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Advice from DeSean Jackson helped Ryan Grant have a breakthrough

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Advice from DeSean Jackson helped Ryan Grant have a breakthrough

Before Sunday, Ryan Grant had a difficult last couple of weeks.

First, there was his slip in Atlanta on Oct. 11, where the wide receiver's loss of footing was a big reason why the Redskins lost the game. Then, there was his quiet afternoon on Oct. 18 in New York, where the second-year pass catcher hauled in just two passes for 22 yards as he continued to have trouble filling in for the injured DeSean Jackson.

But against Tampa Bay, Grant was a difference maker on the outside. And he said the guy he's playing in place of was vital to his success.

"He tells me to stay in it," Grant said of Jackson, who was seen talking to #14 on the sidelines throughout the Redskins' 31-30 victory over the Bucs. "Being a wideout, it gets frustrating sometimes when you don't get the ball as much as you want it. But that's my big brother. He just tells me to stay in it and stay focused and it's gonna come my way, and today it actually did."

The highlight of Grant's day came in the third quarter, when Kirk Cousins found him in the back right corner of the end zone for his first career touchdown reception. The score cut Tampa's lead down to 24-14.

After completing the catch, Grant immediately popped up, tossed the ball to a nearby referee, and sprinted to the sideline. So what was the deal on that celebration? Wouldn't a receiver want a little more of the spotlight after such an important moment?

According to Grant, he kept things quiet because of where his team was in the matchup.

"If we were winning I probably would've done a little something," he said. "But we were down at the time, so I just wanted to get in and get out."

Grant's role in 2015 was supposed to be to provide depth at the position, and come in when the offense went with four and five-receiver sets. But that all changed when Jackson went down with a hamstring injury in Week 1. Since then, Grant's been seeing a ton of action, and the results have been up-and-down. His output versus the Buccaneers, though, was his best of the year (3 catches for 54 yards and the score), and he said a lot of people, including himself, have played a role in him staying focused.

"I'm even-keeled," Grant said. "I don't get too high or get too low. I'm just happy that Kirk, and Sean [McVay], and coach Jay, and [position coach] Ike Hilliard, I'm glad that they believe in me."

As for the pigskin that participated in Grant's milestone, the one that he flipped to the ref like it was his 50th TD instead of his first? It shouldn't surprise you that Grant didn't seem too worried about it. Fortunately, it does sound like he'll indeed get it back soon.

"One of the equipment guys have it. And if they paint it up real nice for me, man, I'll probably just send it home and have my dad put it in a case and put it on the wall."

MORE REDSKINS: IT WAS ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS ON SUNDAY

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 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 five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

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) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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