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Need to Know: What would a good 2015 for Redskins' RG3 look like?

Need to Know: What would a good 2015 for Redskins' RG3 look like?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 19, 42 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question is from Twitter:

Normally it’s one question to a tweet here but we can answer the first one pretty quickly. For 2015 to be successful they have to show real progress. That may not mean a lot more wins than they had in 2014 but they will need to show fight and have their free agents and at least a few of their draft picks playing well. If they can win 6 games or so and end the season with the arrow pointing up that will be a success.

If they are going to appear to have some momentum after the 2015 season it sure would help to have a quarterback who is playing well and improving. Robert Griffin III will be given first crack at being that QB.

He’s had an up-and-down ride since the last few weeks of the 2012 season and it hasn’t stopped this offseason. Things were looking up in late February when Gruden said that he will be the starter going into the season. Then here were reports that the Redskins would seriously consider drafting Marcus Mariota with the fifth pick in the draft. When that talk died down the team re-signed Colt McCoy, who started three games ahead of a healthy Griffin in 2014.

But adversity is part of the job and Griffin will have to deal with it. But back to the question of what Griffin will have to do to remove any doubt that he is the No. 1 quarterback.

Let’s look at this in terms of the middle ground. To some Griffin doubters nothing short of a combination of and RG3 2012 and a vintage Tom Brady type of performance would remove their misgivings. All he has to do is line up properly behind center and complete a pass every once in a while and he’ll be fine in the eyes of the more loyal Griffin fans.

But to most reasonable people, a group that includes Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan, Griffin has to show substantial progress as a pocket passer. That doesn’t mean he can’t run and roll out and do the occasional read option. But he does need to be able to drop back and throw a pass before the receiver is out of his break and trust that he will be there to catch the pass. At no point can Griffin run out of bounds six yards behind the line of scrimmage before throwing the ball away. If he is looking at his first read that receiver is open he needs to pull the trigger on the pass or, if not, be successful in finding an alternative.

And Griffin doesn’t have time to waste in getting better. This can’t wait until November. He has to hit receivers coming out of their breaks in OTAs. If we’re at training camp and we see him hold onto the ball and pump and hesitate and scramble around, he’s in trouble. If we’re seeing that, Griffin might not make it to the regular season as the starter.

Don’t get me wrong; he doesn’t have to master pocket passing right away. But he does have to show some solid signs of progress

In short, Griffin needs to be competent. Last year he was not, at least not often enough to remove doubts.

It’s up to him. If he doesn’t get it done he has nobody to blame but himself.

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—It’s been 81 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 178 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 32; 2015 NFL Draft 42; Redskins training camp starts 133

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: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 18, 39 days before the NFL draft.  

Looking at next year’s free agents

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens.

Note: I’m not including Brandon Scherff here because the team has a fifth-year option on him that they surely will activate before the May 2 deadline.

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard).

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility.

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon.

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup.

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight.

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019.

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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Regarding the reported visit of defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins with the Redskins:


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 29
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 131
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 175

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Scandrick, Hankins both visiting with Redskins soon


Scandrick, Hankins both visiting with Redskins soon

The Redskins will be taking visits from two former NFC East foes in the next few days.

Former Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick will visit Redskins Park on Monday. Scandrick, 31, has been with Dallas since them made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. He has eight career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

The Cowboys released Scandrick on Friday in a salary cap move. The Redskins would be attracted to Scandrick’s versatility. He can play either side at corner and, of particular interest to the Redskins, in the slot. That is a position of concern for Washington since they traded Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs as part of the deal for quarterback Alex Smith.

The Redskins have been trying to get former Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to sign for the past several days, but they can’t come together on money. Scandrick could be a fallback if they need one.

The other visitor will be former Giants defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins, per John Keim of ESPN. Hankins, 25, was a second-round draft pick and played his first four years in New York. Last year he moved on to the Colts as a free agent. They are changing their defense and decided to release Hankins after paying him $10 million last year.

Hankins could bolster a defensive line that still needs young talent. It’s not known if he would be considered a nose tackle in the Redskins’ scheme. The Giants ran a 4-3 defense and in the Colts’ 3-4 he was used as an end.

The Redskins had former Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in for a visit earlier this week, but he decided to sign with the Packers.


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.