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Need to Know: Redskins get in a good final practice in London

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Need to Know: Redskins get in a good final practice in London

LONDON—Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 29, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Cincinnati Bengals in London.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Team walkthrough, no media availability

Days until: Vikings @ Redskins 15; Packers @ Redskins 22; Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 26

Injuries of note:
Out:
Matt Jones (knee)
Questionable: Trent Williams (knee), Brandon Scherff (shoulder), Spencer Long (chest), Jordan Reed (concussion), Josh Norman (concussion), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), Jamison Crowder (groin), DeSean Jackson (hamstring/shoulder)

Around the Wasps rugby football club facility on Friday

—The seven-mile bus ride the media took to the practice facility of a rugby team that has been around since 1867 took around 40 minutes. It took the Redskins, who are in a hotel a little further downtown than the media hotel, close to an hour and they were around 15 minutes late arriving. But they got going quickly once they got there and they worked for a long time. Normally a Friday practice lasts about an hour and a half. This one stretched out to nearly two hours.

—Josh Norman (photo above) did not look good getting off the bus for practice as the Wasps rugby football club facility. He was wearing sunglasses and he had a blank expression on his face. But as practice got going he got more lively. He said after practice that was all jet lag and no concussion problem. That said, it appears that he was very limited in practice. I’d say he’s better than even money to play on Sunday but far from a sure thing.

—We will see if Rob Kelley is worth all of the emotional investment that many fans seem to have in him. Just remember that he has seen little playing time (32 snaps this year) for a reason. The coaches just aren’t sure how much he can do beyond running the ball. It remains to be seen if he can handle the other aspects of the job. Can he pass block? He has been asked to do so only three times this year. He did catch that TD pass against the Lions but is he enough of a threat out of the backfield that other teams have to honor it? I think he can play well but we just don’t know until he gets out on the field.

—If you have too many worries piled on your plate about Sunday you can probably unload Jordan Reed from the pile. He is almost certainly going to play. The tight end has been limited in practice this week but by the NFL’s definition that means that he participated in fewer that 100 percent of his normal practice reps. By all accounts he has been quite active in practice and barring something unforeseen he will be out there tomorrow.

—Should you want to add one under the radar injury concern to your list look at Jamison Crowder. He is suffering from a pulled groin that has had him limited in practice all week. Again, note that limited can cover a wide range of levels of participation, from taking a handful of snaps off to taking part only in individual drills. Crowder almost certainly will play but there has to be some concern over his effectiveness.

—The Bengals, meanwhile, are the picture of health. They have eight players on their practice report but three of them were on their for non-injury reasons. All 53 players were full participants in practice on Friday.

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL. They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

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Associated Press

Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 21, 21 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 Redskins appear to be set at center

Originally published 12/19/17

Chase Roullier might have been the Redskins’ fourth choice to play at center this year. But he could be snapping the ball for Washington for a long time.

Kory Lichtensteiger, the starter for the previous three years when healthy, retired. Veteran backup John Sullivan departed as a free agent. Spencer Long started six games this season before knee and quad problems pushed him to the sideline, elevating the rookie Roullier into the starting lineup.

The sixth-round pick started three games before breaking his right hand at some point during the game against the Saints. That’s his snapping hand and him finishing that game was an underrated act of courage this year. But he was out for three games before returning against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden was pleased with his play. 

“Chase did good. He did good,” said Gruden. “It was good to see him back in there. His snaps were outstanding and handled the calls and play well.”

That was good but standard praise. What was interesting was what he said next.  

“I like Chase’s progress right now,” he said. “I think he is going to be a very good center for a long time here. It was a great pickup for us in the draft.”

It appears that you can at least pencil in Roullier as the 2018 starter at center, if not put him in with a Sharpie.

Where would this leave Long, who is slated to be a free agent in March? The Redskins could let him walk and go with the younger and cheaper Roullier. They also could sign him to be their starting left guard. That job has belonged to Shawn Lauvao. But Lauvao also is a pending free agent and he is 30 and he has missed large chunks of two of the last three seasons with injuries. When he missed the last 13 games of the 2015 season, Long went in at left guard and played well.

If that happens, that would give the Redskins a starting offensive line consisting entirely of players drafted by the team and with only Trent Williams over the age of 27 in Week 1 of 2018.

Regardless of what happens at left guard, it looks like Roullier will be the man in the middle for 2018 and beyond.

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) 8
—NFL Draft (4/26) 64
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 200