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Don't expect Redskins to make a run at Earl Thomas, and here's why

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Don't expect Redskins to make a run at Earl Thomas, and here's why

Throughout the 2018 offseason, the Redskins brass eschewed chances at signing big name free agents.

Washington made one blockbuster move, the trade to acquire Alex Smith during Super Bowl week, but the Redskins have been relatively quiet since. The team added Paul Richardson as a free agent, but he was hardly the most high-profile receiver on the market. In fact, the most high-profile wideout on the market is still there in Dez Bryant, and Washington made it clear they have no interest. 

Now, Seattle safety Earl Thomas has publicly said he wants a new contract, and that could mean it needs to come from another team. Read the full statement but the most important part reads,

"I want to remain a Seahawk for the rest of my career but also believe that based on my production over the last eight years that I've earned the right to have this taken care of as soon as possible."

Let's clear up a few things: Thomas is still a very good player. While part of the Seahawks legendary Legion of Boom secondary, Thomas won a Super Bowl, played in another, made five Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro three times. 

Talent like Thomas doesn't often become available, and considering the offseason in Seattle that saw a number of players jettisoned, maybe the safety will land somewhere else before the NFL season starts in September. 

But don't expect that to be in Washington. 

There are a few factors, but the one at the top is the organization's belief in Montae Nicholson. The young safety looked explosive in six starts last year, and this offseason head coach Jay Gruden compared Nicholson's importance on the defense to that of Jordan Reed on the offense. That's high praise. 

Like everything in life, money is also a huge factor. 

As currently constituted the Redskins have about $13 million in salary cap space remaining. Thomas is due to make more than $10 million this season in the final year of his contract, but by most accounts, expects to make at least $13 million per season in a new deal. That isn't just a made up figure, it marks the salary of Eric Berry, the NFL's highest paid safety. 

Trading for Thomas without a new deal in place for 2019 and beyond would make no sense, and for Washington, 2019 and beyond is quite murky right now. The team has decisions to make for both Jamison Crowder and Preston Smith, two highly productive pieces in the final year of rookie deals, and next season the 'Skins brass will have to figure out a contract extension for Brandon Scherff. 

Some money could get freed up next season if certain veteran players get released, but that money won't be available immediately. 

Plus compensating the Seahawks for Thomas' services needs to be addressed. This is one area the Redskins are actually in a great spot, as the team has a boatload of draft picks next season. 

Washington does have the picks needed to trade for Thomas, depending on the type of package Seattle wants. But that also assumes Seattle will consider moving Thomas, which is no sure thing either. It's entirely possible Thomas' decision to skip minicamp will get Seattle to the negotiating table and get a deal done with their star. 

Simply put, the Redskins have not shown a willingness to go after top market stars. The team doesn't seem interested in paying those costs, and while Thomas is only 29, he would turn 30 next year in what would likely be the first year of a new fat contract. That hasn't been the Redskins way under Bruce Allen and Doug Williams. 

Could a move happen? Because the Redskins did so well with compensatory picks this offseason, yes it could. 

Don't expect it though. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions 

— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap

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Contract makes Adrian Peterson a no-risk acquisition for the Redskins

Contract makes Adrian Peterson a no-risk acquisition for the Redskins

Adrian Peterson is truly a no-risk acquisition for the Redskins. 

The 33-year-old running back signed with the Redskins on Monday afternoon, for one year at the NFL minimum salary of $1.015 million according to Field Yates of ESPN

The contract structure means that the Redskins can have him practice for the next week and a half, play in the two remaining preseason games, and then let him go prior to Week 1 and walk away owing him nothing. 

If they do keep him for Week 1 against the Cardinals, his salary for the season will become guaranteed. But if they decide to let him go at some point in the season the payout of the remainder of his salary will be a drop in the bucket of a $176 million salary cap. There is no signing bonus, roster bonus, or other guaranteed salary. 

