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If Emmanuel Sanders is on the trading block should the Redskins make the move?

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If Emmanuel Sanders is on the trading block should the Redskins make the move?

The Redskins need a wide receiver. The Broncos may have one on the market. Could the two teams work a deal for Emmanuel Sanders?

There has been plenty of speculation that the Broncos want to trade Sanders, who will be 31 by the time the season starts. During a four-year stretch from 2013 with the Steelers and 2014-2016 in Denver, he averaged 81 receptions, over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns per season while missing just one game.

But last year was a different story as he missed four games with an ankle injury and he caught just 47 passes for 555 yards and two touchdowns. Was it an off year for Sanders or the beginning of a career-ending downhill slide? If he is indeed a trade candidate, it would seem that John Elway is thinking it’s the latter. The fact that Sanders’ salary cap number for 2018 is nearly $11 million certainly is a factor in Elway’s thought process.

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The Redskins have a hole at one wide receiver spot. Josh Doctson is set on one side and Jamison Crowder will play in the slot. Last year they tried Terrelle Pryor on the outside, but he was unproductive and ended the season on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Pryor was on a one-year contract and he probably will not be back.

Of the players currently signed for 2018, the candidates to start on the outside are 2017 sixth-round pick Robert Davis, who did not play a snap on offense last year, and Maurice Harris, who has shown the ability to make the spectacular catch but he has suffered from injuries and inconsistency. The Redskins also could re-sign Ryan Grant and use him on the outside. In other words, they have a bunch of fourth and fifth receivers.

Is Sanders the answer in Washington? As a player, maybe. Even if the Redskins get a receiver fairly early in the draft, they will need a veteran to hold things down during the learning process. Even if Sanders is not the 1,000-yard per year player he was a while ago, he could be a helpful addition.

But his contract would seem to make a trade a non-starter. The Redskins would owe him salaries of $8.15 million and $10.15 million over the next two seasons. If they wanted to pay a receiver advancing through his early thirties that much money, they would have kept Pierre Garçon.

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The contract makes a trade unlikely. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t end up playing in Washington.  

It is doubtful that any other NFL team would want Sanders with an $8.15 million price tag. That will leave Elway with the choice of keeping Sanders at that price, trying to get him to renegotiate his contract, or cutting him. If he makes the latter move, the Redskins could show some interest in bringing him in.

So it’s sit and wait for the Redskins. If the phone rings, they will answer and chat with Elway, but it is very unlikely that anything will get done. But if Sanders become a free agent, Sanders’ agent could get a call from the 703 area code.

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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Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in NFL history.

But is he the best running back for the Redskins right now?

The Redskins signed Peterson, 33 years old and a 12-year NFL veteran, to a one-year contract. They have been hit with injuries at the running back position, most notably the loss of second-round pick Derrius Guice for the season with a torn ACL. They didn’t make any moves when that diagnosis was announced a week and a half ago. But they lost two more backs to short-term injuries last Thursday and they decided that now is the time to go out and get somebody.

Is the need for a running back really there? Rob Kelley was the starter for the last half of the 2016 season and for seven games last year before a variety of ailments sent him to injured reserve. Samaje Perine became the starter after that and while he struggled at time he also showed growth potential.

Kelley is 25 and Perine is 22. In the absence of Guice, they could develop and when Guice returns next year the team would have a good stable of young running backs.

But now, Peterson is in the picture. We don’t yet know what his role will be, but they did not sign him to be the back who is inactive on game days. He will get some carries and that will take work away from Perine and Kelley.

Now, if Peterson is more productive than either of the two younger backs then that is a worthwhile swap. But what does he have left in the tank at age 33?

Last year, playing for the Saints and Cardinals he gained 529 yards on 156 carries, a very pedestrian average of 3.4 years per carry. That is very similar to the production of Perine, who had 175 carries for 603 yards, a 3.4 average. In his two years in the NFL, Kelley has averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

By signing Peterson, however, the Redskins are hoping that Peterson has one more big year, or at least a medium year by his standards, left in him. After all, it was just in 2015 that he led the NFL in rushing for the third time in his career as he ran for 1,485 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. The Redskins would be delighted if he could get half of that total.

Any free agent signing can only be evaluated when the contract details are available. We only know that it’s a one-year deal and according to some reports he did not get any money guaranteed at signing. That seems to be a team friendly deal, but we will have to see what might kick in if he is on the Week 1 roster.

As with everything else, time will tell if this move works out. If the money is right, it’s a low risk transaction with some possible upside for Washington.

Back during minicamp while talking about how quickly Alex Smith would have to get up to speed with the offense, Jay Gruden said that the Redskins are not in a rebuilding mode and that they need to win now. After the trade for Smith, the Peterson signing is another indication that patience may be wearing thin.

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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 and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries


The Redskins agreed to terms with free agent running back Adrian Peterson, per multiple reports and confirmed by NBC Sports Washington.

Washington added Peterson as their running back group took a number of hits this preseason. Rookie Derrius Guice was lost for the year in the preseason opener, while Byron Marshall, Martez Carter and Samaje Perine got hurt in the second preseason game against the Jets.

Peterson is a huge name. He’s likely headed for the Hall of Fame when his career ends, and he’s one of only a handful of rushers to gain more than 2,000 yards in a season.

His best seasons came with the Vikings, but Peterson hasn’t delivered top flight results since 2015.

If he’s healthy and ready to go, Peterson could be a tremendous steal for the Redskins. There is no way to know until he suits up in the preseason, which could happen as soon as this Friday night against Denver.

On the roster, Washington has Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson available at running back. At his best, Peterson is significantly better than that group.

Will the Redskins get Peterson at his best?

That’s the big question. And with two preseason games remaining, he will get the chance to prove it.

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