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And the winner is -- The most engaging Redskins stories of 2016

And the winner is -- The most engaging Redskins stories of 2016

2016 was a strong year for the Redskins, an NFC East title in January and the team playing for a Wild Card spot in December. What 'Skins stories stood out most? 

Before any readers get mad about the frequency of Robert Griffin III appearances, remember, these are the stories you clicked on, commented on, and shared via social media. Point that finger at yourself, or at least your buddy who always clicks on dumb stuff. 

Lastly, since just presenting a list of old stories is kinda tired, the top posts of 2016 will be presented like an award's show. Drumroll please....

  • Hottest take by former Cowboy about Redskins player Award- "Michael Irvin has harsh words for Dez Bryant, Josh Norman" - What a flaming amount of nothing this story proved to be. Bryant and Norman got into a bit of a brouhaha leaving the field after the Redskins loss to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, and things escalated from there. Reports initially showed Norman claimed Byrant made a violent comment, but the Redskins star corner later walked that back. Some of these things can be fun or funny upon reflection; this wasn't one of them. 
  • Fans prove they care about the games Award - "Every scenario in which the Redskins can make the playoffs" - Since the Redskins playoff future began to swing up and down the second half of the season, the CSN desk and NFL tiebreaker expert Joe Ferreira started to provide weekly updates based on the ever-evolving playoff scenario. With only the Giants left on the schedule, the 'Skins playoff scenario is almost clear: Win and in (except for a tie in Green Bay/Detroit).
  • 'Oh no, he didn't actually do that' Award - "RG3 fires back at Redskins legend Darrell Green" - Here comes the run on RG3 stories. This one lit up the internet as it showed Griffin throwing verbal jabs at arguably the greatest 'Skins player of all time and fan favorite Green. This episode came after Griffin's divorce, which brings us to...
  • This is just sad Award - "RG3 files for divorce three years after Redskins fans bought him wedding gifts" - Griffin got divorced. This is just sad. 
  • Finally, something very funny Award - "Odell Beckham fights kicking net, loses" - This was hysterical. As the Redskins and Giants battled on the field in Week 3, a game Washington would go on to win and launch a four-game win streak, Beckham battled a kicking net off the field. 
  • The Aaron Rodgers is kinda right, but also kinda mean Award - "Aaron Rodgers unimpressed by Redskins interview room" - This came moments after the Redskins home loss to the Packers in the Wild Card round of the 2016 playoffs, when Rodgers addressed the media gathered in the visiting team media room. For the record, the visiting media room at FedEx Field is not much to look at, a cement block square room with no windows, a short platform and a microphone. Rodgers joked upon entering, "Man, this is classy here." On a funny scale of 1 to Dumb & Dumber, the QB did pretty good, but it wasn't really a needed shot at the facility. 
  • The NFL schedule makers really did the Redskins wrong Award - "Richard Sherman is right and the Redskins are a prime example" - Sherman went on a tirade against Thursday Night Football and the NFL schedule makers, and he was right, but few teams have ever been dealt as tough of a schedule as the 2016 Redskins. Two short weeks in the second half of the schedule came after a trip to London. The Sunday night Packer game into Thanksgiving afternoon game against Dallas will likely never be repeated.
  • Uh-oh this same thing might happen again Award  - "Former agent says issue with Redskins and Kirk Cousins isn't money" - Much of 2016 was spent trying to figure out if the Skins could get a long-term contract worked out with their quarterback. They couldn't. Surprise! The same conversations will be going on this year, and while the issue is always money, with this situation, guaranteed cash and opt-outs will be dominating negotiations.
  • The Brick Tamland Memorial 'Loud Noises' Award - "Redskins players, coaches react to 'disrespectful' Stephen A. Smith" - Smith is paid to yell about petty things, and he sure did his job well when some Redskins players celebrated a Week 6 win over the Eagles. Smith called the 'Skins out as losers, despite a four-game win streak, and generally torched the franchise. Jay Gruden and some players eventually responded to the outlandish comments. The best part of this, Washington is in line for a second-straight winning season, and possibly a second-straight playoff spot, proving Smith's premise quite wrong.
  •  The Brick Tamland Memorial 'Loud Noises' Award Vol. 2 - "Pierre Garçon shuts down Skip Bayless during Packers-Cardinals" - If Stephen A. is paid to yell about petty things, Skip is paid to scream about petty things. Both are good at their job, and both can be quite grating to others. Including Pierre Garçon. While the world watched a riveting Packers-Cardinals playoff game last January, Bayless tweeted out some coaching advice. Garçon disagreed.

