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Jay Gruden seems to love Samaje Perine, so could he play fullback?

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USA Today Sports

Jay Gruden seems to love Samaje Perine, so could he play fullback?

Jay Gruden likes fullbacks, but never finds himself with a roster spot for one. Jay Gruden likes Samaje Perine, and for the past two seasons, the coach has made sure to have a roster spot for the running back. 

Looking ahead to roster cuts later this summer, the running back position is getting quite full. The Redskins re-signed Adrian Peterson in March, and the team also has Derrius Guice returning from a knee injury. Chris Thompson has locked in his role as the third down back, and the team also drafted Stanford RB Bryce Love in the fourth round. While Love seems likely to start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, that's four running backs with a clear role going into the 2019 season. 

What does that mean for Perine?

It's unclear. After showing some promise as a rookie in 2017, fumbles landed Perine on the bench. Last year, Perine was only active for five games and lost playing time opportunities to Peterson, Thompson along with Byron Marshall, Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibs. Marshall is back on the roster again too. 

During most of offseason activities, Perine got a lot of work. Peterson was in Ashburn for minicamp, but that was just three days. Guice isn't practicing yet. In turn, Perine impressed Gruden.

"Perine has done an excellent job. He’s been one of our top performers on offense, really," Gruden said. "Perine has continued to get stronger and stronger in the weight room. He’s a powerful running back and he has not had the opportunities that he probably deserves or needs. But we just have to figure out a way to make the competition fair and play the best player, no matter whom they are or where they’re from."

Gruden's comments came in regards to trying to pare down the running back group to get to a 53-man roster. The coach admitted that Perine has a long way to go with Peterson, Guice and Thompson ahead on the depth chart. 

So, if Gruden wants Perine on the roster, and there aren't enough spots at running back, but Gruden wants a fullback, could the powerful Perine fit there?

"We tried him there a couple of times a couple of years ago," Gruden said when asked about the former Oklahoma star playing fullback.

"I’m sure that he could probably do it. That’s an option, but he’s also a tailback in his mind and he wants the ball. Push comes to shove, if we need to have a fullback and he’s the only one here, then he surely could do it because he’s got the power to do it."

He has the power. He's 5-foot-11 and more than 230 lbs., not to mention he set the record for running backs bench pressing at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. 

The reality, however, is that Perine at fullback seems like a long shot.

If Gruden was to really make a roster spot for a fullback, he would probably want a real fullback. That means somebody familiar with being a lead blocker and the toll that takes, not just a very big and powerful tailback. Gruden named Elijah Wellman and J.P. Holtz as more natural fits for the position that are on the current 90-man roster. 

After three straight seasons missing the playoffs, and consecutive 7-9 campaigns, the Redskins need to reexamine all aspects of their roster. If that means giving Perine a real look at fullback, so be it, but don't hold your breath. 

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Report: NFL proposed a potential 35% pay cut for players to offset losses from coronavirus pandemic

Report: NFL proposed a potential 35% pay cut for players to offset losses from coronavirus pandemic

The NFL is doing whatever it can to limit the potential financial losses for the 2020 season, which will be directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The league has proposed that 35% of each player's salary is held as a way to eschew costs for the lost revenue the league may face due to the pandemic, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero,

As expected, the idea did not sit well with many of the league's players.

Several players across the NFL, such as Saints star wideout Michael Thomas and Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, laughed at the idea on Twitter.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents numerous clients across the league, called the proposal an "absurd ask by the NFL."

Detroit Lions cornerback Jamal Agnew simply said, "no thank you."

A labor war in the NFL could begin just days after Major League Baseball and its players association ended an ugly fight with a commissioner-imposed 60-game season. The NFL will hope to avoid any type of back-and-forth the MLB underwent this summer, which ultimately cost the league numerous games in 2020.

RELATED: NFLPA VOTES TO CUT PRESEASON GAMES FOR 2020

Even if players' salaries are not ultimately held and business goes on as usual, the NFL will look significantly different this fall.

It's still uncertain whether fans will be allowed to attend games, and the league has already announced that the first six to eight rows of each lower bowl section will be blocked off from fans to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Additionally, the preseason has already been reduced to two games, with the potential of it being canceled altogether.

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Stefon Diggs is unsure about the NFL starting up with 'so many unanswered questions'

Stefon Diggs is unsure about the NFL starting up with 'so many unanswered questions'

On Tuesday, Cleveland Browns center and NFLPA president J.C. Tretter penned a letter questioning if the NFL is truly prioritizing player safety in its return to work plan, which is expected to begin with training camp at the end of the month.

Hours later, Buffalo Bills wide receiver and former Maryland Terrapin standout Stefon Diggs voiced similar concerns on Twitter, stating "I’d be lying if I said I was comfortable starting back up."

Earlier in the day, he tweeted that he missed football and that he loves the sport.

If and when the NFL does resume this fall, games will be played without fans in some stadiums. Diggs mentioned that it would be "weird" to play in front of an empty stadium, something he's never done before at any level of football.

Even if there are fans at NFL games this fall, they will be away from the playing field. The league has already announced that the first 6-8 rows of each lower bowl section will be blocked off from fans to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Instead, those sections will be covered with advertisements, similarly to how the Premier League has done during its restart.

Training camp is set to being on July 28, around the same time both the MLB and NBA will begin/resume their respective seasons. With live-action just a few weeks away, we've seen multiple players across both sports opt-out from playing, including Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman and Wizards sharpshooter Davis Bertans.

As the NFL season begins to get closer, it's likely only a matter of time before a few players opt-out, too.

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