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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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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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