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Need to Know: Which Redskins stay and who goes?

Need to Know: Which Redskins stay and who goes?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 13, 115 days from the NFL Draft.

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Of the Redskins' 18 unrestricted free agents, five of them were originally drafted by the team. Here are my odds on the Redskins keeping them after free agency starts on March 11:

1. LB Perry Riley—With the Redskins likely to stay in a 3-4 defense they need Riley to take over for London Fletcher calling signals. Inside linebackers generally don’t cost that much and Riley is likely to be much more valuable to the Redskins than to any other team. Chances of returning: 95%

2. LB Brian Orakpo—It seems likely that the Redskins will make  a very fair offer to the player who has been at least tied for the team lead in sacks every season he’s played for them except for the one where he missed 14 games due to injury. There is a chance, however, that another team could come in and make an offer that is well above market price. The Redskins could lose him if that happens. Another option is the franchise tag but the team will have to decide if he’s worth right around $10 million for the 2014 season. Chances of returning 70%

3. LB Rob Jackson—He finally got a chance to play regularly when Brian Orakpo was injured in 2012 and he played well. In 2013, however, Orakpo was back and Jackson played only 186 snaps. Stability in the defensive staff may help him here. His lack of 2013 action might keep down his demand league wide but Jim Haslett and Raheem Morris could push to get a deal done with him based on 2012. This one is hard to gauge. Chances of returning 60%

4. S Reed Doughty—He started nine games last year and like most of the defense he had his ups and downs. The Redskins hope to get better performance at safety than the had in 2013 (better than have had for the last six years, for that matter) so they may want to move on from Doughty. But he is versatile and the team might want to hang on to him if for no other reason that he is one of the few good special teams performers on the roster. Chances of returning: 40%

5. TE Fred Davis—If Mike Shanahan had somehow stayed on as coach the chances of Davis, who wound up in Shanahan’s doghouse for much of the season, would be near zero. But perhaps Jay Gruden sees a player who he can pair with Jordan Reed to so some of the things he did with Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert in Cincinnati (combined 85 receptions, 903 yards, 6 TDs). Davis coming back still doesn’t seem very likely to happen but, yes, I’m sayin’ there’s a chance. Chances of return 10%

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—It’s been 15 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 237 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 37; NFL free agency 57; Offseason workouts start 84

In case you missed it

Do the Redskins have the players for a 3-4 defense

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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.