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Minicamp is mandatory, so what does that mean for the Redskins?

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USA Today Sports

Minicamp is mandatory, so what does that mean for the Redskins?

When the Redskins take the field on Tuesday morning, it won't be for voluntary offseason activities. The players will take the field for mandatory veteran minicamp.

The difference seems pretty obvious, but to be clear, all players are contractually obligated to be in Ashburn for minicamp. That doesn't mean, however, that all players will be in attendance at Redskins Park. 

In past years, plenty of players have skipped minicamp, even knowing that would carry fines against their salary. DeSean Jackson made this practice relatively routine. 

All that said, it's a new year, and a new batch of players, and a new batch of coaches. This is a new season and a new minicamp, and with that, plenty of new questions. 

Like what? Like this:

  1. Attendance - It's always important to note who is there and who isn't at veteran minicamp. Expect some of the players that missed OTAs to be in attendance, with big names like Adrian Peterson, Jordan Reed and Josh Norman at the top of the list. Other guys working back from injury, like Trent Williams, still might not attend. 
  2. Under center - All eyes will be on the quarterback, and particularly rookie QB Dwayne Haskins. Does veteran Case Keenum keep up his snap count? And is incumbent passer Colt McCoy back on the field for team drills?
  3. At center - While the focus will be on the QBs, until the guys protecting the passer are healthy, the offense will probably get crushed in the trenches. Last week during OTAs, an offensive line comprised entirely of backups got dominated by the Redskins defensive line. It got so bad that head coach Jay Gruden grew clearly frustrated and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula screamed at his players to lay off the quarterbacks. Great push up front is a good sign for the Redskins defense, but an incapable set of backup offensive linemen could spell big trouble for the Redskins offense. 

For more coverage from Redskins minicamp, tune to the #RedskinsTalk Podcast stream on the MyTeams app from 3 to 4 p.m.

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NFL, EA Sports agree to six year extension of Madden video game franchise

NFL, EA Sports agree to six year extension of Madden video game franchise

The Madden franchise will continue to be a part of the gaming universe for at least the next six years.

NFL owners on Thursday approved an extension of their deal with Electronic Arts, continuing a relationship that has existed for 30 years. It was also recently approved by the NFL Players Association.

The current contract was set to expire after the 2021 season. The extension means that EA Sports will continue to be the league's exclusive publisher of football simulation games through 2026.

EA Sports Executive Vice President Cam Weber said both sides had been talking for months. Many wondered what the future of the relationship might be after 2K Sports signed an agreement with the NFL in March to produce non-simulation games.

The current edition of Madden has seen a 30% increase in unique players. According to Electronic Arts, more than 330 million hours of the game have been played since it was released last August. The company has also seen large increases in gameplay during the past couple of months as people have been confined to their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic, with many tournaments taking place among friends and on television.

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Rachel Hoagland, the league's vice president and head of gaming and esports, said keeping the Madden franchise at the core of their video gaming strategy was important, especially with the emergence of new platforms and gaming systems. Sony and Microsoft have announced new generations of gaming consoles that are expected to debut by the end of the year.

"EA has done a nice job of ensuring the game matches the experience during a game week. The new technology will allow richer content and add more realism," she said.

Madden NFL 21 will come out in early August with the first looks at the game coming next week. 

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was last year's cover athlete. Baltimore quarterback and reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson said in April that he would be on the cover this year, but EA Sports has not made an announcement.

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Trent Williams planned to play for Redskins in 2019 before being placed on Non-Football Injury list

Trent Williams planned to play for Redskins in 2019 before being placed on Non-Football Injury list

Former Redskins left tackle Trent Williams did not play a snap for the Burgundy and Gold in 2019, but that almost wasn't the case.

Williams held out for the first half of the 2019 season after Redskins team doctors misdiagnosed a cancerous growth on his head for nearly six years. The 31-year-old reported just minutes before the trade deadline after the organization refused to trade him, but failed his physical due to helmet discomfort. Shortly after, he was placed on the Non-Football Injury list, which ended his season.

On the latest episode of NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport's podcast, Williams explained that he actually planned to play for the Redskins in 2019 after he eventually reported to the team.

"The competitive juices started to flow, so I was really prepared to make my return last year," Williams said. "I know all of the things that had went on and just being in that facility, being around teammates, being around the guys you fought with and bled with for some many years. It was almost impossible for me to fight the urge not to just want to get back on the field."

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After the left tackle could not find a comfortable helmet, he had arranged for a new one to be shipped. Once the new helmet arrived, the left tackle planned on making his return. 

"I was literally waiting on my new helmet to come in," he said. "I was getting ready to kind of gear up and it was going to be somewhat of a surprise to some, but I think for the people who know me best they know how competitive I am. 

"I was put on NFI right before I could even get the helmet to get back out there," Williams continued. "It was a bummer but figured it was just how it was supposed to work out."

By placing Williams on the NFI list, the Redskins saved nearly $6 million in salary.

Washington traded the seven-time Pro Bowler to the San Francisco 49ers on April 25 in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick and a 2021 third-round pick. Williams has one year remaining on his current deal.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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