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Enemy Intel: Some head scratching around the NFC East after first round


Enemy Intel: Some head scratching around the NFC East after first round

There was some head scratching around the NFC East as the Redskins’ three division rivals made their initial selections in the NFL draft.

Many thought that the Giants would look at upgrading their offensive line with the 12th pick of the first round. But when offensive tackle Taylor Lewan went off the board immediately before the Giants went on the clock there wasn’t a lineman that represented good value with the pick. Having lost Hakeem Nicks to free agency, they needed a running mate for Victor Cruz at wide receiver. LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham was the man.

It’s not a pick you can really hate but ESPN’s Dan Graziano didn’t think too much of it:
I don't like it, honestly. And this is nothing against the player, who's superfast and might well turn out to be a star. This isn't about predicting how these guys will play, because we can't. It's about assessing what kind of job the team did in maximizing the value of its pick. And in a draft like this, with so much talent at wide receiver, I don't see why a wide receiver under 6 feet tall is worth the No. 12 overall pick.
There was a lot of suspense a short while later when the Cowboys were on the clock and Johnny Manziel was on the board but Jerry Jones resisted the temptation to make a big splash. Dallas took a lineman but, in the eyes of many, Zack Martin plays on the wrong side of the ball. After releasing DeMarcus Ware and losing Jason Hatcher to free agency the Cowboys need help to bolster a defense that was ranked 32nd last year with those two pass rushers. And though you can’t fault them for taking Martin, who will lock down right tackle for them for many years, the need for defense is so glaring even Jones recognizes it.

“Right now, we need a defensive player more than we need an offensive player,” Jones said to reporters after last night’s first round ended.

“It’s no secret,” Jones reiterated later. “We’d like to have some defense in this draft.”

The Eagles had no interest in Manziel but the Browns wanted him badly enough to trade up to the 22nd pick to nab Johnny Football. The Eagles moved back to 26th and picked up a third-round pick in the process.

The joke in Philly this morning is that they must have gotten confused because they used that first-round pick on a third-round player. That’s the grade that Mel Kiper had on Louisville defensive end Marcus Smith. Smith does fill a need but some wonder if they could have taken him later in the draft.

“NFL Network’s Mike Mayock—who’s perhaps the best at what he does—had Smith ranked 53rd overall, eight spots behind [Missouri’s Kony] Ealy and 12 behind Boise State’s Demarcus Lawrence, another outside linebacker,” noted Geoff Mosher on “If Mayock’s right, the Eagles not only didn’t take the best player available but also didn’t even take the best pass rusher left on the board.”

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Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins


Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins

NFL free agency doesn't care about your brackets. 

While you were watching UMBC, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee is currently on a visit with the Redskins:

Pernell, 29, was drafted in 2011 out of Mississppi State by the Baltimore Ravens. He played there for three years before spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bears. 

Pernell has 182 career tackles and 31 career sacks. 


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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

It may be the 18th of March but today could be like Christmas for five Redskins players.

The Redskins decided to use today, four days after the start of the league year, for some contract triggers. In this case, the triggers are all 2018 salary guarantees (some teams will pay out roster bonuses on trigger dates, but the Redskins rarely use that type of structure).

Here are the players whose have guarantees that kick in today 4 p.m. All data is via Over the Cap.


CB Josh Norman, base salary of $13.5 million becomes fully guaranteed—This was a window for the Redskins to move on from Norman if they were not happy with his performance after two seasons. He is 31 and he had no interceptions last season, leaving some to wonder if the Redskins might think about releasing him. But it never was a consideration.

TE Jordan Reed, $8 million of his $8.25 million salary becomes fully guaranteed—No, I’m not sure why they are leaving that $250,000 out there non-guaranteed. Fans thought that the Redskins might move on from Reed due to his injury issues. But, as with Norman, it never was a consideration.

S D.J. Swearinger, $3 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—This is a mere technicality, Swearinger wasn’t going anywhere after helping to solidify the safety position.


RB Chris Thompson, $1.996 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—His rehab is going well and after last year Thompson’s two-year, $7 million contract extension signed last September looks like a good deal for the team.

DE Terrell McClain, $3.25 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—If the Redskins sign a top free agent D-lineman or draft on early in the draft they could be in a numbers crunch. That new acquisition would be guaranteed a roster spot along with Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, and Anthony Lanier. That makes five and the Redskins kept six last year. Ziggy Hood is a favorite of the coaching staff but he has no guaranteed money left on his contract. That could tip the sixth spot in favor of McClain if he is on the roster at the close of business today. If they release McClain after today, they would take a cap charge of over $2 million. It seems unlikely that anything will happen but it’s something to keep an eye on.

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.