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Need to Know: Examining Redskins with uncertain futures on the offensive line

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Need to Know: Examining Redskins with uncertain futures on the offensive line

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 26, 16 days before NFL free agency starts.

Up in the air—Offensive line

As free agency approaches, some players are locked in for 2018. We’re going to look at some others who have little certainty about where they will be playing when the coming season starts.

Ty Nsekhe

The swing tackle is slated to be a restricted free agent and his status has flown under the radar. If he doesn’t agree to an extension before free agency, the team will have to tender him at a level that would get them draft pick compensation if he leaves. That’s simple enough. The tough decision would be what level tender to extend to their backup tackle.

The low-level tender will come in at around $1.9 million. That would give the Redskins the right to match an offer sheet for Nsekhe. The money sounds about right for a backup tackle. But suppose a team sees Nsekhe as their starter at right tackle and offers him, say, two years at $5 million per with a good chunk guaranteed? Could the Redskins afford to match that for their backup?

Maybe they could try to get a draft pick if they choose not to match whatever Nsekhe might get offered. The lowest level to get draft-pick compensation is the second-round tender, which will cost about $2.9 million. That likely would make potential suitors steer clear but it’s pretty expensive for a reserve.

The best move for the Redskins would be to sign Nsekhe to an extension before they need to put a tag on him. A deal with some guaranteed money—the RFA tenders are not guaranteed—might get it done. But if Nsekhe, who turns 33 in October and may want to squeeze out some more money and a chance to start before he’s done, could look elsewhere.  

Spencer Long

This organization has been trending towards trying to keep its own draft picks in recent years. A big exception, of course, is the QB they drafted in 2012. Another exception appears to be Long, their third-round pick in 2014.

The word is that they will let Long, who started 13 games at left guard in 2015 and 18 games at center in 2016-2017, find a new home in free agency. There didn’t seem to be much dissatisfaction with his performance. Long wasn’t a candidate for the Pro Bowl or anything but his level of play was adequate.

It should be noted, however, that the only year that Long went into a season as the starter was last year. In 2015 he replaced the injured Shawn Lauvao and he again started the next year on the bench before center Kory Lichtensteiger was injured. He was the starting center throughout the 2017 offseason program and into the regular season until knee and quad injuries sent him to injured reserve.

The main concern might be how much it will cost to keep Long in Washington. They already are paying premium salaries to tackles Trent Williams and Morgan Moses. Brandon Scherff will soon be one of the top-paid guards in the league. The hot interior linemen on the free agency market will make in excess of $10 million per year. Long won’t be as coveted as Andrew Norwell and Josh Kline but his market may be strong enough to warrant something approaching $8 million per year. That’s enough to leave the Redskins in something of a cap bind along the O-line (especially if they have to pay Nsekhe more than they'd like to) and perhaps that is why they may look to the draft or a cheaper free agent to fill the left guard spot.

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.


Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 3
—NFL Draft (4/26) 59
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 195

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

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.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.