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Davis sheds some light on his situation

Davis sheds some light on his situation

Fred Davis has come full circle.

His NFL career got off to a rocky start when he overslept and was late for a minicamp practice in his rookie year. Now his tenure with the Redskins may be in jeopardy for an inability to stay awake during meetings.

Davis falling asleep during meetings is not a rumor or whispered accusation. He admitted it on Wednesday.

“I’ve never slept through a whole meeting but I’ve nodded off,” Davis said. “Everyone nods off. It’s dark in there. You’re watching film. You nod off. You wake up, get something to drink, go back. I’ve done that. I think everybody’s done that.”

Since nobody who is not a player or coach has access to those meetings it is impossible to judge Davis’ assertion that “everybody’s done that.” But you would think that someone in Davis’ position, a player on a one-year contract fighting playmaking rookie Jordan Reed for playing time, would drink coffee, down an energy drink, stand up and stretch, or do whatever it takes to stay awake during these meetings.

Perhaps Davis doesn’t realize that he’s competing with Reed for active status and playing time. It appears that Reed does. On Monday afternoon he was the only player on the field, putting in extra work running and catching passes from the JUGS machine.

I don’t want to be too hard on Davis here. He’s a talented player and he has always been a good guy to talk to in the locker room. But he’s not doing himself any favors by admitting that he falls asleep when he’s being given important information about his job and by saying that he thinks that his inactive status is tied to money.

According to reports, Davis has a clause in his contract that pays him $500,000 if he is on the 46-man active list for at least 12 games. He has been inactive for three games so far this year so if he doesn’t dress for two more the Redskins will not owe him the bonus.

Asked if he thought that the bonus had anything to do with his inactive status, Davis said yes. “Probably. It’s a business,” he said. “So I’m sure that plays a factor.”

Mike Shanahan’s press conference was held shortly after Davis talked to the media and the coach denied that the bonus was a factor in his decisions regarding the player.

“One thing I try to do as a head coach now as compared to when I was in Denver—I don’t look at any of those incentives,” he said. “I keep myself away from those things. I didn’t know that until I was just told about two minutes ago that that was a clause for those reasons. I don’t make decisions based on money.”

Whether or not what Shanahan is saying is accurate—he has admitted to bending the truth at times when it suits his purposes—there is still no reason for Davis to say that the money is a factor. It makes it seem like he is deflecting responsibility for the situation away from himself. And that is not a frame of mind that is going to get him back on the field.

There may be more to this than meets the eye. But now Davis has had his chance to tell his side of the story and we have heard Shanahan’s version and the view from here is that Davis doesn’t come out of it looking too good.

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Need to Know: Redskins player quick hitters—Defensive starters

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Need to Know: Redskins player quick hitters—Defensive starters

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 22, 35 days before the NFL draft.  

Redskins starters quick hitters—defense

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. Yesterday it was the offense, now the defense is up.  

DE Jonathan Allen—He was close to being ready to practice during the last couple of weeks of the season so his Lisfranc rehab is going well. Anticipation will be high when he takes the field in Week 1.

DE Stacy McGee—From looking at my social media timelines I can conclude that many Redskins fans hear “free agent D-lineman” and automatically say “bust”. That’s not the case with McGee. Last year he was the Redskins’ most consistent defensive lineman.

NT Ziggy Hood—I’ve said this before and it still holds true—Hood should not be a starting nose tackle. He would be very good as a rotational defensive lineman.

OLB Preston Smith—Sure, he’s inconsistent. But he’s on often enough to be a very valuable player. He lacks eye-popping sack totals but since he came into the league in 2015, only Smith has at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and four forced fumbles.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—He will turn 30 during training camp but he shows no signs of slowing down.

ILB Zach Brown—The Redskins needed to bring him back and they got it done. He does struggle in coverage at times, but the defense is much better with him than without him.

