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NTK: The Redskins week that was—Stadium drawings achieve intended effect

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NTK: The Redskins week that was—Stadium drawings achieve intended effect

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 19, 40 days before the NFL Draft.

The Redskins week that was

With the bulk of the Redskins’ free agency action consisting of re-signing their own players, readers were interested in a diverse variety of topics including, of course, quarterbacks.

Report: Another team on the West Coast targeting RG3—I’ll save you a click here—the West Coast team was the Los Angeles Rams. The bigger point here is that we’re coming up on two weeks since Griffin was let go and he has had very limited interest. His one visit, which was to the Jets, was more for show than anything else. The team wanted to send a message to Ryan Fitzpatrick that they were exploring alternatives and Griffin’s camp wanted to generate some buzz and make it look like there was some interest in the player. It didn’t seem to work on either count and Fitzpatrick remains unsigned and Griffin has had no other visits. There is still plenty of time for him to get a job but his continued presence on the market in a league with a severe shortage of qualified quarterbacks is telling.

McCoy's pay now fits his role—Colt McCoy was going to be the third-string quarterback when he signed each of his first two one-year contracts with the Redskins. But in 2014 he ended up starting over Griffin and Kirk Cousins when both of them were healthy and last year the deck was shuffled with Cousins becoming the starter and Griffin going to third string. This year McCoy will be Cousins’ backup and his contract reflects that. He got multiple years, a signing bonus, and a pretty good salary for a guy the team hopes never has to take a snap.

Fan questions—When will Redskins TE Jordan Reed get a new contract?—Reed led the Redskins in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, a pretty good feat for a tight end. He’s entering the final year of his rookie contract and he’s slated to make $1.6 million. Reed has not indicated any unhappiness with his deal, even though the Eagles’ Zach Ertz, drafted the same year that Reed was and who is a notch below Reed in terms of production, has already been extended to the tune of $42 million over five years with $13.2 million fully guaranteed at signing. It’s doubtful that Reed will get disgruntled, whether a deal gets hammered out before the start of the season or not. His payday will come.

Do the Redskins have any players they could trade?—After the Eagles traded away three players and got more favorable draft position in return I thought I’d look at players the Redskins might be able to deal away. The answer was that it’s pretty slim pickings.

'A more lively destination:' Next rendering of Skins' stadium is pretty wild—Yes, we’ve spent all week making fun of the Redskins’ futuristic stadium design with the jokes centered on the moat that surrounds the building. I’ve gotten a kick out of people seriously analyzing the utility of the water around the stadium and pointing out how the bridges would serve as choke points for the exiting crowd. Lighten up, folks. It’s a concept design, not a blueprint. Whatever the new place ends up looking like, the concept design generated buzz, which was one of the purposes of putting out the drawings some 10 years before the place will open. The world now knows the Redskins are planning a new stadium and it’s going to be something out of the ordinary. Mission accomplished.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 69 days ago. It will be about 176 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 30; 2016 NFL draft 40; Redskins training camp starts 131

In case you missed it

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Redskins Playbook: Niles Paul forcing a fourth tight end roster spot?

Redskins Playbook: Niles Paul forcing a fourth tight end roster spot?

Redskins coaches appreciate Niles Paul. Not just for the immense physical skills, a 6-foot-1, 225 lb. college receiver turned NFL tight end and fullback. He works hard every day at practice, and demands the same from his teammates. 

Last season, Paul landed on the injured reserve after an injury in London during a Week 8 tie against the Bengals. Because of that, some speculation emerged that Paul could be the odd man out in the Redskins tight end group, behind Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis and fighting with 2017 draft pick Jeremy Sprinkle, not to mention veteran Derek Carrier. 

RELATED: COULD REDSKINS MAKE RUN AT NICK MANGOLD?

After two preseason games, it's clear Paul is ready to fight for that spot. Against Green Bay on Saturday night, Paul logged a touchdown catch and a fumble recovery on special teams, showing the versatility that makes him so valuable to Washington. 

For Paul, he's just happy to be back on the field. 

"I got my season cut in half last year. I just want to be back on the field by any means necessary. I've just been missing it. I've been missing football in my life," Paul said after the game (full video above).

Paul's acrobatic TD grab showed that he still has the explosiveness to help the offense, but his special teams play is what will keep him on the roster. It also helps that head coach Jay Gruden complimented Paul for an outstanding camp and work ethic. 

"His speed looks where it was before the injuries. I mean, I think he's had an outstanding training camp so far. He's done so many different things. And that's one of the toughest positions," Gruden said of Paul. 

The Redskins offense hasn't hit full cylinder yet, but Paul thinks the return of Jordan Reed will help. 

"We're missing a major piece and that's Jordan Reed," he said. "We got some fine tuning to do."

Considering Reed's injury history, and backup tight end Vernon Davis starting the season at 33, a healthy Paul is a luxury for the Redskins. He stands to make nearly $2.5 million this season, but he also brings versatility. Paul is happy to play fullback, a role that seems to be growing, as well as all over the field on special teams. 

Washington will absolutely keep Reed and Davis. With his play this preseason, Paul seems a sure thing too. And if the squad wants to keep their draft pick in Sprinkle, who has tremendous size and has shown promise, four tight ends on the 53-man roster looks like the future. 

<<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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With Spencer Long on the shelf, could Redskins make a run at Nick Mangold?

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USA Today Sports

With Spencer Long on the shelf, could Redskins make a run at Nick Mangold?

News broke late Monday night that Redskins' center Spencer Long underwent a minor knee scope and is expected to miss two weeks. That timetable spells good news for Washington, as that would bring Long back to the team before the first regular season game against the Eagles on September 10th. 

In the meantime, expect rookie Chase Roullier to take over at center for the Redskins. A 6th round draft pick, Bruce Allen and the Washington brass moved up to select Roullier, and the young player out of Wyoming had a strong training camp. 

RELATED: NILES PAUL FORCING HIS WAY TO A ROSTER SPOT?

"He’s done a great job, he really has. For a rookie to come in here and handle all the things he has to handle, it’s been very impressive," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Roullier in early August. 

Still, Jay Gruden has been very clear about the need for a backup center on the roster. Last season the team brought in veteran John Sullivan during the year to provide depth at the position after Kory Lichtensteiger went down with injury.  Sullivan ended up starting one game for Washington, and is now playing with the Rams. 

With Long on the mend, the only other center on the Redskins roster is Roullier. Ronald Patrick is listed with the more generic OL designation though he has played center too.

It seems likely the team will move quickly to add another center, and one name that will get suggested is Nick Mangold. An 11-year veteran that played his entire career with the Jets, Mangold has more experience than Long, Roullier and Patrick combined.

He's also played the position at a very high level. Twice named to the NFL's All Pro team, Mangold has made seven Pro Bowls, most recently in 2015.

It's not entirely clear why Mangold isn't on an NFL roster already. He worked out for the Ravens this offseason, though some reports suggested Mangold wanted more guaranteed money than was discussed. 

A quick look at his Twitter feed does not suggest a guy missing the NFL life. A big soccer fan, Mangold seems very dialed in to London's Tottenham Hotspur and the New York City Football Club. (Check his Twitter out here)

If the team truly believes Long should not miss any regular season action, Mangold is probably not a fit. At 33-years-old with an impressive resume, Mangold likely doesn't want to come back just to be a backup, and Gruden has repeatedly talked about Long's ability and potential in the middle of the line. Should Long suffer a setback, the equation could change. 

Other names are likely to pop up for tryouts, as the 'Skins must consider more interior line depth. Making a run at Mangold might be something fans want to do, though it might not make sense at this point.

<<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!