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Stock Up, Stock Down: Montae Nicholson and Samaje Perine going in opposite directions

Stock Up, Stock Down: Montae Nicholson and Samaje Perine going in opposite directions

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. 

Stock Up

  • 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:

Stock Down

  • 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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Redskins are releasing Jordan Reed after six eventful seasons

Redskins are releasing Jordan Reed after six eventful seasons

Jordan Reed and the Redskins are parting ways after six seasons, the team announced on Thursday.

The 29-year-old tight end has been talked about a lot lately, as questions swirled about his health. This past weekend, Ron Rivera said that Reed was still in the concussion protocol thanks to a hit he suffered in August 2019. Then, on Wednesday, he reportedly cleared that protocol.

The move creates an additional $8.5 million in cap space for the Redskins, as Reed joins Josh Norman and Paul Richardson as some high-profile names to be released by the team's new leadership. Washington now has the sixth-most cap space in the NFL with free agency coming up next month.

Reed's career with the Burgundy and Gold featured both promise and problems. In 2015 and 2016, he caught a combined 17 touchdowns. Yet he never suited up for a full 16-game schedule, as injuries ultimately prevented him from realizing his full ability.

Now, the question becomes what Reed will do next. Some, like London Fletcher, believes Reed should retire, considering the numerous concussions he suffered as a pro. But he apparently wants to still play, and now, thanks to the release from the Redskins, he's able to try and make that happen.

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Report: Redskins CB Quinton Dunbar still wants out after Redskins wouldn't restructure his contract

Report: Redskins CB Quinton Dunbar still wants out after Redskins wouldn't restructure his contract

Quinton Dunbar wants out of Washington.

The Redskins cornerback told ESPN's Josina Anderson that he has requested to be either released or traded. Dunbar reached out to the team to request a "reasonable contract restructure," according to ESPN, but the Redskins declined to engage in conversation.

News first broke last week that the cornerback wanted out of Washington. Dunbar is entering the final year of his contract, one that includes no guaranteed money.

"I don’t know them and they don’t know me," Dunbar told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay last Monday. "It is what it is.” 

Just a few days later, he walked back on that statement, telling Doc Walker that his request was overblown and taken out of proportion. Dunbar told Walker then that he "wanted to know where he stands" with new head coach Ron Rivera and his regime.

Playing under a contract with no guaranteed money is a risk for any player. Dunbar, who led the team with four interceptions a season ago and finished with the second-highest cornerback grade by Pro Football Focus, believes he deserves a new deal.

After the team has reportedly declined to discuss a new or restructured contract just yet, Dunbar likely wants to play for an organization that will give him the contract security he believes he deserves.

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