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Enemy Intel: Tandler looks around the NFL—What's up with Dez?

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Enemy Intel: Tandler looks around the NFL—What's up with Dez?

Here is this week’s Redskins-centric look around the NFL, Week 4:

—For the first time this year there are no intradivisional games. The Eagles are on a bye so perhaps coach Doug Pederson can use the extra time to find the brake pedal to slow down the Carson Wentz hype train. Comparisons to Peyton Manning and Bret Favre, made by Pederson himself, can’t be good for a player who was slated to sit on the bench all year until about a week before the season started.

—The Cowboys get their first schedule break from finishing last in the NFC East last year as they travel to San Francisco. They are visiting the 49ers because they both finished in fourth place in their respective divisions. The Cowboys a two-point road favorites. I’m not sure how good the Cowboys are. Their first two games, against the Giants and Redskins, could have gone either way. They impressively took care of the Bears, who are one of the worst teams in the league. We probably won’t know a whole lot about the Cowboys until after this week, when they host the Bengals and visit the Packers before their Week 7 bye.

—The Dez Bryant situation in Dallas is just bizarre. He hurt his knee against the Bears on Sunday but he didn’t show up for an MRI, treatment and meetings on Monday. It turns out he was afraid that he was seriously injured. So, somehow, staying at home was going to make it better. This is a professional football player, and a presumed adult who will turn 28 next month, mind you. And Jason Garrett, his professional football coach, wrote it off to Bryant being a “very, very passionate person.” The problem is there are a lot of passionate players on the Cowboys. Can they simply do whatever they want to when they are afraid that they’ve been injured? Can they blow off treatment and meetings with impunity? In any case, it doesn’t look like Bryant will be able to play against the 49ers. After that he’s day to day, assuming he shows up.

—On Monday night the Giants are at the Vikings. Minnesota is undefeated despite losing their quarterback, running back and left tackle to injuries. They owe their record to their defense and their plus-eight net takeaway margin. The Giants are at minus-six in turnovers, an indication that maybe they are fortunate to be 2-1. New York is a highly flawed team but they have Eli Manning and three legit weapons at wide receiver so they can score enough to stay in any game. The Vikings are favored by five. If the favorites prevail the Redskins (favored by 7.5) would be tied with the Giants for third in the NFC East.

—The Ravens, Washington’s Week 5 opponent, are 3.5-point favorites to remain undefeated as they host the Raiders. Baltimore is getting some players back from injury including pass rushing linebacker Elvis Dumervil and RB Kenneth Dixon. Oakland is 2-1 with an impressive road win against the Saints and a puzzling home loss to the Falcons on the ledger.

—This week I like three underdogs with the Bucs +3 at home over the Broncos, another home dog with the Jets +3.5 over the Seahawks, and the Raiders +3.5 at Baltimore. I posted an 0-2-1 mark in Week 3, getting a push with the Packers, who won be exactly seven over the Lions, and losing with the Jaguars (what was I thinking?) and Steelers (what were they thinking?).

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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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