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10 Training Camp Questions: Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

10 Training Camp Questions: Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

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?

Ever see a Rorschach test? Those weird-looking blob paintings that really don't illustrate anything but rather allow for individual interpretation of what scene is unfolding?

That's a little like the Redskins 2019 wide receiver group. 

For the optimist, there are reasons to like each of the assumed six receivers projected to make the 53-man roster. Paul Richardson has elite speed and showed an ability to make plays last year in limited snaps. He just needs to stay healthy. The same thing for slot man Trey Quinn, a sleeper to catch a ton of passes in Jay Gruden's offense. There are two rookies with promise. Terry McLaurin has high-end speed while Kelvin Harmon is the big-bodied possession threat the Redskins offense has lacked. 

Continuing with the positive thoughts, it's entirely possible Josh Doctson, facing free agency after the season, will finally have the motivation he needs to deliver on his immense athletic gifts. This really could be his year. And speaking of athleticism, second-year pro Cam Sims looked great in minicamp and just needs opportunities to show why the Redskins kept him as an undrafted rookie from Alabama last year.

Hope you enjoyed the optimism. Here's a dose of cold water. 

In five years in the NFL, Richardson has played a complete 16-game season once. He's never had 50 catches in a season.

As a rookie, Quinn had more trips to the injured reserve (2)  list than he did touchdowns (1). He's certainly never had 50 catches in a season.

McLaurin was a four-year college player and gets as much attention for his ability on special teams as he does at wideout. That will help the Redskins team, but it might not help the offense explode. He never had a 50-catch season in college.

Kelvin Harmon is coming off by far the most impressive season of any Redskins WR, even if it happened at NC State. He grabbed 81 catches for 1,186 yards and seven TDs last season for the Wolfpack. And despite those impressive totals, he slipped into the sixth round of the draft because of questions about his speed and ability to separate in the NFL. 

In four years at Alabama, Cam Sims grabbed 41 passes. In four years. He's 6-foot-5 and loaded with athleticism, but still, he's an undrafted free agent that totaled 467 yards receiving in four years for the Crimson Tide. 

Then there is Josh Doctson. A first-round pick in 2016, Doctson is yet to deliver on his draft status. The Redskins elected not to pick up his fifth-year contract option and will likely let him walk next offseason. In three years in Washington, Doctson has never caught 50 passes in a season. 

With the Redskins wide receiver group, much like real life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

There is real talent, and there are real injury concerns. If Richardson and Quinn can stay healthy, both will be productive. Sims could produce highlight-reel plays. One of, or both, the rookies could emerge. Doctson could finally put it all together and have a breakout year. 

But the odds are against them. Health is paramount for this group, and that's unpredictable. Strong quarterback play would help too, and that's hardly a given for the Redskins.

Want to believe in this group? Go for it. There are plenty of reasons to like the Redskins collection of talent at WR. Until the production matches the potential, however, skeptics will see a position group with plenty of holes. 


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One analyst explains why Redskins' financial value won't decrease with name change

One analyst explains why Redskins' financial value won't decrease with name change

As it stands now, the Washington Redskins are one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. According to Forbes, the team is worth a whopping $2.2 billion-- the 14th most-valuable franchise in all of sports, and the fifth most valuable team in the NFL.

With the team currently conducting an internal review of the moniker, it's worth wondering if a new name would hurt the value of the team. According to Randy Vataha -- the president of Game Plan LLC., which helps the service of helping people buy and sell sports franchises -- it shouldn't.

"I don't think it will really hurt the team's value ultimately," Vataha said to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay.

Vataha explained that each franchise's actual name has little to do with its value.

"We're big believers and have a lot of data that indicates that yes, branding is important, yes, names are important in a lot of ways, but what's really important is the size and the demographics of the market," Vataha said.

The analyst gave the example of New York sports franchises, such as the Knicks and Rangers, and how they are consistently two of the most valuable teams in all of sports. Why? Because they play in New York City.

"The New York teams are all the top teams in every league," Vataha said. "The NFL is a little different because of how they share revenue, but the New York teams are always at the top, not because of the names of the teams. It's because of the marketplace.

