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Gruden on TE injuries: Redskins haven't looked at Chris Cooley, yet


Gruden on TE injuries: Redskins haven't looked at Chris Cooley, yet

Earlier this summer former Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley suggested he wants back in the NFL, and as injuries start to mount at Redskins training camp, it seems the possibility of Cooley's return to Washington could be gaining steam. Going into the season, three tight ends were expected to dominate playing time for the Redskins in Jordan Reed, Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen.

Reed has an extended track record of injury in his two NFL seasons and coach Jay Gruden said he will miss Thursday night's preseason opener against the Browns (7 p.m. on CSN). Now, primary blocking tight end Paulsen may need surgery on his big toe, and suddenly Washington has depth problems at tight end. Could that mean the team reaches out to Cooley, a fan favorite?

"We have not talked about that, yet," Gruden said when asked about Cooley on Wednesday. 


"We're waiting to find out the exact status of Logan first. He's our No. 1 priority," Gruden said. "Once that decision becomes final on how long we know he's going to be out we'll start looking possibly for others."

Gruden also mentioned young players in camp with the Redskins that have a chance to stand out, like Devin Mahina, Je'Ron Hamm and Chase Dixon.

None of Mahina, Hamm or Dixon will excite the fanbase like talk of Cooley's return. In nine seasons with Washington, Cooley amassed nearly 5,000 receiving yards and 33 TDs along with two Pro Bowl invites and was named All Pro in 2005. When Cooley said on his radio show earlier this summer of his interest to get back into football, which he hasn't played since 2012, the response was strong. In late July, the Arizona Cardinals reportedly expressed interest in bringing in Cooley, though the team made other moves to address the tight end position. It's also unclear if the 'Skins could sign Cooley, as he is a paid employee of the team on the radio broadcasts. 

Like Gruden said, the Redskins aren't looking at other options - including Cooley. Yet. 

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Associated Press

Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 19, 38 days before the NFL draft.  

Free agency notes and nuggets

Looking at the 2018 depth chart—offense

The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the offensive side of the ball stands now. The defense is up tomorrow

Quarterback: Alex Smith
Backups: Colt McCoy

The only question here is if the Redskins will draft a late-round project quarterback to develop as the backup. McCoy is in the last year of his contract and he may not be back in 2019.

Running back: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, draft pick

This is an area to watch. Thompson could end up being the only carryover if they get a draft pick who can start and decide to keep 2017 late-season addition Kapri Bibbs or if they find another veteran. They also could go with only three running backs.

Wide receivers: Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder
Backups: Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick

They may not carry six, so Harris, Davis, and Quick might battle it out for two spots. It’s possible that they will put a draft pick into the mix as well.

MORE REDSKINS: The Redskins week that was

Tight end: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

As of right now, this appears to be one of the few position groups you can write in with a Sharpie. If the Redskins are going to be better in 2018, a lot of the improvement will have to come from improvement of 2017 draft picks like Sprinkle. If he can develop into a solid blocker and a moderate receiving threat he will be an asset.

Offensive line: LT Trent Williams, LG Arie Kouandjio, C Chase Roullier RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses
Backups: T Ty Nsekhe, G/T Tyler Catalina, G Kyle Kalis, T T.J. Clemmings

Kouandjio is a placeholder at left guard for the moment. He was solid pass blocking but struggled in run blocking in six starts in injury fill-in duty. I think that if they bring in another interior O-lineman in free agency or in the draft, Roullier will remain at center. I think Jay Gruden likes the way he is developing there and wants to continue.

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.

Tandler on Twitter


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174

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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.