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Need to Know: Gruden tries to fuel Redskins-Cowboys rivalry

Need to Know: Gruden tries to fuel Redskins-Cowboys rivalry

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 24, three days before the Washington Redskins travel to Dallas to play the Cowboys on Monday night football.

Redskins Park notes and quotes from Thursday

—Quarterback status is the same as yesterday. Jay Gruden is not closing the door to Robert Griffin III starting against the Cowboys but all indications remain that Colt McCoy will start and that Griffin will be inactive.

—The only advancement of the quarterback narrative came when Gruden confirmed that Griffin will start when he’s healthy. In other words, if McCoy goes out and plays well and the Redskins somehow beat the Cowboys, Griffin will still start against the Vikings if he’s ready. It’s something we already pretty much knew but Gruden did confirm it for the first time.

—Yes, there were non-QB questions asked during Gruden’s press conference. He was asked about Trent Murphy and being able to avoid penalties. “Yeah, that’s the case with a lot of defensive players. They get over-anxious and they work so hard to get to the quarterback and they get there a little late but they feel like it’s necessary to go ahead and hit him anyway. You’ve just got to reign them in.”

—There has been talk, mostly fan chatter, about cornerback Bashaud Breeland possibly moving to safety. He thinks he could do it but he doesn’t particularly want to. “I was a backup safety at Clemson, I never played it in a game,” he said. “It’s a position that I can play. I want to play corner, that’s what I think I am. I have attributes to play safety. But I feel like I can be a good corner in this league.”

—I have a post coming up this morning with Breeland talking about the challenge of covering Dez Bryant. Breeland and David Amerson will play on the left and right sides, respectively, so they both will have their shots at one of the league's best receivers. Breeland has some interesting stuff about the techniques used to cover a big receiver.

—Gruden showed a video with highlights of the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry over the years to the team. Perhaps this will add some of the juice that has been missing from the series lately. “Well, I just think the history, a lot of guys haven’t been in this organization – myself included. This is my first year. It’s always good to see the history of this rivalry and how important it is to the fans, the ex-players – the alumni and the organization in general. This is a huge game for a lot of people and we’re going to make sure it’s known that this is a big rivalry for the new players and coaches.”


Today’s schedule: Practice 11:25; Open locker room, Jay Gruden news conference, Jim Haslett and Sean McVay media availability after practice.

Days until: Monday night Redskins @ Cowboys 3; Redskins @ Vikings 9; Bucs @ Redskins 23

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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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

The Redskins seem to love former Cowboys. They signed another one today.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media is reporting that Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The early numbers put the contract at up to $10 million over two years.

Scandrick, 31, has played for the Cowboys since they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. In nine seasons in the league, Scandrick has eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

He has been plagued by injuries the last three years. Scandrick was out for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. In 2016 he missed four games with a hamstring injury and he finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury. Whether his struggles last year were due to injuries or age remains to be seen.

Scandrick joins Nosh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Holsey at cornerback for the Redskins. Holsey is the only natural slot corner in the group and he played very sparingly as a rookie last year. Scandrick likely will fill the slot role until Holsey is ready.

We will see what the signing costs in terms of salary cap impact when we see the details of the contract. The phrase “up to” generally means that there are incentives included in the deal so we will have to see.

In recent years, the Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive linemen Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, and Terrell McClain.


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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Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract

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Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details.

Until now.

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. The top line numbers are five years, $111 million, an average annual value of $22.2 million per year. 


Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer).

But there is another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million.

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith, but since we have no details, we’ll set those aside for now.

The cap hits on the contract are as follows:

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022.

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five.


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.