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Skins MUST Make Edwards Deal If. . .

Skins MUST Make Edwards Deal If. . .

It’s not all that complicated, really.

If the Redskins are 100% convinced that Braylon Edwards will be the next great receiver, the next Rice, the next Monk, the next Don Hutson, they have to make a deal to move up to draft him. Trade the two firsts, throw in Rod Gardner, Tony Stewart and Redskins One if you have to.

If they are much less than dead certain, say 98.6% certain or less, they have to pass on any trade that would involve their two first-round draft picks. This team is not one very good player away from a title.

That’s just one of the possibilities for the Redskins entering this draft, of course. Here’s one viewpoint on what might transpire.

While there’s a lot of stuff swirling around, there is one thing that can be stated with a high degree of certainty (and even this starts with an “if”): If the Redskins don’t use the #25 pick that they got from Denver earlier this week as part of the ammunition to trade up to take Edwards, they will use it as is. If they trade down out of 25 the trade value charts get all out of whack in regards to their original deal to get the pick and they don’t have the assets to move up. A corollary here is that they can’t trade up from #9 without using the #25 also. Without a second or third, again, they don’t have anything to deal with.

So that breaks down to three possibilities for the first round; use both picks to trade up to the top three and take Edwards, use both #9 and #25 as they are or trade down the #9 and use #25 as is.

We’ve dealt with the first possibility, so moving on to the second one; this seems to be the most likely of the three. They’ll try to move down but it takes two to tango and while it’s certainly possible that they’ll be able to find a partner, chances are that they won’t find a buyer who’s willing to pay an acceptable price.

Should the Skins draft at #9, the pick likely will be Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers. Barring any real stunning moves by teams drafting in front of them, he will be the best player left on their board and since he is at a position of need, that would make him a strong favorite to take the stage in New York with the Skins jersey with the number 1 on the back.

One of the possible causes of an upset here could be the presence of USC wide receiver Mike Williams on the board. He seems to be slipping on some draft boards because he’s a big receiver without a whole lot of speed. Such a receiver would give the Skins a nice balance of speed with Santana Moss and David Patten and size with Williams.

A wild card here is Maryland defensive end Shawne Merriman. He has the potential to be a disruptive pass rusher the likes the team hasn’t seen since the heyday of Mann and Manley.

A trade back that moves them back about a half a dozen slots could net them any of those three plus some picks in later rounds to replenish their depleted supply. If any or all of these players are gone, Wisconsin DE Erasmus James and Georgia DE David Pollack would come into play as could South Carolina receiver Troy Williamson. It’s also possible that West Virginia CB Pac Man Jones, long thought to be the target of the Skins’ #9, could still be there in the middle of the first round.

The further back they go, the closer that pick gets to the #25, so they would be choosing from a very similar pool of players. Oklahoma WR Mark Clayton, his Sooner teammate DE Dan Cody, Nebraska CB Fabian Washington, Notre Dame DE Justin Tuck, and Clemson CB Justin Miller.

So, what’s going to happen? The talk of moving up to take Edwards has some credence to it, but in addition to the huge gamble it would be in terms of using so many assets for one player there would be salary cap issues caused by trying to fit a contract with a $15 million or so signing bonus under a cap that has just about $2 million of room.

The chances of them keeping the #9 are about 50/50. If they do, Rogers is the pick with Williams being an outside possibility if he’s there.

There is a myriad of possibilities for a trade back, but let’s say that Kansas City at #15 wants Merriman badly enough to send the Skins a third and fifth to move up. At #15, the Redskins would take Jones if he’s there or Pollack or maybe Williamson if he’s not.

One more trade back possibility to throw in there is the Redskins trading that #9 pick in a deal that does not return a 2005 first-rounder but one next year and a second rounder this year and a nice haul of middle round picks as well. The chances of this are slim, but it has to be considered one of the reasons why they got the other first-rounder from Denver.

The pick at #25 has too many variables to focus in on with any degree of certainty, but we’ll take a stab at the pick being Fabian Washington if a corner hasn’t been drafted or UAB receiver Roddy White if one has been.

