The Redskins suffered the first on-field injury of training camp Saturday when backup linebacker Jonathan Goff aggravated the right knee injury that caused him to miss all of last season.Its unclear how Goff was hurt, but he went down during 11-on 11-drills as he dropped back in coverage. He suffered a torn ACL in the same knee before the season opener last season as a member of the Giants.Goff, 26, is expected to serve as backup to inside linebackers London Fletcher and Perry Riley. He started 16 games for New York in 2010.We dont know anything yet, said Coach Mike Shanahan, who confirmed that it was his right knee. Well do an MRI sometime this evening.Goff did not return to practice, but was able to walk from the field to the locker room without assistance or a pronounced limp.Some other notes from Shanahans post-practice news conference:Guard Kory Lichtensteiger, who is working his way back from torn ligaments in his right knee, did not participate in the afternoon session. Shanahan said he did not suffer a setback after looking solid Thursday and Friday.We just gave him the third day off and not overwork him, the coach said. He had a couple good days.Asked to assess rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III through three days of camp, Shanahan said, Good.Every day is a learning experience, he added. The more reps you get, the better you feel about the system, the better you feel about NFL defenses, your teammates, what they can do, that they cant do. They say its the hardest position to play in all of sports. I really believe it is, because theres so much to learn.Wide receiver Pierre Garon, who signed a five-year, 42 million contract in March, has impressed the coaching staff with his strength, speed and work ethic. During a cornerback vs. wide receiver drill Saturday, Garon raced past DeAngelo Hall and hauled in an over-the-shoulder pass from Griffin.Theres no question he can be a No. 1 receiver, Shanahan said. Ive been very impressed with the way hes practiced and handled himself since hes been here. Hes got a ton of ability. Ive been very happy. Dezmon Briscoe joined the team after getting claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on Friday afternoon. Shanahan said Briscoe impressed him on film, and after getting a positive recommendation from defensive backs coach Raheem Morris, who was the Buccaneers head coach last season, he decided to give him a look.Briscoe scored six touchdowns last season, one more than any receiver on the Redskins (Jabar Gaffney, who is no longer with the team).Ive looked at him on film and I liked him, Shanahan said of Briscoe. Look at how many touchdown catches he had last year, what he did in college, good size, so we gave him a chance to compete and see what he can do.Shanahan also sounded somewhat annoyed that tackle Jammal Brown has decided to wait until Tuesday to get his hip examined in New York by his personal doctor.I just know its a little unusual you have to wait a few days to have an MRI, Shanahan said.The Redskins are off Sunday.
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.
MORE REDSKINS: NFL MOCK DRAFT 6.0
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.
RELATED: FREE AGENCY NEWS AND NOTES
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.
Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 18, 39 days before the NFL draft.
Looking at next year’s free agents
There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens.
Note: I’m not including Brandon Scherff here because the team has a fifth-year option on him that they surely will activate before the May 2 deadline.
QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?
OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard).
OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility.
WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon.
ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup.
Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight.
It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019.
Tandler on Twitter
Regarding the reported visit of defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins with the Redskins:
I’m normally not in favor of "don’t let them leave until they sign" negotiations. But Hankins may be worth it. He just turned 25 on 1/1, very solid player at a position of need.— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) March 17, 2018
—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 29
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 131
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 175
In case you missed it
- Two former NFC East foes to visit Redskins soon
- News and notes from the first week of NFL Free Agency
- The Redskins week that was—Free agency frenzy