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2017 Redskins depth chart preview: Tight end

2017 Redskins depth chart preview: Tight end

The Redskins are part of the way through the process of retooling their 2017 roster. While the major part of free agency is over, they still can add a few veterans all the way through training camp. They have 10 picks in the draft that starts April 27. In this series, we’re going to take a look at what has changed on the Redskins roster since the season ended and what they need to add to remain competitive in the revived NFC East.

This series started on defense and you can see all those posts here.  Today the focus turns to the offense starting with the tight ends.

2016 final game starter: Jordan Reed

Reed was on his way to a monster season before suffering a shoulder injury on Thanksgiving in Dallas. He was on pace to catch over 100 passes for 1,100 yards but he played in only three of the remaining six games and caught seven more passes for 56 yards. There are many reasons cited for the Redskins’ stumble down the stretch that cost them the playoffs but the absence of Reed’s production in December certainly is high on the list.

Departures: None

Projected 2017 starter: Reed

Reed’s five-year, $46.5 million extension signed a year ago kicks in this year. Even if he has an average Jordan Reed year he will be a relative salary cap bargain with a cap hit of $5.7 million.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 8.0

2017 reserves: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Derek Carrier

There was plenty of eyebrows raised when Scot McCloughan signed the 32-year-old Davis, who appeared to be at the end of the line after a lost 2015 season with the 49ers and Broncos. But he turned out to be a very valuable addition, playing well both when Reed was sidelined and when the two were on the field at the same time.

MORE REDSKINS: Team announces preseason opponents

Carrier and Paul split the season as the third tight end. Paul played the first eight games while Carrier was on the PUP list while recovering from a serious knee injury he sustained late in the 2015 season. Then Paul suffered a shoulder injury against the Bengals in London and Carrier came off PUP to replace him.

Where can the tight ends find improvement?

Reed staying healthy for 16 games has the most potential to help but that is not something the team can count on. In his four years in the league he has played in 9, 11, 14, and 12 games. It’s not a coincidence that the team’s best year in that stretch, 2015, was the year that Reed played in 14 games.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Redskins take a tight end in the draft. Jay Gruden has mentioned that the team could use a blocking tight end so he can line up a third tight end who, unlike Ty Nsekhe, is a threat to catch a pass. There were six tight ends at the combine who weighed in at 255 or more pounds and they could have their eyes on one of those in what is, for a change, a deep class at the position.

Locks and bubble players

Reed and Davis are set. Carrier may be on the outside looking in. The bubble player is Paul. If they draft a tight end he could have trouble making the 53-man roster.  

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

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Redskins injury woes were league-wide issue in 2019

Redskins injury woes were league-wide issue in 2019

Injuries are a part of the game. In something as physically demanding and grueling as football, they are bound to happen. 

But for the Redskins, injuries have seemed like more of a definite than a possibility in recent seasons, and 2019 was no different. However, when looking at the trend from a league-wide perspective, they were not alone.

According to a report by the Associated Press, NFL teams lost over $500 million to either Week 1 starters who were injured or players who ended the season on injured reserve during the 2019 season.

Washington certainly contributed to that number, as the 3-13 season was filled with injuries. From the beginning to the end, the Redskins consistently had players end up on IR. By the end, the likes of Jordan Reed, Derrius Guice, Brandon Scherff and a plethora of others were all on the sideline come gameday.

The Redskins also fit the mold when it came to which type of players were suffering the most injuries. Associated Press reported that wide receivers were the most injured group in 2019, with cornerbacks and safeties coming right behind. Looking at Washington, the IR was littered with those skill position players. 

Paul Richardson Jr. and Trey Quinn were unable to stay healthy, leaving the Redskins with a thin receiving corps. As for the secondary, Quinton Dunbar, Jimmy Moreland, Deshazor Everett, Danny Johnson, Fabian Moreau and Montae Nicholson all finished the season not suiting up. By the final few weeks, Washington was pulling players off the street and inserting them into the game.

Yet, while the Redskins' list of injuries goes on and on, they were not alone. Per the report, the New York Jets racked up the most players on IR with 21, while the Philadelphia Eagles had the most money going toward players that were not active on the field.

There's no denying that the Redskins dealt with a large number of injuries in 2019, but it looks as if they were not unique. With a new training staff coming in for 2020, Washington will look to become an outlier on the injury trend rather than a big contributor.

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DeMaurice Smith: 2-year strike may be necessary leverage for NFLPA in CBA negotiations

DeMaurice Smith: 2-year strike may be necessary leverage for NFLPA in CBA negotiations

Super Bowl week includes a host of fanfare and festivities before Sunday's game. On Tuesday, Super Bowl week included discussions about the league's immediate future when NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith spoke at a rally in downtown Miami. 

Smith, who is currently engaged in negotiations with the NFL on the next collective bargaining agreement ahead of the current deal's expiration in March 2021, said Tuesday if players want to receive everything they're seeking, a two-year strike may be necessary. 

"People need to understand that it's really easy to call for a work stoppage; it's really hard to win one," Smith said at the rally. "So that's why I started notifying players four years ago about saving their checks, making changes to their debt structure, and the reality is that if we want to hold out and get everything we want, that's probably going to mean a two-year strike."

In the next CBA, the NFL and its owners are seeking the ability to expand the regular season to 17 games during the deal, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN. The option to expand playoffs is also being considered, and the league would shorten the preseason slate if the regular-season schedule receives an increase. Another obstacle in negotiations is what the appropriate increase in revenue share for the players — which is currently a 47% minimum — is to agree to a longer season. 

Over the course of an NFL season, Smith visits all 32 teams to give an overview of collective bargaining and what the players can do for leverage. Smith negotiated the current collective bargaining agreement, a 10-year deal agreed to in 2011, and he knows that there could be some concessions made throughout negotiations.

"Any collective bargaining deal is going to be a package of things," Smith said. "Is it going to be an agreement where you get 100% of everything you want? Probably not, and one of the reasons that we're in a position of bargaining right now is because the league didn't get everything they wanted in 2011."

Owners engaged discussions with the players early in 2019, hoping to reach an agreement on a new deal well ahead of the expiration of the current deal, according to Graziano's report. Several components of the new deal have already been agreed upon, including the league's drug and discipline policy and training camp rules, which would limit contact and duration of practices.

The leading issue still to be resolved is the aforementioned regular-season duration. San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders — who played all 17 games in 2019 after a mid-season trade — recently spoke out against a 17-game season. With that key decision looming over the negotiations, Graziano said any optimism that a new deal can be agreed to this offseason has faded. 

Ultimately, the decision is up to the players, as Smith reiterated Tuesday. Players will have the chance to vote on any deal he and his committee formulate.

Smith will meet Thursday with player representatives from 30 of 32 teams — excluding the two Super Bowl teams as they prepare for Sunday's game — to discuss options going forward with no official vote expected, according to Graziano. The NFL hasn't had a strike since 1987, but in the coming months, the players could decide that it's the best course of action to take. 

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