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Jordan Reed eager to prove he's worth the money

Jordan Reed eager to prove he's worth the money

Jordan Reed performed like one of the NFL’s top tight ends in 2015.

Now, he’s going to get paid like one of them, too.

On Thursday, Reed signed a five-year contract extension with the Redskins that will keep him in Washington through the 2021 season. 

The deal, according to ProFootballTalk.com is worth just under $50 million and includes $22 million in guarantees.

“It means a lot that the Redskins invested that kind of money in me, and think that highly of me as a player and as a person,” Reed said on a conference call with Washington area reporters. “I’m going to show them that they made a good investment and I’m going to prove them right in making me one of the highest paid.”

Reed put himself in position for a huge extension with a breakout 2015 season.

In 14 games, he recorded career highs in catches (87), receiving yards (952 yards) and touchdowns (11). The 25-year-old put an exclamation point on the campaign over the final five contests (including the Wild Card loss to the Packers), a stretch in which he amassed 38 receptions, 458 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Reed said discussions heated up shortly after the playoffs. And although he characterized the talks as “positive” throughout, he did become concerned when the team unexpectedly struck a deal 5-year, $75 million deal with All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman.

That concern, as it turned out, was unfounded.

RELATED: Redskins building a strong core of elite players 

“It was a concern when they signed Norman because of the cap room, but I guess they made it work and were able to give me what my agent was asking for at the time,” Reed said.

As for his reputation for spending a lot of time on the sidelines due to injuries—he’s missed 14 games in three seasons—Reed said he hopes to shake that label completely in 2016 after making solid strides last year.  

“I just figured out a routine that was effective for me,” Reed said of his improved health in ‘15. “When I talk to the [training staff and coaches] these days, it really doesn’t come up. I just want to move on and show that I can play 16 games.”

Reed has spent the past two months working in Miami with the same trainer that helped him prepare for the combine. After OTAs, he intends to return to Trent Williams’ gym in Houston for several more weeks of prep work.

“That’s where I trained before the season last year,” Reed said. “[Personal trainer and nutritionist James Cooper] helped me a lot and put a lot of muscle on me. His workouts are real hard so he was able to make practices and games easy, working those hot summers in Texas.”

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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. 

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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