After two straight weeks of struggles along the defensive line, the Redskins again will fight injuries up front as they head to New York to face the Giants. Washington will get their final practice of the week Friday at noon before a brief walk-through on Saturday. Here's the stories will be watching:
- Injuries up front - Kendall Reyes did not practice again on Thursday, and he has been dealing with a groin injury for some time. Kedric Golston had surgery for his hamstring injury earlier this week and is done for the season. Chris Baker is battling a host of bumps and bruises and has played a ton of snaps the last two weeks. The Redskins defensive line is beat up, plain and simple, and slightly undermanned. No matter, Eli Manning and the Giants will be ready on Sunday.
- Changes in the secondary - Facing Odell Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz will present some serious challenges for the Redskins, and while defensive coordinator Joe Barry offered little information on his plan to slow the Giants passing attack, expect some new wrinkles in the Redskins secondary. Bashaud Breeland could play some slot corner and Greg Toler could see more snaps on Sunday.
- Full speed ahead - DeSean Jackson missed practice on Wednesday, but both players and coaches did not seem overly concerned. Gruden revealed that Jackson suffered slight injuries to his knee and ankle against the Cowboys, but he was able to finish the game and practiced on Thursday. The coach said of Jackson, "With a sprinter like that, he needs to be full go, and tomorrow we’ll give him a few shots to run deep and fast and see how he feels and we’ll go from there." Jackson will get his chances to show the full arsenal of speed Friday, and assuming that goes well, will be ready to roll in the Meadowlands.
For live updates from the field, check @JPFinlayCSN and @CSNRedskins.
The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.
Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction.
What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb.
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For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined.
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The Redskins and linebacker Zach Brown agreed to a three-year contract that will require Brown to continue to play at a high level if he is going to collect all of the $21 million the deal contains.
Brown’s camp reportedly was shopping for a contract that had some $20 million in guaranteed money. The actual deal fell well short of that.
Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before an assortment of injuries forced him to sit out the last three games, got a total of $5.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He got a $4.5 million signing bonus and his $1 million salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.
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After that, the remaining two seasons essentially are team options. In 2019 he has a $6.75 million salary and $4.5 million of that is guaranteed for injury. His 2020 salary is $7.5 million with no guarantees of any kind.
The contract also has per-game roster bonuses available at a rate of $15,625 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster in 2018 (total of $250,000 for the year) and $31,250 per game in 2019 and 2020 ($500,000 total).
The salary cap hits per year are as follows:
2018: $2.75 million
2019: $8.75 million
2020: $9.5 million
The average annual value of $7 million ranks ninth among inside linebackers.
Brown will need to continue to play well to collect on the contract. The team will be able to save $5.75 million on the 2019 cap if they terminate the deal after one season and $8 million if they do it in 2020.
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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.