ILB Mason Foster—He and Allen saw their seasons end due to injuries at about the same time and the defense wasn’t the same after that. Foster brings experience and toughness to the defense that is hard to replace.

CB Quinton Dunbar—It’s possible that Fabian Moreau will beat him out for the starting job before the season starts. But Dunbar has come a long way since the former wide receiver volunteered to help out at cornerback when a rash of injuries hit during his rookie season. I wouldn’t bet against him.

CB Josh Norman—He certainly didn’t play poorly last year but the goose egg in the interceptions column is a black mark. The thing is, with quarterbacks like to test Dunbar and Moreau playing on the other side, he might not get many opportunities to pick off passes this year, either.

S D.J. Swearinger—After signing as a free agent, he put himself on the line, saying he was the leader of a defense before he had even played a snap with the group he wanted to lead. He walked the walk, filling both the leadership vacuum and the lack of quality safety play.

S Montae Nicholson—Jay Gruden said that Nicholson was the defensive version of Jordan Reed, a player who changes what the unit can do when he is on the field. High praise, but also a lot of pressure to stay on the field.

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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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 26
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 128
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 172

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Free agency update: What happens next for the Redskins on the defensive line?


Free agency update: What happens next for the Redskins on the defensive line?

The Redskins sure hosted a lot of free agent defensive line visits in the second week of free agency, but so far, no signed contracts. 

Johnathan Hankins came to Ashburn. Sylvester Williams came to Ashburn. Pernell McPhee came to Ashburn. All three left without a done deal, and now for Redskins fans, the question becomes not about when a deal will get done, but if any deals will happen.

Actually, one deal did happen. According to a report, Williams has signed with the Lions. 

Since visiting the Redskins on Monday, Hankins also took a trip to see the Lions. McPhee, who was offered a contract by the Redskins, has since taken a trip to visit the Falcons. 


Keep in mind too, Washington expressed interest in nose tackle Bennie Logan last offseason, and the 6-foot-2, 309 lb., former Chief is again on the market. A visit from Logan would surprise nobody, though it hasn't been reported yet. 

Mother Nature might also be an impediment for the Redskins. A March snowstorm shut the D.C. region down on Wednesday, which could have limited potential free agent visits.

What's clear is between Hankins, McPhee and Williams this week, in addition to Muhammad Wilkerson and Benson Mayowa last week, the Redskins are obviously looking to upgrade their defensive line. Combine that with a contract restructure for incumbent Terrell McClain, and Washington has the flexibility to improve on last season's NFL-worst run defense. 

That doesn't mean, however, the Redskins will absolutely sign one of the above mentioned players. And it doesn't mean outside linebacker Junior Gallete won't return to the Redskins either. 

Many fans wonder if a McPhee signing means the Redskins would move on from Galette. It might, but that's no sure thing. 

Washington went into the 2017 season with five outside linebackers: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Galette, Ryan Anderson and Chris Carter. Right now, the 'Skins only have Kerrigan, Smith and Anderson under contract. The team needs to add at least one OLB, but likely two.

McPhee also carries about 20 extra pounds on his frame than Galette, giving the former Bear and Raven more flexibility to play against the run. Galette is a speed, leverage and moves player, focused on getting to the quarterback. He's capable against the run, but in the same way a sports car shouldn't carry a snow plow, Galette should be used to pressure QBs. 

Point being: McPhee and Galette could both make sense for the Redskins, if the team can work out the cash. 

Money usually matters the most in free agency, and it's clear the Redskins haven't made the type of offers that any of these players felt compelled to immediately sign. Deals could still happen though. Hankins didn't sign last offseason until April and Galette seems to thank Redskins fans via social media with relative frequency. 

Washington also had some success with the patient approach to free agency. The team was able to keep Zach Brown, though it took some nervous days of allowing the tackling machine linebacker to test the free agent market. With that win in hand, don't expect the Redskins brass to change their philosophy. 

Until further notice, it's hurry up and wait season in Ashburn.

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