The Redskins will get back to work tomorrow after their 7-6 win over the Bills in their preseason opener and their to-do list will be long.There were some positives, the most notable being the impressive performance of Robert Griffin III in his pro debut. But there were issues as well.After Griffin left the game after leading the game's only touchdown drive, the offense came to a grinding stop. Rex Grossman completed just two of 10 passes for 22 yards and Kirk Cousins was nine of 22 for 74 yards with an interception. For the game the Redskins rushed 32 times for 87 yards, an average of just 2.7 yards a carry.They did not get close enough for either Neil Rackers or Graham Gano to try a field goal. The in-game aspect of their battle for the kicking job, the part that Danny Smith said was the most critical, is now on hold until their game next Saturday in Chicago.The Redskins played better defensively. They allowed the Bills to net just 219 yards of offense. Three Buffalo quarterbacks combined to complete just 14 of 34 passes. And 37 of the 100 yards rushing the Bills picked up came on Vince Young scrambles.Perhaps the biggest issue on defense was some missed opportunities. Rookie Richard Crawford did intercept a pass with a nice, over the shoulder catch but at least three other Redskins dropped easier chances at picks. Buffalo fumbled twice and Washington could not recover either one.Some individuals are going to have to get back to work to improve on their performances. Cornerback Cedric Griffin allowed receivers to get free multiple times, even after the Bills put in their second string offense. Brandon Banks had looked good as a receiver in practice but he had just two catches for seven yards despite being targeted a team-high nine times. Those two along with a number of other players ay have cost themselves position on the depth chart or may have jeopardized their roster spots with their play on Thursday.The good thing for those players and for the team as a whole is that there are many more practices and three more preseason games before the final cuts on Aug. 31 and the Sept. 9 season opener.
Every team in the NFL would love to add to their pass rush, and the Redskins are no exception. The team withdrew its contract offer to Junior Galette, spurring rumors that they were looking elsewhere.
The Redskins recently had linebacker Pernell McPhee in for a visit, and rumors are swirling that the former Bear is close to joining the Burgundy and Gold.
Nothing has been confirmed, but if McPhee does come to Washington, it would be in the hopes that he can provide a boost to the team's pass rush. The linebacker has proven himself capable of getting to the quarterback in his seven seasons in the NFL, recording 31.0 sacks in his career, with 21.5 of those coming in the last four years. He's also forced at least one fumble in each of the past five seasons.
Playing in the DMV again would mark a homecoming of sorts for McPhee, who played in Baltimore for 4 seasons after being drafted by the Ravens in the 5th round of the 2011 draft before signing in Chicago as a free agent.
Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.
The Redskins week that was
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
If you have to restructure Kerrigan to get an extension done for Preston Smith you do it. But 1st year cap hits on extensions off of rookie deal generally low. https://t.co/WIvIp5PoBw— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) March 18, 2018
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.
—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
- Redskins likely to return at least 16 of their 22 starters from last year
- Redskins withdraw contract offer to Galette
- WR Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution