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Why Mack Brown could mean more than your average practice squad addition

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Why Mack Brown could mean more than your average practice squad addition

Maybe one week down the line the Redskins won't have to make a move at running back. But so far in 2018, doing something in the backfield every seven days or so feels almost required.

This time around, the transaction of note is adding Mack Brown to the practice squad. Brown was in D.C. from 2015-2017 before spending the latter half of last year and the offseason this year with the Vikings.

Sitting down in the familiar locker room at the 'Skins' facility in Ashburn, Va., the 27-year-old expressed relief to have an NFL job again after being let go by Minnesota in early September.

"I'm just thankful to be back playing football," he said. "Ready to get my game back."

Most practice squad moves don't warrant a blog these days, considering how often those players are picked up and dropped. But Brown's arrival feels a bit more significant once you tie it to Adrian Peterson's sore ankle.

While Peterson has been perhaps the best part of the Redskins' campaign so far, there's always a question about how long he can stay on the field and keep producing. And now he's dinged up, though he said Monday he doesn't expect to miss the matchup in the Superdome. 

After Wednesday's practice, Jay Gruden explained why he's happy that Brown is back in town.

"Mack is a good guy to have on our practice squad because he knows the system pretty much and we know what he can do with the football," the head coach said. "Having Mack Brown out there with Adrian's ankle the way that it is, is a good get for us. Just for a little insurance for us down the line if we need it. Hopefully we don’t have to use him, but if we do, Mack will be ready."

Of course, Gruden will turn to Chris Thompson and Kapri Bibbs should something happen to Peterson. Then there's Samaje Perine, too. But it's not outrageous to imagine Brown suiting up on game days at some point down the line. He's well-liked by the organization.

Aside from an increase in run-pass option plays, Brown agreed with Gruden's assessment regarding the RB's familiarity with the offense. He also admitted that Peterson is his all-time favorite player and he can't wait to learn from him in many ways both on and off the field.

However, there is one thing that's already bothering him in his second stint with the Burgundy and Gold: His new number, 47. That could use some work, according to Brown.

"I'm definitely trying to change this," he said. "Shoulder pads big, cleats are big, helmet's too big. I feel like Rudy."

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Redskins are warming up to trading down from No. 2 pick, per one report

Redskins are warming up to trading down from No. 2 pick, per one report

The 2020 NFL Draft is less than a month away, meaning the rumors surrounding the Redskins and what they'll do with the No. 2 overall selection are only going to intensify over the next few weeks.

Many expect the Burgundy and Gold to select Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young with the second pick, and it makes sense. He's been pegged as a generational talent by many experts and would make an immediate impact for the Redskins defense.

But coming off a 3-13 season, the Redskins still have plenty of holes on their roster. Arguably the best way to expedite a rebuild of any franchise is by building through the draft, and the Redskins potentially have the opportunity to acquire multiple first-round picks by trading down from the second overall selection. 

According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the team is warming up to exactly that idea.

"I continue to hear that they are increasingly open to trading out," la Canfora said. "I think there's a distinct possibility."

When the Redskins moved up to No. 2 in the 2012 NFL Draft to acquire Robert Griffin III, they shipped three first-round picks to the Rams. It likely would take a deal similar to that for the Redskins to move out of their current draft position.

The Dolphins currently sit at No. 5 and have three first-round picks in this year's draft. They're also desperate for a quarterback. With Miami having the draft capital to strike a deal, they seem like the most likely team to trade up to No. 2. 

Should Washington move down to No. 5, the Redskins would potentially have the chance to select another player La Canfora says they have a high draft grade on: Clemson's Isaiah Simmons.

"If they do drop back a few spots, I believe strongly they would target Isaiah Simmons," La Canfora said. "That's another player I'm told they are super high on their draft board. They feel like he's such a rotational chess piece you can put all over the place. They are very intrigued by that possibility if they were to move down."

Simmons is arguably the most versatile defensive player in this year's draft. Listed as a linebacker, Simmons has lined up as a cornerback, safety and pass rusher, too. Simmons's measurables -- 6-foot-4, 239 pounds -- are off the charts, and the Clemson standout raised his stock even higher this past February with an outstanding performance at the Scouting Combine.

Throughout free agency, the Redskins have not made a splashy move. But one common trait between many of the players Ron Rivera has brought in to Washington is their versatility. Simmons fits exactly that mold. The only question remains if he would still be available by the time the Redskins were on the clock, as both the Lions and Giants would have the chance to take him before Washington.

If Young is considered the best defensive player in the draft, Simmons is right behind him. La Canfora explained that if Washington has the opportunity to trade back and still nab Simmons, that's something they should absolutely consider.

"If you take Chase Young, and he ends up being [Lawrence Taylor], then I get it. You call it a day," he said. "But if he's less than that, and you have the opportunity to trade off of him, as if he were a quarterback, to get quarterback value for the pick because the other team moving up is taking a quarterback, then I don't know how you don't strongly consider it."

La Canfora explained what many assume will be the deciding factor on whether the Redskins trade down or not -- will they get enough in return for the pick?

"It will be mostly tied to the value and trade for the pick," Canfora said. "Do they feel there is enough opportunity to throw three, four, five darts at premium positions on the draft board over the next couple of years that would allow them to hasten their rebuild?"

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Quinton Dunbar had a reaction to the Redskins signing Ronald Darby, and it wasn't positive

Quinton Dunbar had a reaction to the Redskins signing Ronald Darby, and it wasn't positive

Soon after the Redskins signed Ronald Darby on Sunday, that news made it to the corner Darby will largely be asked to replace in Washington.

On a popular Burgundy and Gold Instagram fan page, Quinton Dunbar dropped a few comments on a post that announced the Darby move. They weren't of the positive variety, though.

Here's the post:

Initially, Dunbar wrote, "Great signing but I wasn't worth the extra mill 😂joke." There, the now-Seahawk is referring to how his former club wouldn't bump up his 2020 salary, which will total $3.25 million (none of which is guaranteed).

Then, in that same thread, Dunbar added that he's "happy" to be in Seattle, called Washington an organization that "lies" and makes excuses and concluded that he won't be talking about them again.

The two NFC squads will meet at some point in 2020 at FedEx Field. That'll be a fun one!

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