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Redskins 2017 depth chart preview: Cornerbacks

Redskins 2017 depth chart preview: Cornerbacks

Over the next few weeks, Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ 2017 depth chart as the team enjoys some R&R ahead of training camp. Some positions are easy to handicap. Others have moving parts and, thus, are more complex. So, who’s in? And who’s in trouble?

Up today…

Position: Cornerback

On the roster: Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Josh Holsey, Dashaun Phillips, Shak Randolph, Tevin Homer

The numbers: Have nine, will keep five or six.

Six is the usual number to carry here. However, if they need to shave a roster spot, they have Will Blackmon, a safety who also can play corner is they go with five CBs.


Locks: Norman, Breeland, Fuller, Dunbar

It’s probably not accurate to say that Norman is looking for a bounce back year. He was by far the best cornerback on the team and he still covered receivers better than most in the league. But he did not repeat as a first-team All-Pro; he didn’t even make the Pro Bowl. Norman will play as though he has something to prove.

Breeland’s 2016 season got off to a tough start as he was overmatched trying to cover the Steelers’ Antonio Brown in Week 1. Once he started defending No. 2 receivers more often he got his feet under himself and he had a solid season He is in a contract year and he would like to set himself up for a big payday, whether it’s in Washington or elsewhere.

Fuller struggled playing slot corner. The reasons for that were typical rookie adjustment and lingering effects of a knee injury he suffered in his final year at Virginia Tech. Also, he may be better suited to playing outside corner instead of in the slot. That might mean that Breeland, who is very effective in the slot, could move inside in nickel situations. But slot corners don’t get paid as well as outside cover guys so this may be a sticky situation for new defensive backs coach Torian Gray to navigate.

Had Dunbar not stepped up and volunteered to switch from wide receiver to cornerback after a rash of injuries at the position a couple of years ago he might not be in the NFL now. As it is, he is a solid option in dime situations.


On the bubble: Moreau, Holsey, Phillips

Moreau will be employed by the Redskins as of Week 1. The question is whether the third-round pick will be on the roster or on the PUP list. He is still rehabbing from a torn pectoral muscle he suffered during his pro day and he is not scheduled to take the field until late August. Will he be able to catch up in time?

Holsey’s chances of making it as a seventh-round pick will be bolstered if Moreau does end up on PUP. The early impression is that he could work his way onto the roster even if Moreau does make the 53.

Phillips went through it all last year. At various times, he was the starting nickel corner, benched, on the practice squad, and unemployed. He could be any of those when Week 1 rolls around this year.

Long shots: Randolph, Homer

The practice squad seems to be the best chance for these two undrafted players. Homer is a rookie, Randolph spent some time on the Redskins practice squad last year.

Redskins 2017 depth chart previews: Offensive tackle | Wide receiver | Interior O-line | Defensive line | Outside linebacker | Tight end  | Running back  | Inside linebacker  | Quarterback  

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 @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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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.