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'A more lively destination:' Next rendering of Skins' stadium is pretty wild

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'A more lively destination:' Next rendering of Skins' stadium is pretty wild

When the first drawing of the design for the Redskins’ new stadium came out last week, it appeared that the structure was surrounded by a moat. But a second picture reveals that the body of water is actually more of a circular wave pool.

The scene looks more like a summer day on the boardwalk in Ocean City, with young people rollerblading in the foreground and people sitting on blankets laid out on what looks like white sand in the back, than it does a crowd heading in for a critical December NFC East matchup.

The concept is from the Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Ingles and his firm were recently the subject of a CBS 60 Minutes segment called “Starchitect”.

“The stadium is designed as much for the tailgating, the pre-game, as it is for the game itself,” said Ingles in the 60 Minutes piece. “It literally become a picnic in a park to make the stadium a more lively destination throughout the year without ruining the turf for the football game.”

Although it’s easy to make fun of the wave pool idea, the thought of having an NFL stadium as a year-round type of destination makes sense. The economics of building a new stadium are getting more and more difficult to manage. It’s hard to justify spending over a billion dollars to build something that is just going to be used for two preseason games, eight times during the regular season, and maybe for a playoff game or two. Something that could be utilized (and generate revenue) year round could be the way to go. 

In addition, with the option of staying at home and viewing the game on high-definition TV being so attractive, you have to give people more reasons to come to a game than just the game. That thought may rankle purists but the bottom line is that is a simple fact and it has to be considered when designing a new stadium.

This is just an early step in the process. When the new stadium opens, which is unlikely to happen before the middle of the next decade, it may or may not have a moat/wave pool or that very open design that looks like it would allow sound generated by fans to escape into the atmosphere rather than being directed to the field to disrupt the other team’s offensive snap count.

But regardless of the specifics it appears that Dan Snyder wants to build something that will have a “wow” factor to its appearance and that will have utility beyond the 10 scheduled NFL dates from mid-August through December.

Here's a little more from 60 minutes...

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins woeful run game

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USA TODAY Sports

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins woeful run game

News broke that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry. Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or the draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team.

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 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.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

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) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201