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Chris Horton a lock?

Chris Horton a lock?

It probably would be inaccurate to say that Chris Horton is happy that fellow Washington Redskins safety Stuart Schweigert is now his former teammate. Pros, even rookies, don't revel in players becoming unemployed, even ones that play the same position.

However, although Horton isn't doing a happy dance, it's doubtful that he's moping around the conference center that the Redskins are calling home during training camp after hearing the news of the former Raider's departure. While Schweigert's departure doesn't guarantee a roster spot for the seventh-round pick in the April draft, it helps Horton immeasurably.

You don't play your way onto a roster in one preseason game, especially the first of five, and you don't play your way off of the team in that one game, either. However, if what happens in that game reinforces impressions—negative or positive—that the coaching staff has about your play, that one game can be decisive.

Schweigert has more starting experience than the rest of the corps of safeties combined, but he's been practically invisible in training camp. His lackluster performance has been in contrast to that of Horton, who has been living up to his reputation is a big hitter.

On the Colts' first touchdown, Onrea Jones bolted by rookie cornerback Justin Tryon and into the open to catch a 30-yard touchdown pass from Quinn Gray. Arriving into the picture way too late was Schweigert, who apparently was supposed to be covering the deep zone.

It's not unreasonable to figure that the coaches thought that if Schweigert couldn't handle his assignment on the Gray to O. Jones combination the duos of Romo to Owens and Manning to Burress would be beyond the scope of his abilities. They hadn't seen anything in practice to counter that impression, so the decision was made to let him go.

Horton isn't ready for prime time either, but he is hustling and he's eager to learn. In his very first play as a professional football player he had the presence of mind to watch for the onside kick and the recovered the ball after one or two teammates had muffed chances to do so. He was greatly aided on his two sacks by the fact that the Colts' blitz pickups were nonexistent, but you have to give him credit for going in and making the tackles. His takedown of Jared Lorenzen was particularly impressive. A lot of DB's would have bounced off of the 285-lb. quarterback trying to make a big hit, but Horton just grabbed hold and wrestled him to the ground.

Just like the numbers game works against Marcus Mason, it works in favor of Chris Horton. Patrick Ghee, a second-year player who was on the Carolina practice squad for a while last year, was signed in Schweigert's spot, so there still are six safeties on the roster. The Redskins are likely to keep five, so that means that Horton just has to beat out either Ghee or Kareem Moore. The former has already been cut by the Skins earlier this year and although the latter was selected 69 spots ahead of Horton, Moore has been sidelines with a knee problem for most of OTA's and camp.

Horton's not a lock, but he's as close to one as a seventh-round pick can be after one-fifth of the preseason schedule.

Join me for a live blog of Saturday's preseason game. Go here for details.

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Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East


Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East

The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.

Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction. 

What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb. 


For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined. 

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Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

The Redskins and linebacker Zach Brown agreed to a three-year contract that will require Brown to continue to play at a high level if he is going to collect all of the $21 million the deal contains.

Brown’s camp reportedly was shopping for a contract that had some $20 million in guaranteed money. The actual deal fell well short of that.

Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before an assortment of injuries forced him to sit out the last three games, got a total of $5.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He got a $4.5 million signing bonus and his $1 million salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.


After that, the remaining two seasons essentially are team options. In 2019 he has a $6.75 million salary and $4.5 million of that is guaranteed for injury. His 2020 salary is $7.5 million with no guarantees of any kind.

The contract also has per-game roster bonuses available at a rate of $15,625 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster in 2018 (total of $250,000 for the year) and $31,250 per game in 2019 and 2020 ($500,000 total).

The salary cap hits per year are as follows:

2018: $2.75 million
2019: $8.75 million
2020: $9.5 million

The average annual value of $7 million ranks ninth among inside linebackers.

Brown will need to continue to play well to collect on the contract. The team will be able to save $5.75 million on the 2019 cap if they terminate the deal after one season and $8 million if they do it in 2020.


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.