There we go - 10 awards for 10 top engaging stories. These are not neccesarily the top grossing traffic stories of the year, but they all ranked very high in the CSN Redskins zeitgeist for 2016. There was no independent accounting service involved, I just picked stuff I found interesting. Hope you enjoyed it. Happy New Year.  

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

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USA Today Sports Images

Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

Vernon Davis has long been a fan favorite in the D.C. area since his University of Maryland days. The 34-year-old is almost always well-dressed and respectful to the media. 

More recently, he has been outspoken about his interest in acting after his football career. A true renaissance man who just so happens to be a force in the National Football League. 

In April, NBC Sports Washington ran into Davis at the Team USA Awards where he was serving as guest speaker. 

He took his smooth nature to a whole new level Tuesday while vacationing in Ocean City, Md. with his girlfriend Kayla. 

Dressed in all white on the beach, Davis proposed in an epic way. 

The best motivation I ever had. #shesmyrock

A post shared by Vernon Davis (@vernondavis85) on

Check out the whole video produced below. We won't spoil it for you, but there were skydivers involved. Take a look: 

Davis will suit up for his third season with the Redskins when training camp opens July 26 in Richmond. 

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

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.

Inside linebackers

Additions: Shaun Dion Hamilton (drafted in the fifth round)

Departures: Will Compton (free agent)

Starters: Zach Brown, Mason Foster

Other roster locks: Josh Harvey-Clemons

On the bubble: Hamilton, Zach Vigil, Martrell Spaight

How the inside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: This is a difficult comparison to make since only about half of the teams use the 3-4 with two inside linebackers and there are many variations when they go out of their base defense. Brown certainly is in the upper tier of players at his position. Foster’s skill set may not be coveted by many teams around the league, but he is a perfect fit in the Redskins’ defense in many ways. The player who could differentiate this group from others around the league is Harvey-Clemons. If he turns into a top-notch nickel LB the inside linebackers will be a great asset. 

To the 2017 Redskins:  This is about health. In 2017, Foster missed 11 games, Brown was hampered by a variety of injuries before sitting out the last three games. Compton was the top backup to both players and he went to injured reserve after just three starts. They did re-sign Vigil, who had spent training camp with the team, and he played pretty well near the end of the season. If the front-line players can stay on the field for most of the season this should be a much better group than the one that was partially responsible for the league’s 32nd-ranked rushing defense. 

2018 Inside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: The 2017 season was supposed to be a redshirt year for Harvey-Clemons as he transitions from college safety to NFL linebacker. He played a lot in the base defense during the offseason practices and that indicates that they are considering him for a bigger role beyond just playing nickel. You have to wonder how his size (6-4, 230) will affect his ability to get off of blocks. 

Most to prove: Spaight was a fifth-round pick in 2015 and he has yet to establish a regular role in the defense. It was telling that when they needed someone to start in the latter part of last year they brought back and started Vigil and mostly kept Spaight is going into the last year of his contract, but it would not be surprising to see Vigil beat him out for the last roster spot.  

Rookie watch: The Redskins traded up in the sixth round to get Hamilton. It wasn’t a blockbuster deal but the fact that they thought enough of him to move up says something. Gruden has said that he thinks Hamilton could be a starter at some point. He was one of the leaders on a strong Alabama defense before injuries struck. Hamilton is not going to start this year barring multiple injuries, but he should develop a role as the season goes on and be ready to compete in 2019.

Bottom line: The Redskins have not invested much in terms of free agent dollars or draft capital in the inside linebacker position in recent seasons. That changed somewhat this offseason as they made sure to spend to retain Brown and Foster. Neither commanded a huge contract but they did make a commitment and that is important. Last year Brown gave the defense a sideline-to-sideline dimension it hasn’t had in quite some time and retaining him was critical. Inside linebacker may not be a major strength for the defense this year but it should be able to get the job done. 

2018 Redskins position outlook series