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Skins' situation at ILB better but still shaky


Skins' situation at ILB better but still shaky

The Redskins are still depleted at inside linebacker entering Sunday’s game against the Eagles. But they’re not quite as depleted as they were a week ago in the Meadowlands, where they had only three players—and just two with any regular season experience—active against the Giants.

Earlier this week, the team signed free agent Mason Foster, a 26-year-old who started 54 games at middle linebacker for the Buccaneers from 2011-14. Although the plan is for Foster to see the majority of his reps on special teams for now, his extensive experience would allow him to step in on defense on Sunday if needed.

The addition of Foster was necessary because Perry Riley will be sidelined for a second straight week due to a calf muscle strain he suffered against the Rams.

“[Foster] came in off the street and has picked up the system quickly,” Coach Jay Gruden said. “He can help on special teams, without a doubt. And if something happens to [Will] Compton—knock on wood—or Keenan [Robinson], he’s got a chance to get some reps. He’s ready to go.”

The Redskins hope they won’t need Foster against the Eagles, obviously. But it’s reassuring knowing that he’s there—if needed.  Last week, undrafted rookie Terrance Plummer was listed as the third inside linebacker while outside linebacker Trent Murphy was considered an emergency option. 

The Redskins have been hit hard by injuries throughout the lineup, but especially at inside linebacker. Reserves Adam Hayward (knee) and Martrell Spaight (concussion) have been lost for the season and Riley has been unable to practice the past two weeks, though he's begun working off to the side.

With Riley sidelined, Compton will get the nod again and will start alongside Robinson. Compton had 11 tackles, second most on the team behind Robinson’s 13, in the loss to New York.

“I thought Will stepped in and did a great job in Perry’s absence,” defensive coordinator Joe Barry said. “Again, the mantra we’ve tried to build is, ‘You’re not a backup, you’re a starter in waiting.' Perry went down and Will stepped up and I thought he did a fine job for us.”

It's unclear when Riley will be able to return to game action, but the fact that he's been able ramp up his level of activity in recent days is certainly a positive development.

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

The Redskins seem to love former Cowboys. They signed another one today.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media is reporting that Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The early numbers put the contract at up to $10 million over two years.

Scandrick, 31, has played for the Cowboys since they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. In nine seasons in the league, Scandrick has eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

He has been plagued by injuries the last three years. Scandrick was out for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. In 2016 he missed four games with a hamstring injury and he finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury. Whether his struggles last year were due to injuries or age remains to be seen.

Scandrick joins Nosh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Holsey at cornerback for the Redskins. Holsey is the only natural slot corner in the group and he played very sparingly as a rookie last year. Scandrick likely will fill the slot role until Holsey is ready.

We will see what the signing costs in terms of salary cap impact when we see the details of the contract. The phrase “up to” generally means that there are incentives included in the deal so we will have to see.

In recent years, the Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive linemen Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, and Terrell McClain.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract

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Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details.

Until now.

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. The top line numbers are five years, $111 million, an average annual value of $22.2 million per year. 


Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer).

But there is another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million.

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith, but since we have no details, we’ll set those aside for now.

The cap hits on the contract are as follows:

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022.

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.