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The Ins and the Outs--The Redskins Make Their Moves

The Ins and the Outs--The Redskins Make Their Moves

The Ins and the Outs—The Redskins Make Their Moves

Part One: A look at those who didn’t make it.

You can reach me by email at rtandler@comcast.net

During training camp and the preseason games, I never paid much attention to Robert McCune. The Redskins’ fifth-round draft pick was a great story, as he served in the military and was coming in as a 26-year-old rookie, and my assumption was that he would make the squad and contribute on special teams. While taking my final look at the roster, though, I tried to think of anything that McCune had actually done. Had he made a good hit in practice, had he fought through a blocker to make a stop, had he been anywhere in the vicinity of a pass receiver? No, no, and no. Apparently, to make this team you have to do something, not just look good not doing it. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the field for at some point this season; he’ll be signed to the practice squad if nobody else is interested in him.

I’ll save most of the discussion of the decision on the punters for the part on who did make it, but I’ve got to say that I didn’t like Chris Mohr from the moment he hit town. He made that comment about being here because he didn’t want to have to compete for a job. He sounded like he’d just signed a guaranteed long-term deal or something. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Chris.

On the other hand, I was rooting for Kevin Dyson from get-go. He was both a good story and a good guy to talk to. Apparently, however, he was out of football last year for a reason. In camp, he started off slowly but he appeared to be shaking off the rust after a week or so. After that, he didn’t show much, however, and apparently the Redskins didn’t think that they needed a “big” receiver badly enough to keep the Music City Miracle man around.

Again, more on this when talking about those who made it, but Garnell Wilds and Rufus Brown were a pair of cornerbacks who didn’t really improve all that much from their rookie years to their second seasons. Granted, both had very little playing time last year but they had the entire offseason to get better at playing cornerback and/or special teams and neither of them did either.

He’s not talked about as a veteran who has been cut, but Brandon Barnes played in 12 games for the Redskins last season, mostly on special teams. The return to health of LaVar Arrington and others pushed him out the door.

On the other defensive players cut: Ron Warner was pushed out by the return to health of Phillip Daniels. Siddeeq Shabazz (nothing personal, but I’m glad I don’t have to try to type out that name on a regular basis) and Eric Joyce never had a chance. Aki Jones should be a practice squad addition, a great destination for a rookie free agent out of Fordham.

On the other side of the ball, tight end Robert Johnson has great size and speed, but at this point he can’t put the two together to become a productive player. Jimmy Farris’ two TD receptions against Baltimore were too little, too late for his chances. Jon Alston and Tyler Lenda were up against very stiff veteran competition. Mark Wilson, a 2004 draft pick, impressed to coaches just enough to appear in two games last year and didn’t impress them enough for him to make it this year. Rich Parson may have a shot as a returner somewhere down the road, but Jamin Elliott may be at the end of the road.

Tomorrow—The “Ins”, the ones who made it

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Trent Williams promises that the best has yet to come from him

Trent Williams promises that the best has yet to come from him

If you took 100 random NFL fans and asked them to name the best player in the league, there's a very strong chance none of the 100 would say Trent Williams, the Redskins left tackle who clears paths like a snowplow. But according to an in-depth ranking system published a few weeks ago from Bleacher Report, Williams is in fact the correct answer.

The system, called NFL1000, is supposed to "bring exposure" to players who aren't as appreciated as they should be, and in the eyes of the analysts who built the rankings, no one should be appreciated more than Williams, who beat out Tyron Smith and Aaron Rodgers for the top spot. But that's still not the peak of his performance, the lineman says.

No. 71 apparently just got a hold of the NFL1000 list, and in a Wednesday Instagram post that featured it, he said his "best is yet to be seen." Sorry, opposing pass rushers.

In addition to that accolade from Bleacher Report, Pro Football Focus chose Williams as their highest-rated offensive lineman, and the Professional Football Writers of America assigned him to their All-NFC team. It wasn't a perfect year for the Pro Bowler, however, as he was suspended for four games during a critical stretch in the season's second half (the Redskins were 2-2 without him).

Nevertheless, because an offensive lineman is often doing his job best when you aren't hearing his name called, it can be easy to take someone like Williams for granted. These types of awards, though, show the 28-year-old's value — value that he says will continue to climb in 2017. 

MORE REDSKINS: SETTING THE ODDS ON WHAT THE 'SKINS WILL DO WITH COUSINS

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Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 19, 98 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 42
NFL free agency starts 50
First Sunday of 2017 season 235

The coordinator search and more

As noted above, we have 42 days until the deadline for the Redskins to put the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The immediate future of the franchise is contingent this situation being handled correctly by the organization. It’s time to turn the attention and the $100 in imaginary casino chips towards what might happen with Cousins as the process unfold. We will revisit this from time to time as the various deadlines approach so consider this the early odds.

Sign before the tag deadline, $5—This seems unlikely after his rather cold response to my question immediately following the season-ending loss to the Giants when he said, “The ball’s not in my court.” He indicated that it’s up to the Redskins to tag him. It doesn’t look like he and his agent will have much of an inclination to sit down to any serious negotiations before that happens.

Let him go into free agency, $5—Yes, I know that this is out there but it makes no sense to take the chance of the possibility that he could walk with zero compensation. While there might be some logic in finding out what Cousins would be worth in a true free market in order to establish the basis for a fair contract the risk of behind left empty-handed is just too great.

Tag and trade, $20—This also has been discussed by various media types as a possibility. It would involve giving Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would let him go out and negotiate a deal with another team. The Redskins could then match that offer or choose to get compensation. The CBA calls for compensation of two first-round picks although the two teams may negotiate something less. The most frequently suggested trade partner is the 49ers and their soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan but there are probably around half a dozen teams, maybe more, who could be interested. If the Redskins don’t think they will ever sign Cousins long term this could be the way to go.

Tag and sign by July 15 deadline, $30—This may be a little low for this possibility. Perhaps if the other options are off the table he will consider that he is a perfect match for Jay Gruden’s offense and that he might not be such a good fit elsewhere. There also is the possibility of injury or, for whatever reason, Cousins having a subpar season. Those thoughts could spur him to instruct his agent to get the best deal he can get in Washington.

Tag and play the season on the tag, $40—Right now, this appears to be the mostly likely scenario. They can afford the $24 million cap hit and it would get them one more year of his services. However, the prospects for him remaining in a Redskins uniform for 2018 and beyond would be very cloudy.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.