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Skins MUST Make Edwards Deal If. . .

Skins MUST Make Edwards Deal If. . .

It’s not all that complicated, really.

If the Redskins are 100% convinced that Braylon Edwards will be the next great receiver, the next Rice, the next Monk, the next Don Hutson, they have to make a deal to move up to draft him. Trade the two firsts, throw in Rod Gardner, Tony Stewart and Redskins One if you have to.

If they are much less than dead certain, say 98.6% certain or less, they have to pass on any trade that would involve their two first-round draft picks. This team is not one very good player away from a title.

That’s just one of the possibilities for the Redskins entering this draft, of course. Here’s one viewpoint on what might transpire.

While there’s a lot of stuff swirling around, there is one thing that can be stated with a high degree of certainty (and even this starts with an “if”): If the Redskins don’t use the #25 pick that they got from Denver earlier this week as part of the ammunition to trade up to take Edwards, they will use it as is. If they trade down out of 25 the trade value charts get all out of whack in regards to their original deal to get the pick and they don’t have the assets to move up. A corollary here is that they can’t trade up from #9 without using the #25 also. Without a second or third, again, they don’t have anything to deal with.

So that breaks down to three possibilities for the first round; use both picks to trade up to the top three and take Edwards, use both #9 and #25 as they are or trade down the #9 and use #25 as is.

We’ve dealt with the first possibility, so moving on to the second one; this seems to be the most likely of the three. They’ll try to move down but it takes two to tango and while it’s certainly possible that they’ll be able to find a partner, chances are that they won’t find a buyer who’s willing to pay an acceptable price.

Should the Skins draft at #9, the pick likely will be Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers. Barring any real stunning moves by teams drafting in front of them, he will be the best player left on their board and since he is at a position of need, that would make him a strong favorite to take the stage in New York with the Skins jersey with the number 1 on the back.

One of the possible causes of an upset here could be the presence of USC wide receiver Mike Williams on the board. He seems to be slipping on some draft boards because he’s a big receiver without a whole lot of speed. Such a receiver would give the Skins a nice balance of speed with Santana Moss and David Patten and size with Williams.

A wild card here is Maryland defensive end Shawne Merriman. He has the potential to be a disruptive pass rusher the likes the team hasn’t seen since the heyday of Mann and Manley.

A trade back that moves them back about a half a dozen slots could net them any of those three plus some picks in later rounds to replenish their depleted supply. If any or all of these players are gone, Wisconsin DE Erasmus James and Georgia DE David Pollack would come into play as could South Carolina receiver Troy Williamson. It’s also possible that West Virginia CB Pac Man Jones, long thought to be the target of the Skins’ #9, could still be there in the middle of the first round.

The further back they go, the closer that pick gets to the #25, so they would be choosing from a very similar pool of players. Oklahoma WR Mark Clayton, his Sooner teammate DE Dan Cody, Nebraska CB Fabian Washington, Notre Dame DE Justin Tuck, and Clemson CB Justin Miller.

So, what’s going to happen? The talk of moving up to take Edwards has some credence to it, but in addition to the huge gamble it would be in terms of using so many assets for one player there would be salary cap issues caused by trying to fit a contract with a $15 million or so signing bonus under a cap that has just about $2 million of room.

The chances of them keeping the #9 are about 50/50. If they do, Rogers is the pick with Williams being an outside possibility if he’s there.

There is a myriad of possibilities for a trade back, but let’s say that Kansas City at #15 wants Merriman badly enough to send the Skins a third and fifth to move up. At #15, the Redskins would take Jones if he’s there or Pollack or maybe Williamson if he’s not.

One more trade back possibility to throw in there is the Redskins trading that #9 pick in a deal that does not return a 2005 first-rounder but one next year and a second rounder this year and a nice haul of middle round picks as well. The chances of this are slim, but it has to be considered one of the reasons why they got the other first-rounder from Denver.

The pick at #25 has too many variables to focus in on with any degree of certainty, but we’ll take a stab at the pick being Fabian Washington if a corner hasn’t been drafted or UAB receiver Roddy White if one has been.

Buckle your seat belts. It’s going to be a wild ride.

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Enemy Intel: Sunday games have playoff implications galore for Redskins

Enemy Intel: Sunday games have playoff implications galore for Redskins

As the Cowboys take their long week off after consecutive Thursday games the Redskins, Giants, Eagles, and other wild card contenders are in action. Here is Tandler’s weekly Redskins-centric spin around the NFL.