"You'll have a lot of people, you'll have a lot of social media, you'll have a lot of political commentary back and forth," Vataha continued. "But at the end of the day, the core value is decided by the size of the market and the demographics of the market."


This past week, a report surfaced from the Washington Post that the Redskins three minority owners were looking to sell their stake in the team, citing that they were "not happy being a partner" with Redskins majority owner Dan Snyder. The three minority owners -- Fred Smith, Dwight Schar and Robert Rothman -- make up approximately 40 percent of the team's ownership group.

Vataha said he understands both sides of the argument surrounding the team. Additionally, he said that the safest financial decision for the team would be to keep the name, despite all the public backlash they've received over the past couple of weeks.


However, immediately after, Vataha emphasized once more that he doesn't envision the name change truly making a big difference value-wise.

"I understand the arguments on both sides pretty well," Vataha said. "But I think from the financial standpoint, the safest thing is never change it. But, on the other hand, I don't think it'll be a big hit to value any way at all."

Stay connected with the Redskins in the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.


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Fred Smoot laughs at Asante Samuel's dig at Darrell Green: 'Darrell will always be cornerback royalty'

Fred Smoot laughs at Asante Samuel's dig at Darrell Green: 'Darrell will always be cornerback royalty'

On July 4, former NFL cornerback Asante Samuel got the Twitter-sphere and Redskins nation fired up when he sent out a tweet questioning what was so special about former Washington defensive back Darrell Green, who is a Hall-of-Famer.

Though Tony Dungy and others chimed in to show Samuel what he was missing, the 11-year veteran couldn't quite grasp why his statement was so surprising. Samuel's argument was based on the fact that in a career that spanned two decades, Green "only" had 54 interceptions to show for it.


For former Redskins defensive back Fred Smoot, Samuel's claim that the numbers dictated who Green was as a player is just wrong. Smoot, who played two seasons alongside Green, believes Samuel was a victim of not understanding how football has changed over the years.

In modern times, a pass-heavy league not only makes interceptions more common but makes the stat a way to grade defensive backs. When Green dominated the field, the league didn't play out the same way.

“First of all, Darrell played in a league that ran the ball most of the time," Smoot said on NBC Sports Washington's Redskins Talk and Friends. "Second of all, he took on the number one receiver all the time. They never threw balls his way."


Because the NFL wasn't as pass-heavy back in the 80s and 90s, Green didn't have a wild number of interceptions to show for his success. But, that didn't mean he wasn't making an impact and performing as one of the best at the position. As Smoot explains, Green would excel in numerous categories that sometimes don't show up on paper.

“Darrell did more than just intercept the ball, he shut down one side of the field, actually return a lot of punts, scored a lot on defense. And he tackles well, all-around defensive back," Smoot said. 

Another stellar trait of Green's was his speed. Though there are no official measures of his 40-yard times back when he played, there are reports that it hovered in the 4.1-area, giving him a reputation as one of the fastest players in football. Even at age 50, he casually ran a 4.43. That speed was valuable on the field, as he could stick with any receiver and chase down players from behind.

Smoot saw the speed first-hand, even when Green was getting toward the end of his career at the age of 41. He recalled racing Green during practice, and even though Smoot was nearly 20 years younger, he couldn't keep up.

“I raced that old man and lost to that old man," Smoot said. "Right then I was about to retire from football. I was about to throw my cleats away.”

Green may not have averaged a large interception total, but that stat is only a small part of his NFL career. As Smoot showed, there was so much more brilliance to him as a player. That's why, to Smoot, Green's name always comes up when discussing the best at the position.

“You want to talk about one of the best cornerbacks of all time? That’s how the list starts out. Deon Sanders, Darrell Green, so and so," Smoot said. "Darrell will always be, how should I say, cornerback royalty.”

Green also has a bust in Canton to show for his work.

“I don’t have to say anything about Darrell Green, he’s a Hall-of-Famer for a reason," Smoot said. 


Stay connected with the Redskins in the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.