Redskins

Quick Links

The Redskins front office gambled at wide receiver, and it hasn't worked so far at all

The Redskins front office gambled at wide receiver, and it hasn't worked so far at all

Through six games, the results for Washington's wideouts are ugly.

No Redskins wide receiver ranks in the Top 10 in receiving yards in the NFL. 

No Redskins wide receiver ranks in the Top 20 in receiving yards in the NFL. 

No Redskins wide receiver ranks in the Top 50 in receiving yards in the NFL. 

Scroll all the way down to 91st on the receiving yards list, and the first Redskins wideout emerges: Terrelle Pryor Sr. Yes, the same guy that got benched Monday night in an ugly loss to the Eagles. 

In 2016, Washington had two 1,000-yard receivers and another that went for more than 800 yards. In 2017, however, the receiver position has been extremely unproductive for the Burgundy and Gold.

So, how did the Redskins get here? 

It began in free agency, when the organization made no effort to retain the services of DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garçon. The team could certainly use either player now.

Garçon is 10th in the NFL in receiving yards. Playing on a terrible 49ers team, Garçon has 38 catches for 483 yards (no touchdowns though). Jackson ranks 29th in the NFL with 22 catches for 360 yards and two touchdowns. 

Now, let's be clear: The Redskins could absolutely use the talents of Garçon or Jackson, but the contracts both men signed in free agency did not make sense for Washington. So while it's easy for fans to lament the loss of the wideouts, remember the team spent money to address defensive deficiencies. 

The bigger problem, though, was Washington expected to replace that production with the combination of Pryor and second-year player Josh Doctson.

It hasn't happened. At all. 

Pryor has 18 catches for 223 yards and one TD. Doctson has seven catches for 129 yards and two TDs. Pryor has all the physical tools to be a playmaker, but has not been sure-handed early in the season and is still raw at the position. Doctson could not get on the field early in the season, hampered by injuries, but seems to be in a position where Jay Gruden will give him more opportunities going forward. 

"When you have a receiver that hasn’t been playing receiver a whole lot in his career, you don’t want him bouncing around playing three positons," Gruden said of Pryor. "And Josh, very similar. He didn’t practice a whole lot last year, he’s only in his second year here so we wanted him to really learn one position."

The Washington front office thought they could rely on Pryor, a career quarterback turned wide receiver, and Doctson, a player that missed virtually his entire rookie year. 

So far, they've been wrong, and its hurt the team significantly. 

Hope isn't totally lost, as Washington has still moved the ball well. Through six games, the Burgundy and Gold rank 11th in points-per-game and 8th in yards-per-game.

Unexpectedly, Kirk Cousins has found great success going to Chris Thompson and Vernon Davis. Thompson has nearly 600 total yards from scrimmage while Davis has 15 catches for 292 yards. Even more impressive, Davis is averaging nearly 20 yards-per-reception, providing Cousins and the Redskins with a shocking but much needed downfield threat. 

The offense has worked running through Thompson and Davis, but it hasn't excelled. To do that, the Redskins must get more production from the outside, and that means either Doctson or Pryor must step up. 

It appears Doctson will have the opportunity sooner.

"It'’s just important for us to try to play the best players, the guys who give us the best chance to win. We have faith. It’s not like we’re losing faith in anybody," Gruden said. "We have faith in all our receivers to win one-on-one matchups and run the right coverage, run the right routes and all that stuff and make plays when the ball is distributed to them."

Gruden has faith. With the Cowboys coming to town, the coach has no other choice. 

<<<CLICK HERE for the #REDSKINSTALK PODCAST SURVIVOR POOL>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

RELATED: BEST AND WORST OF REDSKINS' FIRST-ROUND DRAFT HISTORY

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

Quick Links

Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

roullier-ap.png
Associated Press

Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 21, 21 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The Redskins appear to be set at center

Originally published 12/19/17

Chase Roullier might have been the Redskins’ fourth choice to play at center this year. But he could be snapping the ball for Washington for a long time.

Kory Lichtensteiger, the starter for the previous three years when healthy, retired. Veteran backup John Sullivan departed as a free agent. Spencer Long started six games this season before knee and quad problems pushed him to the sideline, elevating the rookie Roullier into the starting lineup.

The sixth-round pick started three games before breaking his right hand at some point during the game against the Saints. That’s his snapping hand and him finishing that game was an underrated act of courage this year. But he was out for three games before returning against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden was pleased with his play. 

“Chase did good. He did good,” said Gruden. “It was good to see him back in there. His snaps were outstanding and handled the calls and play well.”

That was good but standard praise. What was interesting was what he said next.  

“I like Chase’s progress right now,” he said. “I think he is going to be a very good center for a long time here. It was a great pickup for us in the draft.”

It appears that you can at least pencil in Roullier as the 2018 starter at center, if not put him in with a Sharpie.

Where would this leave Long, who is slated to be a free agent in March? The Redskins could let him walk and go with the younger and cheaper Roullier. They also could sign him to be their starting left guard. That job has belonged to Shawn Lauvao. But Lauvao also is a pending free agent and he is 30 and he has missed large chunks of two of the last three seasons with injuries. When he missed the last 13 games of the 2015 season, Long went in at left guard and played well.

If that happens, that would give the Redskins a starting offensive line consisting entirely of players drafted by the team and with only Trent Williams over the age of 27 in Week 1 of 2018.

Regardless of what happens at left guard, it looks like Roullier will be the man in the middle for 2018 and beyond.

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

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 8
—NFL Draft (4/26) 64
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 200