Friday was Dezmon Briscoes 23 birthday. It was also cutdown day around the NFL, and the Redskins wide receiver wasnt certain he had done enough in the preseason to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.Everybody kept asking me what I wanted for a present, Briscoe said. I really didnt want anything. I told them, Just pray for me. The only thing I really wanted for my birthday was to make the team.On Friday morning, his cell phone rang. It was Paul Kelly, the teams director of football operations.He said, Coach wants to see you, Briscoe said. I was like, Um Then he was like, Calm down. Its not one of them calls. It was a good feeling.Briscoe said his talk with Shanahan was more of the personal one. But Shanahan was also very clear when the conversation turned to on-field expectations, he added.He just wanted to get to know me, said Briscoe, who was claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on July 28 after the Buccaneers released him for reportedly failing a conditioning test. He didnt really know me as a person. He just wanted us to get to know each other a little better.Shanahan also said he wants me to come in and keep doing what Im doing, he continued. Keep making plays, catch every ball that comes my way, contribute anyway I can, whether its scout team or getting reps on offense.Added Shanahan: I felt very good about my conversation with him.Still, Briscoe didnt allow himself to relax until the 9 p.m. deadline for submitting rosters had passed. At 7:30, Briscoe tweeted, I hour 30 minutes A second call from Kelly never came. The team released Anthony Amrstrong instead to create a spot for him.No call is a good call, said Briscoe, who tweeted HTTR just after the deadline. I just basically showed up Saturday and had a locker.It was the end of a stressful week for Briscoe, who sounded downtrodden after the Redskins preseason finale against the Buccaneers. He had expected to see ample playing time but didnt enter the game until the second half and was hardly used, leading him to believe he wasnt in the teams plans.I was on the edge because I didnt play special teams, he explained.As it turned out, the 6 foot 2, 210 pound third year professional out of Kansas had already shown Shanahan enough. In three preseason games, Briscoe had hauled in six passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns.Briscoe is a little bit bigger guy, Shanahan said. A very physical receiver, whereas Anthony is more of that X guy where hes got that great speed, very similar to Pierre Garon, Aldrick Robinson and even Brandon Banks. So we thought we were a little deeper at that X position than we were at that Z position, so thats why we went in that direction.So after an anxious birthday, Briscoe got the present he wanted. But he said Monday that he also knows this is not the time to celebrate, not for a player listed on the third string behind Garon, Morgan, Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss.Just dont slack off, Briscoe said. Everything can easily get taken away. Dont take it for granted. Just go out there and contribute any way that I can.
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.
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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Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 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 overrated Redskin moments of 2017
Originally published 12/30/17
Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.
Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.
Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:
I'm telling y'all. Defenses aren't ready for Pryor pic.twitter.com/09BwSDWTiP— CarolB (@AlexSmithSzn) August 1, 2017
But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.
Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.
—NFL Combine (3/1) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198