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Eagles' acquisition of Golden Tate makes their pursuit of the Redskins more interesting

Eagles' acquisition of Golden Tate makes their pursuit of the Redskins more interesting

The Eagles became the second NFC East team in the last eight days to acquire a talented wide receiver, making a late splash on Tuesday's NFL trade deadline day.

A little more than a week after the Cowboys sent a first-rounder to the Raiders for Amari Cooper, the Eagles gave the Lions a third-round selection in exchange for Golden Tate. The deal came down a few hours before the 4 p.m. ET deadline.

The 30-year-old wideout is in the middle of yet another productive campaign. In seven games for the Lions, he caught 44 balls, averaged 11.8 yards per catch and scored three times.

Furthermore, Tate hasn't finished a season with fewer than 90 catches since 2013. He's a very tough cover in the slot and has long been one of the NFL's premier run-after-catch players.

Heading into Week 9, the Eagles sit a game and a half behind the division-leading Redskins. Assuming Tate can acquit himself well with Carson Wentz and his new squad's offense, he makes the Eagles offense more dynamic almost immediately.

Philadelphia and Washington haven't played yet, either, meaning Jay Gruden's team will have to face the strengthened defending champs twice. Both of those matchups come in December, with the first happening in Week 13 and the second in the finale.

For burgundy and gold supporters wondering why their favorite franchise didn't go after Tate, look to Jay Gruden's comments on the Redskins Talk podcast. The head coach told JP Finlay that the impending return of Jamison Crowder and Trey Quinn makes the idea of picking up another threat less realistic. 

"With the roster the way it is and some of the injuries that are kind of lingering it’s just going to be hard to add another body," Gruden said.

"I like the team we have," he added. "I really don’t think we need any changes right now."

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Once the Redskins Ironman, Ryan Kerrigan moved to injured reserve

Once the Redskins Ironman, Ryan Kerrigan moved to injured reserve

The Redskins moved outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan to the injured reserve after he injured his calf last week against Green Bay. He will miss the remainder of the season. 

Kerrigan had started every game for Washington since 2011 until just three weeks ago, one of the most impressive streaks in the NFL at 139 straight starts. 

He missed the Panthers game due to a concussion, was able to come back from the Packers game and then hurt his calf. 

After three straight seasons with double-digit sacks, Kerrigan’s numbers were down this year. He will finish the season with just 5.5 sacks after posting 37 over the last few years. 

Dexter Manley holds the Redskins franchise record with 91 sacks. After bringing down Aaron Rodgers last week in Green Bay before his injury, Kerrigan got to 90 sacks. 

If he comes back healthy in 2020, Kerrigan would look prime to break the franchise record. He will be in the last year of his contract, however, and will account for nearly $12 million against the salary cap.

Should Washington release Kerrigan, which was once unthinkable, it would carry no salary cap hit. 

To replace Kerrigan on the active roster the Redskins signed Caleb Wilson from the Cardinals practice squad.

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Dwayne Haskins has room to grow in a few areas, but this one might be the most crucial

Dwayne Haskins has room to grow in a few areas, but this one might be the most crucial

Dwayne Haskins is completing just 55-percent of his attempts as a pro quarterback so far, has thrown three touchdowns against seven interceptions and is averaging only 166 yards per start.

All of those numbers hint at how Haskins must grow as a passer in the NFL. However, those aspects are secondary to the area he needs to improve the most as he continues to see action for the Redskins.

The facet of his game that requires the most work is avoiding sacks. Yes, his accuracy and decision-making and choices in the red zone are all important, but none of those things will get better or reveal themselves if No. 7 is lying on his back and looking at the sky as much as he's doing so far.

The rookie has been dropped 22 times in his five appearances as starter, and 26 times overall. According to The Athletic, if you take the rate which Haskins is being sacked at as the team's primary signal caller and extrapolate it over a full schedule, it'd add up to the third-worst total in league history.  

So, yeah, that's extremely troublesome. 

On Wednesday, Haskins explained how his desire to be aggressive is partly causing this issue to be such an issue.

"Sometimes when I'm back there, I'm trying to find things deep or down the field instead of just finding the checkdown in the flat," he said.

As for how to remedy that, the 22-year-old told the media it's about being more aware of his immediate options.

"Just knowing where all my quick elements are when things happen fast and when things get on me," Haskins said.

Of course, each sack is its own entity, and not all of them fall on the guy with the ball. There have been instances this year where Haskins will go down and a replay will show an offensive lineman immediately getting beaten, the kind of sequence that will make any QB vulnerable. Not all of the negative plays are happening because of where Haskins is in his development.

However, to compare, Case Keenum was sacked just 12 times in his eight starts behind the same O-line. That's a significantly lower number.

Just like every other part of Haskins' skill set, this is something that should get sharper with experience. Every Sunday, assuming he gets a lot more, will lead to him becoming more adept at reading defenses, more proficient at adjusting protection calls and more prepared to find his outlet options.  

Keenum has seen all that there is to see in the NFL, while Haskins is just beginning that arduous process.

And, while Bill Callahan admitted he hates seeing the offense plagued by the sacks, the interim coach also detailed something beyond experience that could help Haskins limit them in the future.

"He's not a repetitive guy, a repetitive-mistake player, where you see continually the small mistakes over and over again," Callahan said. "He makes a mistake, he recognizes it, he moves on and you don't see a repetitive error come back into his game. There's been a lot of growth in that respect."

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