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Here's why the Redskins shouldn't release Matt Jones

Here's why the Redskins shouldn't release Matt Jones

Matt Jones' agent wants the Redskins to release his client, as reported by Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press.

The request makes sense for Jones, as he's slid way down the Redskins running back depth chart after starting the 2016 season as the starter. 

The trouble for Jones, however, is that it makes very little sense for the Redskins to cut the third-year running back. And there are plenty of reasons:

  1. Going 90 – The NFL changed a rule this offseason that allows teams to keep 90 players on their roster until after the fourth and final preseason game. That means there will be no roster squeeze, no situation where the Redskins will need a roster spot. Even if the team plans to move on from Jones - which is fairly obvious - there is zero incentive to do so before September. 
  2. One play away – Jay Gruden joked last week that this time last year, Robert Kelley was the Redskins 9th-string running back. By November, he was the starter. Crazy things happen in the NFL, especially at the running back position, and the rise of Kelley is a prime example. Should the Redskins lose a few of their RBs to injury, Jones could certainly get back in the mix for playing time. 
  3. Trade value – It may seem like a long shot, but Jones could bring something back in a trade. Remember Donovan McNabb? Mike Shanahan refused to give the veteran QB his outright release, and eventually, the Redskins traded McNabb to Minnesota for a lowly sixth-round draft pick. That pick turned out to be Alfred Morris. Even if late-round picks can produce value. 
  4. He can be good – In 20 career games, Jones has gone over 100 yards three times. He's 6-foot-2, and if he can ever cure his fumbling problems, could be a strong NFL player. It's not smart to give up on potential for nothing. 

Right now, in June, Jones is buried on the Redskins depth chart. Kelley and Chris Thompson, Mack Brown and rookie Samaje Perine are in front of the former Gator. Things change in the NFL. It's understandable Jones wants out – he has produced enough to get a chance to contribute elsewhere - but he still has plenty of value to Washington. 

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins need plenty of work on two-minute offense

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Redskins are keeping Greg Manusky, and they swear it's not because the other guys said no

Redskins are keeping Greg Manusky, and they swear it's not because the other guys said no

In the weeks since the 2018 season ended, the Redskins have had various levels of contact with Todd Bowles, Steve Wilks and Gregg Williams.

All three men have extensive experience as defensive coordinators and all three men got new jobs already this offseason in that position. 

Now, after Bowles, Wilks and Williams picked up those new jobs, The Washington Post reported that the Redskins will keep Greg Manusky as defensive coorinator. He's already under contract. 

The meetings with all the other guys? A source told the Post that the Redskins wanted to get "different perspectives" on improving the defense for 2019.

Different perspectives. From the three hottest coordinator names on the coaching market. Sure. 

That said, Manusky is not the sole reason the Redskins fell apart in the second half of the 2018 season. In fact, he's probably not in the Top 5 reasons. 

The Washington defense improved in Manusky's second season as defensive coordinator and looked like a fierce unit in the first half of the year. The team made tremendous strides in rush defense and proved to be quite good at forcing turnovers.

Late in the season, verbal spats with safety DJ Swearinger might have undermined Manusky's status with the defense. But the team decided to release Swearinger, cementing the coach's authority. It also helped that emerging leader Jonathan Allen came out and vocally supported Manusky and his defensive schemes. 

At this point, the Redskins have no choice but to say the team was keeping Manusky all along.

If the organization was interested in other candidates at defensive coordinator, and it sure seemed like they were, those guys found other jobs. The marketplace isn't packed with other candidates with brighter resumes to replace Manusky, so the team is smart to bring back the incumbent. 

The process was awkward, regardless of what gets said now. Manusky is a professional, and has been coaching in the NFL for more than a decade. He understands how business gets done. 

Now, Manusky will be back, and there is good young talent on the Redskins defense, especially up front. 

The guess here is Manusky will say he always expected to be back and never stopped working on getting better for 2019. Now he gets the chance to show it. 


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You're going to love Chris Thompson's story about the time he first met Adrian Peterson

You're going to love Chris Thompson's story about the time he first met Adrian Peterson

Chris Thompson is an accomplished player in the NFL. Despite being a fifth round pick, Thompson has made it to a second contract, something more than half of the league never does. 

In six seasons with the Redskins, Thompson has nearly 2,500 yards from scrimmage and 15 touchdowns. At times, he's been among the best third down backs in the NFL. 

This is a long way of establishing that Chris Thompson is an accomplised football player. Redskins fans know that.

Adrian Peterson didn't. 

Not many people would share that story, so good for Thompson for doing it. Let's add that Peterson joined the Redskins after offseason workouts and training camp, the normal time for new players to get to know each other. Peterson signed up with the Redskins in the middle of August, well after the regular get-to-know-you period had closed. 

Still, that's a tough break for Thompson. 

Peterson is a legend in the NFL, one of the best running backs to ever play the game. When he joined the Redskins, a number of players watched him work in practice with the hint of awe in their eyes. He proved to be a great teammate and a strong presence in the locker room.

By the end of the year, Peterson was obviously a leader for the Redskins. Players looked up to him, even if he didn't know their name when the year started.