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Redskins intend to let Bashaud Breeland test free agency, per source

Redskins intend to let Bashaud Breeland test free agency, per source

Bashaud Breeland might be back with the Redskins in 2018, but the cornerback will first get the chance to test free agency, per multiple sources close to the situation. 

Drafted out of Clemson in the fourth round in 2014, Breeland has mostly been a starter for the Redskins the last four seasons. At times brilliant in coverage and at times a frustration for coaches, Breeland will likely find multiple suitors in free agency.

Asked on Thursday if the Redskins had engaged in contract talks yet this season, Breeland answered simply, "No."

"I'm not even sure what's going on," Breeland explained to NBC Sports Washington. "I'm just playing ball." 

RELATED: NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE HEADING INTO WEEK 17

This year, Breeland has played in 14 of 15 games, registering 45 tackles, 16 passes defensed and one interception that he ran back for a touchdown. In an early December game against Los Angeles, Breeland was benched early, only to come back and grab a pick six late in the blowout loss. 

Breeland has started 56 games to go with eight interceptions in four seasons with the Redskins. He has talent, size and physicality, yet Washington has repeatedly made moves to supplant their cornerback group. 

In a late November press conference that might explain the Redskins' feelings about Breeland, Washington head coach Jay Gruden said that after some struggles the cornerback had, "bounced back and done some good things... I like the way he plays. I like the way he tackles. He’s a physical corner, so I think he’s in a good position to get a nice contract."

It's telling that the coach expects Breeland to "get a nice contract," but did not make it sound like that contract would come written in Burgundy and Gold. 

In 2016, the team signed Josh Norman to a five-year, $75 million deal in free agency and drafted Kendall Fuller in the third round. In 2017, the Redskins added Fabian Moreau in the third round of the draft. Quinton Dunbar, a restricted free agent in 2018 with good range that the Redskins coaching staff likes, will likely cost significantly less to keep in Washington as well. 

With that depth at corner, it's no surprise if Breeland plays on a new team in 2018.

"I'm just patiently waiting to see whether that's still with the Washington Redskins or with a new family," Breeland said. "I understand the business. There's no hard feelings. I just want to play ball." 

During his tenure with Washington, Breeland has earned about $3.3 million. His payday in free agency could be much more, though he explained during an honest locker room conversation that his next deal will be about more than cash. 

"It's not about the money, it's about the respect level," Breeland said. "Me playing, me leaving, it's about starting to become something that I wanted to be. My vision when I stepped into this league was becoming a dominant corner in this league, someone my team can depend on. I feel like that time is right around the corner."

Breeland switched agents earlier this year, though that's not uncommon for players in a contract year.

RELATED: GRUDEN SAYS COUSINS DOESN'T OWE HIM ANYTHING, BUT HE'S WRONG

For many NFL players, a second contract in the league presents the opportunity to finally choose your own path. The first deal a player gets, a rookie contract, usually comes out of the draft and with a slotted pay scale. 

"Coming into the league you don't really get the option to really pick where you want to go. Now the ball will be in my court," Breeland said. "It is exciting because this is the time you really find out who really wants you."

If those words sound familiar, it's because Redskins quarterback and possible free agent Kirk Cousins has said largely the same thing, a version of wanting to be wanted. 

For Breeland, it's just about the same.  

"If they want you, they'll make you feel wanted."

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 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

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

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:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

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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.