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Need to Know: Fewer touches to go around for Redskins' offense

Need to Know: Fewer touches to go around for Redskins' offense

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 17, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Tennessee Titans at FedEx Field.

Five observations on the Redskins

—I get asked about the “mood” of the Redskins or the “tone” of the locker room and I have to say that it’s tough to figure it out. The players are going about their business, not panicking or particularly down. I do get the impression they’re mystified as to why things aren’t working.

—Everyone wants to know why Alfred Morris and Pierre Garçon aren’t getting the ball. Perhaps it’s because there are fewer footballs to go around this year than there were last year. In 2013, the Redskins averaged nearly 70 snaps a game. This year, if you exclude the Jacksonville game, an 83-snap outlier, they are averaging about 60 per game. That’s 10 fewer chances every week for Morris or Garçon or your other favorite but underutilized player to get the ball.

—That being said Morris needs to get the ball more. Even when it’s not working very well, they need to run the ball. It’s just hard to justify only 13 carries each in the Seahawks and Cardinals games, given that they were both one-score games most of way. It seems like it’s a vicious cycle; they aren’t running because it’s not very effective and the run game is not effective because they aren’t using it. I think that if they hand the ball off more things will take care of themselves.

Jay Gruden said that “it’s going to be close” whether or not Perry Riley will be able to play on Sunday. If he can’t go, that would mean his second straight missed game after 45 consecutive starts and 69 games played in a row. Always hate to see someone injured but if Riley is out, I’ll be interested in watching Will Compton make another start. He made some mistakes against the Cardinals but he settled in a played pretty well. Compton could be a cheaper replacement for Riley ($4 million cap number) in 2015.

—I have heard that the Redskins thought that Jordan Reed was ready to play against the Seahawks in Week 5 but they decided to give his hamstring one more week to rest just to make sure there wasn’t a setback. Gruden essentially confirmed that today when I asked him if they were confident in Reed’s health. “He might have been able to play a week sooner but to get that thing fully strengthened where he can go out and run and feel good about it was important,” he said.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:10 (closed to media after first 30 minutes); Open locker room and Jay Gruden news conference following practice

Days until: Titans @ Redskins 2; Monday night Redskins @ Cowboys 10; Redskins @ Vikings 16

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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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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