One more team friendly aspect of this deal is that Peterson will cost less against the cap than the Redskins are paying him. The NFL has something called the veteran minimum benefit, designed to encourage teams to keep older players rather than the younger and cheaper one. Under this benefit, Peterson will count just $630,000 in cap space. That is the same cap charge as Byron Marshall carries. So, if it comes down to choosing between the Marshall and Peterson for a roster spot, the salary cap will not be a factor. 

Apparently, Peterson is anxious to play football and after spending the entire offseason as a free agent who wasn’t drawing much interest, a player who received $11 million guaranteed from the Vikings two years ago will go to work for a fraction of that. 

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Fantasy Football: Top 200 rankings with tiers

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Fantasy Football: Top 200 rankings with tiers

Rankings are cool, tiers are better. Here we have nine of them separating the top 200 fantasy football players for 2018. Dive in.

Tier 1

1.  Todd Gurley, LAR RB
 
2.  Le'Veon Bell, PIT RB
 
3.  Ezekiel Elliott, DAL RB
 
4.  David Johnson, ARI RB
 
5.  Antonio Brown, PIT WR

Notes: There's a temptation to make this a two-man tier as some concern exists with situations for Elliott (Will the Cowboys have a balanced offense?) and Johnson (Will he thrive as Cardinals transition?), but ultimately these are the main building blocks for any fantasy team. Order isn't locked and even less so in PPR.
 
Tier 2

6.  Alvin Kamara, NO RB
 
7.  DeAndre Hopkins, HOU WR
 
8.  Saquon Barkley, NYG RB
 
9.  Leonard Fournette, JAC RB
 
10.  Melvin Gordon, LAC RB
 
11.  Kareem Hunt, KC RB
 
12.  Julio Jones, ATL WR
 
13.  Odell Beckham Jr., NYG WR

Notes: Interesting dilemma starts here. Take the always needed running backs or grab one of the elite in a year in which there aren't many elite receivers?
 
Tier 3

14.  Dalvin Cook, MIN RB
 
15.  Michael Thomas, NO WR
 
16.  Keenan Allen, LAC WR
 
17.  Devonta Freeman, ATL RB
 
18.  A.J. Green, CIN WR
 
19.  Davante Adams, GB WR
 
20.  Rob Gronkowski, NE TE

Notes: These are the last running backs that can help owners desiring an RB1 sleep better at night. Cook dropped from Tier 2 to 3 because Minnesota's offensive line is a true MASH unit. ...The "Gronk" upside vs. injuy risk is, always, in play.
 
Tier 4

21.  Joe Mixon, CIN RB
 
22.  T.Y. Hilton, IND WR
 
23.  Mike Evans, TB WR
 
24.  Jerick McKinnon, SF RB
 
25.  Jordan Howard, CHI RB
 
26.  Christian McCaffrey, CAR RB
 
27.  Stefon Diggs, MIN WR
 
28.  Adam Thielen, MIN WR
 
29.  Doug Baldwin, SEA WR
 
30.  Tyreek Hill, KC WR
 
31.  Alex Collins, BAL RB
 
32.  Amari Cooper, OAK WR
 
33.  Travis Kelce, KC TE
 
34.  Derrick Henry, TEN RB
 
35.  Demaryius Thomas, DEN WR
 
36.  Lamar Miller, HOU RB
 
37.  Larry Fitzgerald, ARI WR
 
38.  Allen Robinson, CHI WR
 
39.  Aaron Rodgers, GB QB
 
40.  Kenyan Drake, MIA RB

Notes:  Fun group of running backs here for any owner who went receiver-receiver at the start. Mixon, Collins and Henry are particularly interesting, though all have some form of a stat-stealing pest in their respective backfields. ... Rodgers likely goes higher in most leagues. Considering the impressive QB depth this season, it's surely better to let someone else jump in while you fortify depth elsewhere. 
 
