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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins free agent targets

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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins free agent targets

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 19, 36 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Question of the day

We’re flipping into offseason mode with Need to Know. At least a few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question comes from the Real Redskins Facebook page.

This is a tough question because it takes a few years to get a good feel for what a general manager likes to do in free agency and we only have one Scot McCloughan offseason to go on. In addition, the free agent pool today will be vastly different from the one that will exist on March 9, when free agency starts, as players get signed by their current teams and others who are under contract for 2016 become cap casualties.

But this is all in fun so let’s take a look at five potential targets:

Dolphins RB Lamar Miller—He won’t be 25 until OTAs start and he can be the dynamic back the Redskins are looking for. Miller has runs of 97 and 85 yards the last two years. Another plus is that he has had a fairly light workload in his career; in four seasons he has averaged 160 carries a year and never more than 216 in any one season.

Seahawks WR Jermaine Kearse—At 6-1 he’s not a huge receiver but he would add some needed size to the Redskins’ receiving corps. He can get it done in the red zone; he has five red zone touchdown receptions in the last three years, more than any Redskin not named Reed or Garçon. McCloughan is familiar with him as he was with the Seahawks when they signed Kearse as an undrafted free agent in 2012

Jaguars C Stefen Wisniewski—The former Raider signed a one-year “prove it” deal with the Jaguars. He didn’t miss a snap and was one of the Jags’ best offensive linemen. At the age of 27 he’s in line for a more substantial deal and the Redskins should take a hard look to see if they should offer him one.

Chargers S Eric Weddle—Yeah, I know, another aging safety. And this one is a long shot but I think the Redskins will keep their eye on him. Incumbent safety Dashon Goldson is slated to make $8 million in 2016 and I don’t think that the Redskins will pay him that. If he won’t renegotiate, the Redskins will need an alternative if they decide to move on from Goldson and that could be Weddle. At age 31 he would be a short-term solution but he would be a quality (two-time All-Pro, including 2014) stopgap.

Broncos ILB Danny Trevathan—If Mason Foster leaves, or even if he stays, Trevathan could be a good fit. He has the background in a winning organization that McCloughan likes and he’ll be 26 in a couple of months.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game nine days ago. It will be about 236 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 36; NFL free agency starts 51; 2016 NFL draft 100

In case you missed it

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Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

After missing the last eight games, the Redskins brought back place-kicker Dustin Hopkins from the injured reserve and waived Nick Rose.

Hopkins became eligible to return from the IR this week and took part in practice all week. Jay Gruden wouldn't commit to one kicker or the other when he spoke earlier in the week, but the decision came down on Saturday.

Rose played well in Hopkins' absence, making 10 of 11 field goals including a 55-yarder. The rookie Rose had some struggles with extra points, missing two of his 20 attempts, though neither snap/hold combination was totally clean either. 

RELATED: REDSKINS-CARDINALS PREVIEW

Hopkins has the stronger leg and is capable of booting the ball out of the end zone on seemingly every kickoff. With Rose as kicker, at times the Redskins deployed a different strategy where kicks were aimed for the goal line, forcing a return. 

Washington's kicker for parts of the last three seasons, Hopkins has a career 84 percent field goal conversion rate and 94.6 percent conversion rate on extra points in 36 games. 

The Redskins sent Hopkins to the IR after a Week 6 win over the 49ers with a right hip rotator muscle injury. 

MORE REDSKINS: SLOW STARTS HAVE BEEN KILLING THE REDSKINS

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Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up

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Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up

For the second consecutive game, the Redskins got blown out on the road. First in Dallas, then in Los Angeles, Jay Gruden's team is reeling with mounting questions and pressures about 2018 and beyond. 

The best way to calm down the flames? Get a win.

Washington will have that chance on Sunday at 1 p.m. (full coverage on NBC Sports Washington at noon) when they host the Arizona Cardinals. Getting the victory won't be easy, however, no matter how bad the Redskins need it. 

  1. Turn the page - The Redskins have lost their last two games by a combined score of 68-27. The results have been terrible, and the outcome in Los Angeles could have been much uglier had the Chargers not pulled starting QB Philip Rivers. Still, those games are over, and Washington needs to focus on the Cardinals. Gruden spoke this week that his team cannot "wallow" in the past two losses. If the Redskins are looking back at their lost season, instead of looking squarely at Arizona, another blowout loss is likely to come. 
  2. Get it going - Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense had by far their worst statistical output last week in LA. The offense must get back on track, and that means a better performance from Cousins and the 'Skins run game. Against the Chargers, Washington generated only 201 total yards and just nine first downs. Nine, their second worst total since having only 15 first downs against the Cowboys the week before. At this stage of the season, the Redskins defense will not win this team any games. The offense must do it, and that means improved play from the line, the quarterback and the skill positions. 
  3. Make a play - Turnovers can win or lose games, and in their last two blowout losses, it's no surprise the Redskins have been on the wrong end of the ledger. Washington has five turnovers in their last two games, and has generated only one takeaway in that span. (It can be argued that shouldn't even count, as it came on an interception from Chargers backup Kellen Clemens in the final minutes of a blowout.) Washington ranks dead last in the NFL in points per game allowed, and that won't improve with linebacker Zach Brown out this weekend. Generating turnovers, particularly against Arizona QB Blaine Gabbert, should be the defensive focus. 

Quote of the Week: Jay Gruden, asked about preparation before the Chargers game-

We didn't spend last week playing checkers.

News & Notes:

  • Gabbert has been sacked 15 times in the Cardinals last two games. Washington comes into Week 15 with the 13th most sacks in the league.
  • The Cardinals defense ranks in the Top 10 in yards per play, yards per game, and rush yards per game. Despite that, Arizona's defense ranks 25th in points allowed. 
  • D.J. Swearinger, who played for Arizona last season before signing in Washington as a free agent, is tied for fourth in the NFC in interceptions.
  • Jordan Reed won't be playing this week, or the remainder of the season. Washington moved Reed to the injured reserve this week. 
  • Arizona coach Bruce Arians was a college quarterback at Virginia Tech from 1972 to 1974.

Want more? Listen up!

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