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Need to Know: Broncos' WR Welker, TE Thomas big concerns for Redskins


Need to Know: Broncos' WR Welker, TE Thomas big concerns for Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 23, four days before the Washington Redskins travel to Denver to play the Broncos.

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Five things you need to know about the Redskins-Broncos matchup:

1. The Redskins defense is geared to stop the run and that won’t change against the Peyton Manning led Broncos. Denver is 16th in the league in rushing offense averaging 108 yards per game. They have rushed for over 100 yards as a team in five of their seven games. The two times they failed to reach 100 on the ground were their opener against the Ravens, a 49-27 win, and their last game, a 39-33 loss to the Colts.

2. Wes Welker is death by a thousand paper cuts. He isn’t going to make the big play on you—he averages 10.8 yards per catch and his long reception this year is just 33 yards. DeAngelo Hall covered Welker when he was with the Patriots so he will probably draw that assignment again. It will be an interesting battle, especially on third down.

3. Welker is a big concern but I think the guy with the capability to drive the Redskins crazy is tight end Julius Thomas. The 2011 fourth-round pick is tied with Welker for the team lead (and the NFL lead) in touchdown receptions with eight. It seems like every time I see the Broncos he’s making a key catch. Tight ends haven’t really killed the Redskins so far this year but then again they haven’t faced many really good ones. Thomas, I think, is one of the good ones.

4. Denver does have a defense but it’s hard to gauge how good it really is. The numbers get skewed when teams are forced into shootouts. They are last in the league in passing yards allowed but only two teams get thrown against more often. Still, they are allowing 8.2 yards per attempt, 28th in the league. You’d expect the rushing yards against them to be low due to teams passing so often and they are with the Broncos ranking fourth in the league. But they are second in the NFL in yards per attempt at 3.3 so they’re doing a good job of defending the few runs that are called against them.

5. It’s tough to write much about Manning that hasn’t already been written. He gets flack, some of it fair, some of it not, for his lack of postseason success. But that doesn’t matter right now given that it’s October, not January. The Redskins will have their hands full with him on Sunday.

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Stat of the day

—  The 134 receiving yards post by Jordan Reed were 25 more than Chris Cooley’s career high of 109.


—Days until: Redskins @ Broncos 4; Chargers @ Redskins 11; Redskins @ Vikings 15

—Today’s schedule: Player availability 11:15; Practice 1:00 (media can observe for first 30 minutes); Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan news conferences after practices after practice (approx. 3:15) streamed live on                   

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

It may be the 18th of March but today could be like Christmas for five Redskins players.

The Redskins decided to use today, four days after the start of the league year, for some contract triggers. In this case, the triggers are all 2018 salary guarantees (some teams will pay out roster bonuses on trigger dates, but the Redskins rarely use that type of structure).

Here are the players whose have guarantees that kick in today 4 p.m. All data is via Over the Cap.


CB Josh Norman, base salary of $13.5 million becomes fully guaranteed—This was a window for the Redskins to move on from Norman if they were not happy with his performance after two seasons. He is 31 and he had no interceptions last season, leaving some to wonder if the Redskins might think about releasing him. But it never was a consideration.

TE Jordan Reed, $8 million of his $8.25 million salary becomes fully guaranteed—No, I’m not sure why they are leaving that $250,000 out there non-guaranteed. Fans thought that the Redskins might move on from Reed due to his injury issues. But, as with Norman, it never was a consideration.

S D.J. Swearinger, $3 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—This is a mere technicality, Swearinger wasn’t going anywhere after helping to solidify the safety position.


RB Chris Thompson, $1.996 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—His rehab is going well and after last year Thompson’s two-year, $7 million contract extension signed last September looks like a good deal for the team.

DE Terrell McClain, $3.25 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—If the Redskins sign a top free agent D-lineman or draft on early in the draft they could be in a numbers crunch. That new acquisition would be guaranteed a roster spot along with Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, and Anthony Lanier. That makes five and the Redskins kept six last year. Ziggy Hood is a favorite of the coaching staff but he has no guaranteed money left on his contract. That could tip the sixth spot in favor of McClain if he is on the roster at the close of business today. If they release McClain after today, they would take a cap charge of over $2 million. It seems unlikely that anything will happen but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 18, 39 days before the NFL draft.  

Looking at next year’s free agents

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens.

Note: I’m not including Brandon Scherff here because the team has a fifth-year option on him that they surely will activate before the May 2 deadline.

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard).

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility.

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon.

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup.

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight.

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Regarding the reported visit of defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins with the Redskins:


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 29
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 131
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 175

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