Tier 5

41.  Marvin Jones, DET WR
 
42.  Jay Ajayi, PHI RB
 
43.  JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT WR
 
44.  Zach Ertz, PHI TE
 
45.  Royce Freeman, DEN RB
 
46.  LeSean McCoy, BUF RB
 
47.  Chris Hogan, NE WR
 
48.  Josh Gordon, CLE WR
 
49.  Golden Tate, DET WR
 
50.  Brandin Cooks, LAR WR
 
51.  Alshon Jeffery, PHI WR
 
52.  Mark Ingram, NO RB
 
53.  Tom Brady, NE QB
 
54.  Jarvis Landry, CLE WR
 
55.  Marshawn Lynch, OAK RB

Notes: Derrius Guice would have been the first rookie running back off the board after Saquon Barkley. Alas, that's not happening after his season-ending knee injury. Instead that honor goes to Freeman, who should pass Devontae Booker on the Broncos depth chart before long.
 
Tier 6

56.  Corey Davis, TEN WR
 
57.  Rex Burkhead, NE RB
 
58.  Rashaad Penny, SEA RB
 
59.  Ronald Jones II, TB RB
 
60.  Russell Wilson, SEA QB
 
61.  Dion Lewis, TEN RB
 
62.  Cam Newton, CAR QB
 
63.  Tevin Coleman, ATL RB
 
64.  Michael Crabtree, BAL WR
 
65.  Emmanuel Sanders, DEN WR
 
66.  Deshaun Watson, HOU QB
 
67.  Sammy Watkins, KC WR
 
68.  Robert Woods, LAR WR
 
69.  Marquise Goodwin, SF WR
 
70.  Randall Cobb, GB WR
 
71.  Robby Anderson, NYJ WR
 
72.  Sony Michel, NE RB
 
73.  Kenny Stills, MIA WR
 
74.  Pierre Garcon, SF WR
 
75.  Devin Funchess, CAR WR
 
76.  Greg Olsen, CAR TE
 
77.  Jamison Crowder, WAS WR
 
78.  Isaiah Crowell, NYJ RB
 
79.  Will Fuller, HOU WR
 
80.  Jimmy Graham, GB TE
 
81.  Kerryon Johnson, DET RB
 
82.  Cooper Kupp, LAR WR
 
Tier 7

83.  Jamaal Williams, GB RB
 
84.  Marlon Mack, IND RB
 
85.  Delanie Walker, TEN TE
 
86.  Drew Brees, NO QB
 
87.  Nelson Agholor, PHI WR
 
88.  Julian Edelman, NE WR
 
89.  Evan Engram, NYG TE
 
90.  Kyle Rudolph, MIN TE
 
91.  Paul Richardson, WAS WR
 
92.  Carson Wentz, PHI QB
 
93.  Carlos Hyde, CLE RB
 
94.  Andrew Luck, IND QB
 
Tier 8

95.  Tarik Cohen, CHI RB
 
96.  Kirk Cousins, MIN QB
 
97.  Kelvin Benjamin, BUF WR
 
98.  Chris Thompson, WAS RB
 
99.  Jordy Nelson, OAK WR
 
100.  Marqise Lee, JAC WR
 
101.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT QB
 
102.  Devante Parker, MIA WR
 
103.  Jordan Reed, WAS TE
 
104.  Trey Burton, CHI TE
 
105.  Matthew Stafford, DET QB
 
106.  C.J. Anderson, CAR RB
 
107.  Sterling Shepard, NYG WR
 
108.  Kenny Golladay, DET WR
 
109.  Allen Hurns, DAL WR
 
110.  Rishard Matthews, TEN WR
 
111.  Duke Johnson, CLE RB
 
112.  Josh Doctson, WAS WR
 
113.  Philip Rivers, LAC QB
 
114.  Tyler Lockett, SEA WR
 
115.  Matt Ryan, ATL QB
 
116.  Mike Williams, LAC WR
 
