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Which Redskins signed in season should return in 2018?

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Which Redskins signed in season should return in 2018?

Two years ago, the Redskins were hit with a rash of injuries and they had to sign some players off of the street and give them important snaps almost immediately. Two such players were linebacker Mason Foster and defensive back Will Blackmon. They were supposed to be short-term fixes but they both signed new contracts and played key roles in 2016. Foster started 13 games at inside linebacker and Blackmon played in 15 games at safety.

The Redskins have had to go to the waiver wires, the streets, and other teams’ practice squads to find help this year. Who might they want to keep around in next year? Here are a few possible 2018 contributors:

G Arie Kouandjio—Did the Redskins make a mistake releasing their 2015 fourth-round pick in the cut to 53 in September? At the time, the move was not controversial as Kouandjio struggled in a few injury fill-in appearances in 2016 and didn’t do much to impress in training camp or the preseason. When he returned, he was thrust right into the lineup, playing 22 snaps against the Cowboys the day after he was signed away from the Ravens’ practice squad. Kouandjio has played well at left guard and the team should consider bringing him back as a restricted free agent.


C Tony Bergstrom—The journeyman was signed on October 25 and he moved into the starting lineup on Thanksgiving after Spencer Long went to injured reserve and Chase Roullier suffered a broken hand. He struggled against the Giants but he was steady against the Cowboys. Bergstrom, who will be an unrestricted free agent, can also play guard and he could be a valuable backup.

RB Byron Marshall—There really isn’t much of a question about keeping him here as he will be an exclusive-rights free agent as will rookie RB LeShun Daniels, assuming they are on the roster for the last game of the season. Marshall has an opportunity to carve out a role as someone who can fill in as the third-down back as well as take some carries when the starting running back needs a rest.

LB Zach Vigil—The Redskins were fortunate that Vigil was available when the inside linebacker spot was decimated with injuries. He had spent all of offseason with the team before getting released in September so he was a ready replacement who knew the defense. Vigil will be a restricted free agent and the Redskins have only two inside linebackers under contract in 2018.


K Nick Rose—Nobody has really noticed him since he was signed to replace the injured Dustin Hopkins and that’s usually a good thing for a kicker. After coming in with no NFL regular-season kicks on his record, he has made 91 percent of his field goals and 94 percent of extra points. Rose is capable of booming kickoffs through the end zone and he is third in the league in net kickoff yards. The test he has yet to take is the late field goal attempt for the win. Hopkins is an unrestricted free agent and it will be interesting to see if the Redskins bring him back or stick with the younger and, presumably, cheaper option in Rose.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.



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Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

Associated Press

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp

Even though it was a bright, warm Wednesday in Ashburn the Redskins held their OTA session in the practice bubble because recent rains have left their outdoor fields to soggy to use. Here are my observations from the practice:

—A few Redskins were not present and a few who were there were not participating in the drills. Jay Gruden said that OT Trent Williams is rehabbing in Texas and that LB Zach Brown is in the process of relocating to the Washington area. RB Chris Thompson and OT Morgan Moses were present, but both were spectators. 

— It should be noted that even though Moses didn’t practice and is still rehabbing after ankle surgery, he still participated in the sideline-to-sideline running the team does at the end of practice.

—At rookie camp, RB Derrius Guice was first in line to do every drill. Today, he gave way to the veterans to all take their reps and then he went first among the rookies. 

— “Fat Rob” Kelley never really was fat but he is now lean and mean. He also seems to be a half step quicker than he was in the past. Added competition in the form of second- and fourth-round picks being added at your position will do that to a player. 

—The “starting” offensive line from left to right was Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, and John Kling. The interior could well start the season; the tackle position awaits the returns of Williams, Moses, and Ty Nsekhe. 

—RB Byron Marshall, who was on the team briefly last year before getting injured, looked very quick with good acceleration.

—CB Josh Norman was back with the group fielding punts. I seriously doubt that he will handle any kicks in games, even preseason games, but perhaps with DeAngelo Hall being gone he wants to be available as an emergency option. Also back with the punt returners were CB Danny Johnson, CB Greg Stroman, WR Maurice Harris, WR De’Mornay Pierson-El, and, of course, WR Jamison Crowder.

—S D.J. Swearinger spent most of the special teams practice on the sideline working on catching passes with his hands extended away from his body. A little while later, he had a chance to make an interception with his arms extended. Of course, he dropped it. 

—It seems like QB Alex Smith and Crowder have some good rapport built already. Once on the right sideline and a few minutes later on the left, Smith threw a well-placed ball into Crowder, who was well covered on both occasions. 

—Eventually, CB Orlando Scandrick caught on and he swatted down a quick out to Crowder. 

—With Brown out, Josh Harvey-Clemons was with the first unit at inside linebacker. He’s still skinny but less so than he was last year. The second-year player was impressive in coverage, staying with Crowder step for step on a deep pass down the middle.

—The play of the day was a deep pass down the right side from Smith to WR Paul Richardson. Stroman was with the receiver step for step on the 9 route but Smith laid the ball out perfectly and Richardson made a lunging catch. Even though it doesn’t have to under the new rule, the catch did survive the ground. 

—WR Cam Sims had a few impressive plays. On one, QB Colt McCoy lofted one high in the air down the right side. Sims kept his focus on the ball while two defenders lost it and made the catch. 

—WR Trey Quinn had his moments. He made a good grab while being bumped by Scandrick. But a while later he dropped a fairly easy one. 

—The running backs all looked good but Guice looked the best of all of them. He had an ability to cut and maintain his speed that not many have. With the warning that they were playing with no pads with no contact and not at full speed, Guice’s vision appeared to be outstanding. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy


NFL owners unanimously approve new national anthem policy

NFL owners have unanimously approved a new national anthem policy that allows players to remain in the locker room if they prefer but requires players to stand if they are on the field during the performance.

This new policy subjects teams, but not players, to fines if any team personnel do not show appropriate respect for the anthem. 

Teams will also have the option to fine any team personnel, including players, for the infraction separately though. 

The NFL Players Association released it's own statement after the news was made official.