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Need to Know: Knighton's new contract indicates limited interest from Redskins

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Need to Know: Knighton's new contract indicates limited interest from Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 8, 20 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 89 days ago. It will be about 156 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 10; 2016 NFL draft 20; Redskins training camp starts 111

Hot topic

The Redskins made a late bid to try to retain nose tackle Terrance Knighton before the Patriots signed him last week. But a look at the contract that Pot Roast ended up signing with New England indicates it wasn’t a very serious effort to retain his services, at least if money was a significant factor (and it usually is).

When word that Knighton was on the move to Foxboro came out, the top-line numbers reported by the media said that Knighton got a one-year, $4.5 million deal. It appeared that the Redskins were simply substantially outbid as their offer was reported to be much lower.

But the details of the contract came out on Wednesday and, as is usually the case, the deal isn’t quite as sweet as it looked at first.

So it’s really a $1.1 million deal with incentives that could add another $3.4 million. According to Overthecap.com the 2016 cap charge is just over $2 million, meaning that only about $900,000 of the bonus money is considered likely to be earned. That means he will have to accomplish things that he didn’t accomplish in 2015 in order to collect.

Assuming that Knighton didn’t turn down more money from the Redskins, it would appear that they didn’t value him enough to at least match New England’s offer. They stuck with their original decision to go in another direction. We will see how it works out.

Fan question of the day

I’m not sure if you are in need of some professional therapy, @dafoota. I’m not qualified for that. But I would suggest that before you make an appointment with a shrink you should take a look at Morris’ stats since he had his memorable breakthrough as a rookie.

It’s rare to see such a steep, persistent decline in a player’s rushing stats. Here is the difference in the three major categories from 2012 through 2016.

If you’re concerned that he has gone to Dallas, well, look at the numbers again. Not that he can’t bounce back at the age of 27 but you also have to look at your calendar. It’s 2016. In the free agency era players can and do move from rival to rival. The Redskins did the right thing in letting him walk; it would have been counterproductive to continue to invest in a declining asset.

(Hit me up on Twitter with #NTK @Rich_TandlerCSN or here in the comments to submit a question)

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants

Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.

Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.

Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.

Keys to winning

  • Run the ballThe Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
  • Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
  • Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.

Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.

Redskins 31, Giants 13

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.

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.