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What one prospect's pre-draft visit could mean for Jamison Crowder's future


What one prospect's pre-draft visit could mean for Jamison Crowder's future

The Redskins hosted Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller for a pre-draft visit on Monday. 

The visit is hardly unusual. In fact, Washington also hosted Alabama defensive lineman DaRon Payne and LSU running back Derrius Guice on Monday, too. 

What makes Miller's visit stand out, however, is that he plays a position that didn't project to be a need for the Redskins. 

At 5-foot-11 and 190 lbs., Miller looks like a prototypical slot receiver in the NFL. And his absurd statistics from three seasons in Memphis suggest he could excel in the role. 


As a senior, Miller grabbed 96 passes for 1,462 yards to go with 18 touchdowns. In fact, in his last two seasons, Miller posted nearly 3,000 receiving yards. Memphis runs a wild, fast-paced passing offense, but still Miller's numbers are crazy. 

Jamison Crowder has been a consistent producer in the Redskins offense the last three seasons playing slot receiver. Many expected a breakout, 1,000-yard season from Crowder in 2017, only it didn't happen. His numbers went the opposite direction.

In 2016, Crowder had nearly 850 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. In 2017, those numbers dipped to 789 receiving yards to go with three TDs. 

2018 is the final year of Crowder's rookie contract. This offseason, the Redskins showed a proclivity to let their own drafted players walk via free agency.

Bruce Allen explained that it was a strategic decision to let guys go, in turn, delivering additional draft picks for Washington. And when free agency opened, the Redskins watched as Trent Murphy, Spencer Long and Ryan Grant signed elsewhere, and those departures will net the Redskins three compensatory draft picks in 2019. 

Miller could become a logical replacement for Crowder, should the Redskins think that way, but it won't come cheap. The Memphis wideout won't last past the third round in next week's draft, and Washington doesn't have a third-round selection. 

Let's also remember that one pre-draft visit could mean very little. Next to nothing. Miller could be drafted elsewhere too. 

But it is worth noting the Redskins' interest in Miller. 

The team has Josh Doctson locked in for the next two seasons and could easily pick up his fifth-year option for 2020 if he performs well. 

Washington just signed free agent Paul Richardson to start on the outside opposite Doctson. Richardson got $20 million guaranteed, too, which means he's not going anywhere for at least two years.

Looking at the Redskins current roster, there is not a real backup for Crowder at slot wideout. Robert Davis, Maurice Harris and Brian Quick all stand 6-foot-3, and that's simply too tall to play on the inside. Logically, this would be the draft to bring in another slot type player, or the time to get a new deal done for Crowder.

Typically, when the 'Skins want to keep a player, they get a contract extension done before that player gets to free agency. With Crowder, that would mean this summer or early this season. 

The team will have a more expensive decision to make with Preston Smith, another guy in the final year of his rookie deal. If Washington wants to keep Smith, they need to allot some serious cash, and that could mean there isn't enough for Crowder.

Again, one pre-draft visit with Anthony Miller means very little. But play it out a bit, and look at the possible moving pieces in the future, and it gets pretty interesting. 

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Redskins ranked as the fourth most valuable NFL franchise by Forbes


Redskins ranked as the fourth most valuable NFL franchise by Forbes

Annually, Forbes releases the worth of all professional sports franchises in the world. Once again, the Washington Redskins are sitting near the top. 

This year the Redskins are ranked the fourth most valuable NFL franchise at $3.1 billion. 

That marks a five percent worth increase from a year ago. They leapfrogged the San Francisco 49ers for a spot in the top four after placing fifth in 2017. They still trail the Dallas Cowboys ($4.8 billion), the New England Patriots ($3.7 billion), and the New York Giants ($3.3 billion).

Compared to other leagues and franchises, the Redskins jumped into the top-10. They are tied for the tenth overall value with the Golden State Warriors who are coming off of their third NBA title in four years.

From year-to-year there is never much movement from the top of the ranking. Once again, the Cowboys are the top team in the world by over $600 million. They were followed by three European soccer teams. In total four NFL teams made up the top-10, the most of any sport. 

2018 Top-10 World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams according to Forbes:

1. Dallas Cowboys, $4.8 billion (NFL)

2. Manchester United, $4.123 billion ( Soccer)

3. Real Madrid, $4.09 billion (Soccer)

4. Barcelona, $4.064 billion (Soccer)

5. New York Yankees, $4 billion (MLB)

6. New England Patriots, $3.7 billion (NFL)

7. New York Knicks, $3.6 billion (NBA)

8. Los Angeles Lakers, $3.3 billion (NBA)

8. New York Giants, $3.3 billion (NFL)

T-10. Golden State Warriors, $3.1 billion (NBA)

T-10. Washington Redskins, $3.1 billion (NFL)

Next five NFL franchises:

13. San Francisco 49ers, $3.05 billion

T-14. Los Angeles Rams, $3 billion 

17. Chicago Bears, $2.85 billion 

T-19. Houston Texans, $2.8 billion

21. New York Jets, $2.75 billion


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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Outside linebackers

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Outside linebackers

Redskins Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope.

Between now and the start of camp, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.


Additions: Pernell McPhee (free agent)
Departures: Junior Galette (free agent)

Starters: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith
Other roster locks: Ryan Anderson, McPhee
On the bubble: Pete Robertson

How the outside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: By any measure, the Redskins had a top-10 pass rush last year. They were tied for seventh with 42 sacks and they got a sack on 7.3 percent of pass attempts, also seventh in the league. Looking forward to this year, Pro Football Focus has them ranked as the sixth-best pass rushing team for 2018. Ryan Kerrigan is showing no signs of slowing down as he approaches age 30 and Preston Smith is about to hit his prime. After the departure of Galette, the depth is questionable, and we’ll deal with that next. Even without Galette, it’s still one of the best units in the NFL. 

To the 2017 Redskins: Some downplay the decision to let Galette walk in free agency, saying he had just three sacks. But his value went beyond that. He had 9 QB hits and 25 hurries, both second-most on the team, in just 258 pass rush snaps. Someone will have to step up and replace that pressure. The spotlight will be on Anderson, who had no sacks after being a second-round pick. He will need to step up for this year’s Redskins pass rush to be as good as last year’s. 

2018 outside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: Since the 2015 season, only one NFL player has at least 20 sacks, four forced fumbles, and three interceptions and it’s Preston Smith. His consistency is an issue but even when he is going for a few weeks between sacks he is getting pressure on the quarterback. Still, there is more ability there. Smith could set himself up for a big payday by breaking through with a double-digit sack season while continuing to make big plays in his contract year.

Most to prove: To be fair, Anderson did not get a whole lot of chances to rush the passer last year, playing just 81 pass rush snaps. Still, there are reasons to be concerned about how much he can produce after a zero-sack, one-hit, three-hurries 2017 debut season. Anderson was not expected to make a splash as a rookie, but more was anticipated. He was drafted where he was in part because of his work ethic. The Redskins hope he will work his way into a significant second-year leap. 

Rookie watch: There are no rookie outside linebackers on the roster. 

Bottom line: The main concern about the Redskins’ defense this year revolves around the cornerback spot following the departures of Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland. The best way to manage problematic cornerbacks is by getting a strong pass rush. The Redskins need to Smith to have a true breakout season and for Anderson or McPhee to be a strong contributor off the bench. Along with the improved defensive line, the pass rush could transform the defensive line into a quality unit in 2018. 

2018 Redskins Position Outlook Series