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Pro Bowl Voting

Pro Bowl Voting

    Rich Tandler is the author of Gut Check, The Complete History of Coach Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins. Get details and order at http://GutCheckBook.com

    This evening, I filled out my ballot for the Pro Bowl online at http://nfl.com.probowl . I did so with considerably less of a feeling of awe and responsibility than I had when I punched out my ballot at the neighborhood elementary school in last week’s national election.

    Still, I don’t want to goof around with such things. My big problem with filling out the ballot was that I’m so focused on the Redskins from week to week that I really don’t have the means to evaluate how other players around the NFL are performing. There were several positions where I either didn’t cast a vote or voted for fewer players than the designated maximum.

    I also didn’t want to be a moronic homer and vote for all the Redskins that appeared next to the selection buttons, so I chose my Redskins carefully.

    • Clinton Portis—I’ve gone over his accomplishments extensively over the past few days, no need to elaborate.
    • Tom Tupa—As much attention as James Thrash got for downing punts near the goal line on Sunday, someone had to put them there to be downed. Tupa booms them when he needs to and often managed to come up with the well-placed pitching wedge when needed.
    • Fred Smoot—He’s elevated his game to a new level, one that’s worthy of a trip to Hawaii.
    • Shawn Springs—Springs’ long arms help him bat down passes and wrap up opposing quarterbacks. Not many corners have intercepted Favre twice in a game.
    • Cornelius Griffin—This may be a bit of a stretch, but after watching promising free-agent tackles such as Big Daddy and Stubblefield come in with high expectations and fail, it ‘s great to see one finally come through.

    One thing that was interesting to note about the voting process was that after voting for the offensive skill position players, the kicker and the punter, I got the following message: “You have the completed the EXPRESS ballot, click here to submit your ballot.” There was also an option to continue voting for the grunts, the offensive linemen and the defensive players. Of course, I took the continue on option after being somewhat insulted that I was given the option to opt out of the process after voting for the big-money guys.

    It was as though after punching out the chads for the President, Congress and the Senate last week, a message had appeared on my butterfly ballot saying: “You’ve voted on the important stuff. If you really want to go on and vote for those obscure county commissioners and those boring bond issues, keep on. Otherwise, turn in your punch card now.”

    Anyway, let me know what you think of my choices. If you can make a compelling case that anyone I left off should be included, let me know. Conversely, if you think that I voted for an undeserving Redskin, your comments are also welcome.

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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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