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Need to Know: Redskins camp news and notes, Day 8: Practicing in the elements


Need to Know: Redskins camp news and notes, Day 8: Practicing in the elements

RICHMOND—Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, August 2, five days before the Redskins open the preseason against the Patriots.

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News, notes, and quotes from Day 8 of Redskins training camp.

—Sometimes some of us in the media make too big a deal out of a little bit of rain. As Darrel Young said, they have to play in it so they can't give a second through to practicing in it. “Practice was good, just another day of training camp,” he said. “I actually forgot it was raining until the end when I took my helmet off. You don’t worry about the elements, you just go out there and play. You’ve got to play football in any environment.”

—Robert Griffin III won’t directly compare this year to last but you don’t have to do too much reading between the lines to see that he’s delighted with the change. “I can’t compare it to last year but this year it’s been great,” he said. “We have a new regime, we have new excitement, we have a new direction and that directions starts and ends with Jay. He’s done a great job with that and we’re following him in that regard. You guys can see practice is a little bit different, everyone’s demeanor is a little different. Everyone is excited but we’re all preparing every night.” Honestly, I think that they were preparing every night last year, too. But if it works for Robert, that’s fine with me.

—Before camp started, Gruden indicated that how physical a given camp session might be would be determined on a daily basis. He had plans but he reserved the right to call an audible. On Friday he did just that, switching plans to go with full pads to shells. “We’re going to go full gear tomorrow [Saturday],” he said. “Like I said yesterday, my whole goal is to get everybody 100 percent for Monday so we can all be competing against New England. We had a couple bruises here and there, a couple little hamstring strains, kicked in the shin, all that stuff. So I wanted to just taper off a little bit today and then come tomorrow we’ll be in full gear for the fan day, give them a day off and then they’ll be ready to go for Monday.”

—Keenan Robinson is taking over for London Fletcher at Mike linebacker. Let that sink in. But he believes he’s ready and he doesn’t think that his predecessor will be in his head. “I don’t know if you’re ever truly ready but it’s something that I’ll embrace as the season and as preseason camp progresses,” he said. “It’s something that I am definitely embracing because it’s my duty. When everybody says ‘middle linebacker,’ I think of leading the team, vocal leader, physical leader and on-the-field leader. It’s something that I have to do and make sure that I’m fulfilling those roles as a middle linebacker.”

—Robinson hasn’t played since Thanksgiving Day, 2012. He tore one pectoral muscle that day and then tore the other very early in camp a year ago. He’s not worried about reinjury but he is realistic enough to know that injuries can happen at any time. “I mean, once you rehab and heal them up to how he healed them up – I did a very good job on the first side and I tore the other side,” he said. “It would be different if I tore this side twice. He said it shouldn’t happen again, but injuries happen and football is a very physical game and hopefully I don’t have an issue with either one of them ever again." Prediction: If Robinson plays reasonably well he will quickly become a fan favorite. Good guy, very sharp and he has the potential to be a playmaker.

If you have any questions about what's going on at training camp, hit me up in the comments. I promise 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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Today’s schedule: Fan appreciation day; Practice 10:35; Jay Gruden and players media availability after practice.

—It’s been 216 days since the Redskins played a game; in 36 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener vs. Patriots 5; Final cuts 28; Redskins @ Eagles 50

Griffin on having refs at practice

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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.


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Three Monday visitors to Redskins Park could determine team's free agency strategy going forward

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Three Monday visitors to Redskins Park could determine team's free agency strategy going forward

The Redskins are having three visitors today in Ashburn. Depending on how they go, they could mostly be done with free agency or still pushing to fill some needs.

They have been making an effort to hire one of the top defensive linemen on the market since before free agency actually started. They had former Jet Muhammad Wilkerson in for a visit last Tuesday, something they could do because Wilkerson had been released. The team put on a good sales push that lasted most of the day, but Wilkerson left without a deal. Shortly after he left he decided to sign with the Packers.

They made runs at Dontari Poe and Sheldon Richardson, but they signed with the Panthers and Vikings, respectively. The prospects were looking slim until the Colts decided to cut Jonathan Hankins on Saturday. He weighs 320 pounds and turned 25 on January 1. Hankins probably isn’t going to make any All-Pro teams or post double-digit sacks, but he will help you stop the run for the next half-decade, at least. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s the Redskins’ biggest defensive problem for the last several seasons.


Hankins is visiting today and he is someone the Redskins would very much like to sign. The other two visitors may be fallback plans.

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick is a veteran who can play in the slot. That is what the Redskins are looking for but Scandrick does not appear to be their first choice. Last week they had former Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in for an extended visit that included a physical. However, they could not come together on money. Scandrick, who has missed time with injuries in each of the last two years, could be an alternative to Rodgers-Cromartie or it could be that he is being used to put some pressure on the Redskins’ preferred choice.

Edge rusher Pernell McPhee is also clearly a second choice. The Redskins have an offer on the table for Junior Galette to return. He tweeted yesterday that the Redskins were the best fit for him but that the money “has to be fair.”

McPhee has played well but injuries have limited his impact the last two years. He started the 2016 season on injured reserve with a knee injury and he missed a total of seven games. Last year he missed three games with shoulder and knee injuries.


The Redskins likely are interested in McPhee for the right price. That price is considerably less than the $7 million he was going to make from the Bears this year before they let him go on February 26. There does not seem to be a hot market for his services; he has been a free agent for three and a half weeks and this is his first reported visit.

The Redskins would rather bring back Galette, who was much more effective as a pass rusher last year than his three sacks would indicate. But the price has to be right for both sides and apparently there is some work to be done towards working that out.

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.