—The Giants are on a six-game winning streak and while that’s not easy to do against any level of competition it needs to be pointed out that their slate was squishy-soft with the last five wins coming against teams that currently have losing records. Now things get real with a trip to play the Steelers and a home date against the Cowboys. I’m not really sure how good the Giants are but if they split these two games I’ll be more impressed with them than I am now.

—The 5-6 Eagles travel to play the Bengals, who are just about out of contention for a sixth straight playoff appearance at 3-7-1. In fact, the Eagles might be just about out of it, too. Their big problem is 3-6 conference record, which puts them behind several other wild card contenders in this tiebreaker. It’s important because that is the second tiebreaker behind head to head. It’s better for the Redskins if the Bengals win but it probably won’t matter much. The consensus in Philadelphia seems to be that the Eagles are a rebuilding team that got off to a hot start, kindling some unrealistic hopes and expectations for the rest of 2016.

—The team is the hottest pursuit of the Redskins is the Buccaneers, who travel to San Diego to play a game that starts at the same time as Washington-Arizona. The Chargers are 5-6 but they are buried in last in the tough AFC West. This game is a coin flip. Redskins fans should root for the Chargers. If the Bucs lose, the Redskins would still hold the second wild card at the end of the day even if they should lose to the Cardinals.

—The 5-6 Saints are on the fringes of the wild card picture. They host the Lions, who are leading the NFC North by a game and a half over the Vikings and two games over the Packers. It’s probably best if the Lions win, which would just about eliminate the Saints. Still, there is a scenario where the Lions go into a minor tailspin, lose the division to either the Packers or Vikings but have a good enough record to take the second wild card. So like with most games within the NFC until the dust settles some more, there is some upside and some downside no matter which team wins.

—That scenario where the Lions fade from the division lead become a whole lot less likely if the Texans can go to Green Bay and beat the Packers. This is an interconference game so it’s an easy call to pull for Houston.

—Seattle, with a three-game lead in the NFC West, hosts the Panthers, who are on the outer fringe of the wild card race at 4-7. Another loss likely would ensure that Carolina won’t be able to defend its NFC title. This isn’t a pivotal game but probably better if the Seahawks win to end it for the wounded but potentially dangerous Panthers.

—My one loss last week was the Seahawks giving 5.5 on the road to the Bucs. I won with the Saints over the Rams and the Falcons over the Cardinals. This week I’m giving the Seahawks another go, giving 7 to the Panthers, and I’m taking the Patriots -13.5 against the Rams (the loss of Gronk doesn’t do much to equalize these teams) and the Saints giving 6 to the Lions.

MORE REDSKINS: Betting on the Redskins' playoff chances

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Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 3, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No availability

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 8; Panthers @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Resetting the playoff odds

The Redskins start their stretch drive to the playoffs tomorrow. The will play five games in 29 days. After that, they will have either earned the right to keep playing or will they go home.

Let’s get out the imaginary $100 in casino chips and look at the various possibilities of the finish to the season and spread out the chips based on how likely each scenario is. As always, you are welcome to jump into the comments if you agree or disagree.

Win NFC East, $0—This might be worth a buck or two but this place doesn’t have any chips smaller than $5 and it’s not worth investing even that much in the chance of this happening. The scenario would have to be the Redskins winning out, the Cowboys losing out, and the Giants losing at least two more games. I’d put something on the first scenario and a few chips on the last one but no way is Dallas going 0-4. Keeping my chips in my pocket on this one.

Wild card as No. 5 seed, $40—To do this the Redskins would have to stay ahead of the wild card contenders behind them (see next scenario) and make up a game and a half on the Giants. They play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins would have to make up one game between now and then and they could then determine their status on January 1 at FedEx Field. The Giants go to Pittsburgh on Sunday and host Dallas a week after that so we will see how that looks in a couple of weeks. As of now, the No. 6 seed would go to Detroit for the first round of the playoffs while the No. 5 would play the Falcons in Atlanta. That, of course, is subject to change.

Wild card as No. 6 seed, $35—I think getting the five seed is slightly more likely than getting the six since I think the Giants are a mirage. But even if New York keeps it going, the Redskins can clinch a spot by running the table in their last five games. That would make them 11-4-1 and no other wild card contender could catch them. If they win four of five, only the Bucs can catch them and it would take a 5-0 finish for Tampa Bay. Winning three of five still gives them a good shot at getting in although at that point you are also opening the door for the Vikings, Saints, Packers, and Eagles to catch fire and jump ahead of them.

Out of playoffs, $25—I might be putting a little too much here but it’s the NFL and it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the Redskins could finish 2-3 and miss out altogether. Their margin for error is slim and an injury here and a bad break there could have them on the outside looking in.

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