DeAngelo Hall expects Sundays game against the undefeated Falcons to be the stiffest challenge the Redskins defense has encountered in 2012.Its also a prime opportunity for the veteran cornerback to bounce back from an uneven performance against the Buccaneers.Definitely, he said, this is the biggest test we will have faced so far this season.Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan leads the league in passer rating (112.1) and is second in passing touchdowns (11). Wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones each have three touchdown receptions, as does tight end Tony Gonzalez. And then theres 247-pound running back Michael Turner, whos 15thin rushing yards with 257.Combined, they form a formidable offense thats scoring 31 points per game (3rd).Its going to take all of us, Hall said. Their offense is rolling. Theyre clicking. At certain points in the season, it happens like that, where everything goes right.It will be our offense being to sustain drives and our pass rush being able to get in Ryans face, Hall added. It will be us in the back being able to cover. Its the linebackers dropping into zone or playing man if they have to. Its not one guy shutting someone down.That all said, Hall knows the spotlight will be on himself and fellow cornerback Josh Wilson. Not only because of big-play ability that White, Jones and Gonzalez possess, but also because both got burned by big plays on Tampa Bay scoring drives Sunday as the Bucs rallied from a 15-point deficit. You can play 60 perfect snaps, then one bad judge of a ball and the sky is falling down, Hall said. Its part of it. Wilson gave up a play, hey, go out there and make a play. I gave up a play, hey, got to go out there and make a play now. Luckily, we were able to pull the game and so it didnt feel as bad coming out with the win. You can always critique things a little easier when you win.The consensus in the Redskins locker room is that the defense took a small step forward in Tampa. But there's clearly still much room for improvement from a unit that's yielded 11 passing touchdowns (32nd), 8.8 yards per pass attempt (30th) and 30.8 points per game (27th).We have to be better, Hall said. We all know that.
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 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 five highest-paid Redskins in 2018
Originally published 1/12/18
This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.
CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.
OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.
OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.
TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.
G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.
Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)
—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197
A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins.
Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average.
A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive.
It's not all good news with Bryant, though.
He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media.
Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is.
Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD.
Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded.
Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense.
The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.
The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable.
Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder.
This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts.
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