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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

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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.

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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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