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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—The free agent list, Hatcher's status

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—The free agent list, Hatcher's status

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 6, 18 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

A look back at the Redskins week that was

Why is it highly unlikely that the Redskins will trade RG3?—It looked like a lot of Redskins fans were engaged in some highly wishful thinking so I thought it was a good idea to lay out the facts on the topic. Click for the details if you’d like but the bottom line is that the only realistic outcome here is Griffin getting released.

Five free agents the Redskins will not sign—Scot McCloughan said that the Redskins will not be big players in free agency. The list of players they won’t even try to sign is long and Scot McCloughan’s list of players he wants to sign is short. But the Redskins are going to sign a few players to fill a few holes so speculation won’t be pointless.

Report: Redskins sign DL Ziggy Hood—The Redskins got a jump start on free agency by signing the former Steelers first-round pick during the week. They were able to sign him because he was not on a team’s roster at the end of the season. His contract has no guaranteed money and he will have to compete for a roster spot. It could come down to Hood and Cory Crawford, who spent 2015 on the practice squad, for the last roster spot.

Five things the Redskins need to do before free agency starts—There is a lot of work to do before they start signing players—time in the film room, a trip to the combine, trying to avoid making a franchise tag for Kirk Cousins necessary, and more. After a January breather that lasted a few weeks they are back at it in a grind that will go on through June. Then it’s a couple of weeks off before the start of training camp.

Will Hatcher return or retire?—I don’t have a good feel for what will happen here. Right after the Packers game McCloughan told Hatcher that he would be welcome to return. The GM reiterated the statement at the Senior Bowl. And while he played better than his sack numbers indicate it’s hard to see Hatcher back at a cap number well north of $8 million. Will he retire? Come back at a lower salary? Get cut? We will see.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 27 days ago. It will be about 218 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 18; NFL free agency starts 32; 2016 NFL draft 82

In case you missed it

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Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

Terrelle Pryor reportedly working out with special glasses based on Antonio Brown's advice

New Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor has been working out with Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown this offseason. 

The pair documented their receiving drills, ladder drills and even yoga on social media. But what you didn't see, according to ESPN's John Keim, is Pryor practicing with special glasses that Brown recommended. 

Based on Brown’s advice, Pryor has also worn special sunglasses during offseason workouts, designed to prevent him from seeing an object – in this case the ball – until it is almost upon him. Sometimes he takes his gloves off, just to get a feel for the ball with his hands.

The glasses Keim describes sound more like blinders, or even tunnel vision, but the idea is to help Pryor get an instinctive feel for running routes. 

Despite putting up 1,007 receiving yards with the Browns last year, Pryor has only played the position since 2015. His first four seasons in the NFL were spent trying to make a roster playing quarterback. 

Now penciled into a starting receiver role for the Redskins, he knows he has a lot of catching up to do. 

"The good ones, they ask questions and never think they’ve got it. They always want to learn," Pryor said, "I’m not calling myself a great one, but I think I can get there."

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins Playbook: Some good news for Kirk Cousins

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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