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Options remain at safety for the Redskins

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Options remain at safety for the Redskins

There was a run on the safety position during the first hours of NFL free agency. Unfortunately the Redskins, who are in need of two starting caliber safeties, were not participants.

They were interested in Jairus Byrd of the Bills but not for anything close to the $54 million over six years he got from the Saints. They were probably shopping more in the neighborhood of New Orleans’ Malcolm Jenkins, who signed with the Eagles (3 yr./$15.5 mil) and Mike Mitchell. The Redskins were know to be very interested in the former Panther who went to the Steelers for $25 million over five years.

In all, eight of the top nine safeties in the rankings from our corporate cousins at Rotoworld signed contracts yesterday. Only former Dolphin Chris Clemons, ranked fifth, remains unsigned.

So Clemons, who is solid in coverage but has only four interceptions in his five NFL seasons, is an option for the Redskins. So is Nate Allen, who has started 54 games in four seasons with the Eagles and after some rocky times he appeared to improving last year. Allen, coincidentally, was the player that the Eagles drafted with the second-round pick that the Redskins sent to Philly in the Donovan McNabb deal.

Some other available safeties are the Bears’ Major Wright (9 interceptions in last 3 years with 3 TD returns), Thomas DeCoud, who was released by the Falcons yesterday (Pro Bowl in 2012, struggled along with the rest of the Falcons D last year), and Kendrick Lewis of the Chiefs (50 starts, 7 interceptions in four seasons).

There also is the option of re-signing Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty, last year’s starters. That would excite nobody—in fact, it would have the opposite effect with much of the fan base—but it could plug the hole until better solutions can be found in the draft, on the roster (perhaps Phillip Thomas can develop into a starter) or in free agency in 2015.

The Redskins could also sign a cornerback (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Antonio Cromartie are two top options there) and move DeAngelo Hall to safety. But they would rather keep Hall at corner at least this year so that is a back-burner option.

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).

READ MORE: FULL UPDATE ON JORDAN REED

Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.

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Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.

Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.

In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.  

In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.

Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.

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