Buckle your seat belts. It’s going to be a wild ride.

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Need to Know: Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, January 22, 51 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 43
—NFL Draft (4/26) 94
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 230

Quarterbacks win championships and other lessons the Redskins can learn

Quarterback matters: We had the setup of the three castaway and ridiculed quarterbacks leading their teams into the NFL’s final four. But, the two who survived were one of the greatest of all time and one who found his groove and had 10.7 yards per attempt and a 141.4 passer rating. Yes, Tom Brady and Nick Foles had a lot of help and we’ll get into that in a minute. But, without excellent play from their quarterbacks, it may have been a different story for the Eagles and Patriots. This doesn’t mean that the Redskins need to send truckloads of money to Kirk Cousins’ house, but if they don’t, they do need a quality alternative. You won’t win with Bortles-level play.

Defense matters: The Vikings rolled right down the field on their first possession and it looked like the Eagles defense was going to have a long night. But then Chris Long got pressure on Case Keenum leading a pick six that apparently energized the Philly defense. Rookie Derek Barnett knocked the ball out of Keenum’s hand when the Vikings were threatening to make a game of it. Minnesota came up empty in its last eight possessions. As the Eagles offense started to build a lead, their defense played faster and more aggressively. At this point, the Redskins don’t have the personnel or the mindset to play that way on defense.

Does running really matter? It’s a small sample size here but in the two games yesterday it did not. The Patriots ran for all of 46 yards. The Eagles got 110, but at the point in the third quarter where they took a 31-7 lead, they had 202 yards passing and 40 yards rushing. Running the ball was not decisive in either game. Offensively, the games were won in the air. Jay Gruden’s “pass happy” approach can be a winning approach.

Stay aggressive: At times during the year, Cousins expressed some frustration in the Redskins’ inability or perhaps unwillingness to keep the pedal mashed to the floor when they had a lead. I hit on the Eagles’ aggressiveness on defense, but their offense didn’t slow down either. They were up 21-7 when they got the ball on their own 20 with 29 seconds left in the first half. In that situations, the Redskins—and, in fact, most other teams—would run a draw, throw a short pass, and let the clock run out. But Doug Pederson was having none of that. Passes for 11, 36, and 13 yards got them down to the Vikings 20 and they kicked a field goal to close out the half. If the game wasn’t over then, it was early in the third quarter when Pederson called a flea flicker and Foles hit Torrey Smith for 42 yards and a touchdown.

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.

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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

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What can the Redskins learn from the Eagles run to the Super Bowl?

For Redskins fans, it's probably a tough pill to swallow that the Eagles are in the Super Bowl. Making matters worse, Philadelphia got to the championship game without their star quarterback Carson Wentz.

Beyond the feelings that fandom incites, which are real and severe, what does the Eagles' breakthrough season mean for Washington? Let's take a look. 

Perhaps the most incredible part of the Eagles' success is that wunderkind QB Wentz is not at the helm. The second-year player was an MVP candidate all season but got injured late in the year. Nick Foles, the Philly backup, took over and played well in both Eagles' playoff wins. 

Does that mean much, if anything, for the Redskins? 

Some will argue it means Washington should not look to invest top dollar in QB Kirk Cousins. Foles is not considered a top-flight quarterback and still was able to maneuver his squad to the Super Bowl.

Whether or not that argument makes sense, Redskins fans should prepare to hear a lot of it over the next two weeks. 

There is also a theory that the Redskins should eschew spending at QB in favor of spending on defense. 

That may very well be the right move, but don't look to the Eagles to support the theory. 

Philadelphia spent $47 million on the defensive side of the ball in 2017. On offense, they spent $56 million.

What is definitely true?

The Eagles played terrific football in the postseason, and catapulted through the NFC by playing the underdog role.

Redskins fans might hate it, but the Eagles absolutely earned their Super Bowl appearance. 

That doesn't mean Redskins fans have to like it. 

Philadelphia has never won a Super Bowl. 

Now, standing in the way of their first Lombardi Trophy: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!