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Daron Payne's outstanding rookie season rewarded with first-team PFWA honors

Daron Payne's outstanding rookie season rewarded with first-team PFWA honors

After being selected as the No. 13 overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft to fortify Jim Tomsula's defensive front, Daron Payne transformed what was considered an overlooked front line the year prior, establishing one of the NFC's premier defensive units.

Payne joins Da'Shawn Hand of the Detroit Lions (Alabama), Bradley Chubb of the Denver Broncos (NC State), and Marcus Davenport of the New Orleans Saints (UTSA) on this year's list as the only four defensive linemen to achieve the honor.

In his first 16 games for Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky, Payne racked up 56 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Payne is the first member of the Burgundy and Gold to be named to PFWA's annual list since Brandon Scherff was given the honor in 2016. 

Here's the entire PFWA All-Rookie team:

Offense

QB – Baker Mayfield, (CLE)
RB – Saquon Barkley, (NYG); Phillip Lindsay, (DEN)
WR – Calvin Ridley, (ATL); DJ Moore, (CAR)
TE – Chris Herndon, (NYJ)
C – Billy Price, (CIN)
G – Will Hernandez, (NYG); Quenton Nelson, (IND)
T – Mike McGlinchey, (SF); Braden Smith, (IND)

Defense

DL – Bradley Chubb, (DEN); Marcus Davenport, (NO); Da’Shawn Hand, (DET); Daron Payne, (WAS)
LB – Darius Leonard, (IND); Roquan Smith, (CHI); Leighton Vander Esch, (DAL)
CB – Jaire Alexander, (GB), Denzel Ward, (CLE)
S – Jessie Bates, (CIN); Derwin James, (LAC)

Special Teams

PK – Jason Sanders, (MIA)

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After two seasons on IR and little production, is Paul Richardson's time over with Redskins?

After two seasons on IR and little production, is Paul Richardson's time over with Redskins?

The Redskins signed Paul Richardson in 2018 to be the deep threat the team lost when DeSean Jackson left via free agency after the 2016 season. It didn't work. 

In two years with the Redskins, Richardson has 48 catches for 507 catches and four touchdowns, and both seasons finished with trips to the injured reserve. Washington, however, paid Richardson handsomely for his work.

He signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Redskins that guaranteed $12.5 million at signing. To date, he's made nearly $20 million despite never being the team's leading receiver. 

Next year, Richardson will carry an $8.5 million salary cap number, but the team could get $2.5 million in cap relief if he's cut while taking a $6 million cap hit. The final two seasons of his contract have no guarantees and no cap number unless he plays.

If the Redskins wait until after June 1st, 2020, to cut Richardson then the numbers flip. The team would save $6.5 million against the cap and Richardson's contract would only count $2 million against the cap. In fact, the team doesn't need to wait until summer to make the move, but rather can use the Post-June 1 designation that the NFL allows organizations to use to better their cap. This should be the obvious move. 

Considering Washington has made a youth movement at receiver, with rookies Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon and Steven Sims looking like the future, Richardson looks quite expendable. Especially considering the emergence of McLaurin as a potential elite wideout, both with deep speed and route running ability. 

Redskins team president Bruce Allen signed Richardson, but it's hard to know who will be making calls for the organization in 2020. There is much speculation that Allen could be on the way out, and the team already fired head coach Jay Gruden in October. Interim head coach Bill Callahan is not expected to remain in that position next season. 

If Richardson is cut, it's hard to look at the signing as anything but a disappointment. Big money for little production. That's not winning football. 

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Report: Chase Young plans on returning to Ohio State in lieu of entering NFL Draft

Report: Chase Young plans on returning to Ohio State in lieu of entering NFL Draft

The Redskins are unlikely to secure the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but there is certainly a scenario where the teams that finish ahead of them would be in need of quarterbacks. If that’s the case, then Washington could be in line to select Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, who’s widely considered to be the highest-graded player in the draft.

But in an interview with TMZ, Young said his “plan” is to return to Ohio State for his senior year. Young set a school record with 16.5 sacks and counting this season despite missing two games due to suspension.

The Buckeyes are the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff, slated to face No. 3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28 for the right to play in the national championship. Ohio State hasn’t won the title since 2014, when Young was still in high school.

It’s unknown whether he’d enter the draft if OSU wins it all. For now, Young’s draft status will be something for the Redskins—who will enter the offseason with a plethora of roster needs—to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.

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