Redskins

Quick Links

Need to Know: Five Redskins who need to step up in 2017

Need to Know: Five Redskins who need to step up in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 9, 59 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 51
NFL draft 108
First Sunday of 2017 season 244

Five Redskins who need to step up in 2016

RB Rob Kelley—He was a nice story as an undrafted rookie who did a decent job coming after Jay Gruden decided to deactivate Matt Jones for the last nine games of the season. Projecting his production in those nine starts over a 16-game season he would have just over 1,000 yards rushing, which is good. But he averaged just 4.0 yards per carry, which would have ranked around 24th in the league if he had enough carries to qualify. And he needs to work on his receiving skills; an average of one catch for nine yards per game. If the Redskins are going to have a balanced attack, they need more from Kelley. 

WR Josh Doctson—The Redskins’ first-round pick barely practiced or played but his exposure to a year of being around the team and going to meetings should have him ahead of where a raw rookie would be. That’s good because he will be expected to step up into a featured role if, as expected, Pierre Garçon and/or DeSean Jackson depart via free agency. If they both go, that’s over 2,000 receiving yards and seven touchdowns that would have to be replaced. Doctson will be counted on to account for a good chunk of that.

OLB Preston Smith—Five sacks, an interception, a field goal block, and three passes defensed isn’t a terrible season but Smith is capable of much more. The defense is going to add a lot of pieces during the offseason but it’s possible that none will have a bigger potential impact than we would see if Smith consistently becomes the player he was against the Vikings and Bears this past year and the one who blossomed in the latter stages of the 2015 season. If he can do that the defense could take a major leap in 2017.

CB Bashaud Breeland—Looking at his body of work for the season perhaps it’s unfair to say that Breeland regressed in 2016 but he sure didn’t take the leap forward that many thought/hoped he would. Unless he and the Redskins negotiate a contract extension Breeland is going into a contract year. For both his sake and for the sake of the defense, he needs to take that big leap forward, develop consistency and become a quality NFL starter.

CB Josh Norman—His cap number this year is $20 million, or slightly more than the cap hit of QB Kirk Cousins in 2016. It’s not fair to expect Norman to have the same impact as quarterback who threw for nearly 5,000 yards but the Redskins will expect more than three interceptions out of him. Sure, they don’t throw his way often but he had around a half a dozen picks in his hands that he didn’t hold on to. And they would appreciate him drastically reducing the 19 penalty flags he drew this season.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Need to Know: Five Redskins who must step up in 2018

doctson_td_vs_nyg_usat.png
Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Five Redskins who must step up in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 25, 17 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.

Five Redskins who will have to step up in 2018

Originally published 12/26/17

WR Josh Doctson—This list is in no particular order but if it was, Doctson would be right here at the top. The watchword for Doctson is consistency. He makes some incredible catches and then there are throws that he drops or doesn’t quite seem to make enough of an effort to catch. There is promise there. The first-round pick has shown his ability and his teammates say he has a chance to be elite. But the potential must translate into production on the field, week in and week out.  

RB Samaje Perine—There is plenty of chatter about the Redskins’ need to sign or draft a top running back. But a look at this team’s recent history tells us that they are unlikely to invest major assets in the position. That means that Perine, a fourth-round pick in 2017, will have to become a more consistent runner. It’s not all his fault that he hasn’t done much since he had back-to-back 100-yard games in Weeks 11-12; tough defense, offensive line issues, and game score situations have slowed his production. But he needs to be consistently productive in 2018 no matter who he lines up against.

CB Josh Norman—Unless he gets a pick against the Giants, he will go through the year without any interceptions. Sure, they don’t throw his way all that often and INT’s don’t give you the complete picture of his play. But a CB taking up $20 million in cap room needs to get a couple of picks almost by sheer accident. Norman battled some injury problems and if he wants to justify the final two years and $23 million of salary remaining on his contract, his age 30 2018 season needs to be more impactful.

OLB Preston Smith—The third-year player started strong, with at least half a sack in the first five games. And he’s finishing strong, with three sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble in the last two games. But in between, he had a total of just half a sack in eight games. This follows the pattern he displayed his first two years in the league of being dominant in some games and invisible in others. If he can develop some consistency in his 2018 contract year, he could cash in huge in free agency the following year.

Head coach Jay Gruden—Normally I only include players on lists like this one but if Gruden doesn’t do something to get the Redskins out of their near-.500 rut then nothing else will matter. He needs to change up something, whether it’s pushing the players hard in training camp or perhaps fine tuning his friendly approach to the players. Sure, better luck regarding injuries and a schedule that right now appears to be a bit less challenging will help. But Gruden needs to look at what he can change, too.

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) 4
—NFL Draft (4/26) 60
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 196

Quick Links

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

norman_2_usat.png
Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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)

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) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197