number of other quarterback-needy teams. And perhaps there is concern that Gruden will let something slip or, more likely, say a lot on the subject of Cousins by not saying anything.

Again, this is just reading the tea leaves on my part. But by going silent the Redskins are sending an invitation for people to fill in the blanks. I am just taking them up on 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.