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The 53: Who will back up at inside LB?


The 53: Who will back up at inside LB?

The news that inside linebacker Jonathan Goff has been waivedinjured after tearing the same ACL that he tore a year ago means that the depth chart at that position needs to be reexamined.Here is how I had the depth chart at inside linebacker shaking out before training camp started.Starters: London Fletcher, Perry Riley
Reserves: Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan Robinson, Jonathan Goff
Out: Donnell HoltIt seems unlikely that Holt will be able to take the opening created by Goffs departure. The rookie free agent out of Cal will get a look but he will be doing well if he makes the practice squad.Goffs role was likely to be similar to the one that Keyaron Fox filled last year. Fox was a veteran who played 51 snaps on defense and a lot of special teams.If things go according to plan, Fletcher and Riley are likely to play nearly every snap. Fletcher missed just 26 snaps all season while Riley was out for 23 defensive plays in his eight starts.But if things dont go according to plan, Goff, who started 20 games at middle linebacker for the Giants in 2009-2010, would have been a solid backup. Instead they are left with Alexander, who is moving over from outside linebacker, and the rookie Robinson.Could they go outside to get experienced help? According to Adam Caplan the top available free agent at inside linebacker is ex-Colt Gary Brackett. The 32-year-old missed all but one game last year with a torn rotator cuff and at 5-11, 235 he might be a bit too small for the inside linebacker spot. But hes an inch taller and only about 10 pounds lighter than Fletcher so maybe could fill the bill there.Ex-Viking and Maryland Terp E. J. Henderson, who is 31 and has started 107 NFL games including 32 the past two seasons, is also on the market. He is generally considered to be a liability in coverage so he is limited to being a two-down run stuffer. That doesnt quite fit the Redskins vision of a three-down inside linebacker but there arent many of those walking the street this time of year. His asking price was high earlier in the offseason but there are reports that it has come down.Other options include Reggie Torbor (age 31, 28 NFL starts) and former Charger Stephen Cooper (33, 63 starts).Another option is for the Redskins to alter their plan for Robinson. He probably was going to have what amounted to a redshirt year in 2012, playing sparingly on defense while he learned and prepared to be Fletchers eventual successor. They may not have that luxury now and Robinson could get forced into taking meaningful spas before hes fully ready to do so playing the most complex position on the defense.Despite Alexander's relative inexperience on the inside, he could step up and play a bigger role than may have been planned as well.If they do that, they could use Goffs roster spot for an extra safety or perhaps to keep another running back.

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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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Scandrick, Hankins both visiting with Redskins soon


Scandrick, Hankins both visiting with Redskins soon

The Redskins will be taking visits from two former NFC East foes in the next few days.

Former Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick will visit Redskins Park on Monday. Scandrick, 31, has been with Dallas since them made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. He has eight career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

The Cowboys released Scandrick on Friday in a salary cap move. The Redskins would be attracted to Scandrick’s versatility. He can play either side at corner and, of particular interest to the Redskins, in the slot. That is a position of concern for Washington since they traded Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs as part of the deal for quarterback Alex Smith.

The Redskins have been trying to get former Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to sign for the past several days, but they can’t come together on money. Scandrick could be a fallback if they need one.

The other visitor will be former Giants defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins, per John Keim of ESPN. Hankins, 25, was a second-round draft pick and played his first four years in New York. Last year he moved on to the Colts as a free agent. They are changing their defense and decided to release Hankins after paying him $10 million last year.

Hankins could bolster a defensive line that still needs young talent. It’s not known if he would be considered a nose tackle in the Redskins’ scheme. The Giants ran a 4-3 defense and in the Colts’ 3-4 he was used as an end.

The Redskins had former Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in for a visit earlier this week, but he decided to sign with the Packers.


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.