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All about the money: Redskins ranked near bottom in 2016 defensive spending

All about the money: Redskins ranked near bottom in 2016 defensive spending

Redskins fans can blame departed defensive coordinator Joe Barry all they want for the team's disappointing 2016 finish, but looking where the team spent money in 2016, it becomes obvious that Washington did not invest enough in their defense. 

How little did the 'Skins spend on defense in 2016?

At a little more than $36 million, Scot McCloughan's team ranked 31st out of 32 NFL teams in defensive spending, only ahead of the New Orleans Saints. Considering how little money was spent, one could argue Barry's unit actually outperformed expectations, as the team finished 19th in points allowed per game. 

Conversely, the team spent more than $78 million on the offensive side of the ball.

Look again, the Redskins spent more than double on offense than they did on defense, and that's with the free agent addition of Josh Norman.

Remember, Norman did not become available until very late in free agency, so if the squad had not signed him, their defensive spending would be far and away the lowest in the league.

Drawing a conclusion from the data is not as simple as assigning blame.

McCloughan made clear he would not spend recklessly in free agency, instead wanting to build the core of the team through the draft. By and large, he's stuck to that, enough so that the 'Skins actually finished the 2016 season $15.6 million under the cap. 

RELATED: REDSKINS' MOST IMPORTANT FREE AGENTS

McCloughan also has nine draft picks at his disposal this year. Expect many of those selections to go towards rebuilding the Burgundy and Gold defense. Improving the defense, however, cannot stop at the draft. 

Washington must spend some money on that side of the ball this offseason.

That does not mean the team needs to go after the biggest names on the market, whether that's Eric Berry or Dontari Poe, but they also cannot only shop from the bargain rack either. Mid-tier free agents and perhaps one or two larger contracts must be in play for the Washington defense this season, or it won't matter what coordinator comes in to run the unit. 

Dropping dead cap money will be a big help for Washington this offseason. Last year, the Redskins had more than $16 million in dead money on their books. In 2017, that figure drops just below $7 million, with a $4.5 million chunk removed after finishing Jason Hatcher's 2016 contract. 

It's also worth pointing out that defensive spending is not an automatic entry in the playoffs. The Falcons took the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs and hardly outspent the Redskins. That said, of the seven clubs that spent the most on defense, four made the playoffs.

The Redskins should have well north of $60 million under the salary cap available to spend this offseason. A good portion of that will be used up if the team agrees to a new deal with Kirk Cousins. A long-term deal would spread the cash out over the years of the contract, though if Cousins signs another franchise tag, that's an instant $24 million gone from the possible cap spending. 

Even with a Cousins deal, Washington will have money to spend.

The team cannot only look to shore up its defense, but it must be the offseason priority.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Ed. Note: Salary Cap data provided by Spotrac.com.

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Trent Williams rumor emerges from Cleveland but Redskins sources say nothing imminent

Trent Williams rumor emerges from Cleveland but Redskins sources say nothing imminent

A report emerged that Washington left tackle Trent Williams could land on the Browns roster in the coming days, but sources close to the Redskins front office told NBC Sports Washington that no move was imminent, though a trade with Cleveland was not ruled out.

Williams has not reported to the Redskins this year, holding out for both contract issues and personal issues. At least three teams contacted the Redskins about a possible Williams trade during training camp, sources told NBC Sports Washington, but the team did not engage in trade talks then.

Many with the Washington organization believed Williams would show up once regular season games started. He didn’t and based on his Instagram feed doesn’t appear to be anywhere close to coming back to the Redskins.

At 1-5, it makes total sense for Washington to move on from Williams. The team should get as much as they possibly can rather than continue with the sideshow of his holdout.

Redskins President Bruce Allen has said repeatedly he doesn’t plan on trading Williams, but things can always change. After a coaching change last week, perhaps the organization has changed its stance, too.

The deadline to complete trades in the NFL comes at 4 p.m. on October 29th. Sometime between now and then it seems possible Williams might be on a new team.

There was chatter, however, that other teams were scared off about Williams wanting a new contract. His current deal has two years remaining at more than $12 million per season, though barely any of that cash is guaranteed.

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Fantasy Football TE Rankings 2019: Week 7

Fantasy Football TE Rankings 2019: Week 7

Week 6 is in the books and rosters are beginning to take shape. Here are the top tight ends for Week 7.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 7
Running Back Rankings: Week 7
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 7
Tight End Rankings: Week 7

TIER 1: Best of the best

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs  
Opponent: at Broncos
2019 Stats: 32 Receptions, 497 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 87.7 PTS, 2019 TE3
Previous Ranking: 1   

2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers  
Opponent: at Redskins
2019 Stats: 31 Receptions, 338 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 72.6 PTS, 2019 TE8
Previous Ranking: 8

TIER 2: High-end TE1's3.  

3. Evan Engram, New York Giants  
Opponent: vs. Cardinals
2019 Stats: 33 Receptions, 373 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 82.8 PTS, 2019 TE4 
Previous Ranking: 3    

4. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons  
Opponent: vs. Rams
2019 Stats: 42 Receptions, 480 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 110 PTS, 2019 TE1
Previous Ranking: 6  

5. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles  
Opponent: at Cowboys 
2019 Stats: 33 Receptions, 373 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 82.8 PTS, 2019 TE5
Previous Ranking: 2  

6. Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders
Opponent: at Packers 
2019 Stats: 37 Receptions, 359 Receiving YDS, 73.6 PTS, 2019 TE7
Previous Ranking: Bye

7. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers  
Opponent: at Titans
2019 Stats: 12 Receptions, 160 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 2019 TE19
Previous Ranking: 9  

8. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens  
Opponent: at Seahawks
2019 Stats: 34 Receptions, 410 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 91 PTS, 2019 TE2
Previous Ranking: 4  

TIER 4: Low-end TE1's  

9. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans  
Opponent: vs. Chargers 
2019 Stats: 21 Receptions, 215 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 54.5 PTS, 2019 TE11
Previous Ranking: 10

10. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts 
Opponent: vs. Texans
2019 Stats: 14 Receptions, 128 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 32.8 PTS, 2019 TE25 
Previous Ranking: Bye

11. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
Opponent: vs. Dolphins
Previous Ranking: Bye

12. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints  
Opponent: at Bears
Previous Ranking: 12  

TIER 5: High-end TE2s  

13. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys  
Opponent: vs. Eagles  
Previous Ranking: 13  

14. Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams  
Opponent: at Falcons
Previous Ranking: 14  

15. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions  
Opponent: vs. Vikings
Previous Ranking: 15  

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 7
Running Back Rankings: Week 7
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 7
Tight End Rankings: Week 7