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Doug Williams says Redskins said the decision to get Alex Smith was unanimous

Doug Williams says Redskins said the decision to get Alex Smith was unanimous

The process of getting Alex Smith to the Redskins started a week after the end of the regular season.

The personnel staff and the coaches got together with the task of finding a new quarterback for the Washington Redskins. It had become apparent that Kirk Cousins would not be back and they need to get to work.

Doug Williams said that at the first meetings of the “brain trust”, the coaches and the personnel department met separately, each group coming up with a quarterback solution. When they got together as a group, the found that they had come up with the same solution—Smith, the Chiefs quarterback who was available in a trade because the team was moving on to a younger QB in Patrick Mahomes.

MORE REDSKINS: NFL MOCK DRAFT 6.0

The Redskins were not the only interested team. Although trading for Smith did not require the player’s permission, the Redskins wanted some long-term stability at quarterback so they wanted to negotiate contract extension. In the end they got four years added on to the final season of his Chiefs contract.

“Alex chose us,” said Williams.

Smith talked a little of his involvement in the process.

“I think that everybody involved had to be on board with it,” he said. “I obviously was fortunate enough and happy enough that everybody was, because this is where I wanted to be and it did work out.”

News of the deal was reported shortly after it was finished up in late January during the week before the Super Bowl. But the trade could not become official until Wednesday, when the new league year started.

“I feel like I’ve been waiting on this a long time,” said Smith. “I think everybody knew but funny rules, you can’t talk about certain things and timing and deadlines and things like that so I’m glad it’s finally here. I’m excited about it, excited that this day’s here.”

While Smith was glad that he could acknowledge the worst-kept secret of the year, the date he is really looking forward to is April 16. That is when the offseason workout program starts and he will be able to spend some time with his new teammates.

RELATED: REDSKINS AND NFL FREE AGENCY TRACKER

Smith will be starting his 14th year in the NFL. But he has plenty of unfinished business that keeps him motivated.

“I’ve never won a championship,” he said. “Never won a Super Bowl, that’s what we’re all chasing, the ultimate. This is the ultimate team sport, the most competitive sport in the world, the greatest sport in the world and we’re chasing that ultimate dream.”

The Redskins have not won a championship in a long time. While it certainly seems like a long shot right now, it’s the offseason, everyone is 0-0 and, as both Williams and Smith said, it’s time to look forward and not in the rearview mirror.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

 

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Redskins ranked as the fourth most valuable NFL franchise by Forbes

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins ranked as the fourth most valuable NFL franchise by Forbes

Annually, Forbes releases the worth of all professional sports franchises in the world. Once again, the Washington Redskins are sitting near the top. 

This year the Redskins are ranked the fourth most valuable NFL franchise at $3.1 billion. 

That marks a five percent worth increase from a year ago. They leapfrogged the San Francisco 49ers for a spot in the top four after placing fifth in 2017. They still trail the Dallas Cowboys ($4.8 billion), the New England Patriots ($3.7 billion), and the New York Giants ($3.3 billion).

Compared to other leagues and franchises, the Redskins jumped into the top-10. They are tied for the tenth overall value with the Golden State Warriors who are coming off of their third NBA title in four years.

From year-to-year there is never much movement from the top of the ranking. Once again, the Cowboys are the top team in the world by over $600 million. They were followed by three European soccer teams. In total four NFL teams made up the top-10, the most of any sport. 

2018 Top-10 World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams according to Forbes:

1. Dallas Cowboys, $4.8 billion (NFL)

2. Manchester United, $4.123 billion ( Soccer)

3. Real Madrid, $4.09 billion (Soccer)

4. Barcelona, $4.064 billion (Soccer)

5. New York Yankees, $4 billion (MLB)

6. New England Patriots, $3.7 billion (NFL)

7. New York Knicks, $3.6 billion (NBA)

8. Los Angeles Lakers, $3.3 billion (NBA)

8. New York Giants, $3.3 billion (NFL)

T-10. Golden State Warriors, $3.1 billion (NBA)

T-10. Washington Redskins, $3.1 billion (NFL)

Next five NFL franchises:

13. San Francisco 49ers, $3.05 billion

T-14. Los Angeles Rams, $3 billion 

17. Chicago Bears, $2.85 billion 

T-19. Houston Texans, $2.8 billion

21. New York Jets, $2.75 billion

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Outside linebackers

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USA Today Sports Images

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Outside linebackers

Redskins Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope.

Between now and the start of camp, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Additions: Pernell McPhee (free agent)
Departures: Junior Galette (free agent)

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Other roster locks: Ryan Anderson, McPhee
On the bubble: Pete Robertson

How the outside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: By any measure, the Redskins had a top-10 pass rush last year. They were tied for seventh with 42 sacks and they got a sack on 7.3 percent of pass attempts, also seventh in the league. Looking forward to this year, Pro Football Focus has them ranked as the sixth-best pass rushing team for 2018. Ryan Kerrigan is showing no signs of slowing down as he approaches age 30 and Preston Smith is about to hit his prime. After the departure of Galette, the depth is questionable, and we’ll deal with that next. Even without Galette, it’s still one of the best units in the NFL. 

To the 2017 Redskins: Some downplay the decision to let Galette walk in free agency, saying he had just three sacks. But his value went beyond that. He had 9 QB hits and 25 hurries, both second-most on the team, in just 258 pass rush snaps. Someone will have to step up and replace that pressure. The spotlight will be on Anderson, who had no sacks after being a second-round pick. He will need to step up for this year’s Redskins pass rush to be as good as last year’s. 

2018 outside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: Since the 2015 season, only one NFL player has at least 20 sacks, four forced fumbles, and three interceptions and it’s Preston Smith. His consistency is an issue but even when he is going for a few weeks between sacks he is getting pressure on the quarterback. Still, there is more ability there. Smith could set himself up for a big payday by breaking through with a double-digit sack season while continuing to make big plays in his contract year.

Most to prove: To be fair, Anderson did not get a whole lot of chances to rush the passer last year, playing just 81 pass rush snaps. Still, there are reasons to be concerned about how much he can produce after a zero-sack, one-hit, three-hurries 2017 debut season. Anderson was not expected to make a splash as a rookie, but more was anticipated. He was drafted where he was in part because of his work ethic. The Redskins hope he will work his way into a significant second-year leap. 

Rookie watch: There are no rookie outside linebackers on the roster. 

Bottom line: The main concern about the Redskins’ defense this year revolves around the cornerback spot following the departures of Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland. The best way to manage problematic cornerbacks is by getting a strong pass rush. The Redskins need to Smith to have a true breakout season and for Anderson or McPhee to be a strong contributor off the bench. Along with the improved defensive line, the pass rush could transform the defensive line into a quality unit in 2018. 

2018 Redskins Position Outlook Series