Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, August 21, 13 days before the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 players.
—Today's schedule: Off day, no availability
—The Redskins last played a game that counted 224 days ago. It will be 22 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 28; Browns @ Redskins 42; Redskins @ Ravens 49
Five Redskins sweating it out on the bubble
ILB Perry Riley—The longtime starter played 10 snaps against the Jets and he doesn’t seem like he was one of the top-line players that Jay Gruden wanted to play sparingly or not at all. That comes after he played just 12 snaps against the Falcons. And he didn’t dent the stat sheet in either game. With a cap number slightly over $5 million it doesn’t look good for Riley.
OT Takoby Cofield—He played 46 snaps against the Jets, more than anyone else on offense. The first-year player was inconsistent, although he had his moments. His task is to convince the coaches that he’s worth a roster spot even though they have a lot of faith in Ty Nsekhe to be effective filling in in both spots. If he can't make his case another season on the practice squad could be in the cards.
OLB Houston Bates—There is one OLB spot available behind Kerrigan, Smith, and Murphy and it seems to be Bates’ to lose. However, he could lose it. His competitors for the job, Willie Jefferson and Lynden Trail, had good nights against the Jets. Jefferson had a tackle for loss and Trail made a play on special teams. Bates probably has the inside track but he needs to keep pushing to keep it.
RB Keith Marshall—The coaches probably would like to hand him the backup running back job and be done with it. But with 25 yards on 15 carries in two games (1.7 yards/carry) they just can’t do it. If he gets several series with the starters against the Bills on Friday and doesn’t greatly improve that average he could be looking at a spot on the practice squad.
WR Maurice Harris—There could be a spot for a wide receiver available if Josh Doctson starts the season on the PUP list. Harris has consistently looked better than any of the rookie free agent receivers in practice. But he needs more production in games than the two catches for 23 yards he has on the books for far.
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In case you missed it
Every team in the NFL would love to add to their pass rush, and the Redskins are no exception. The team withdrew its contract offer to Junior Galette, spurring rumors that they were looking elsewhere.
The Redskins recently had linebacker Pernell McPhee in for a visit, and rumors are swirling that the former Bear is close to joining the Burgundy and Gold.
Nothing has been confirmed, but if McPhee does come to Washington, it would be in the hopes that he can provide a boost to the team's pass rush. The linebacker has proven himself capable of getting to the quarterback in his seven seasons in the NFL, recording 31.0 sacks in his career, with 21.5 of those coming in the last four years. He's also forced at least one fumble in each of the past five seasons.
Playing in the DMV again would mark a homecoming of sorts for McPhee, who played in Baltimore for 4 seasons after being drafted by the Ravens in the 5th round of the 2011 draft before signing in Chicago as a free agent.
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.
The Redskins week that was
A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.
Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.
Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.
Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.
Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.
Tweet of the week
Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.
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.
—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169
In case you missed it