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Where are we? The state of the Redskins, Week 7

Where are we? The state of the Redskins, Week 7

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 5 of the NFL season.

Record: 1-5
vs. NFC East: 0-2
vs. NFC: 0-4
vs. AFC: 1-1
Home: 1-2
Away: 0-3

Opposition cumulative record (all games played): 18-16
Opposition cumulative—wins: 0-6
Opposition cumulative—losses: 18-10
Record of teams remaining on schedule: 32-27


Offense (yards/game): 395.8 (7th)
Defense (yards/game): 336.2 (10th)
Passer rating offense: 90.1 (18th)
Opp passer rating: 105.1 (28th)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.1 (17th)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.1 (20th)
DVOA (Football Outsiders): -8.8% (24th)

Season to date MVP’s

Offensive: Anything that the Redskins are able to get done offensive goes through left tackle Trent Williams. After some inconsistency early this season he has become the rock the Redskins are accustomed to seeing. He has been solid in the run game and in the last three games he’s allowed no sacks, no QB hits, and just one hurry.

Defensive: With 6.5 sacks on the season, Ryan Kerrigan is second in the NFL. In a defense designed to get pressure on the quarterback, Kerrigan remains the only one to get it done consistently.

Top three storylines:

Turnovers—A chance to win a game in the fourth quarter vaporized with four turnovers. A highly questionable fumble by Andre Roberts and three Kirk Cousins interceptions killed the Redskins’ shot at a fourth-quarter rally. No team has give the ball away more often than Washington and only one team has taken it away fewer times.

Running game has no legs—It’s a chicken and egg quandary. Do the Redskins have trouble running the ball (23rd in yards/game, 20th in yards/attempt) because they’re trailing in games all the time? Or are they trailing because they don’t run the ball. Before the season started, Jay Gruden said that running the ball is the strength of the team. If the strength has become a weakness, it’s no wonder the team is struggling.

Opportunity knocking—Three of the Redskins’ next four games are against teams that are struggling as much as they are. Between now and Thanksgiving they face the Titans (2-4), Vikings (2-4), and Bucs (1-5). Certainly there are no guaranteed wins for this bunch but they have a chance to build a little confidence before getting into a tougher closing stretch.

Next three games

Sunday vs. Titans (2-4)—They were up 28-3 at home against the Browns before it all came apart for them. That doesn’t guarantee a Redskins win but at worst this looks like two evenly matched teams with Washington holding the home field.

Oct 27 Monday night @ Cowboys (5-1)—Last week I wrote here that we’d see if the Cowboys’ record was smoke and mirrors after the visited the Seahawks. After they beat Seattle I think you just have to say that they’re smoking hot right now.

Nov. 2 @ Vikings (2-4)—It’s the battle of the ex-Bengals, with former Cincy offensive coordinator Jay Gruden taking on his defensive counterpart there in Mike Zimmer. This might be the Redskins’ best chance to pick up a road win this year.

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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.


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Three Monday visitors to Redskins Park could determine team's free agency strategy going forward

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Three Monday visitors to Redskins Park could determine team's free agency strategy going forward

The Redskins are having three visitors today in Ashburn. Depending on how they go, they could mostly be done with free agency or still pushing to fill some needs.

They have been making an effort to hire one of the top defensive linemen on the market since before free agency actually started. They had former Jet Muhammad Wilkerson in for a visit last Tuesday, something they could do because Wilkerson had been released. The team put on a good sales push that lasted most of the day, but Wilkerson left without a deal. Shortly after he left he decided to sign with the Packers.

They made runs at Dontari Poe and Sheldon Richardson, but they signed with the Panthers and Vikings, respectively. The prospects were looking slim until the Colts decided to cut Jonathan Hankins on Saturday. He weighs 320 pounds and turned 25 on January 1. Hankins probably isn’t going to make any All-Pro teams or post double-digit sacks, but he will help you stop the run for the next half-decade, at least. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s the Redskins’ biggest defensive problem for the last several seasons.


Hankins is visiting today and he is someone the Redskins would very much like to sign. The other two visitors may be fallback plans.

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick is a veteran who can play in the slot. That is what the Redskins are looking for but Scandrick does not appear to be their first choice. Last week they had former Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in for an extended visit that included a physical. However, they could not come together on money. Scandrick, who has missed time with injuries in each of the last two years, could be an alternative to Rodgers-Cromartie or it could be that he is being used to put some pressure on the Redskins’ preferred choice.

Edge rusher Pernell McPhee is also clearly a second choice. The Redskins have an offer on the table for Junior Galette to return. He tweeted yesterday that the Redskins were the best fit for him but that the money “has to be fair.”

McPhee has played well but injuries have limited his impact the last two years. He started the 2016 season on injured reserve with a knee injury and he missed a total of seven games. Last year he missed three games with shoulder and knee injuries.


The Redskins likely are interested in McPhee for the right price. That price is considerably less than the $7 million he was going to make from the Bears this year before they let him go on February 26. There does not seem to be a hot market for his services; he has been a free agent for three and a half weeks and this is his first reported visit.

The Redskins would rather bring back Galette, who was much more effective as a pass rusher last year than his three sacks would indicate. But the price has to be right for both sides and apparently there is some work to be done towards working that out.

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.