Quick Links

Redskins Playbook - Is it time for Matt Jones rehabbed shoulder to take contact

Redskins Playbook - Is it time for Matt Jones rehabbed shoulder to take contact

With the Redskins back on the practice field Wednesday at 1 p.m., a few storylines will take over as the team prepares for the Steelers on Monday night. Matt Jones and Josh Doctson are the biggest injury concerns, but perhaps the biggest concern is preparing to face Big Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown.

  1. Get ready for speed - The Steelers have an impressive aerial attack, but what compounds the threat is that the team likes to go up-tempo. Jay Gruden is getting his team ready for the Pittsburgh speed: "They’ll get lined up fast and they’ll put a hurting on you. I feel good about the way we worked in training camp and OTAs. We worked a lot of no-huddle situations, so communication shouldn’t be an issue."
  2. Gold jersey gone? - Gruden said the Redskins would practice in pads either Wednesday or Thursday, and for running back Matt Jones, that could mean getting some contact on his rehabbed left shoulder. Jones missed the last two games of the preseason and a lot of practice work after a sprained AC joint, but was seen practicing Monday wearing a gold, non-contact jersey. Jones said he felt "great" following Monday's session and that he wants to go full speed. Before Monday's game, which he is expected to participate fully, Jones needs contact. That could come today.
  3. Craving more Cravens - Su'a Cravens spent training camp and the preseason working as an inside linebacker, particularly in nickel packages. Slightly small for an NFL linebacker, some thought Cravens would be a safety at the professional level, and on Monday Gruden revealed that may still be in the cards. The team began working the rookie at safety in some scout team situations, and the coach said, "I think it is good to start him at safety a little bit, maybe put him at nickel some a little bit, but his main focus is going to be on inside linebacker right now, but we are slowly starting to branch him off in different areas." A natural playmaker and strong tackler, Cravens will see plenty of action - especially as the season goes on - regardless of position.

Also, be sure to check out #RedskinsTalk the Podcast, with guests Rich Tandler, Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post and Behind the Steel Curtain's Jeff Hartman. 


Quick Links

Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 18, 39 days before the NFL draft.  

Looking at next year’s free agents

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens.

Note: I’m not including Brandon Scherff here because the team has a fifth-year option on him that they surely will activate before the May 2 deadline.

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard).

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility.

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon.

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup.

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight.

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019.

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.

Tandler on Twitter

Regarding the reported visit of defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins with the Redskins:


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 29
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 131
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 175

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Scandrick, Hankins both visiting with Redskins soon


Scandrick, Hankins both visiting with Redskins soon

The Redskins will be taking visits from two former NFC East foes in the next few days.

Former Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick will visit Redskins Park on Monday. Scandrick, 31, has been with Dallas since them made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. He has eight career interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

The Cowboys released Scandrick on Friday in a salary cap move. The Redskins would be attracted to Scandrick’s versatility. He can play either side at corner and, of particular interest to the Redskins, in the slot. That is a position of concern for Washington since they traded Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs as part of the deal for quarterback Alex Smith.

The Redskins have been trying to get former Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to sign for the past several days, but they can’t come together on money. Scandrick could be a fallback if they need one.

The other visitor will be former Giants defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins, per John Keim of ESPN. Hankins, 25, was a second-round draft pick and played his first four years in New York. Last year he moved on to the Colts as a free agent. They are changing their defense and decided to release Hankins after paying him $10 million last year.

Hankins could bolster a defensive line that still needs young talent. It’s not known if he would be considered a nose tackle in the Redskins’ scheme. The Giants ran a 4-3 defense and in the Colts’ 3-4 he was used as an end.

The Redskins had former Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson in for a visit earlier this week, but he decided to sign with the Packers.


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.