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Redskins free agent fits: Cornerback


Redskins free agent fits: Cornerback

When free agency opens March 9, the Redskins will have some holes to fill on both side of the ball. In the coming days, Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir will examine the expected field of free agents, position-by-position, and evaluate who might be a fit in Washington. Today, we’re looking at cornerbacks.

Current situation: Bashaud Breeland took another leap forward last season and has proven himself capable of being a quality starter. After that, though, the Redskins’ depth chart at corner is riddled with question marks, such as: Can Chris Culliver return to form after another torn ACL? How much progress can wide-receiver-turned-corner Quinton Dunbar realistically make this offseason? Are 31-year-old vets Will Blackmon and Cary Williams viable options? What about untested youngsters Deshazor Everett , Jeremy Harris and Dashaun Phillips? As you can see, cornerback is a position that figures to command GM Scot McCloughan’s full attention in the coming weeks and months.

Best available: As is the case at many positions there’s no clear consensus, but Sean Smith (28, Chiefs) ranks near the top of many lists (after Josh Norman and Trumaine Johnson, both of whom got franchised). After missing the first three games due to suspension, Smith finished strong, recording 12 defended passes and a pair of interceptions to anchor Kansas City’s ninth ranked pass defense. The 6-foot-3, 215 eighth year pro carried a $7 million cap hit last season, however. And since he'll command even more next season, that probably puts him out of the Redskins’ price range given the team’s proximity to the salary cap ceiling and McCloughan’s preference to build through the draft.  

Three more options: Janoris Jenkins (27, Rams) has racked up 48 passes defended, 10 interceptions and scored five touchdowns over the past four seasons. Like Smith, he’d be an ideal player to line up on the right, across from Breeland. But, like Smith, his cost will probably prove prohibitive. Casey Hayward (26, Packers) was one of the best slot corners in the game last season and ranks second on ProFootballFocus.com’s list of free agent corners. Meantime, Prince Amukamara (26, Giants) has been a consistent performer, and he’s familiar with secondary coach Perry Fewell. But the former first round pick has also struggled with injuries, missing three or more games in four of his five seasons.

Bottom line: McCloughan recently reiterated that he doesn't expect to be a big player in free agency and won't deviate from his build-through-the-draft strategy. But there's an exception to every rule. And given the Redskins’ need for an immediate infusion of talent and experience after surrendering 30 passing touchdowns in 2015 (only eight teams allowed more), and the uncertainty behind Breeland, it wouldn’t be a surprise if McCloughan pursues an established, younger corner on the open market. How much would he be willing to spend? That's unclear. But we know this much: he'll have options. Click here for Rotorworld.com’s list of the nearly four dozen corners expected to become available on Wednesday

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

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Need to Know: First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 20, four days before the Washington Redskins play the Raiders at FedEx Field.


Today’s schedule: Practice 1:45; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins press conferences, open locker room after practice, approx. 3:30

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Chiefs (10/2) 12
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (11/23) 23
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 39

First look at Redskins vs. Raiders

—This tweet seems a bit audacious. It’s from Vic Tafur, who writes about the Raiders for the pay site The Athletic.

They are second in the NFL in offensive yards and first in points scored. Oakland is fourth in rushing yards and 13th in passing yards. QB Derek Carr is third in the NFL with a stellar 126.5 passer rating and Marshawn Lynch has a bruising 121 yards rushing. They’re good but I would reserve phrases like “doing whatever they want” for teams like the Greatest Show on Turf or the ’07 Patriots. The Raiders aren’t there yet.

—Defensively, the Raiders are just OK, especially considering they have played a Titans team that is solid but not an offensive juggernaut and the putrid Jets. They are 17th in yards given up and tied for 11th in points allowed. They haven’t intercepted a pass although they have two fumble recoveries. They have five sacks, one more than a Redskins team that talks a lot about a need to get to the quarterback. Khalil Mack has one sack and Bruce Irvin hasn't tallied one yet. But they could explode at any time and the Redskins' pass protection will need to be on point. 

—Carr and Kirk Cousins have very similar numbers in the two seasons plus two games that they both have been starters. One area where Carr has an edge is in the touchdown passes column. Carr has 65 while Cousins has just 46. The Raiders have some quality receivers in Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. But Cousins could throw to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon up until this season and Washington also has tight end Jordan Reed. It’s at least a wash in terms of quality of targets if not an advantage to the Redskins. It is something that Carr has solved that Cousins has not. Carr’s ability to get the ball into the end zone helped him become the NFL’s highest-paid player, albeit temporarily.

—Although the Raiders’ offense is not going to make history, the Redskins still need to be prepared to be in a shootout on Sunday night. To be sure, the Redskins defense has improved but it’s hard to see the Raiders scoring less than somewhere in the mid to upper twenties. That means that the Redskins will have to score at least as many points as they did against the Rams, maybe more. They started and ended well in LA; to win next Sunday they probably won’t be able to get away with zero second-half points until after the two-minute warning.

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.

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Giants TE grabs crotch, immediately introduced to NFL's celebration rules

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Giants TE grabs crotch, immediately introduced to NFL's celebration rules

It took the New York Giants a full game and another quarter before they scored their first touchdown of the 2017-18 NFL season.

Giants rookie Evan Engram was the recipient of their first touchdown of the season, scoring the first of his career on Monday Night Football.

Naturally he began to celebrate his accomplishment, but perhaps his celebration was too natural. 


In the clip, right in front of the cameraman, the 23-year-old proceeds to dance with a finishing move crotch grab in the midst of his teammates.

Apparently the loosened NFL celebration rules from this off-season did not take out any sexually suggestive actions. 

It resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kick-off for the Giants.

With the ball then kicked out of bounds the Lions had the ball at their own 45-yard line.


Likely the grab will give Engram a fine from the NFL.

Last season Antonio Brown was fined for a similar celebration, by twerking following a score.

The touchdown remains the only time New York has found the end-zone through two games.

With only 13 points it is the lowest scoring two game start in 70 years for the franchise.