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NTK: The Redskins week that was—Stadium drawings achieve intended effect

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NTK: The Redskins week that was—Stadium drawings achieve intended effect

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 19, 40 days before the NFL Draft.

The Redskins week that was

With the bulk of the Redskins’ free agency action consisting of re-signing their own players, readers were interested in a diverse variety of topics including, of course, quarterbacks.

Report: Another team on the West Coast targeting RG3—I’ll save you a click here—the West Coast team was the Los Angeles Rams. The bigger point here is that we’re coming up on two weeks since Griffin was let go and he has had very limited interest. His one visit, which was to the Jets, was more for show than anything else. The team wanted to send a message to Ryan Fitzpatrick that they were exploring alternatives and Griffin’s camp wanted to generate some buzz and make it look like there was some interest in the player. It didn’t seem to work on either count and Fitzpatrick remains unsigned and Griffin has had no other visits. There is still plenty of time for him to get a job but his continued presence on the market in a league with a severe shortage of qualified quarterbacks is telling.

McCoy's pay now fits his role—Colt McCoy was going to be the third-string quarterback when he signed each of his first two one-year contracts with the Redskins. But in 2014 he ended up starting over Griffin and Kirk Cousins when both of them were healthy and last year the deck was shuffled with Cousins becoming the starter and Griffin going to third string. This year McCoy will be Cousins’ backup and his contract reflects that. He got multiple years, a signing bonus, and a pretty good salary for a guy the team hopes never has to take a snap.

Fan questions—When will Redskins TE Jordan Reed get a new contract?—Reed led the Redskins in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, a pretty good feat for a tight end. He’s entering the final year of his rookie contract and he’s slated to make $1.6 million. Reed has not indicated any unhappiness with his deal, even though the Eagles’ Zach Ertz, drafted the same year that Reed was and who is a notch below Reed in terms of production, has already been extended to the tune of $42 million over five years with $13.2 million fully guaranteed at signing. It’s doubtful that Reed will get disgruntled, whether a deal gets hammered out before the start of the season or not. His payday will come.

Do the Redskins have any players they could trade?—After the Eagles traded away three players and got more favorable draft position in return I thought I’d look at players the Redskins might be able to deal away. The answer was that it’s pretty slim pickings.

'A more lively destination:' Next rendering of Skins' stadium is pretty wild—Yes, we’ve spent all week making fun of the Redskins’ futuristic stadium design with the jokes centered on the moat that surrounds the building. I’ve gotten a kick out of people seriously analyzing the utility of the water around the stadium and pointing out how the bridges would serve as choke points for the exiting crowd. Lighten up, folks. It’s a concept design, not a blueprint. Whatever the new place ends up looking like, the concept design generated buzz, which was one of the purposes of putting out the drawings some 10 years before the place will open. The world now knows the Redskins are planning a new stadium and it’s going to be something out of the ordinary. Mission accomplished.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 69 days ago. It will be about 176 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 30; 2016 NFL draft 40; Redskins training camp starts 131

In case you missed it

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2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

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USA Today Sports Images

2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

LOS ANGELES — Some years, the December talk is of playoff tiebreakers.

Other years, it’s about draft position.

This is one of those “other” years.

The Redskins’ current skid of four losses in their last five games has knocked them out of playoff contention but into more favorable position in the 2018 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to take place in late April.

The Redskins' record is 5-8 through Week 14,  and if the season ended today, Washington would be picking either 11th or 12th in the first round.

Here’s the big picture: As of Monday, there are eight teams that have fewer wins than Washington. All of them would be picking ahead of the Redskins. 

The Bengals and Jets also have eight losses so the one and only draft order tiebreaker would be applied.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

This does not work out well for the Redskins.

The NFL Draft tiebreaker is strength of schedule with the teams with the weaker schedules getting the better picks. I am sure you have heard about how tough a schedule the Redskins have all year long. It was a point of pride for many fans. But now it comes back to bite them.

The Jets (opponents winning percentage .488) and the Bengals (.444) have faced weaker schedules than the Redskins (.574). That pushes Washington back to 11th.

RELATED: FEW UPS, MANY DOWNS VS. CHARGERS

But there is a Week 14 game pending. The Dolphins, who have seven losses, play the Patriots on Monday Night Football. If they lose and join the eight-loss group, they would jump ahead of the Redskins based on the SOS tiebreaker, pushing Washington back to 12th.

Of course, the season doesn’t end today and a lot can happen.

But if the bottom doesn’t completely fall out it seems likely that they will end up somewhere between 10th and 12th in the first round.

We will be looking at what that might mean for the Redskins in the coming days and weeks as the offseason comes early for the Redskins one more time.

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NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

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USA Today Sports

NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

The NFC Playoff picture is no clearer in Week 14 than it was in Week 8.

Throughout the 2017-18 NFL season, the NFC in particular has been a gauntlet. So much of a gauntlet that one of the league’s best in the past five years, the Seattle Seahawks, sit outside of the postseason with an 8-5 record.

As of the conclusion of Week 14’s action, only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) have locked up a postseason spot.

The Eagles claimed the NFC East for the first time since 2013 with a win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The will clinch a first round bye with a win and losses by the Saints and the Panthers this weekend.

The Minnesota Vikings (10-3) with their loss remains second in the conference, still within striking range over the overall No. 1 seed.

With losses to the two teams ahead of them, the Rams (9-4) have a tough hill to climb to claim a first-round bye, but first they need to get back in the win column.

For the WildCard berths there was a wrench thrown into many teams plans with the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) defeating the New Orleans Saints (9-4) on Thursday night. Atlanta owns a tiebreaker over pretty much every team chasing them for the final playoff spot.

For the five remaining unclaimed spots in the postseason, 10 teams are still alive.

After Week 15 though, that number could dwindle down significantly.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

NFC Playoff Picture Week 15

NFC PLAYOFF BRACKET PROJECTION:
— #1 Philadelphia Eagles* (11-2) vs. BYE
— #2 Minnesota Vikings (10-3) vs. BYE
— #3 Los Angeles Rams (9-4) vs. #6 Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
— #4 New Orleans Saints (9-4) vs. #5 Carolina Panthers (9-4)

NFC TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT:
— Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
— Detroit Lions (7-6)
— Green Bay Packers (7-6)
— Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
— Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

NFC TEAMS ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF PICTURE:
— Washington Redskins (5-8)
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)
— Chicago Bears (4-9)
— San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
— New York Giants (2-11)

SEEDING NOTES:
— Eagles own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Panthers.
— Vikings own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Saints, and Falcons.
— Saints own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Panthers.
— Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints.
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings.

WILD CARD NOTES:
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions.
— Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions, Packers, Cowboys, and Seahawks.
— Lions own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
— Packers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks, Cowboys.
— Cowboys own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.

Week 15 NFC Games With Playoff Implications:

Sat., Dec 16: Bears at Lions (4:30 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Bengals at Vikings (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Jets at Saints (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Eagles at Giants (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cardinals at Redskins (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Panthers at Packers (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Rams at Seahawks (4:05 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cowboys at Raiders (8:30 p.m.)
Mon., Dec 18: Falcons at Buccaneers (8:30 p.m.)