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The timing of Jansen’s release

The timing of Jansen’s release

Jon Jansen's release, a move that the Redskins announced earlier today, came as a surprise. Dan Snyder flew Redskins One to Michigan to pick up Jansen so that Jim Zorn could deliver to news to him in person.

By releasing Jansen the Redskins took a cap hit of some $6 million. On the surface the timing is somewhat puzzling but once you dig a little deeper it makes more sense.

Apparently this is a move that Zorn has wanted to make since the end of last year. However, had the move been made at the start of free agency it would have been very difficult to fit the contracts of Albert Haynesworth, Derrick Dockery and DeAngelo Hall in under the cap.

Also, at that time, Jansen was the only experienced depth the Redskins had at the tackle spot. Even though, in the view of Zorn and just about anybody who watched more than five minutes of the 2008 Redskins' offense with Jansen in the lineup, his skills had slipped considerably from his prime seasons it would have been foolhardy to release him and leave nothing in reserve. The fact that the penciled-in starter is Stephon Heyer, who still is a work in progress, make it even more important for the Redskins to have a solid reserve at right tackle.

Then, just before the draft, one shoe dropped for Jansen. The Redskins signed Mike Williams. The fourth overall pick in the 2002 draft was about 70 pounds overweight and hasn't played since 2006. He's a veteran project but a warm body (actually, Zorn said that he was as big as two bodies) nonetheless.

The other shoe fell when the team signed Jeremy Bridges. The Southern Mississippi product has started 39 games in six seasons with the Eagles, Cardinals, and Panthers. At his low end he represents quality depth and at the high end he could beat out Heyer for the starting job.

So the Redskins had two potential replacements for Jansen. During minicamp and OTA's they tried him at backup center but he failed to impress there.

They may have given him a shot in training camp but he was due a $1.5 million roster bonus in July. If they had him participate in the second round of OTA's starting on Monday to give him a last shot they would have been gambling. If he were to sustain a serious injury during the OTA's the team would have been on the hook for the roster bonus and his 2009 salary.

Some have asked why they didn't wait until after June 1 to spread the cap hit out. Since 2010 currently is an uncapped year, June 1 doesn't exist. Well, it's on your calendar but there is no cap hit break for releasing a player after June 1. They don't want teams prematurely dumping dead cap in next year.

Jansen, of course, is the longest-tenured Redskin. He never quite got his play up to a Pro Bowl level but he was a solid a tackle as there was in the game from about 2000 through 2003. Although he repeatedly expressed frustration with Steve Spurrier's blocking schemes he resigned with the Redskins prior to becoming a free agent in 2002.

That contract made sense. The one that didn't make sense was the one that Joe Gibbs signed him to in 2007. The $23 million deal carried $10 million in guarantees and it is the leftover money on that deal that created the nasty cap hit the Redskins sustained today.

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Associated Press

Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 19, 38 days before the NFL draft.  

Free agency notes and nuggets

Looking at the 2018 depth chart—offense

The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the offensive side of the ball stands now. The defense is up tomorrow

Quarterback: Alex Smith
Backups: Colt McCoy

The only question here is if the Redskins will draft a late-round project quarterback to develop as the backup. McCoy is in the last year of his contract and he may not be back in 2019.

Running back: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, draft pick

This is an area to watch. Thompson could end up being the only carryover if they get a draft pick who can start and decide to keep 2017 late-season addition Kapri Bibbs or if they find another veteran. They also could go with only three running backs.

Wide receivers: Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder
Backups: Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick

They may not carry six, so Harris, Davis, and Quick might battle it out for two spots. It’s possible that they will put a draft pick into the mix as well.

MORE REDSKINS: The Redskins week that was

Tight end: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

As of right now, this appears to be one of the few position groups you can write in with a Sharpie. If the Redskins are going to be better in 2018, a lot of the improvement will have to come from improvement of 2017 draft picks like Sprinkle. If he can develop into a solid blocker and a moderate receiving threat he will be an asset.

Offensive line: LT Trent Williams, LG Arie Kouandjio, C Chase Roullier RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses
Backups: T Ty Nsekhe, G/T Tyler Catalina, G Kyle Kalis, T T.J. Clemmings

Kouandjio is a placeholder at left guard for the moment. He was solid pass blocking but struggled in run blocking in six starts in injury fill-in duty. I think that if they bring in another interior O-lineman in free agency or in the draft, Roullier will remain at center. I think Jay Gruden likes the way he is developing there and wants to continue.

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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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174

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Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins


Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins

NFL free agency doesn't care about your brackets. 

While you were watching UMBC, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee is currently on a visit with the Redskins:

Pernell, 29, was drafted in 2011 out of Mississppi State by the Baltimore Ravens. He played there for three years before spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bears. 

Pernell has 182 career tackles and 31 career sacks.