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Need to Know: The top five receivers the Redskins will face in 2016

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Need to Know: The top five receivers the Redskins will face in 2016

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 24, 34 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 166 days ago. It will be 80 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Franchise tag contract deadline 21; Preseason opener @ Falcons 48; Final roster cut 71

The five best wide receivers the Redskins will face in 2016

Ranked by receiving yards gained in 2015.

Antonio Brown, Steelers (1,834 yards)—The Redskins secondary is supposed to be improved this year. They had better hit the ground running as Brown will be a very tough test right out of the gate.

Odell Beckham, Giants (1,450)—He has torn up Washington since he has been in the league (3 games, 28 receptions, 364 yards, 5 TD). The Redskins are hoping that their $75 million investment in Josh Norman slows OBJ down. In any case the twice a year meetings should be entertaining.

A.J. Green, Bengals (1,297)—Green has been in the league for five years and has been remarkably consistent and productive. He has averaged 83 receptions for 1,234 yards and nine touchdowns per season. At 6-4 with an ability to snatch the ball out of the air if it’s thrown anywhere near him, Green can be a nightmare.

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (1,215)—For a while it looked like Father Time had caught up with Fitz. After five years where he averaged almost 1,300 receiving yards per season he gained just 845 per year from 2012-2014. But he had a resurgence last year with 1,215 yards and nine touchdowns.

John Brown, Cardinals (1,003)—Brown was not a big name coming out of college, not surprising since he went to Pittsburg State (not Pitt, like Fitzgerald, Pittsburg State, in Kansas). His speed and shiftiness have made him a big-play threat, especially if you start to pay too much attention to Fitzgerald.

Just missing the list was the Eagles Jordan Matthews (997), who is underrated by many fans. The Cowboys’ Dez Bryant only had only 401 receiver yards last year after missing a good chunk of the season with a foot injury and then perhaps returning too soon. He appears to be healthy and he will be a handful for the Redskins defense twice this year.

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Vernon Davis 'just can't fathom' the NFL's very strict celebration rules

Vernon Davis 'just can't fathom' the NFL's very strict celebration rules

As he proudly demonstrated in a 27-20 win against the Eagles last October, Vernon Davis has a silky jumpshot. Unfortunately, in today's NFL, celebrating by shooting a football like Davis did in the end zone that fall Sunday is prohibited.

The tight end, who was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and eventually fined more than $12,000 for the move, didn't really get the point of the rule then, and he still doesn't understand it now. And as he told Kalyn Kahler of MMQB, he think it's time for the league to back off their strict stance on celebrations.

"I would just tell guys that when it comes to celebrations, anything is allowed, as long as it isn’t inappropriate," Davis said when asked how he'd change the celebration rules. "Anything that we know is wrong, we shouldn’t do. I think that is the key."

RELATED: THIS REDSKINS RULE PROPOSAL WOULD MAKE KICKOFFS MORE FUN

In Davis' case, he was penalized because of an odd technicality. The NFL doesn't want players using the ball as a prop — which No. 85 did on his jumper — but yet, they allow guys to spike and spin the ball without retribution. That gray area doesn't sit well with him.

"It doesn’t make sense to me at all," he said. "It should be really simple, we should know that we can’t use the ball as a prop for anything. So for them to allow spiking and not allow shooting, I just can’t fathom that."

The 33-year-old hopes that change is near, and he may get it, too, as the competition committee will reevaluate what is and isn't allowed at the upcoming league meetings. But if he and everyone else clamoring for less restrictions are rebuffed, Davis does have a workaround so that when he scores next, he won't get in trouble. 

"I shoot the shot, but without the ball," Davis said. "That’s my go-to now. As long as I don’t have the ball, I’m safe."

MORE REDSKINS: THE TEAM'S RECEIVING CORPS TOWERS OVER PAST GROUPS

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This Redskins rule proposal would make kickoffs more entertaining

This Redskins rule proposal would make kickoffs more entertaining

With his ability to limit opposing team's kickoff returners by consistently producing touchbacks, Dustin Hopkins is a solid weapon for the Redskins in the field position game. 

A rule that Washington is proposing to NFL owners at their upcoming meetings, however, suggests that the Redskins want Hopkins and other strong-legged kickers to become even more of an asset than they already are.

In addition, the rule would also breathe some much needed intrigue into kickoffs, which have been reduced to the second-best time to grab another beer behind a commercial break.

MORE REDSKINS: JEAN-FRANCOIS SIGNS WITH NFC CONTENDER

The proposal is this: If a kicker splits the uprights with his kickoff, then the other team's offense will take the field at the 20-yard line. As things stand now, any touchback — whether it's downed in the end zone, flies out of the back or sails through the middle of the goalposts — is brought out to the 25-yard marker.

A rule this funky isn't likely to pass on its first time through voting. In fact, who knows if it'll ever pass. 

But maybe, just maybe, one day it will, and guys such as Hopkins and Justin Tucker will become a bit more valuable than they are currently. So, if you're ever watching an NFL game and hear the words, "THE KICK IS GOOD!" on a kickoff, you'll know which team to thank.