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Need to Know: On first day of legal tampering, Redskins show interest in safety, nose tackle

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Need to Know: On first day of legal tampering, Redskins show interest in safety, nose tackle

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 8, two days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.

Free agency heats up

Here’s a quick look at some players who have been linked to the Redskins during the free agent “legal tampering” period that began at noon on Saturday.

NT Stephen Paea—The Redskins are one of several teams who have expressed interest in the former second-round pick of the Bears. At 6-1, 306 is not the ideal size for a traditional nose tackle (although it’s safe to bet that he weighs more than his listed weight at this point). But if the Redskins use the one-gap, attacking style that many think that Joe Barry may be bringing with him from the Chargers Paea could be a good fit. Paea, who doesn’t turn 27 until May, registered six sacks and two forced fumbles last year. That could help on a Redskins defensive line that has had difficult making game-changing plays.

S Marcus Gilchrist—The Chargers picked Gilchrist out of Clemson three picks before the Bears took Paea. He fits the mold of the younger free agents that Scot McCloughan is likely to be looking to sign; Gilchrist won’t be 27 until December. The Chargers made him their starter at strong safety in 2013 and he hasn’t missed a game since. Like many strong safeties he is shaky in pass coverage and at 5-10, 193 he is not the larger sized safety that Scot McCloughan may be looking for.

OT Jermey Parnell—He emerged as a possibility when Dallas’ Doug Free and the Texans’ Derek Newton, both players the Redskins were said to be pursuing, signed with their current teams. As noted here yesterday, Parnell looked pretty good filling for Free when the starter was out with foot and ankle injuries.

S Tyvon Branch—The Redskins actually had contact with the safety on Friday, something that was legal because Branch had been cut by the Raiders earlier in the week. He visited Redskins Park on Friday. There are no indications as to how things went, as is often the case during these visits. The only thing that we know is that he left without signing a contract.

There also is an update on Brian Orakpo, who is looking more and more like a former Redskin by the minute despite his statements that staying in Washington is still in play. Charles Robinson of Yahoo! says to “keep an eye on” the Eagles as a possible suitor for the Redskins’ 2009 first-round pick.

Timeline

—It’s been 70 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 189 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 43; 2015 NFL Draft 53; Redskins training camp starts 144

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

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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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