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Need to Know: Looking at Redskins GM Scot McCloughan's first-round picks with 49ers


Need to Know: Looking at Redskins GM Scot McCloughan's first-round picks with 49ers

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 30, 19 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL assemble in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.

Question of the day

We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day 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 is from Twitter:

That’s a great question and I plan to fully examine the subject between now and the draft. But that will be a multi-part series and not something I can do justice to in the AM post. But to get an idea here, lets take a look at his first-round picks while he was the GM in San Francisco from 2005-2009.

So we don’t get too numbers heavy here in the morning, each player’s name is linked to his career stats page.

2005: QB Alex Smith (1 overall)—It’s easy to knock this pick since Smith struggled for a number of years and even when he started playing better he didn’t justify his draft position and the salary that came with it. But if you look at the players drafted immediately after Smith, a lot of other GM’s blew that draft, too. Impact players weren’t taken until pass rushers DeMarcus Ware and Shawne Merriman went back to back at 11th and 12th. But the best player in the first round was another QB, Aaron Rodgers, who lasted until No. 24. I think you have to score this as a moderate bust.

2006: DE Manny Lawson (22)—Converted to a 3-4 edge rusher and had 14.5 sacks in five years before the 49ers let him walk after his first contract was up without much of a fight. Center Nick Mangold went to the Jets seven picks later. They did get a lot of snaps out of Lawson so this is another moderate bust.

2006: TE Vernon Davis (6)—After his blowup with coach Mike Singletary he became one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the game. A solid extra base hit.

2007: T Joe Staley (28)—Other than 14 games missed due to injury between 2009 and 2010 he has been the starter at left tackle since he walked in the door, making the Pro Bowl each of the last four years. Another extra base hit, maybe a triple considering the value of the position and the draft slot where he was obtained.

2007: LB Patrick Willis (11)—An immediate impact player, Willis was first team All-Pro as a rookie and then for four straight years from 2009-2012. If he has a few more good years left in him he is a Hall of Fame candidate. McCloughan knocked it out of the park with this pick.

2008: DT Kentwan Balmer (29)—He didn’t start a game for the 49ers in two seasons before they dumped him via a trade with the Seahawks for a 6th-round pick. Yes, he’s the same guy who spent part of 2011 with the Redskins before going AWOL during training camp in 2012. Even though he was taken fairly late in the round McCloughan swung and missed on this pick.

2009 Michael Crabtree (10)—With only two seasons with as many as 800 yards receiving in six seasons in the league, it’s hard to say this was a great pick. Although Crabtree has been competent, he hasn’t been what you want from the 10th pick. Call it a single.

So out of seven picks we have one strikeout, three singles, a double, a triple, and a home run. I don't know what average you want to assign to that but that’s certainly better than the Redskins did during that same time period and likely better than most.


—It’s been 33 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 226 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 19; NFL free agency starts 39; 2015 NFL Draft 90

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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 and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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


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. 


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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