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Need to Know: Why Redskins WR Garçon is likely to be back this season

Need to Know: Why Redskins WR Garçon is likely to be back this season

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 5, 13 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL assemble in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.

Question of the day

We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day 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:

Whenever a player approaches the age of 30 and his production falls off precipitously, his future will always be a topic of discussion. Add in that player having the second-highest cap number on the team and the buzz gets even louder.

Pierre Garçon is hitting that trifecta in 2015. He will be 29 before the season starts. He will count $9.7 million against the salary cap, second on the team behind Trent Williams. And he went from a great 2013 season, with 113 receptions for 1,346 yards and five touchdowns to a mediocre 68/752/3 stat line last year.

Even though the stat drop off can be attributed more to the addition of DeSean Jackson on the opposite side of the field and to the team's three-man tag team at quarterback, the questions persist. Should the Redskins try to deal him while they can get some value for him? Or, if they are unable to do that should they release him and take the $5.3 million in 2015 salary cap space that such a move would provide?

The first thing that should be made clear here is that there are no reports that the Redskins organization actively trying to trade Garçon or release him. Right now this is all in the realm of offseason speculation and discussion. That doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t part ways with Garçon but right now there are no hard reports that they are considering doing so.

Regardless, I don’t think that it will end up happening. I understand that the cap savings, which would total more than $15 million over the next two years, are attractive. And the Redskins are rebuilding whether or not they want to use that word and Garçon will be long gone by the time the team is competitive. If it was my decision, I might be tempted to take a high third-round pick in exchange for Garçon.

But one of the big priorities on this team right now is developing a quarterback. They would prefer to get Robert Griffin III up to speed as a pocket passer. But whoever it is—Griffin, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, a veteran free agent, a draft pick—will benefit from having Garçon as a target. To me, that makes it unlikely that Garçon is going anywhere.

Things could always happen. If the phone rings and a GM on the other end is offering a second-round pick for Garçon, they would seriously consider making the deal and using the second to get a younger, cheaper replacement. Maybe McCloughan will look at the film and decide that the money just isn’t worth it regardless.

While a lot could transpire, the thing that is most like to happen is the status quo. The chances are good that Garçon will be back in burgundy and gold in 2015.

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Timeline

—It’s been 39 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 222 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 33; Redskins offseason workouts start 74; 2015 NFL Draft 85

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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Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

After missing the last eight games, the Redskins brought back place-kicker Dustin Hopkins from the injured reserve and waived Nick Rose.

Hopkins became eligible to return from the IR this week and took part in practice all week. Jay Gruden wouldn't commit to one kicker or the other when he spoke earlier in the week, but the decision came down on Saturday.

Rose played well in Hopkins' absence, making 10 of 11 field goals including a 55-yarder. The rookie Rose had some struggles with extra points, missing two of his 20 attempts, though neither snap/hold combination was totally clean either. 

RELATED: REDSKINS-CARDINALS PREVIEW

Hopkins has the stronger leg and is capable of booting the ball out of the end zone on seemingly every kickoff. With Rose as kicker, at times the Redskins deployed a different strategy where kicks were aimed for the goal line, forcing a return. 

Washington's kicker for parts of the last three seasons, Hopkins has a career 84 percent field goal conversion rate and 94.6 percent conversion rate on extra points in 36 games. 

The Redskins sent Hopkins to the IR after a Week 6 win over the 49ers with a right hip rotator muscle injury. 

MORE REDSKINS: SLOW STARTS HAVE BEEN KILLING THE REDSKINS

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Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up

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Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up

For the second consecutive game, the Redskins got blown out on the road. First in Dallas, then in Los Angeles, Jay Gruden's team is reeling with mounting questions and pressures about 2018 and beyond. 

The best way to calm down the flames? Get a win.

Washington will have that chance on Sunday at 1 p.m. (full coverage on NBC Sports Washington at noon) when they host the Arizona Cardinals. Getting the victory won't be easy, however, no matter how bad the Redskins need it. 

  1. Turn the page - The Redskins have lost their last two games by a combined score of 68-27. The results have been terrible, and the outcome in Los Angeles could have been much uglier had the Chargers not pulled starting QB Philip Rivers. Still, those games are over, and Washington needs to focus on the Cardinals. Gruden spoke this week that his team cannot "wallow" in the past two losses. If the Redskins are looking back at their lost season, instead of looking squarely at Arizona, another blowout loss is likely to come. 
  2. Get it going - Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense had by far their worst statistical output last week in LA. The offense must get back on track, and that means a better performance from Cousins and the 'Skins run game. Against the Chargers, Washington generated only 201 total yards and just nine first downs. Nine, their second worst total since having only 15 first downs against the Cowboys the week before. At this stage of the season, the Redskins defense will not win this team any games. The offense must do it, and that means improved play from the line, the quarterback and the skill positions. 
  3. Make a play - Turnovers can win or lose games, and in their last two blowout losses, it's no surprise the Redskins have been on the wrong end of the ledger. Washington has five turnovers in their last two games, and has generated only one takeaway in that span. (It can be argued that shouldn't even count, as it came on an interception from Chargers backup Kellen Clemens in the final minutes of a blowout.) Washington ranks dead last in the NFL in points per game allowed, and that won't improve with linebacker Zach Brown out this weekend. Generating turnovers, particularly against Arizona QB Blaine Gabbert, should be the defensive focus. 

Quote of the Week: Jay Gruden, asked about preparation before the Chargers game-

We didn't spend last week playing checkers.

News & Notes:

  • Gabbert has been sacked 15 times in the Cardinals last two games. Washington comes into Week 15 with the 13th most sacks in the league.
  • The Cardinals defense ranks in the Top 10 in yards per play, yards per game, and rush yards per game. Despite that, Arizona's defense ranks 25th in points allowed. 
  • D.J. Swearinger, who played for Arizona last season before signing in Washington as a free agent, is tied for fourth in the NFC in interceptions.
  • Jordan Reed won't be playing this week, or the remainder of the season. Washington moved Reed to the injured reserve this week. 
  • Arizona coach Bruce Arians was a college quarterback at Virginia Tech from 1972 to 1974.

Want more? Listen up!

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