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Ohio State's Urban Meyer with lavish praise for Redskins draft pick


Ohio State's Urban Meyer with lavish praise for Redskins draft pick

Was Ohio State wide receiver Evan Spencer, drafted in the sixth round by the Redskins last week, really the most valuable player for the national champion Buckeyes?

No less an authority than Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said that he was.

"Unbelievable," Meyer said of Spencer after the Buckeyes beat Alabama to advance to the national title game. "He's the MVP. He's the MVP of our team. He's the leader of our team. He's the guy that at the right time, I'll probably make an executive decision and make him a captain. He's a wonderful kid.”

Meyer was talking about a player who was ninth on the team with 15 receptions on the season. But Spencer contributed in other ways, to say the least.

Spencer was involved in two key plays in his team’s 42-35 victory. Late in the first half he took a pitch and then fired a touchdown pass to wide receiver Michal Thomas. Then with time running down and Ohio State clinging to a seven-point lead, Spencer blocked two defenders at the point of attack to clear the way for Ezekiel Elliott’s game-clinching 85-yard touchdown run.

His teammates were not about to disagree with their coach.

"Because he really is the MVP," linebacker Joshua Perry said. "You turn on the film and he doesn't get targeted a ton, doesn't have the most touchdowns on the team, most receptions, most yards or whatever. But great special teams plays, clutch plays when we need them, great leadership, selfless player. When you have a guy as talented as him who does all those things even though he's not getting the stats that he wants, that's why he's the MVP."

Spencer may have been under the radar nationally until that national semifinal game but he was no secret to the Redskins. His brother Cole works as an area scout for the organization. When the Redskins decided to select Evan his brother picked up the phone to give him the news.

“I was sitting here on the couch and then I picked up the phone and notice a Virginia area code,” Spencer told reporters in a conference call moments after Washingotn selected him. “I picked up the phone and heard Cole’s voice, and he was like, ‘Hey man, we’re getting you.’ I didn’t know how to react and I didn’t even know what I said, honestly, but I probably started freaking out.”

It’s apparent that Jay Gruden was as impress with Spencer as Meyer was. One aspect of his game particularly caught the attention of the coach of a team that needs a lot of help on special teams.

“We know a lot about him obviously, but he brings a different type of mentality to the receiver room,” said Gruden. “He’s a different type of player, he’s a physical player. Excellent special team player – excellent, excellent, excellent – and he’s going to make that room better. Very, very good, positive, tough football player.”

It all sounds great but Spencer has some work to do. The four wide receivers returning from last year, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Andre Roberts, and Ryan Grant, aren’t going anywhere. The team also drafted wide receiver Jamison Crowder from Duke in the fourth round and he would seem to have an inside track on the fifth roster at the position.

Gruden kept only five wide receivers last year but it’s certainly not unusual for a team to carry six. If his performance during the preseason justifies it, perhaps they will keep Spencer as a special teams player instead of, say, an extra linebacker.

Spencer certainly doesn’t lack confidence and it looks like he will do whatever it takes to make it.

“Honestly, as far as the toughness that I bring and the leadership that I bring, I feel like I’m one of the tougher receivers out there that are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done and win football games,” he said. “Whatever that entails, that’s what I’m willing to do, and I think that’s one thing that I think probably appealed very well.”

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

The Redskins seem to love former Cowboys. They signed another one today.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media is reporting that Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The early numbers put the contract at up to $10 million over two years.

Scandrick, 31, has played for the Cowboys since they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. In nine seasons in the league, Scandrick has eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

He has been plagued by injuries the last three years. Scandrick was out for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. In 2016 he missed four games with a hamstring injury and he finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury. Whether his struggles last year were due to injuries or age remains to be seen.

Scandrick joins Nosh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Holsey at cornerback for the Redskins. Holsey is the only natural slot corner in the group and he played very sparingly as a rookie last year. Scandrick likely will fill the slot role until Holsey is ready.

We will see what the signing costs in terms of salary cap impact when we see the details of the contract. The phrase “up to” generally means that there are incentives included in the deal so we will have to see.

In recent years, the Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive linemen Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, and Terrell McClain.


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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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.