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OPEN THREAD: If Redskins want help at running back, who is available?

OPEN THREAD: If Redskins want help at running back, who is available?

If the season started tomorrow, the Redskins would line up Matt Jones as their starting running back. While Jones showed flashes of talent in 2015, he also delivered incosistent results as injuries limited his snaps and fumbles limited his effectiveness.

To a man, Redskins players and coaches have said all offseason they believe the second-year Jones is ready to be RB1 now that Alfred Morris is playing for the Cowboys.

Last year, Jones ran for nearly 500 yards with another 300 yards receiving, accounting for four touchdowns. The numbers don't stand out, and when Jones' five fumbles are added to the picture along with three missed games, it's easy to see why some fans and analysts question if Jones is really prepared for the top running role.


Make no mistake: Jones has the size, speed and talent to be a starting NFL running back. But he remains such an unknown that it's natural to think Washington may try to bring in a veteran to back up Jones.

Currently, Chris Thompson takes the second spot on the RB depth chart, and while a tough and valuable player, it's hard to think the 5-foot-8, 193 lbs. runner will last the year in the No. 2 role.

Late last season, GM Scot McCloughan signed veteran running back Pierre Thomas for the 'Skins playoff push. Thomas returned decent results for Washington, with 136 total yards in four games. Thomas' 4.7 yards-per-carry looked significantly better than Jones' 3.4 YPC as well.

Considering Thomas is currently unsigned, it would not come as a big surprise if McCloughan again added him to the Redskins roster. Then again, if it was going to happen, why not have the veteran take part in offseason workouts with the team?

There are other, sexier names still available too, none moreso than former Texans star Arian Foster. Limited to just four games before an Achilles injury in 2015, Foster is only two years removed from a 1,500+ total yard, 13 TD season in 2014. A dynamic threat on the run or catching the ball out of the backfield, Foster has scored 68 touchdowns in his seven-year career.

Foster said in May he can "definitely play" again this fall after his injury, and eventually, some NFL team will take that chance. 

Another name to watch could be Reggie Bush. A former Heisman Trophy winner at USC and Super Bowl winner with the Saints, Bush has scored 63 TDs in a nine-year career, but is also rehabbing from injury. Some expect the RB needy Buffalo Bills to contact Bush, and if they don't, another suitor will emerge.

Signing a name like Foster or Bush does not seem like the obvious move for McCloughan. Perhaps a lesser known player - with many less miles on their RB odometer - makes sense, guys like Dan "Boom" Herron or Joique Bell. 

McCloughan has also proven he does not care what conventional wisdom suggests. In turn, maybe the 'Skins do plan on giving Jones the chance without a veteran behind him. Or, the team could just be playing this whole thing patiently. Thomas was available late in the season last year, and as teams around the NFL gear up for the start of training camp, there's little reason to think Thomas or similar players won't be available. 

What do you think - will McCloughan add another RB to the Redskins?

Should they make a run at Arian Foster? What about Reggie Bush?

Or does the return of Pierre Thomas just make too much sense?

Let us know in the comments.

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 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 underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

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.


Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 


What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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