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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Gruden and RG3, Morris' contract, playing time for Grant


Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Gruden and RG3, Morris' contract, playing time for Grant

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 21, 39 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

The Week That Was

Here is another look at the news and views that we talked about last week on”

Alfred Morris isn’t going to let his contract situation distract him—After two seasons of declining production, is Morris a key cog in the offense or a replaceable part? Morris' fourth NFL season is critical for him. I think 1,300 could be the magic number for him. If he gains that many rushing yards or more the Redskins could make a strong move to retain him; if he goes much under that number he could be in a new uniform in 2016.

Ryan Grant is “awesome” but when will he play?—Jay Gruden raved about the second-year receiver’s work ethic and ability and said that he “won’t hesitate one bit” to start him at any of the three receiver spots. But his path to getting more than the 187 snaps and 14 targets he got last year is still blocked by more experienced receivers. And it appears that rookie Jamison Crowder could make a case to see some action from scrimmage as well. We will see how this develops over the course of the season.

Battle for backup QB job could go deep into training camp—The assumption is that Robert Griffin III does indeed hold on to the starting quarterback job. But we don’t know who the backup will be. Both Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy have done some good things during the offseason practices open to the media and they appear to have split time with the second and third teams. This isn’t a clash of titans by any means; neither is showing any signs of pushing Griffin, who has been up and down. I think when all is said and done they line up just like they are in this picture I took.

Bill Callahan could call most running plays—Gruden said that the new offensive line coach will be an integral part of game planning for the running game. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all if [Callahan is] calling the majority of the runs on game day,” he said. With offensive coordinator Sean McVay also having a role in calling plays you have to wonder what will happen with so many cooks in the kitchen.

Gruden has good words for RG3—At best, the Redskins coach has been reluctant to praise the quarterback but after Tuesday’s practice he did have some good things to say. “Every day he’s doing something a little bit better,” said Gruden, who was particularly brutal with some comments on Griffin’s play at times last year. Griffin did look good in Tuesday’s open minicamp practice with some decisive throws.

Griffin says he didn’t hear coach’s praise—The QB claims that he wasn’t aware of the positive feedback from his coach. “I don’t really hear all that stuff,” said Griffin. “I’m glad he said some nice things, though.” He was loose and relaxed in his relatively short session with reporters after the Wednesday minicamp practice.


—It’s been 175 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 84 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 39; Preseason opener @ Browns 53; final cuts 76

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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In case you missed it

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Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins


Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins

NFL free agency doesn't care about your brackets. 

While you were watching UMBC, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee is currently on a visit with the Redskins:

Pernell, 29, was drafted in 2011 out of Mississppi State by the Baltimore Ravens. He played there for three years before spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bears. 

Pernell has 182 career tackles and 31 career sacks. 


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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

USA Today Sports Images

The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

It may be the 18th of March but today could be like Christmas for five Redskins players.

The Redskins decided to use today, four days after the start of the league year, for some contract triggers. In this case, the triggers are all 2018 salary guarantees (some teams will pay out roster bonuses on trigger dates, but the Redskins rarely use that type of structure).

Here are the players whose have guarantees that kick in today 4 p.m. All data is via Over the Cap.


CB Josh Norman, base salary of $13.5 million becomes fully guaranteed—This was a window for the Redskins to move on from Norman if they were not happy with his performance after two seasons. He is 31 and he had no interceptions last season, leaving some to wonder if the Redskins might think about releasing him. But it never was a consideration.

TE Jordan Reed, $8 million of his $8.25 million salary becomes fully guaranteed—No, I’m not sure why they are leaving that $250,000 out there non-guaranteed. Fans thought that the Redskins might move on from Reed due to his injury issues. But, as with Norman, it never was a consideration.

S D.J. Swearinger, $3 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—This is a mere technicality, Swearinger wasn’t going anywhere after helping to solidify the safety position.


RB Chris Thompson, $1.996 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—His rehab is going well and after last year Thompson’s two-year, $7 million contract extension signed last September looks like a good deal for the team.

DE Terrell McClain, $3.25 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—If the Redskins sign a top free agent D-lineman or draft on early in the draft they could be in a numbers crunch. That new acquisition would be guaranteed a roster spot along with Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, and Anthony Lanier. That makes five and the Redskins kept six last year. Ziggy Hood is a favorite of the coaching staff but he has no guaranteed money left on his contract. That could tip the sixth spot in favor of McClain if he is on the roster at the close of business today. If they release McClain after today, they would take a cap charge of over $2 million. It seems unlikely that anything will happen but it’s something to keep an eye on.

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.