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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 RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

Redskins RB Thompson still nervous for impending cut down day

You would think that after spending two years as the team’s third-down back, playing more snaps than any other running back last season, and getting a second-round restricted free agent tender that will pay him $2.7 million this year, Chris Thompson might feel comfortable as the Redskins start up the final phase of their preseason program.

But Thompson says that he is as nervous about making the team as he was when he was a fifth-round in 2013.

“Even after the last preseason game when you guys talk to me I’m going to still be nervous when that time comes around because I never forget that feeling,” he told reporters on Monday prior to the Redskins charity golf tournament at Army-Navy Country Club.

“For me, I’ve just got to come out here and work every day to try to secure my job.”

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

The approach has worked for him in the past. He struggled with injuries his first two years in the league, playing a total of just six games. In 2015 he found his niche as the third-down back and he hasn’t given it up.

In fact, he may get more opportunities on first and second downs.

“I have a feeling that I might get a little more this year,” he said. “He [coach Jay Gruden] knows that I’m healthy and I can stay healthy. I think that was one of his biggest concerns, that I can handle the load. I think I’ll get a lot more opportunities.”

Rob Kelley is expected to be the starter and fourth-round pick Samaje Perine should get a significant number of carries. If Gruden plans on Thompson getting more work on the ground, that likely means that the Redskins anticipate running the ball more ofent than they did in 2016, when they were 27th in the NFL with 379 rushing attempts.

Health is key for Thompson. He not only played in all 16 games for the first time in his career last year, he came out of the season in good health. Not having the need to rehab is allowing Thompson to work on refining his game.

“[Being healthy] helps me to get away and focus on the little things that I need to work on,” he said. “Having a full offseason, being able to get away, I’ve been able to focus on those things. Just like my quickness, my route running. I know my route running is big for me to make it in this league so I work on that. . . that was my main goal.”

Thompson’s work ethic and his mindset where he takes nothing for granted have served him well. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if he continues to produce he will be setting himself up for a nice payday. 

RELATED: OFFSEASON NFL POWER RANKINGS

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RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

RB Matt Jones reportedly not part of Redskins' 2017 plans

Matt Jones entered the 2016 season as the Redskins undisputed starter at running back.

That lasted seven games.

By Week 8, Jones landed on the inactive list, and he never took another snap all year.

With OTAs beginning for the 2017 season, it looks like Jones might not play with the team. 

NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT?

In April at the NFL Draft, reports surfaced that Washington was trying to trade Jones.

Weeks before that, at the NFL Owner's Meetings in Arizona, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden had to be reminded that Jones was still on the roster as the coach talked about the running back situation for this fall.

Robert Kelley surpassed Jones as the top running back on the team last season with Chris Thompson secure in his third down back role. 

Mack Brown even moved past Jones on the depth chart. When the Redskins drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round, that signaled even bigger trouble for Jones' roster situation.

The Redskins will likely only keep four running backs this fall, and with Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Brown, it sure seems like Jones is the odd man out.

It's remarkable considering Jones has size, speed and an NFL resume that has three 100-yard games on it in just 20 games. The Redskins spent a third-round pick on Jones in 2015, and he largely ousted fan favorite Alfred Morris from the RB1 role as a rookie. 

Life comes at you quick in the NFL.

Jones is a clear example of that. 

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