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The Redskins’ incredible shrinking draft classes

The Redskins’ incredible shrinking draft classes

The release of David Amerson on Monday further thinned the ranks of players the Redskins drafted who are still making an impact on the team.

The team took the cornerback in the second round in 2013. Now, after just two seasons, there are just two players left from the seven that Mike Shanahan drafted that year. Third-round tight end Jordan Reed is a starter, although he was second on the depth chart until Niles Paul went out for the season with an ankle injury. Chris Thompson, selected in the fifth round, is the third-down back and occasional kickoff returner.

Let’s compare that group to the Packers’ draft class of 2013. Of the 11 players the selected, seven are still on the team. Three of them, left tackle David Bakhtiari, running back Eddie Lacy, and safety Micah Hyde, are starting.

The really bad news here is that 2013 has competition for being the worst draft class of recent seasons. Players drafted in 2011 should just be entering their prime seasons for the teams that drafted them. Ryan Kerrigan, Washington’s first-round pick that year, is doing just that, having signed a five-year, $57.5 million contract extension in July. But only he and Paul, a fifth-round pick, are left from the 12 players picked that year.

A few years ago it looked like the 2012 class would be an all-timer for Washington, with Robert Griffin III looking great as the top picks and Alfred Morris paying big dividends as a sixth-round pick. Even though Griffin has now been benched, perhaps permanently, fourth-round pick Kirk Cousins is staring at quarterback. Fourth-rounder Keenan Robinson look like the real deal at Mike linebacker and Josh LeRibeus (3rd round) and Tom Compton (6th) are reserve offensive linemen.

To wrap up the recent classes, 2014 is a mixed bad. This is the only draft class where Bruce Allen had final say on who was picked. Three of the top four selections, OLB Trent Murphy (2nd round), OT Morgan Moses (3rd), and CB Bashaud Breeland (4th) are either starter or major contributors. G Spencer Long (3rd) and WR Ryan Grant (5th) are solid reserves. But a team that needs special teams help got nothing from its last three picks as RB Lache Seastrunk (6th), TE Ted Bolser (7th), and K Zack Hocker (7th).

The very early returns on the 2015 group are looking favorable. Seven of the team’s 10 picks are on the 53-man roster. Brandon Scherff (1st round) is starting at right guard and both OLB Preston Smith (2nd) and RB Matt Jones (3rd) are contributing. Jamison Crowder (4th) is returning punts and S Kyshoen Jarrett did a nice job filling in as the nickel corner in a pinch against the Rams.

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Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East


Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East

The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.

Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction. 

What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb. 


For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined. 

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Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

The Redskins and linebacker Zach Brown agreed to a three-year contract that will require Brown to continue to play at a high level if he is going to collect all of the $21 million the deal contains.

Brown’s camp reportedly was shopping for a contract that had some $20 million in guaranteed money. The actual deal fell well short of that.

Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before an assortment of injuries forced him to sit out the last three games, got a total of $5.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He got a $4.5 million signing bonus and his $1 million salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.


After that, the remaining two seasons essentially are team options. In 2019 he has a $6.75 million salary and $4.5 million of that is guaranteed for injury. His 2020 salary is $7.5 million with no guarantees of any kind.

The contract also has per-game roster bonuses available at a rate of $15,625 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster in 2018 (total of $250,000 for the year) and $31,250 per game in 2019 and 2020 ($500,000 total).

The salary cap hits per year are as follows:

2018: $2.75 million
2019: $8.75 million
2020: $9.5 million

The average annual value of $7 million ranks ninth among inside linebackers.

Brown will need to continue to play well to collect on the contract. The team will be able to save $5.75 million on the 2019 cap if they terminate the deal after one season and $8 million if they do it in 2020.


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.