The Redskins gave rookie wide receiver Jamison Crowder his first-ever extended NFL action last Thursday and by all accounts he did well.
After played 23 snaps in the first two games combined, Crowder was on the field for 54 of the 77 offensive plays against the Giants. Crowder was targeted six times in the passing game and he caught all six of them for 45 yards. He also caught a pass for a two-point conversion.
While that is not overly impressive production with an average of 7.5 yards per catch, it was a good game for him to get his feet wet.
“I think just seeing him out there, getting him out there and seeing the comfort level that he has on game day,” said Jay Gruden. “You know, it’s easy in practice sometimes but you get out in the game and there’s hand signals, there’s audibles and things like that, you have got to see how he adjusts on the fly and he did a great job. Like I said, I think it was last week after his injury, it kind of set him back a little bit but I said as the season progresses you’re going to see more and more and more of Jamison Crowder.”
How much more we see of Crowder may depend on how quickly DeSean Jackson recovers from his injured hamstring. His absence from the lineup has created opportunities for Crowder to get more snaps. Jackson has not been ruled out of this week’s game against the Eagles but a return the week after that in Atlanta or the following week against the Jets seems more likely. That leaves one or two more games for Crowder to leave his mark and earn snaps as the season goes on.
When Jackson returns, Crowder’s main competition for playing time is with Andre Roberts. After coming in as a free agent from the Cardinals in 2014, Roberts has been something of a disappointment. Last year he caught just 36 passes despite playing over 700 snaps and being targeted 62 times. His seven drops did not help his production.
Next year Roberts’ salary cap number increases to $5 million. If Crowder can establish himself as a younger, cheaper, and equally effective alternative, he could find himself at the top of the slot receiver depth chart in 2016. But it starts with taking advantage of the opportunity he has right now.
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.
The Redskins week that was
A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.
Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.
Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.
Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.
Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.
Tweet of the week
Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.
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.
—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169
In case you missed it
Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.
Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.
A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.
The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her.
The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.
2018 NFL DRAFT: MOCK DRAFT 6.0
Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.
The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.
The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.
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