For the second straight season, the Eagles find themselves in a dilemma with backup quarterback Nick Foles. The difference this year, however, is Foles won't be back in Philadelphia next season (UPDATE: On Feb. 27, the Eagles confirmed they will let him be a free agent).
There is another place Foles won't be next season: Washington.
Bovada and other offshore sportsbooks put out odds on where Foles would end up in 2019, and weirdly, the Redskins claimed the second highest chances.
One thing to keep in mind with Vegas odds: the point isn't to guess correctly where Foles lands, rather get the most money spent on the guesses. And a number of Redskins fans love the idea of Foles wearing Burgundy and Gold next season.
It's just not going to happen.
Sure, the Redskins have a need at quarterback. Alex Smith suffered a significant leg injury last season and few expect him to play in 2019. Colt McCoy is under contract for this season, and he's a great person and a capable player, but he hasn't proven an ability to stay healthy for 16 games.
And, yeah, Washington needs a quarterback and Foles is probably the best veteran passer available. How many former Super Bowl MVP QBs become available? It just doesn't happen, but the Eagles are committed to Carson Wentz as their quarterback of the future.
Still, there are a few reasons why Foles to the Redskins is not happening. Let's make them crystal clear:
- C.R.E.A.M. - Foles is due $20 million this season and if he actually hits free agency, he could command more than that on the open market. The Redskins already have $24 million on the books at the QB position between Smith and McCoy. Washington cannot afford to add another QB with a salary of $10 million, let alone $20 million. Bruce Allen needs to find cash to fix a number of positions, and the team cannot go past $30 million total at the QB position, and would probably be wise to keep that number lower if at all possible. The 'Skins CANNOT afford Foles.
- It takes two - The Eagles are doing everything possible to retain control of Foles and then trade him. It might not happen, as it requires using a franchise tag on Foles with no intention of actually working towards a long-term deal, but Philly will try. If the Eagles are able to trade Foles, they're not going to trade him in the division to Washington. This is not an aging Donovan McNabb.
- 2020 Vision - One reason the Redskins aren't pursuing the nuclear option with Alex Smith - cutting him this offseason and taking a massive $40 million cap hit - is because some corners of Redskins Park wonder if he can play again in 2020. That question will become more clear over the coming weeks and months, and should have some level of clarity by the NFL Draft in late April. At that point, the 'Skins can and should look to draft a quarterback. A draft pick would be affordable due to the NFL rookie wage scale, and if it's a late-round pick, that player might not be ready to start by 2020 anyway. Foles and Smith can't cohabit the Redskins roster in 2020, but Smith and a second-year rookie might be able to.
Redskins fans should absolutely expect a new quarterback to join the Redskins between now and the start of OTAs.
It just won't be Nick Foles.
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The Redskins added some linebacker depth Saturday afternoon by signing former Texas LB Gary Johnson, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported.
Johnson, 23, was released by the Kansas City Chiefs back in June following mandatory minicamp.
This signing immediately addresses a position of need as Washington's linebacker room is banged up. Reuben Foster was ruled out of the entire season due to a torn ACL he suffered in May, Josh Harvey-Clemmons is going through concussion protocol while strengthening an ailing knee, and Shaun Dion Hamilton is still questionable with a chest injury.
In his two seasons at Texas, Johnson tallied 147 tackles, 8.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and two pass breakups in 23 games.
Johnson took to Twitter to celebrate his latest opportunity in the nation's capital:
Johnson's Twitter profile also features the statement "I Hate QB's & RB's."
It's fair to say the Redskins are always on the lookout for defensive guys with that mentality.
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The Redskins lost to the Bengals Thursday night at FedEx Field, but in the preseason, final results don't really matter. What matters comes in individual and group performances, particularly among first-team units.
In that vein, the Redskins starting defense looked strong against Cincinnati. Outside of some dumb and wacky penalty calls, the starting defense barely gave up any first downs. A number of players impressed on that group, so let's start with the stocks trending in the right direction.
- Montae Nicholson - The 96-yard interception return for a touchdown was an impressive display of playmaking ability and speed, but more than that, it was the culmination of a strong offseason and training camp. For the Redskins to be a Top 10 defense, Nicholson needs to be the hard-hitting stud that Washington fans saw glimpses of as a rookie in 2017. Last year was a lost season for Nicholson, who dealt with injuries, getting benched and legal troubles. 2019 is a new start, and so far, it looks quite good.
- Adrian Peterson - Not that a first-ballot Hall of Famer really needs preseason validation, but when Peterson ripped off a 26-yard run in the first quarter against the Bengals it became pretty obvious he's ready to go for 2019. And it's important too as second-year back Derrius Guice still isn't cleared for competition.
- Robert Davis - Another week, another long touchdown. If there's a handbook to show how to force your way onto a roster, Davis is reading from it.
- Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne - These dudes are beasts.
Despite the good news, there was bad news too. Here's that list:
- Samaje Perine - Five carries for one yard against Cincy. You read that right. That comes after a poor showing in pass protection in the preseason opener. Jay Gruden always sings praises of Perine but hasn't after the last two preseason games. Prior to Shaun Wilson's ankle injury, he seemed like a guy that could really push for Perine's roster spot. Could that be Byron Marshall now?
- Paul Richardson - The speedster wideout missed the Bengals game, and the word from one Redskins coach was "he's hurt." Many players get held out of preseason action with slight injuries, stuff they would play through in the regular season. That's not the deal with Richardson. He needs to get right.
- Cole Holcomb - If you can't make the club in the tub, Holcomb needs to get back on the field. While he's not in actual roster danger because of the growing number of injuries at inside linebacker, Holcomb is dealing with an AC joint issue. Linebackers need their shoulders, and Holcomb missed a valuable opportunity against the Bengals with presumed starter Shaun Dion Hamilton already out for that game.
- Nate Kaczor - The Redskins new Special Teams coach is off to a rough start. In two preseason games Washington has already given up two punt return touchdowns, and against the Bengals, kicker Dustin Hopkins missed an extra point and a field goal. Special teams are tricky in the preseason. In the regular season with 53-man rosters, starting players land on special teams. In the preseason with 90-man rosters, it's largely a collection of players that won't make the final roster lining up on special teams. Still, ugly start.
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