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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Free agency talk heating up

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Free agency talk heating up

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 27, 11 days before the start of NFL free agency.

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular stories this week here and on CSNmidatlantic.com.

End is near: Bruce Allen says RG3 will get a new opportunity—This was the first official word that the Redskins are moving on from Robert Griffin III. It wasn’t particularly surprising but still significant after about a month and a half of silence on the subject of Griffin’s future. Although his release appears to be inevitable it still has not happened as of this morning. The only surprise here--why did Allen break the news while on a phoner to a San Diego radio station?

Will the Redskins have any interest in ex-Rams?—DE Chris Long, TE Jared Cook, and LB James Laurinaitis were all let go by the Rams in one fell swoop a week ago. It seems doubtful that the Redskins would be interested in any of them. They already have two tight ends that do what Cook does in Jordan Reed and Niles Paul. Long has been hit with injuries and is on the wrong side of 30. And Laurinaitis might be a fit but his age is likely to keep the Redskins away.

Will the Redskins believe Nkemdiche's upside is worth the risk?—The Ole Miss defensive lineman has first-round size and athleticism. However, he posted some fairly paltry stats in college and an arrest for marijuana possession throw some red flags in his path to being a No 1 draft pick. It will be interesting to see what McCloughan does if he’s on the board.

A (long) list of the most impressive draft picks made by Scot McCloughan—A good gallery of McCloughan’s best draft picks with the 49ers, Seahawks, and Redskins. Take a few minutes and be impressed.

Who are the top 2017 Redskins free agents?—McCloughan is playing 3-D chess as he prepares for the draft and free agency. Take a look at the list and figure out why wide receiver is a major need in this year’s draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 48 days ago. It will be about 197 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 11; Redskins offseason workouts start 51; 2016 NFL draft 61

In case you missed it

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: Comparing Redskins training camp with the New England Patriots

After a poor first preseason showing and some questions about the physicality of Redskins training camp, JP Finlay talks with Patriots Insider Phil Perry from CSN New England to discuss the differences between Washington's camp and how they run things in New England.

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

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!

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

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Redskins Playbook: Jay Gruden calls Ryan Grant "Mr. Consistent"

Few Redskins players draw more heated fan reaction than Ryan Grant. In three seasons with Washington, Grant has never missed a game, but he also hasn't produced much. His career stats: 39 catches for 412 yards and two touchdowns. 

Regardless, Jay Gruden and the Redskins coaching staff appreciates Grant in a way few fans understand. Grant is able to back up both the slot and outside receivers, and knows the roles of all the players.

"He’s really strong, he’s in great shape, and he’s Mr. Consistent," Gruden said of Grant. "Everything we ask him to do he does, and he does it right."

When Jamison Crowder missed time in Richmond with a hamstring strain, Grant stepped into Crowder's slot role. When Josh Doctson hurt his hamstring and missed time, Grant stepped into his role on the outside of the offense.

Throughout camp, Grant has displayed good hands and an adept knowledge of the offense. 

"No matter where he lines up, no matter what we ask him to do, he can come in the core and block the safety, whatever we want him to do, he can run whatever route from whatever positon and he runs at the right depth, perfect angles coming out of them," Gruden said. "He’s just ‘Steady Eddie,’ and that’s why I like him. I like consistent, smart players and that’s what Ryan is."

Against the Ravens in the Redskins first preseason game, Grant hung on to a tough catch over the middle to give the team one of very few offensive sparks. The problem for fans as it relates to Grant has not been preseason play. It's been inconsistent play in regular season games. 

Gruden believes that could change this year.

"I think people may be surprised with how many balls Ryan Grant might catch. Either way, could happen, I don’t know. I can’t foresee the future there, but I would be just fine with Ryan Grant being the target of a lot of balls."

To state the obvious: Grant is definitely making the roster. Behind Terrelle Pyror, Crowder and Doctson, Grant is the Redskins fourth wideout and one of the few players on the roster that is interchangeable among the Washington receiver positions. 

Grant's career best season came in 2015 when he caught 23 balls for 268 yards and two TDs. Based on his preseason, it seems Grant could surpass those totals in 2017. Much of his early season work has been a result of injuries to Doctson and Crowder, but make no mistake, Grant has been impressive in practice. 

Will it translate to the real games? The opprotunity seems only likely to arise if the Redskins deal with injuries at the receiver spot. 

Last year, Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards, but DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon accounted for more than 2,000 of those yards. Doctson, Crowder and certainly Pryor are likely to be the major recepients of Cousins' aerial prowess. Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson accounted for another 1,618 yards last year.

Keep in mind, this is the last year of Grant's rookie contract. If there was ever a time to show in games what coaches have long seen and loved in practice, this would be the year. It seems only an injury would give him a major opportunity. If the situation came to pass, Gruden would have faith in Grant. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

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!