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Redskins position preview: Wide receiver


Redskins position preview: Wide receiver

Over the past few weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler have taken one more look the Redskins’ depth chart, position-by-position, as the team prepares to head to Richmond for training camp. Some battles figure to be straightforward. Others could get complicated. This much, however, cannot be debated: A player is not on the 53-man roster until its finalized Sept. 5. So who’s in? And who’s in jeopardy? Up today …

Position: Wide receiver

On the roster: Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, Evan Spencer, Colin Lockett, Rashad Ross, Reggie Bell, Tony Jones, Quinton Dunbar

Likely to make the 53: Garçon, Jackson, Roberts, Grant, Crowder, Spencer

Comment: Right now this position seems to be as set in stone as anything can be a few weeks away from the start of training camp. It seems that only an injury or unforeseen issue can alter this between now and September 5, when the final cuts are made.

The top of the depth chart, with Garçon and Jackson, is one of the few proven areas of strength the team has. If the team gets even average quarterback play both are a threat to gain over 1,000 yards receiving.

Roberts is the primary backup and slot receiver right now. Although he could slide down the depth chart, his contract, which carries $3 million in dead money if he is released, will keep him on the roster. Grant will continue his development with an eye towards becoming a substantial contributor to the offense in 2016.

Rookies Crowder and Spencer, fourth- and sixth-round choices, respectively, give the team something it hasn’t had in a while—wide receivers who contribute on special teams. Crowder almost certainly will return punts to start the season and may get kickoff return duty as well. Spencer will handle a variety of special teams duties from punt coverage to being on the “hands” team when the opposition attempts an onside kick (he made a key recovery of an Alabama onside attempt to wrap up the Buckeyes’ national semifinal win).

One of the unforeseen circumstances that could shake up the depth chart is the legal situation that still appears to be hanging over Crowder’s head. Last month he was accused of domestic violence via social media. The team and the NFL said they would investigate. Although many assume that the matter is behind him, there has been no definitive word that Crowder has been cleared. 

Battling for a job: Lockett, Ross, Bell, Jones, Dunbar

Comment: As noted above, everyone is this group is a long shot to make the 53. Ross was with the team in camp last year and had receptions of 43 and 35 yards during the preseason but it wasn’t enough to get him a roster spot. These five will be competing for spots on the practice squad, where Ross spent some time in 2014, as did Lockett.

Redskins position previews 2015:

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.

After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.


Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.

Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.

His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.

In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.


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Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source


Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source

The Redskins hosted Sylvester Williams for a free agency visit on Tuesday morning, per a source with knowledge of the situation. 

Williams played in 2017 with the Titans, logging 20 tackles in 11 starts. Tennessee released Williams this offseason, just one year into a three-year, $16 million deal. 

Drafted in the first round by the Broncos in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 313 lbs. Williams' stat line has never really popped. That isn't uncommon for a nose tackle though, as the job is less about tackles than it is holding leverage against the interior of an offensive line. 


Should the Redskins sign 29-year-old Williams, it would represent the first true nose tackle free agency addition since Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton joined the team in 2015 from Denver. In an ironic twist, Williams took over at nose in Denver when Knighton left for Washington, and posted his best season as a Bronco. 

Washington restructured its deal with Terrell McClain, reported first by ESPN, which could allow more flexibility to add another defensive lineman. That could come in the draft, but the club has been very active talking with free agents to play on the defensive front. 

On Monday, Johnathan Hankins and Pernell McPhee visited with Redskins officials in Ashburn. Hankins would carry the heaviest price tag, but his past performance would also indicate the most promise. 

McPhee is an edge rusher with enough bulk to play against the run as well. Williams compares more with Hankins, and could be seen as the secondary option.

Among 79 nose tackles Pro Football Focus graded, Williams ranked 36th. For comparison, Bengals star Geno Atkins ranked No. 1, Dontari Poe ranked 26th, former Redskin Chris Baker ranked 65th and current Redskin Ziggy Hood ranked 79th. 

It's also worth noting that since the Titans released Williams, should the Redskins sign the nose tackle, his contract would not count towards the NFL compensatory pick formula. 

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