117.  Devontae Booker, DEN RB
 
118.  Jack Doyle, IND TE
 
119.  Jimmy Garoppolo, SF QB
 
120.  Chris Carson, SEA RB
 
121.  D.J. Moore, CAR WR
 
122.  Patrick Mahomes, KC QB
 
123.  Giovani Bernard, CIN RB
 
124.  Anthony Miller, CHI WR
 
125.  Mohamed Sanu, ATL WR
 
126.  Ted Ginn, NO WR
 
127.  Matt Breida, SF RB
 
128.  George Kittle, SF TE
 
129.  David Njoku, CLE TE
 
130.  Cameron Meredith, NO WR
 
Tier 9

131.  Dez Bryant, FA WR
 
132.  Aaron Jones, GB RB
 
133.  Nick Chubb, CLE RB
 
134.  Chris Godwin, TB WR
 
135.  Tyrell Williams, LAC WR
 
136.  Ty Montgomery, GB RB
 
137.  Jared Goff, LAR QB
 
138.  DeSean Jackson, TB WR
 
139.  John Brown, BAL WR
 
140.  Alex Smith, WAS QB
 
141.  Michael Gallup, DAL WR
 
142.  Peyton Barber, TB RB
 
143.  Marcus Mariota, TEN QB
 
144.  Calvin Ridley, ATL WR
 
145.  James White, NE RB
 
146.  Keelan Cole, JAC WR
 
147.  Corey Clement, PHI RB
 
148.  Latavius Murray, MIN RB
 
149.  Mike Wallace, PHI WR
 
150.  O.J. Howard, TB TE
 
151.  Dak Prescott, DAL QB
 
152.  Bilal Powell, NYJ RB
 
153.  Martavis Bryant, OAK WR
 
154.  Quincy Enunwa, NYJ WR
 
155.  Nyheim Hines, IND RB
 
156.  Eric Ebron, IND TE
 
157.  Robert Kelley, WAS RB
 
158.  Tyler Eifert, CIN TE
 
159.  Charles Clay, BUF TE
 
160.  Austin Ekeler, LAC RB
 
161.  Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI TE
 
162.  Ryan Grant, IND WR
 
163.  Jordan Wilkins, IND RB
 
164.  Blake Bortles, JAC QB
 
165.  Samaje Perine, WAS RB
 
166.  Mitch Trubisky, CHI QB
 
167.  Theo Riddick, DET RB
 
168.  John Ross, CIN WR
 
169.  D'Onta Foreman, HOU RB
 
170.  Danny Amendola, MIA WR
 
171.  Cameron Brate, TB TE
 
172.  Doug Martin, OAK RB
 
173.  Vance McDonald, PIT TE
 
174.  Jermaine Kearse, NYJ WR
 
175.  Geronimo Allison, GB WR
 
176.  Chris Ivory, BUF RB
 
177.  Donte Moncrief, JAC WR
 
178.  Taywan Taylor, TEN WR
 
179.  Eli Manning, NYG QB
 
180.  Frank Gore, MIA RB
 
181.  LeGarrette Blount, DET RB
 
182.  Derek Carr, OAK QB
 
183.  Albert Wilson, MIA WR
 
184.  Austin Hooper, ATL TE
 
185.  Benjamin Watson, NO TE
 
186.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins, JAC TE
 
187.  Hayden Hurst, BAL TE
 
188.  Jacksonville Jaguars, JAC DST
 
189.  Courtland Sutton, DEN WR
 
190.  Christian Kirk, ARI WR
 
191.  Dante Pettis, SF WR
 
192.  Terrance Williams, DAL WR
 
193.  Travis Benjamin, LAC WR
 
194.  Jameis Winston, TB QB
 
195.  Mike Gesicki, MIA TE
 
196.  Spencer Ware, KC RB
 
197.  Andy Dalton, CIN QB
 
198.  Mark Andrews, BAL TE
 
199.  James Washington, PIT WR
 
200.  Greg Zuerlein, LAR