Quick Links

Need to Know: Will the Redskins use the franchise tag?

Need to Know: Will the Redskins use the franchise tag?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 14, four days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL assemble in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.

Question of the day

We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

We’re going to do something a little different today. If it works, I might do it every Saturday. Every week I get some good questions that just don’t demand a big enough answer to fill up a whole post. This morning I’m going to clean out my inbox, in a manner of speaking, and rapid-fire answer some questions that require shorter answers.

Here we go.

I see virtually no chance of that happening. It would cost $13.75 million to tag Brian Orakpo and that is not happening. Are they going to pay Niles Paul, Roy Helu, or Jarvis Jenkins the average of the top five highest-paid players at their positions and guarantee that money the moment they sign their deals? No. Teams can tag players starting Monday but don't look for the Redskins to do it.

If you release a player prior to June 1, all of the prorated signing bonus that is left on his contract will be charged to that season's salary cap. If you cut him after June 1, the remaining money is split between the current season and the following season. So you lessen the cap impact of the move in the current season but you pay off the balance the following year.

https://twitter.com/skinz4life1975/status/557966213805252608

At this point, it's very tough to name names. I did venture at one possibility here yesterday when I looked at Utah CB Eric Rowe. Whether or not it's Rowe, a cornerback to develop is a good possibility since there are only a few that have the size that Scot McCloughan likes in the earlier rounds. I'd say look for a wide receiver (a tall one like Tony Lippett of Michigan state) and an offensive lineman (a heavy one like Rob Havenstein of Wisconsin). I'll be at the NFL Combine next week, follow along here, on my Twitter account (@Rich_TandlerCSN), the Real Redskins Facebook page, and my Instagram account (RichTandler).

It's no secret that McCloughan prefers bigger football players just about everywhere, including at wide receiver. Jackson, who is listed at 5-10 but probably not that tall, probably would not have been drafted by McCloughan or signed by him as a free agent. But that doesn't mean that Jackson is going to get run out of town immediately. McCloughan knows that he can't build the team the way he wants to in one offseason. It's like that Jackson will at least play out his contract, which has two years left to run.

Timeline

—It’s been 48 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 211 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 24; Redskins offseason workouts start 65; 2015 NFL Draft 75

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Like Real Redskins on Facebook!

Follow Real Redskins on Instagram @RichTandler

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Redskins Playbook: After worst to first in 2016, how strong will NFC East be?

Redskins Playbook: After worst to first in 2016, how strong will NFC East be?

When the Redskins won the NFC East in 2015 with a 9-7 record, most critics dismissed the division as weak. That theory was largely proved right when the Redskins got stomped at home in the first round of the playoffs by the Wild Card Green Bay Packers.

In 2016, however, the NFC East largely looked like the best division in football, or at least among the best divisions. Dallas won 13 games and took the NFC East title, the Giants won 11 and took the NFC's top Wild Card spot. The Redskins had a chance to make the playoffs in Week 17, but unceremoniously lost and fell short.

Still, Washington won eight games and Philadelphia won seven. In fact, the NFC East was the only division in the NFL without a team that lost 10 or more games. The AFC West - a division that some would argue was tougher than the NFC East - still had the Chargers and their 5-11 record.

What does it mean for 2017? If anything the only team expected to regress would be the Cowboys, and their regression could easily still have them looking to win around 10 games. 

The Eagles have improved with young, star QB Carson Wentz. New York will be interesting, as they have some age at various spots on their roster but still feature a two-time Super Bowl winning QB in Eli Manning and one of the best defenses in the NFL.

As for Washington? The defense should be much improved. It almost has to be as the 2016 version struggled significantly. If the defense can just be average (and I'd argue it could push for Top 15) the offense should continue to move the ball well. Producing in the red zone needs to look different than last season too.

The NFC East looks like a beast yet again. It would be no surprise if both NFC Wild Cards come from the division.

Let us know what you think in the comments. 

Always something on social:

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Quick Links

Need to Know:Redskins faced one of the toughest schedules in NFL in 2016

Need to Know:Redskins faced one of the toughest schedules in NFL in 2016

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 28, 16 days before the Washington Redskins start their mandatory minicamp on June 13.

Timeline

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/27) 60
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 74
—Season opener Eagles @ Redskins (9/10) 105

Note: I am on vacation this week in the Outer Banks. Need to Know will be a mix of new content and some of the most popular posts of 2017.

Redskins faced one of NFL’s toughest slates in 2016

(originally posted January 28)

As the Redskins came off their 2015 playoff season and looked towards 2016, one thing jumped out. Even before any games were played it looked like their path to a repeat playoff appearance would be difficult, more so than it was when they went 9-7 and took the NFC East title.

The 2015 schedule looked fairly easy when applying the eyeball test. They played just two games against teams that made the playoffs and those teams, the Patriots and Panthers, plus the Jets were the only teams they faced that finished the season with winning records.

The eyeball test was borne out by the numbers. According to the stat gurus at Football Outsiders the Redskins faced the 28th toughest schedule in terms of the DVOA of opposing defenses and the opposing offenses added up to the 24th most difficult.

The going was considerably tougher in 2016. The Redskins played seven games against teams that were in the playoff field. The defenses they faced stacked up as the toughest group of any NFL team. They played nine games against teams that finished in the top 11 in defensive DVOA. The offenses they faced were a little better than average, ranking 13th as a group.

While the Redskins’ season was widely regarded as a disappointment, it would be reasonable to say that given vastly improved quality of the competition that they did well in only having their record drop by half a game.

Of course, the goal is to be good enough to prosper and make the playoffs no matter what mix of teams the luck of the draw happens to put on the schedule. They will need to get there in a hurry. Awaiting the Redskins on their 2017 schedule are seven 2016 playoff teams plus one more that finished the year with a winning record.

The fortunes of NFL teams can’t always be predicted in advance, especially more than seven months before the season kicks off. But it’s safe to say that the 2017 slate will be challenging. If they are going to improve their record they are going to have to improve their level of play dramatically.

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.