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Nothing to be afraid of

Nothing to be afraid of

If you listen to some Washington Redskins fans this week, you'd think that the team shouldn't bother making the trip up I-95 to M&T Bank Stadium this week. They have no chance, according to some, to even stay in the game against the Baltimore Ravens.

At first glance, the negative feelings have a great deal of validity. Baltimore has won six of its last seven games. They have put up 30 points or more in all but two of those wins and in those games they scored 27 and 29.

The Redskins' problems with scoring points are well documented. They have yet to post 30 points in a game this year and the Ravens are not a team you want to play when you need to get your offense cranking. They are second in the NFL in total defense and their D is one of those nasty units that smacks you around and takes your lunch money.

A closer look, however, reveals that the Ravens may not be such a formidable force. They are 8-4, just one game better than the Redskins. Their six-of-seven hot streak has been built mostly against the dregs of the NFL. Miami and Philadelphia are the strongest of their victims. The others are Oakland, Cleveland, Houston, and Cincinnati.

That doesn't mean that the Ravens aren't any good, it just makes their record difficult to evaluate. For the most part, the Ravens are a team that has won the games it should win and they have lost the games they should lose (their four losses are to a pair of 11-1 teams, the Titans and Giants, the 9-3 Steelers and the 8-4 Colts).

This one against the Skins goes into the category of a game the Ravens "should" win. The Skins have lost three out of four and, although the losses were to quality teams they haven't been particularly competitive in those losses. The Ravens are at home and they are a five-point favorite.

The Redskins' best shot is to bunch up against the Ravens' rushing attack and dare rookie Joe Flacco to beat them. That's been tried this year but Flacco has been up to the challenge for the most part. The Ravens, however, have not faced a defensive backfield the caliber of that of the Redskins, who should be at full strength with Shawn Springs likely to play.

Still, you have to wonder where the Washington points will come from. Maybe this is the week that they take all of the heat and pressure and turn the lump of coal that their offense has been into a diamond.

Maybe, but probably not.

Ravens 16, Redskins 10

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Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East


Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East

The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.

Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction. 

What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb. 


For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined. 

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Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

The Redskins and linebacker Zach Brown agreed to a three-year contract that will require Brown to continue to play at a high level if he is going to collect all of the $21 million the deal contains.

Brown’s camp reportedly was shopping for a contract that had some $20 million in guaranteed money. The actual deal fell well short of that.

Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before an assortment of injuries forced him to sit out the last three games, got a total of $5.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He got a $4.5 million signing bonus and his $1 million salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.


After that, the remaining two seasons essentially are team options. In 2019 he has a $6.75 million salary and $4.5 million of that is guaranteed for injury. His 2020 salary is $7.5 million with no guarantees of any kind.

The contract also has per-game roster bonuses available at a rate of $15,625 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster in 2018 (total of $250,000 for the year) and $31,250 per game in 2019 and 2020 ($500,000 total).

The salary cap hits per year are as follows:

2018: $2.75 million
2019: $8.75 million
2020: $9.5 million

The average annual value of $7 million ranks ninth among inside linebackers.

Brown will need to continue to play well to collect on the contract. The team will be able to save $5.75 million on the 2019 cap if they terminate the deal after one season and $8 million if they do it in 2020.


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.