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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—The free agent list, Hatcher's status

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—The free agent list, Hatcher's status

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 6, 18 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

A look back at the Redskins week that was

Why is it highly unlikely that the Redskins will trade RG3?—It looked like a lot of Redskins fans were engaged in some highly wishful thinking so I thought it was a good idea to lay out the facts on the topic. Click for the details if you’d like but the bottom line is that the only realistic outcome here is Griffin getting released.

Five free agents the Redskins will not sign—Scot McCloughan said that the Redskins will not be big players in free agency. The list of players they won’t even try to sign is long and Scot McCloughan’s list of players he wants to sign is short. But the Redskins are going to sign a few players to fill a few holes so speculation won’t be pointless.

Report: Redskins sign DL Ziggy Hood—The Redskins got a jump start on free agency by signing the former Steelers first-round pick during the week. They were able to sign him because he was not on a team’s roster at the end of the season. His contract has no guaranteed money and he will have to compete for a roster spot. It could come down to Hood and Cory Crawford, who spent 2015 on the practice squad, for the last roster spot.

Five things the Redskins need to do before free agency starts—There is a lot of work to do before they start signing players—time in the film room, a trip to the combine, trying to avoid making a franchise tag for Kirk Cousins necessary, and more. After a January breather that lasted a few weeks they are back at it in a grind that will go on through June. Then it’s a couple of weeks off before the start of training camp.

Will Hatcher return or retire?—I don’t have a good feel for what will happen here. Right after the Packers game McCloughan told Hatcher that he would be welcome to return. The GM reiterated the statement at the Senior Bowl. And while he played better than his sack numbers indicate it’s hard to see Hatcher back at a cap number well north of $8 million. Will he retire? Come back at a lower salary? Get cut? We will see.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 27 days ago. It will be about 218 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 18; NFL free agency starts 32; 2016 NFL draft 82

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The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

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USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

The Redskins have not had a very good year when it comes to sacking the opposing quarterback. They have 31 sacks for the season, 17th in the NFL.

They had a then-NFL best 32-game streak with at least one sack came to an end in Week 10 against the Vikings.

Ryan Kerrigan is doing well with 9.0 sacks to his credit. Preston Smith has five but only a half since Week 6. Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen were forming a solid interior pass rush tandem early in the year but Allen went on injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury and Ioannidis suffered a broken hand that limited his playing time and effectiveness.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

But the cure to the Redskins’ pass-rushing ills just may be coming to town on Sunday in the form of the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

The Cardinals have given up 44 sacks on the season; that’s 31st in the NFL.

Things have gotten worse in the last couple of weeks, with Gabbert going down a combined 15 times against the Rams and Titans.

If you think that the Cardinals may have hit rock bottom, consider that two starters, left tackle Jared Veldheer and right guard Earl Watford, won’t be playing due to injuries.

Will Holden, a rookie fifth-round pick, will start at left tackle and Evan Boehm, who lost his job to Watford earlier this season, will be the right guard.

Of course, the Redskins have to go out and make it happen. The entire Cowboys offense was slumping until they met the Redskins a couple of weeks ago. They can’t be a haven for a struggling unit once again.

In any case, it is an opportunity that is in front of the Redskins. It’s up to them to take advantage of it.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

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.

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Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

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Need to Know: State of the Redskins, Week 15—Looking for motivation

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 14, three days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences and open locker room after practice, approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 10
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 17
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 133

State of the Redskins

Top storylines

Jobs on the line? It’s been the conventional wisdom that the jobs of Jay Gruden and his staff are safe, barring a complete collapse at the end of the year. Well, after two ugly losses we are 40 percent of the way to a complete collapse. The Redskins don’t even have to look good down the stretch, they just need to win two of the final three and be competitive in the other. Gruden might be able to survive a couple more games like the Cowboys and Chargers debacles but if that happens I wouldn’t want to be him on January 1, the day after the season ends.

Shutdowns started—Jordan Reed going on injured reserve could be the first of a few moves to end the seasons of players who won’t be healthy in time to play in more than one or two games. It lets the player dive into rehab and it lets the team sign and get a look at a player who can stay on the roster through the offseason and compete for a roster spot in 2018. There could be more coming up until Week 17.

Playing out the string—Last week, when the Redskins were technically alive for the playoffs they apparently couldn’t muster enough motivation to prepare properly. It will be interesting to see how they react this week with their playoff odds reduced to zero.

Last three games

Sunday vs. Cardinals (6-7)—The Cardinals have fallen even further than the Redskins. Two years ago, they were on their way to a first-round bye and an appearance in the NFC title game. This season they are 6-7 after suffering from a raft of injuries, including losing their starting QB and All-Pro running back David Johnson. Can two teams with nothing to play for put on an entertaining show?

Christmas Eve vs. Broncos (4-9)—And in comes another team that has fallen even further and harder. The Broncos were lifting the Super Bowl Trophy two years ago. Now, the defense that spearheaded that run is still solid but without a reliable quarterback, they are having issues. At this point, your guess at if it will be Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian, or Brock Osweiler starting at quarterback is as good as mine.

New Year’s Eve @ Giants (2-11)—Will this game be bye-bye to Eli? Changes are coming to New York and Manning, sometimes a Redskins nemesis and sometimes a player who gift-wrapped wins for Washington, could be on the way out. The Redskins could be playing to avoid the kind of upheaval that has already begun in the Big Apple.

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.

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