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Have the Redskins found the answer at right tackle?

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Have the Redskins found the answer at right tackle?

Over the next few weeks, Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will grade each position group’s performance in 2015, break down the current personnel situation and evaluate the unit's outlook for 2016. Yesterday, we took a look at the defensive line. Today, the offensive tackles are up.

Offensive tackle

Grade: B

2015 starters: Trent Williams, Morgan Moses

Backups: Ty Nsekhe, Tom Compton

Free agents: Compton

Rewind: It was business as usual for Williams. He played at a high level all year and made his fourth straight Pro Bowl, although he didn’t make the trip to Hawaii due to some nagging injuries. Those injuries hampered him some during the season. Williams was on the injury report for seven games. He missed the Week 6 game against the Jets with a neck injury and he sat out the meaningless season finale against the Cowboys.

Before the season started, things were more fluid on the right side. They took Brandon Scherff with the fifth overall pick and installed him a right tackle for OTAs. But soon after training camp started Scherff was moved to right guard and Moses, a 2014 third-round pick, was plugged in at right tackle.

There was concern that Moses would struggle after he missed the entire offseason program as he rehabbed a Lisfranc injury he suffered late in the 2014 season. But he got rolling from the get-go and improved the right tackle position. Here are quarterback pressures given up by Moses in 2015 compared to those give up by Tyler Polumbus and Compton, the 2014 starters at right tackle

Year Sacks-Hits-Hurries
2014 14-8-35
2015 5-3-19

Moses’ performance was a surprise; the contribution of Nsekhe was a shock. The 30-year-old journeyman was thought to be camp fodder but he made the team and became the top option as a backup tackle. Nsekhe played respectably when Williams was out against the tough Jets defense, allowing no sacks, not hits and just one hurry. He also played a solid second half against the Bills after Moses left the game with an injury.

Compton played 216 snaps but most of them were as a third tackle lined up in the tight end position.  

Fast forward: It should be a relatively quiet offseason at this position. Williams’ rookie contract expired after the 2015 season but in August he and the team agreed to a five-year, $66 million extension. Left tackle is now locked down through the year 2020.

Moses seems certain to return at right tackle. It’s always possible that Scot McCloughan will see a tackle he likes in the middle rounds of the draft and perhaps that player could challenge Moses. But for the time being it’s not a position they are desperate to upgrade.

In fact, it's entirely possible that the Redskins have found their long-term solution at the position. Right tackle has been in flux for about the last 10 years or so, when Jon Jansen's play started to decline. 

There’s no reason not to bring back Nsekhe. He just finished his first NFL season so he will be on the books for the minimum of $600,000. Compton is a restricted free agent. The team would like to have him back if only to compete for a spot and to continue his tight end duties if the team is unable to secure a strong blocker at that position.

One player who could challenge Nsekhe and/or Compton for a roster spot is Takoby Cofield, who spent last season on the practice squad. The Redskins signed him as an undrafted free agent last year and they think he could develop into a solid player. 

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

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. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 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 overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

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. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

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) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198