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Need to Know: 5 thoughts on the Redskins after first week of OTAs

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Need to Know: 5 thoughts on the Redskins after first week of OTAs

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 1, 16 days before the start of minicamp.

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Five thoughts on the Redskins after their first week of OTAs.

—It’s very early but it seems like Keenan Robinson has the inside track on the inside linebacker spot vacated by London Fletcher. To be sure, in shorts and helmets he’s going to look better than Akeem Jordan and Darryl Sharpton because he knows the defense. And he still has a lot to learn. But Jay Gruden saying that “we have high hopes for Keenan” is telling. He’s the guy they would like to see win the job and it’s likely that he’ll have to fall flat on his face to lose it.

—You certainly get the feeling that football wasn’t much fun for Robert Griffin III last year and he’d like to get back to enjoying the game. “Football’s a fun game to play. A lot of you guys don’t see the hard work that goes into it, how late we’re here, how early were here,” said Griffin. “At the end of the day it’s just like you’re a little kid again, out there playing football and I want it to be that kind of atmosphere and when guys are doing their job, we’ll celebrate.”

—I have been dismissive of Tanard Jackson’s chances of making the team. With just 12 games on his ledger since the start of the 2010 season the odds are still against him. But he has impressed during the time since his suspended ended and he has a legitimate shot. ““He doesn’t look like he’s been away for two years,” said Jay Gruden. Jackson will have to play well enough to knock Bacarri Rambo off of the roster since the team is unlikely to keep more than four safeties.

Jordan Reed was second on the team in both receptions and receiving yards last year despite missing seven games with injuries, including the last six with a concussion. Despite the additions for DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, don’t be surprised if Reed is again the second leading receiver on the team if he is able to play all or most of 16 games. He will be RG3’s security blanket. “If people want to crowd DeSean or crowd Pierre, he’s a guy that is very much needed in the passing game, so we just got to keep him healthy and get him going,” said Gruden.

—It’s not sounding good for Leonard Hankerson. Gruden said that he hopes to get the fourth-year receiver on the field “sometime in training camp”. That sounds a lot like he’ll be starting camp on the PUP list so he will fall even further behind in learning the offense. It’s hard to see him being left off of the 53-man roster but you can’t rule it out.

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Timeline

—It’s been 154 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 98 days until they play the Texans in their season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 16; Training camp 53; Redskins @ Eagles 112

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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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

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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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