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Should the Redskins Punt Their Kicker?

Should the Redskins Punt Their Kicker?

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at rtandler@comcast.net

On the list of players that the Redskins will take a hard look at cutting in their efforts to trim enough salary money to get under the cap is kicker John Hall. His cap number for 2006 is $1.4 million and waiving him would save a net of $780,000. That’s not a huge amount, but three quarters of a million bucks here and there and pretty soon we’re talking about some real money.

Should the Redskins make this move and release Hall, who turns 32 on St. Patrick’s Day?

If it’s strictly a money decision, the answer is probably not. Again, his cap number is fairly significant, but it’s not like the team can go without a kicker on its roster counting something against the cap. A big-name replacement such as the Colts’ Mike Vanderjagt or the Patriots’ Adam Vinatieri would almost certainly count more against the cap than does Hall. Even a lesser veteran such as San Francisco’s Joe Nedney wouldn’t offer much in terms of savings if any at all.

The other route to replace Hall would be to get a few younger legs and let them battle it out in camp. That’s a high-risk strategy, but it’s the only one that will save any significant money.

So, do you get rid of Hall because of performance reasons? The last image of Hall for the 2005 season was him going wide left with a 36-yard field goal that would have brought the Redskins within four of the eventual NFC champion Seahawks in the fourth quarter of their divisional playoff game. That and the five games he missed with a leg injury tend to make many view him as a liability.

What those people forget is that he missed just two field goals during the regular season. To be sure, one was a potential game-winner in the fourth quarter against San Diego, but that was a 52-yard attempt, an iffy proposition for most kickers. He’s not one of these tiny guys who are afraid of contact; he wears a defender’s burgundy jersey at practice while his fellow kickers don the traditional white of offensive players. It’s part of his linebacker mentality.

So the choices are these—pay more for a “star” kicker, go into the large pool of untested kickers and hope you strike gold like the Cardinals did with Neil Rakers or stick with the flawed but known quantity in Hall.

The view here is that, barring some change in the labor agreement that creates some money for the Redskins to go after the likes of Vinatieri, the Redskins are better off sticking with Hall. He’s on a very short list of players I’d like to see attempting a 40-yarder in December to get into the playoffs and the only one that the team can reasonably afford.

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Redskins' Reed gets back to practice, may play vs. Bengals

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Redskins' Reed gets back to practice, may play vs. Bengals

After missing all of training camp on the physically unable to perform list with a toe injury, Jordan Reed has returned to practice for the Redskins. According to coach Jay Gruden, the Pro Bowl tight end participated in everything in today’s session, the first one open to the media since Reed was activated off of the PUP list on Sunday.

“I'm feeling good,” Reed said. “It felt obviously great to be back out there with my teammates and getting back to work.

Reed said that the toe was “100 percent right now,” a good sign for a Redskins’ offense that has struggled to move the ball in the preseason.

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“We’re easing him back in the offense,” said Gruden. “He did some good things in the passing game, we put him in the running game a little bit. [He] did good, he looks well.”

Gruden said that here is a chance that Reed will play in the Redskins’ preseason game against the Bengals on Sunday.

“I’d like to get him back out there and get in the running game a little bit, get involved, and catch a couple of passes,” he said.

But Gruden emphasized that Reed will not play if the training staff thinks there is a risk of re-injuring the toe.

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Reed wants to get out there and play some.

“I think it's real important just to feel some hits and live bullets at me and things like that - get my feet under me,” said. “I think it's really important.”

Quarterback Kirk Cousins said that he is happy to get one of his favorite weapons back. He noted that he had all of his top pass catchers on the field for the first time since the start of camp.

“I think just as important as having Jordan back was having our whole offense together for the first time,” said Cousins. “Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, some of the other guys who have at times take off days here and there. We haven’t had many days when the whole group was together.”

Whether the whole group is together on Sunday or not, it looks like they all will be one the field when the games start to count on September 10.

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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Scot McCloughan told Adam Schefter he cried when he left the Redskins

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Scot McCloughan told Adam Schefter he cried when he left the Redskins

ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter hosts a podcast called "Know Them From Adam." His guest on Wednesday's episode was former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan, who discussed everything from his professional plans to predictions for breakout rookies this year.

Schefter often wraps up podcast interviews by asking his guest the last time he or she cried. When he put the same question to McCloughan, he got a very sincere answer. 

"Probably when I walked out of the Redskins building," McCloughan said. He was relieved of his general manager position in March after two years in Washington.

MORE REDSKINS: McCloughan jokes about not being much help to wife's fantasy league

Elaborating, McCloughan said his tears came from a passion for his job and colleagues. 

"Just passion. A lot of good people there," he said. "A lot relationships you build with coaches, with players, ownership, secreteries, janitors. Just knowing you're leaving that and you're not coming back to it. It's just passion for the people that work so hard in the building."

McCloughan's admission that he cried leaving the Redskins comes on the heels of his decision to join Twitter. His first tweet was about how much he missed the franchise and its fans. 

Since joining the social media platform, McCloughan has fielded football questions and reiterated his affection for his time in Washington.