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Jamison Crowder open to contract extension with Redskins, per source

Jamison Crowder open to contract extension with Redskins, per source

Heading into 2018 in the final year of his rookie contract, Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder would be open to a contract extension this offseason, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Crowder "likes it" playing in Washington and feels very comfortable with his role in head coach Jay Gruden's offense, per the source. 

In three years with the Redskins, Crowder has averaged about 750 receiving yards and four touchdowns per season. His best year came in 2016, when he grabbed 67 passes for 847 yards and seven touchdowns.

Expectations were high for Crowder coming into the 2017 season, and while he had a fine season, the year was not a big success. He ended 2017 with 66 catches for 789 yards and three touchdowns. All three marks were lower than 2016.

There are reasons for the statistical dip.

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Crowder played much of the year injured, dealing with hamstring and hip injuries that dated all the way back to training camp. Further, Crowder saw much more attention from opposing defenses in 2017 than he had in 2016 or 2015. 

"I think he was dealing with something early in the season. I think he had some soft tissue injuries here and there that may have slowed him down a little bit, but I think towards the end of the year he started feeling a lot better," Gruden said. "Probably didn’t get the production we all anticipated we would get and I think a lot of that has trickle-down effect with some of the players that we lost not only at receiver, tight end and running back but also at offensive line from time to time."

Much of that difference came from playing with Josh Doctson and Terrelle Pryor instead of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. Crowder plays the slot receiver position, on the inside of offensive sets, and certainly benefits when there is more production coming from players on the outside. 

Still, Crowder finished 2017 as the Redskins leading receiver.

"I don’t have any concern," Gruden said of Crowder going forward.

In the past, Washington has moved to extend some standout players' contracts before they reach free agency. Typically, these players are drafted and developed by the Redskins. 

Last season, Chris Thompson and Morgan Moses were the latest Redskins players to get contract extensions from the club, and in the recent past, players like Jordan Reed, Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams all fit that bill. 

A fourth-round pick in 2015, Crowder would be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season. That could mean the chance at a big payday, especially if he's able to break through the 1,000 yard mark next season. 

For Crowder, however, there could also be value in a contract extension. The 5-foot-8 wideout from Duke has never made more than $1 million per season, and in 2018 will make about $850,000.

While that's good money in the real world, in the NFL, it's peanuts for a productive receiver. 

Last season, Pryor made $6 million and had just 20 catches for 240 yards. Doctson, playing on a first-round rookie deal, made $2.2 million and had 35 catches for 502 yards. 

An extension for Crowder would very likely come with a healthy pay raise, and while he wouldn't get to pursue free agency in 2019, he would have long-term financial security on a team he likes. 

For the Redskins, an extension could provide roster clarity and keep the cost down for a player of Crowder's talent. As it stands now, the Redskins only have Crowder, Doctson and seldom used Robert Davis and Maurice Harris under contract. Barring a collapse in 2018, Crowder's price would be much higher on the open free agent market than it would this offseason with an extension. 

While the slowdown in receiving production can be explained, his output as a punt returner draws more confusion. After two solid seasons returning punts, Crowder struggled in that area in 2017. Asked about punt returns for next season, Gruden allowed that changes could be coming. 

"He had a couple dropped, muffed punts and he had a couple fumbles and that’s something that we cannot have," the coach said. "We need to create big plays. We didn’t get it done this year. I’m not blaming Jamison. Maybe we have got to block better for him, give him better looks, but [it’s] something we have to address."

Still, Crowder's contractual value comes from his skill as a slot receiver, not a punt returner. Should he lose that gig in 2018, it will not have much impact on his free agent market the following season. 

The Redskins front office has done a good job of identifying "core Redskins" players they want to keep, and locking those players up before they get to free agency. If Jamison Crowder is one of those players, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest he should be, the young wideout might be next in line for an extension. 

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

It may be the 18th of March but today could be like Christmas for five Redskins players.

The Redskins decided to use today, four days after the start of the league year, for some contract triggers. In this case, the triggers are all 2018 salary guarantees (some teams will pay out roster bonuses on trigger dates, but the Redskins rarely use that type of structure).

Here are the players whose have guarantees that kick in today 4 p.m. All data is via Over the Cap.


CB Josh Norman, base salary of $13.5 million becomes fully guaranteed—This was a window for the Redskins to move on from Norman if they were not happy with his performance after two seasons. He is 31 and he had no interceptions last season, leaving some to wonder if the Redskins might think about releasing him. But it never was a consideration.

TE Jordan Reed, $8 million of his $8.25 million salary becomes fully guaranteed—No, I’m not sure why they are leaving that $250,000 out there non-guaranteed. Fans thought that the Redskins might move on from Reed due to his injury issues. But, as with Norman, it never was a consideration.

S D.J. Swearinger, $3 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—This is a mere technicality, Swearinger wasn’t going anywhere after helping to solidify the safety position.


RB Chris Thompson, $1.996 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—His rehab is going well and after last year Thompson’s two-year, $7 million contract extension signed last September looks like a good deal for the team.

DE Terrell McClain, $3.25 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—If the Redskins sign a top free agent D-lineman or draft on early in the draft they could be in a numbers crunch. That new acquisition would be guaranteed a roster spot along with Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, and Anthony Lanier. That makes five and the Redskins kept six last year. Ziggy Hood is a favorite of the coaching staff but he has no guaranteed money left on his contract. That could tip the sixth spot in favor of McClain if he is on the roster at the close of business today. If they release McClain after today, they would take a cap charge of over $2 million. It seems unlikely that anything will happen but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 18, 39 days before the NFL draft.  

Looking at next year’s free agents

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens.

Note: I’m not including Brandon Scherff here because the team has a fifth-year option on him that they surely will activate before the May 2 deadline.

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard).

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility.

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon.

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup.

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight.

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Regarding the reported visit of defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins with the Redskins:


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 29
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 131
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 175

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