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The Redskins should have no interest in trading for Kyle Rudolph - and here's why

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USA Today Sports

The Redskins should have no interest in trading for Kyle Rudolph - and here's why

The Redskins are on the hook to spend nearly $18 million at the tight end position. That's the highest spending in the NFL at the position group, and the money allocated to tight end will account for nearly 10 percent of the Redskins' salary cap. 

Jordan Reed is slated for almost $10 million and Vernon Davis will make more than $6 million. That's two very high priced players at the tight end position. Of the top 20 salaries for tight ends, two of them are on the Redskins. 

So as news that Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph might like a trade, and Redskins fans wonder if he could land in Washington, just follow the money. 

Rudolph is owed $7.5 million after June 1, and the Redskins only have about $10 million left in cap space. The team will need some money during the season to sign players as injuries inevitably pop up, and Washington still has to agree to terms with first-round pick Montez Sweat and third-rounder Terry McLaurin. 

Put simply: The Redskins cannot afford Rudolph. 

Not to mention, why would Washington move an asset to acquire Rudolph when the Vikings will probably have to release him next month? That's the reality of the situation.

Looking at Minnesota's 2019 salary cap, held hostage by a $29 million salary for QB Kirk Cousins, the Vikings seem highly unlikely to keep Rudolph at $7.5 million. None of that money is guaranteed, and the team can release him after June 1 with no cap penalty. Why send the Vikes a draft pick now? Wait a few weeks and Rudolph will likely be available. 

Rudolph has been very clear that he is unwilling to take a pay cut, rightfully, and that will probably lead to his release. The player won't mind as it means another crack at free agency.

Could Washington make a run at Rudolph as a free agent? Maybe, but the 'Skins would have to shed salary to do it. Perhaps the 29-year-old Rudolph makes more sense than 35-year-old Vernon Davis, but that would also come down to money. Washington could release Davis post June 1 too. 

Rudolph is a very good player, a more capable blocker than Reed or Davis, but that's not saying an awful lot. Rudolph's not a mauler. Pro Football Focus graded him as more than -10 as a run blocker averaged out over the last two seasons. And while he has been very durable and productive on the field, Rudolph hasn't missed a game since 2014, does Washington really need to add a tight end that will turn 30 this fall?

Could Rudolph help the Redskins? Certainly. Over the last three seasons, he's had at least 57 catches and totaled 19 touchdowns. 

Does Washington need to trade for Rudolph? Probably not.

And given their current spending at tight end, can Washington afford Rudolph's current contract? Definitely not. 

Minnesota is barely squeezing in under the 2019 salary cap, with just about $1 million left in space. The Vikings will need more than that to get through the season. 

If Washington really wants Rudolph, they can probably sign him next month without giving up a draft pick. Remember, the team already lost its second-round pick in 2020 to acquire Sweat, and after signing Landon Collins as a free agent, the NFL's compensatory formula won't heavily tilt in the Skins favor next offseason. 

There is an argument that trading for Rudolph could be cheaper than going after him in free agency, where other teams would surely be interested. Keep in mind too, however, that Bruce Allen likes to shop in the latter stages of free agency, and generally is able to make the money work. He did with Josh Norman and DeSean Jackson. 

Patience is a virtue. It worked in the draft when the Redskins waited until the 15th pick and still got QB Dwayne Haskins. It could work again with Rudolph, if the 'Skins even want the tight end. 

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Former Redskins QB Josh Johnson destroys Defenders in Week 3

Former Redskins QB Josh Johnson destroys Defenders in Week 3

Former Redskins quarterback Josh Johnson carved up the visiting DC Defenders for 278 yards and three touchdowns Sunday night in the Los Angeles Wildcats' commanding 39-9 victory.

The Wildcats obliterated Cardale Jones (13-of-26, 4 INT) and the Defenders, who fall to 2-1 on the season.

Johnson completed passes to eight different receivers, including William and Mary standout Tre McBride, who was traded from the Defenders to the Wildcats in the preseason.

McBride finished the night with five catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns.

Johnson played for the Redskins during the 2018 NFL season, suiting up for the final four games after the team lost both Alex Smith and Colt McCoy to season-ending injuries. Johnson led the Redskins to a 16-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars during Week 15, throwing for 151 yards and a touchdown.

Johnson was selected by the Wildcats in the XFL Supplemental Draft in Nov. 2019. 

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Former Redskins RB Matt Jones powers St. Louis BattleHawks past the New York Guardians

Former Redskins RB Matt Jones powers St. Louis BattleHawks past the New York Guardians

Former Redskins running back Matt Jones was a force on the ground Sunday afternoon for the BattleHawks in the team's 29-9 win against the Guardians.

Jones paved the way for the St. Louis win, rushing for 95 yards and a score on 15 carries.

Jones was drafted by the Redskins in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Florida.

He impressed the coaching staff during his first year in D.C. (794 all-purpose yards, 4 total TDs) but struggled to hold on to the ball, fumbling five times. 

Jones was named the starting running back in 2016 after the Redskins decided to let Alfred Morris leave in free agency.

In his second season, Jones missed nine games with a rash of injuries and eventually lost his starting spot to Rob Kelley. 

He was waived shortly before the start of the 2017 NFL season by the Redskins, and he has been on the move ever since.

Jones and the BattleHawks head to Audi Field for a matchup with the DC Defenders on Sunday, March 8.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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