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Need to Know: Redskins GM McCloughan's five best player acquisitions

Need to Know: Redskins GM McCloughan's five best player acquisitions

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 27, 33 days before the March 1 NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:

NFL free agency starts (3/9) 41
—NFL Draft (4/27) 90
First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 226

Scot McCloughan’s five value acquisitions

Here are the five best players Scot McCloughan has either drafted or signed as a free agent. Contract cost and draft position are taken into consideration. I’ll take a look at his five worst here sometime in the next few days.

5. CB Quinton Dunbar, undrafted free agent—The converted wide receiver has had his share of ups and downs over his two seasons. But he has come up with some big plays. In particular, two end zone interceptions of Eli Manning, one at FedEx Field in 2015 and one in the Meadowlands last season were critical plays in important wins over the Giants. Any time you can get a CB who can contribute like that as a UDFA that’s good value.

4. RB Rob Kelley, undrafted free agent—“Fat Rob” went from being an unknown in training camp to a player who showed some promise in the preseason to a surprise on the initial 53-man roster to the starting running back for the last half of the season. He had his ups and downs but he was productive enough to hold on to the job. Kelley had 180 touches and did not fumble. That’s important since that is the issue that sent predecessor Matt Jones to the bench.

Related: NFL mock draft ver. 2.0

3. TE Vernon Davis, $2.4 million free agent—He is the only veteran free agent on this list. Davis was thought to be washed up after struggling during the 2015 season but McCloughan bet $1.1 million in fully guaranteed money that he wasn’t. The veteran proved to be very valuable as he caught 44 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns. With Jordan Reed missing four games with injuries, Davis provided some much-needed depth.

2. LB/S Su’a Cravens, 2nd round—He had his share of stumbles as a rookie and he will have to deal with a position change to safety in 2017. But the future looks bright for the versatile, athletic Cravens. If he can solidify half of the safety position, a problem area for the last decade, he could move up to No. 1 on this list.

More Redskins: 5 salary cap bargains in 2017

1. WR Jamison Crowder, 4th round—Crowder was bypassed in the draft because he was undersized but McCloughan saw the type of “football player” he likes in the Duke product. He quickly became the starting slot receiver and in two years he has averaged 63 receptions, 726 yards, and four touchdowns per season.

Also under consideration: McCloughan signed LB Mason Foster and DB Will Blackmon as injury replacements in early 2016 and both developed into starters . . . K Dustin Hopkins has missed some field goals but his ability to consistently pound kickoffs into the end zone has helped the special teams immeasurably. . . Since some will ask, G Brandon Scherff is a very good player but the fifth overall pick is too high for a guard, even one that makes the Pro Bowl in his second year. He will need to garner some All-Pro honors before he can justify that price.

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In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 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 underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

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. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

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) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

RELATED: BEST AND WORST OF REDSKINS' FIRST-ROUND DRAFT HISTORY

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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