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Free Agency: Who's left, offensive line edition


Free Agency: Who's left, offensive line edition

Now that salary cap-gate over, what's next for the Redskins 53-man roster. According to Rich Tandler- and without factoring in potential savings by cutting certain veterans -there is around 3.8 million left to play with, some of which goes toward signing the remaining draft picks. So, what should the Shanahan's do with that remaining coin? Considering the free agent options remaining are your rank and file types, we can probably ignore certain areas (defensive line, wide receiver, outside linebacker and - for now anyway - tight end and corner). Other trouble spots (inside linebacker, safety, running back, guardcenter) were addressed in the draft orduring the more vibrantportion of free agency though the depth chart is not set in stone. The Redskins drafted three offensive lineman, though not sure anyone thinks that means that problem area is completely solved.Tandler and I went point-counterpoint on the OL before the draft. While I like the attention given to the overall area during the draft - put me down now for saying fifth rounder Adam Gettis is the one to watch - not sure the starting right tackle spot and overall depth works for me. (If the NFL imposed cap hit impacted any single area on the team, you have to believe it was on the line. One has to believe once RG3 was in play, upgrading his protectors with veterans was a major priority, but once the dollars diminished, Plan B was inacted)Which brings us back around to the basis for this post: who's left on the open market. It's one thing to suggest more help is needed, butare worthy options available is the question. Here's a look at the top offensive linemen - heavy on the tackles - remaining in free agency:Marcus McNeill, OT (Chargers): Yep, he's still out there. Knee and neck injuries led to surgeries and missed games over the past two seasons, but when healthy, the 28-year-oldis a top shelf tackle option. With several teams still looking for tackle help - Falcons and Bears come to mind -McNeill will be snatched up once the next wave of free agency truly kicks in or before training camps open. With their (current) limited funds, not sure the Redskins can join the bidding.Kareem McKenzie, OT (Giants): Apparently even the 33-year-old right tackle is not sure what his football future holds. The 11-year veteran started al 16 games in four of the last five seasons for the Giants, but the Super Bowl champs are going with a needed youth movement up front (also, their line was not all that last season). As long as he maintains football shape, McKenzie is the kind of last second option a team could call one week and start the next.Jason Brown, GC (Rams): Went from being a top free agent after a strong run with the Ravens to one of the worst centers in the league. Considering the Redskins backup center hole and Kory Lichtensteiger is recovering from injury, Brown could be an interesting swingman target, though he might have better opportunities toland a starting gig elsewhere.Max Starks, OT (Steelers): This would be a sign-and-stash move as the 30-year-old tore his ACL during Pittsburgh playoff last season. If say Willie Smith shows the coaching staff enough to justify jettisoning Jammal Brown, perhaps Starks makes for a worthy signing with a look toward the second half of the upcoming season and 2013.Others: Jake Scott, G (Titans), Vernon Carey, T (Dolphins), Bobbie Williams, G (Bengals), Redskins in exile: Stephon Heyer (Raiders) and Derrick Dockery (Cowboys), still available.

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman


Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.

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Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan


Fantasy Football -- Thanksgiving Day plan

The Week 12 fantasy football rankings are out -- but when it comes to Thanksgiving Day, everyone wants some player regardless of where they slot overall. Don't overthink it and take a lesser player, but for those on the fence or simply looking for Thursday action, here are some recommendations for all three games.

Vikings @ Lions

Obvious: Vikings -- Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs... running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon are in the RB2/Flex discussion for most, but good luck picking between them; Lions -- Wide receiver Golden Tate and ... wide receiver Marvin Jones works in three-WR formats while quarterback Matthew Stafford is No. 14 among passers this week.

Start: Case Keenum averaged 19.3 points over the last four games while the Lions have allowed ample points to fantasy quarterbacks in that stretch, though only three touchdown passes. Having Thielen and Diggs up the potential for Keenum, who is QB17 in the Week 12 rankings. That's comparable with Matthew Stafford (QB14), Andy Dalton, Jacoby Brissett and ahead of Derek Carr.

Add: Not sure there's any fringe skill player worth taking a flyer on so take a look at Vikings kicker Kai Forbath. He's attempted at least three field goals in four of his last five games and he kicked five extra points in the lone exception. ... Some will start Ameer Abdullah based on their options, but just know the Vikings allow the second fewest points to fantasy tight ends this season.

Chargers @ Cowboys

Obvious: Chargers -- running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Keenan Allen; Cowboys -- Wide receiver Dez Bryant, running back Alfred Morris and... quarterback Dak Prescott, though his production is down without running back Ezekiel Elliott and left tackle Tyron Smith.

Start: This hasn't been a vintage Philip Rivers season, but he's coming off his best performance (251 yards, two touchdown passes) since Week 5. The Cowboys aren't that special in the secondary and have surrendered two touchdown passes in three consecutive games. At QB13, he's on the cusp of QB1 status in 12-team leagues. 

Add: Kickers Nick Novak (Chargers) and Mike Nugent (Cowboys) are 15th and 16th respectively. So, there's that. 

Giants @ Redskins

The obvious: Giants -- tight end Evan Engram and... running back Orleans Darkwa is a viable RB2 option against a Redskins defense giving up gobs of yards on the ground; Redskins -- quarterback Kirk Cousins, tight Vernon Davis and...running back Samaje Perine is RB12 this week, though listed as questionable on the injury report with a finger issue.

Start: Jordan Reed is out for a fourth consecutive game, meaning Vernon Davis once again is Washington's main tight end. While he hasn't provided wow performances like Reed at his Pro Bowl best, Davis has been good for a solid 8-11 since taking on a larger role starting in Week 3. This could be his best statistical week of the season. The Giants allow the most points to fantasy tight ends on the season. Opposing tight ends scored a touchdown in each of the first 10 games before the streak snapped Sunday.


Add: Josh Doctson is only owned in 55 percent of leagues on CBS even though he's moved into the role of Washington's top outside receiver. The second-year player had four receptions for 81 yards in Sunday's overtime loss, though all the production came in the first half. Consistency is the next step, but Kirk Cousins is showing more and more confidence in the 6'3" target especially on 50-50 balls. Doctson is WR36 in my Week 12 rankings, meaning he's worth starting consideration in three-WR formats regardless.