Here are some quick Redskins-related thoughts to get your morning going.The Redskins report for training camp one month from today and their first practice is a month from tomorrow. That break between minicamp and training camp is flying by.Im in the process of projecting the 53-man roster (look for the series starting soon). There are going to be some very tough decisions to make just about everywhere. Quarterback and the defensive line seem to be the only areas where the cuts will be relatively easy.As of now, I have five or six of the nine 2012 draft picks making it and eight of the 12 picks from last year.Just picture Ed Hochuli reading these tie-breaking procedures.In case you missed it over the weekend, the Redskins are almost 7 million under the salary cap despite the 18 million cap penalty. Obviously the hit didnt kill them but it likely made them backload some deals and they dont like to do that.My new colleague Tarik El-Bashir officially starts working for CSN today. Since there isnt much need to double team Redskins coverage this week, hell be spending a good chunk of his week at Congressional covering Tigers tournament. But Ill try to get him to drop by to say hi.Also, the Nats cant make one run stand up, mid-80s with scattered thunder boomers today, and its possible that the Saints bounty case will end soon, or at least move on to the next phase.
Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 21, 36 days before the NFL draft.
Redskins starters quick hitters—offense
The last couple of days here I looked at how the depth charts are shaping up with a little bit of commentary (offense, defense). Today and tomorrow I’ll take a closer look at the starters with some quick hitters about each one, starting today with the offense.
QB Alex Smith—The deal is done, and the Redskins have their man for five years at $22.2 million per year or, if they prefer, three years at $23.7 million per. It seems like most fans are behind him but there will have to be a few more wins than losses this fall for that to become permanent.
RB Samaje Perine—He got better as the year went on, averaging nearly a half yard per carry more in the last seven games compared to the first nine. But the 3.4 average per carry certainly did not stop both Doug Williams and Jay Gruden from talking about drafting a running back early.
TE Jordan Reed—According to reports, he is rehabbing well from the hamstring and toe injuries that severely limited him last year. Still, expect him to be kept in bubble wrap until training camp and even then, his action may be limited.
WR Josh Doctson—Did Kirk Cousins look away from Doctson too often, lacking the confidence in him to let him go get the 50-50 balls? Will Smith have more confidence in Doctson? The answers to those questions may determine if the third-year receiver breaks out in 2018 or he continues to tease with flashes of ability.
WR Paul Richardson—He’s capable of the acrobatic catch, which should be fun to watch. Richardson was good with Russell Wilson on the off-schedule plays, maybe he can do the same with Smith.
WR Jamison Crowder—I guess it’s fair to say he had an off year in 2017 but his receiving yardage only dropped by 60 yards from 2016. It will be interesting to see if they keep him in as the punt returner after he averaged 6.3 yards per return (23rd of 25 qualifiers) last year.
LT Trent Williams—The six-time Pro Bowler is still in the relatively early stages of recovering from surgery to the knee that kept him from practicing from about Week 6 on. Don’t look for him until training camp and even then, the early workload is likely to be light.
LG Arie Kouandjio—This is the one offensive position that remains up in the air. Kouandjio has shown some grit as a spot starter but I don’t think the organization views him as a 16-game starter.
C Chase Roullier—Shortly after Roullier got the starting job when Spencer Long went out injured, Jay Gruden said that Roullier would be the Redskins’ center “for a long time”. There is no reason to doubt that at this point in time.
RG Brandon Scherff—His concern no longer is trying to live up to having been the 15th pick of the draft. Scherff has to play well enough to justify his 2019 option-year salary, which will be in the vicinity of $13 million.
RT Morgan Moses—He had surgery to repair his ankles, which were an issue most of last season. Still, he didn’t miss a start. Like Williams, even if he’s ready for training camp, don’t expect to see a whole lot of him.
Tandler on Twitter
The thing is, the Ravens could have pulled out of the deal because they didn’t like the shirt that Grant wore that day. He was a free agent, no deal had been signed.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) March 20, 2018
—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 27
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 129
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 173
In case you missed it
- Looking at the Redskins' defensive depth chart after early phase of free agency
- Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility
- Redskins bring in nose tackle for free agency visit, per source
- Former Redskin Ryan Grant reportedly picks Colts
Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.
Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play.
A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams.
His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago.
McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith.
Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.
It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.
Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins.
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