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What Redskins Fans Have to be Thankful For

What Redskins Fans Have to be Thankful For

--This list starts with Joe Gibbs. Every day, we have both a living, breathing symbol of the team’s glorious past and hope for the team’s future. On top of that, in addition to being among the very best football coaches to ever don a whistle, Gibbs is one of the finest human beings ever to draw air.

--I’ve dogged him over the years, but I’ve come to appreciate Renaldo Wynn more and more this season. The man is a class act from head to toe and he does the dirty work necessary to stone attempts to run to his side.

--The beat reporters who cover the team get a lot of fire, some of it justified. However, they do strike a good balance between the “we won” homerism found in some cities and the nasty edge shown in others. They are as hard working a group as you’ll find anywhere and they take their jobs seriously without taking themselves too seriously. Redskins fans are better informed for having read and listened to their work.

--Clinton Portis is turning from a scatback into a tough, strong runner. He’s not going to remind anyone of John Riggins, mind you, but when it’s all said and done Portis could be the best running back to ever play for the Redskins. And yes, the costumes are getting a bit lame but you have to like a guy who wants to have fun.

--The three-game winning streak to start the season gave the team the cushion they needed to survive their current slump and remain in playoff contention. Of course, the improbable win in Dallas tops the list, but the victories over Chicago and Seattle look more impressive as the year goes on.

--Santana Moss won’t ever be the best Redskins receiver ever, but he’s given the team both the deep threat and run-after-catch ability that it has been missing. He has a quiet confidence that is very impressive.

--The Redskins are finally starting to get a solid home-field advantage at FedEx Field. At over 90,000 strong, the crowd there can disrupt both an opposing offense and the plans of the visitors’ fans to take over the Redskins’ house.

--Joe Salave’a has been playing for weeks on a foot injury so painful that it would have most grown men crying and calling in sick to their desk jobs. He plays hard every Sunday because the team needs him and then limps home. (Last Sunday in the locker room, I turned around after talking to one defensive lineman and came within a couple of inches of stepping on that foot, which was bare except for an ice pack taped to it. I’m very thankful for that few inches.)

--I could go through a lot more players, but we should be thankful for having a group that has a lot of character and enjoys being together. They have a tough road to hoe if they are going to make the playoffs, but this is a good group to go into such a battle with.

--Finally, Redskins fans should be thankful for themselves as a group. Some are incurable homers, others are always saying that the sky is falling but those fans and all of the others in between bring great passion and knowledge to the subject of Redskins football. That is something to be thankful for all year long.

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The most overrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 23, 19 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The overrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/30/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Yesterday we looked at three events that were underrated at the time they happened. Here, in no particular order, are three overrated events from 2017.

Beating the Raiders—At the time, the Raiders were 2-0 and they still had the status of being one of the favorites to get to the Super Bowl. The Redskins whipped them 27-10 and the prevailing view was that the Redskins were on their way to a special year. But that loss started a four-game losing streak for the Raiders. They are currently riding a three-game skid and at 6-9 they are contenders for a top-10 draft pick, not for the Super Bowl. The win became less impressive for the Redskins as the year went on.

Signing Terrelle Pryor—There was plenty of excitement when the Redskins signed the Browns wide receiver, who had 1,000 receiving yards catching passes from a sub-mediocre group of quarterbacks in Cleveland. Imagine what he could do with a quality QB and a good offense around him. The hype grew when a fan captured him making this catch in training camp:

But the production was not there. In nine games before going on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Pryor caught 20 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

Su’a Cravens departure—There was a lot of concern about issues both on and off the field when Cravens abruptly let it be known to teammates that he intended to retire just after the Redskins finalized their 53-man roster on September 2. All offseason Cravens’ name had been written at the top of the depth chart at strong safety in Sharpie. When he walked away and was put on the Exempt/Left Squad list (and eventually on the Reserve/Left Squad list, ending his season), there was plenty of speculation about whether the organization botched the situation and, of more immediate importance, what would happen at safety without Cravens. We’re still not sure about what happened but Montae Nicholson and Deshazor Everett did a respectable job at safety.

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 6
—NFL Draft (4/26) 62
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 198