Redskins

Bills place CB McGee on IR; Promote WR Easley

Bills place CB McGee on IR; Promote WR Easley

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Veteran cornerback Terrence McGee was placed on season-ending injured reserve and receiver Marcus Easley was promoted off the practice squad Tuesday after the Buffalo Bills made a series of moves to address their banged-up roster.

The Bills also placed starting right tackle Erik Pears (hip/groin) on injured reserve and released rookie kicker John Potter. That leaves Buffalo (3-5) with two roster spots left to fill as the team prepares to play at AFC East rival New England (5-3) on Sunday.

Easley's promotion means the Bills' 2010 fourth-round draft pick out of Connecticut will finally have a chance to make his NFL debut. Easley missed his entire rookie season because of a knee injury, and then missed all of last season because of a heart condition that has since been corrected.

Buffalo has a question mark at receiver with starter Stevie Johnson slowed after he bruised his right thigh in a 21-9 loss at Houston on Sunday. Coach Chan Gailey has said that while Johnson is expected to be limited in practice this week, he should be healthy to play against New England.

The Bills are already missing receiver David Nelson, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in Buffalo's 48-28 season-opening loss at the New York Jets.

Buffalo has lost four of its past five games, and its passing attack has particularly sputtered in its last four outings. It's a stretch during which quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has averaged 186 yards passing, with three touchdowns, two interceptions and two lost fumbles.

For McGee, it's the latest setback for the 10-year veteran who landed on IR for the third time in four years. McGee's been hampered by a left knee injury that had not fully healed since he had surgery this past offseason.

McGee's agent, Ron Raccuia, said his client will likely require a second operation, but expects him to be fully healthy to play next year.

McGee has one more year left on a contract he restructured in February to take into account the possibility he wouldn't be able to finish this season. In accepting a cut in guaranteed money, McGee agreed to a series of playing and performance-based incentives.

After missing much of training camp, McGee was limited in playing the first seven games this season before being held out last week after aggravating the injury to his left knee.

The Bills couldn't afford counting on McGee because starter Aaron Williams is expected to miss at least two weeks after hurting his right knee last weekend.

Pears, who started seven games this year, landed on IR a week after visiting a specialist to evaluate an injury that had not fully healed since he had offseason surgery. Gailey had warned last week that Pears could require a second operation.

Potter proved expendable because he was limited to handling kickoffs, a job that veteran Rian Lindell reclaimed the past two games. The Bills had used their second of two seventh-round draft picks to select Potter out of Western Michigan because of his strong leg and ability to kick the ball out of the end zone.

Potter's production had tailed off. Of 26 kickoffs, he managed 13 touchbacks, and only four in his final three games.

With two roster spots yet to fill, one option for Buffalo is activating tight end Mike Caussin, who had offseason surgery on his right knee. After opening this season on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list, Caussin resumed practicing last week and is eligible to be activated within the next two weeks.

In another move, the Bills signed receiver Chris Hogan to their practice squad. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Hogan split last season on the practice squads for the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins.

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

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USA Today Sports

10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon. or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

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Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

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USA Today

Sánchez and Adams lead Nationals in crucial win over Braves

ATLANTA—Anibal Sanchez outpitched Mike Soroka and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, Matt Adams homered and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Saturday night.

Second-place Washington pulled within 5 games of the NL East-leading Braves, improving to 33-14 since May 24, best in the majors over that span. Atlanta has dropped four of five.

Sanchez (6-6) got a big assist in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Trea Turner turned a bases-loaded double play, leaping to nab Nick Markakis' liner and throwing to first to beat Josh Donaldson back to the bag.

Soroka (10-2) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings. He had won 10 straight decisions, best by an Atlanta pitcher since Hall of Famer Greg Maddux had a 10-decision streak in 2001.

Sean Doolittle got the last five outs, facing the minimum, for his 21st save in 25 chances. He struck out Ronald Acuna Jr. with a runner at second to end the eighth and breezed through the ninth.

Washington went up 4-1 in the fifth when Sanchez reached on an infield single to third, took second on Donaldson's throwing error and scored on Turner's double. Turner took third on Adam Eaton's single and scored on Anthony Rendon's single. Eaton scored on Juan Soto's single.

The Nationals took a 5-3 lead in the eighth off A.J. Minter as Turner singled, stole second and scored on Eaton's single.

Adams went deep for the 15th time, an opposite-field homer that bounced off the top of the wall in left-center and into the stands to tie it at 1-all in the fourth.

Sanchez, who pitched for the Braves last year and helped them win the division, allowed three runs and six hits and has a 2.70 ERA in his last nine starts.

Atlanta led 1-0 in the first when Acuna reached on an infield single, stole second base, advanced on a flyout and scored on Freddie Freeman's single.

Brian McCann's ninth homer, a two-run shot in the sixth, chased Sanchez and cut the lead to 4-3.

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NBC Sports Washington's Michael Stearman contributed to this Associated Press story.