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Morris determined not to let his contract status distract him

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Morris determined not to let his contract status distract him

Scot McCloughan and the Redskins organization will have a number of important free agent decisions to make in 2016. They will have 15 unrestricted free agents to deal with including seven players who are projected to be starters this season.

The organization has placed a priority on locking up left tackle Trent Williams and linebacker Ryan Kerrigan before they hit free agency. However, one key performer whose contract is set to expire after this year likely will have to wait until next spring to see what the team will offer him. And Alfred Morris insists that it doesn’t bother him one bit.

“I could care less, honestly,” the fourth-year running back said during minicamp. “I approach every year the same. I’m a running back so I’ll be running the ball, blocking, catching it. I don’t even think about next year.”

He’s well aware that his contract status will be a topic of discussion.

“I know I’ll get that question a lot and I kind of dread it this year but it is what it is,” he said. I’m keeping things like I did them my first, second, third years. That’s the same way I approach this fourth year.”

Only Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks has gained more yards since Morris came into the league than the 3,962 that the sixth-round pick has posted. In fact, only 12 other backs in league history have gained more in their first three years in the league than Morris has.

But the Redskins appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach. That is the prudent course, considering that both Morris’ total rushing yards and his average per carry have dropped each year since his sensational 1,613-yard performance as a rookie.

The value the organization places on Morris is likely to be determined by the direction his numbers take this season. If he gets his rushing total back up into the 1,300-yard range or better he could draw a solid offer. If his output slips below 1,000 yards they could decide to move on. Perhaps if his production shows a modest improvement they could decide to let Morris walk and go with Matt Jones, this year’s third-down pick.

Either way, it’s smart of Morris to let things play out and not worry about it. Not that other sports are necessarily comparable but Nationals fans have seen the play of shortstop Ian Desmond decline in his contract year, perhaps because he’s pressing. Morris just needs to do what he does and let business end take care of itself. 

MORE REDSKINS: A LOOK AT THE SKINS SAFETY CORP

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Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

Derrius Guice continues to ingratiate himself with Redskins fans with new fundraising effort

For most college players, being a part of the NFL Draft experience is a dream come true, but for Derrius Guice, it was becoming a nightmare. Originally projected as a first round pick, Guice saw his name falling fast on draft boards due to questions raised about his maturity and high-maintenance personality.

Two months removed from the Redskins selecting him 59th overall, Guice has erased any doubt regarding his character. Whether it be taking fans out to the movies, shooting the breeze while signing autographs, or even the occasional leap frog over two practice barrels and a trainer, Guice has ingrained himself as a Redskins fan favorite. He's done a great job at making himself popular, now he's focused on making change for others. 

On June 20th, a day before his birthday, Guice announced he would be running a fundraiser for the Mary Bird Perkins center, a cancer foundation in his hometown of Baton Rouge. Inspired by his best friend's mother who "rang that bell,"—an indication that a patient has beaten cancer—Guice wants to help others do the same. 

Guice has utilized his newfound popularity to entice other peope to donate. If you donate $5, you can play him in Fortnite. For $50, you guys can go bowling together. Anyone willing to donate $100 or more will be entered in a raffle for tickets to the Redskins Monday Night Football game against the Saints. 

If Guice can match his off the field popularity with on the field production, he'll be in contention for Rookie of the Year. Anyone interested in donating can click here

 

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Need to Know: Five Redskins on the bubble who could make the roster

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Need to Know: Five Redskins on the bubble who could make the roster

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 21, 35 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The first five off of the roster

Here are five players who are not on my projection of the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offensedefense) but who are one injury or a few strong preseason game performances away from making it. 

G Kyle Kalis—Last year he lined up with the second team during most of training camp and he nearly made the roster as an undrafted free agent. The team did re-sign him after injuries struck the O-line in the middle of the season. He will push Tyler Catalina for a backup guard spot. 

RB Byron Marshall—He got a few touches last year before ending up on injured reserve. Marshall has looked good in practices so far, especially catching out of the backfield. Jay Gruden likely will play Chris Thompson sparingly in the preseason and that could give Marshall a chance to shine. Don’t sleep on him. 

WR Cam Sims—Right now, the undrafted rookie out of Alabama looks like the eighth wide receiver on the roster and they are only going to keep six. But if he continues to get the attention of Gruden with his play in practice and makes the most of his opportunities in preseason games, Robert Davis and Maurice Harris should look out. 

S Fish Smithson—The Redskins liked him a lot after they signed him as an undrafted free agent last year. But they didn’t like him enough to keep him on the 53-man roster; he spent the year on the practice squad, getting a late-season cup of coffee on the roster. He will push both Deshazor Everett and Troy Apke for a backup safety spot. If the Redskins have reason to be concerned about the health of Montae Nicholson they might figure out a way to keep Smithson on as a fifth safety. 

ILB Martrell Spaight—It looks like Spaight’s three-year tenure with the team essentially came to an end when they drafted Sean Dion Hamilton in the fifth round. But his play in offseason practices indicates he’s not going to go out without a fight. 

Next five off: OT T.J. Clemmings, QB Kevin Hogan, RB Kapri Bibbs, NT Phil Taylor, CB Danny Johnson

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline 

Redskins running back Derrius Guice was born on this date in 1997. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 35
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 49
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 72

The Redskins last played a game 172 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 80 days. 

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