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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Gruden extension, Cousins' status

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Gruden extension, Cousins' status

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 11, 37 days before Washington Redskins start offseason workouts on April 17.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Draft (4/27) 47
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 74
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 126
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 183

The Redskins week that was

This week has been one of the craziest in Redskins history with reports, many of them conflicting, flying around. Because of that I’m doing the week that was a little differently today. Instead of linking the most popular articles of the week I’ll list the top five topics and give you my take on those. These are presented in no particular order.

The end of the road for McCloughan—The McCloughan-Redskins relationship seemed to be doomed from the start. McCloughan was a genius with a fatal flaw and the Redskins were one of few places where he had an opportunity to resume his career. But the atmosphere at Redskins Park—or at many other NFL facilities—is not conducive to handling issues like McCloughan has. While McCloughan had a hand in his own demise the Redskins could not have handled the whole thing any worse.  

Kirk Cousins—Will he sign it or won’t he? Will he get traded or will he stay? Is a long-term deal out of the question? Other than the fact that he did sign the tender we don’t really know a whole lot more about his status for 2017 and beyond than we did a week ago. No matter what happens, we’ll always have the memories of the whacky Ian Rapoport report that said that a trade that would send Cousins to the 49ers, high draft picks to the Cowboys, and Tony Romo to Washington was a possibility.

Gruden extended—Yes, that did happen this week, although it seems like an eternity ago. There was a PR element in the timing, no doubt about it. But it had been in the works for quite some time. The extension does give a sense of stability although it may be a false sense. The money in the additional two years is guaranteed; the job is not. If things go south Dan Snyder will not hesitate to stroke the check and send Gruden packing. Regardless, his power at Redskins Park increased with the new contract; Gruden was one of the few at Redskins Park who ended the week better off than he was when he started it.

Terrelle Pryor signedThe Redskins get to put Pryor on a one-year tryout before deciding if they want to give him a pricier, long-term deal. At 6-5 he gives the Redskins a huge red zone target to send out along with the 6-2 Josh Doctson. Pryor is still learning the position and once he learns the tricks of the trade like using his big body to shield away defenders. At the very least his addition gives the team a year to develop a receiver if they draft one in the middle rounds at the end of next month.

Defensive free agents—D. J. Swearinger isn’t an ideal safety to pair with Su’a Cravens since both are probably better at strong. But Swearinger did play single high with the Cardinals so that’s a possibility. I think you also could see a three-safety look with Will Blackmon playing free. Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee are “just a guy” types with injury histories. They got relatively modest deals and if they can stay healthy they can contribute in a rotation.

Tandler on Twitter

In response to an Adam Schefter tweet saying that FOX is trying to get Tony Romo in a broadcast booth:

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 Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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

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

News broke Tuesday 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. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

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 in the 2018 NFL 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, however, 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. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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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