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Redskins trying to get a win in midst of historically tough road games

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Redskins trying to get a win in midst of historically tough road games

The Redskins have not won on the road this season, going 0-4 away from FedEx Field. They face a very tough task in trying to break that skid this Sunday in Charlotte against the 9-0 Panthers. Jay Gruden hasn’t been able to identify a magic wand that will turn things around on the road for his team.

“I don’t know what. We have to travel at the same time. We stay at a hotel,” said Gruden. “We have meetings at night. We get up and play in the morning — at 1:00. Just a matter of coming out and playing our game and trying to execute better, really. I don’t know any magical pep talks that will help us in that regard. We’re practicing hard. We’re preparing the right way. Now, it’s just a matter of we’ve got to go out and perform on the road, but I don’t know what words will help that. I think it’s just actions have to take place and we’ll have to play better.”

One thing they could do better on the road is hold on to the football. In five home games they have turned the ball over five times. In four games on the road they have given the ball away nine times. That is not a formula for success.

Trent Williams pointed out that the Redskins have not exactly had an easy slate of road games this year.

“It has been a struggle but, I mean, if you look at our opponents, those guys aren’t losing a lot of games at home,” said Williams. “You look at the Patriots, Atlanta, you look at New York [Giants], the play well. You look at the Jets . . . We’ve had some tough teams on the road.”

In fact, you can say that including this Sunday’s game the Redskins are in the midst of one of the toughest stretches of road games ever.

In Week 5, they played on the road in Atlanta against the Falcons, who were 4-0 at the time. Then in Week 9 it was the 7-0 Patriots in Foxborough and now, in Week 11, the Redskins visit the 9-0 Panthers.

If that seems like a historically tough schedule, it is. Only one other NFL team, the 2009 Patriots, have ever faced three road games against undefeated teams from Week 5 on. That Patriots team lost in Week 5 at the 4-0 Broncos, dropped a game to the 8-0 Colts in Indianapolis in Week 10 and then were beaten by the10-0 Saints in the Superdome in Week 12.

Williams wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t making excuses for the team’s problems on the road.

“We haven’t performed up to our standards on the road,” he said. “That’s what this game’s for, that’s the beauty of this game. We have another week where we can fix our wrongs.”

Can the Redskins do what the 2009 Patriots couldn’t and get a road win against an unbeaten team? We will find out tomorrow afternoon. 

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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