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Enemy Intel: Around the NFL, Week 7—Giants boot away any claim to the high ground

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Enemy Intel: Around the NFL, Week 7—Giants boot away any claim to the high ground

Here is my weekly Redskins-centric look around the NFL:

—The Cowboys have their bye this weekend, giving them more time to stew in the Dak or Romo controversy. It appears that Prescott is going to start when they get back in action against the Eagles a week from Sunday. But that won’t be the end of the story if (perhaps I should say when) Prescott hits a rookie wall. A couple of losses in a row would have the town and perhaps the team up in arms about whether Romo should return behind center. But for now they are 6-1, a game clear of the Redskins for the division lead, and feeling very confident with a solid running game no matter who is at quarterback.

—The Giants are in the UK this week to play the Rams. The game will be played at Twickenham Stadium, about 10 miles from Wembley Stadium, where the Redskins will play next week. The player to watch, as usual, is Odell Beckham Jr., who may have broken his season-long doldrums with his 66-yard reception for the game-winning touchdown. But there is the customary distraction from what he did on the field, the fact that the Giants were penalized 15 yards because he removed his helmet in celebration after that touchdown. The Rams are coming off of a big game from quarterback Case Keenum in a losing effort in Detroit. Both teams are 3-3 after good starts and neither wants to go into the bye with a losing record.

—I think enough has been said about how shoddy the investigation into the Josh Brown domestic violence case has been, both on the part of the NFL and the Giants organization. I’ll just add that any claim the Giants make to some sort of moral high ground, about doing things “the right way”, is now down in the gutter with everyone else. Don’t forget the team and its fans used to look down their collective noses at teams trying to improve through heavy free agent spending—until last spring, when they celebrated New York’s huge spending spree. So they can stop with air of superiority, nobody is going to buy it. The NFL will have to look elsewhere for a "model" franchise.

—The game of the week in the NFL takes place in Philadelphia, where the Vikings play on the Eagles. I’m not sure that the Vikings are good enough to be 5-0 but they have earned it by giving up just 12.6 points per game. Can the Eagles recover from losing to the Lions and giving up 230 yards on the ground to the Redskins? Philly had an air of invincibility in their first three games, with Carson Wentz getting all sorts of accolades. Now Wentz is looking like a rookie quarterback, albeit a very good one. The Vikings defense is the last one he wants to be facing now..

—We’ll skip the details of my ugly 0-3 record last week (three favorites picked, two outright losers, one spread loser) and move on to what should be better times this week. I’m taking the Vikings giving 2.5 to the Eagles, the Seahawks +2 at Arizona, and the Chiefs at home -6.5 against the Saints.

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 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 underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

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. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

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) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

RELATED: BEST AND WORST OF REDSKINS' FIRST-ROUND DRAFT HISTORY

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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