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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are salary cap bargains in 2017

Need to Know: Five Redskins who are salary cap bargains in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 25, 35 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:

NFL free agency starts 43
—NFL Draft 92
First Sunday of 2017 season 228

Five players who will be salary cap bargains in 2017

RB Rob Kelley, cap number $540,000—Whether he starts or if he is the first back off the bench he is a good value player. Since he was an undrafted free agent there is no signing bonus money to add to his second-year minimum salary. Kelley’s contract calls for him to make the minimum salary of $630,000 next year and then he will be a restricted free agent.

WR Jamison Crowder, $751,406—He is as productive as some receivers making five to 10 times what he is. Crowder is under contract for two more years with similar cap hits but the team can redo his contract after the 2017 season. They would be wise to do so.

C Spencer Long, $853,450—The Redskins got some quality play at center from him in 2016 and there is no reason to think that he can’t continue that for the next several years. Long is now eligible for an extension and the smart move would be to lock him up with a new deal and remove him from the “cap bargain” category.

S Su’a Cravens, $1 million—Cravens is in the second year of his rookie contract. We don’t know how he will do at safety but if he can solve half of the Redskins’ longstanding problems at the position his contract will be a great deal for the team.

TE Jordan Reed, $5.8 million—Reed will have the 12th-highest cap hit among tight ends and that is before free agency likely places a few additional players in front of him on that list. He is behind Dwayne Allen and Julius Thomas in terms of dollars and he had more receptions for more yards last year than the two of them combined in 2016. The Redskins need to enjoy the savings while they can; next year his number goes up to $10.3 million.

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Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins reacts to winning Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year

Redskins rookie Dwayne Haskins reacts to winning Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year

Ohio State named former quarterback Dwayne Haskins the 2019 Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, a few months after the Washington Redskins drafted Haskins in the first round. 

Washington drafted Haskins 15th overall in the 2019 MLB Draft, after Haskins threw 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns with Ohio State in the 2018 season, the first season he started for the Buckeyes.

Haskins also set 28 Ohio State and seven Big Ten records in his junior year with the Buckeyes, after which he was awarded the Big Ten Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year and the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award. 

Now Haskins vies for a spot as the Redskins' starting quarterback, after attending both Washington's voluntary organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. The rookie is one of three players––including Case Keenum and Colt McCoy, who is working back from injury––fighting for that spot in the starting lineup, as Washington prepares for the preseason.  

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There's reason for excitement about Trey Quinn, and the numbers back it up

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USA Today Sports Images

There's reason for excitement about Trey Quinn, and the numbers back it up

No Redskins receiver caught more than 45 passes last season, and the team lost their steadiest wideout of the last two years when Jamison Crowder signed with the Jets in free agency. 

Even with that, the Redskins coaching staff remains bullish on the team's pass catchers for this season, and second-year pro Trey Quinn is a big reason why.

Last season as a seventh-round rookie, Quinn made the team after showing great hands and a consistent ability to get separation from defenders. Listed at 6-foot and 200 pounds, Quinn is a natural slot receiver in the NFL, but last year, that role very clearly belonged to Crowder. 

With Crowder gone, that role has changed.

"Trey Quinn has taken over the inside slot role," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said during minicamp. 
"He’s confident, he’s quick, he’s got strong hands, he’s physical, [and] he’s tough," 

The toughness will be key, as Quinn twice landed on the injured reserve list in his rookie season. He played in just three games last year but made an impact when he was on the field, grabbing nine catches and scoring a touchdown in Dallas. 

Looking at Crowder's production over the last four seasons, Quinn will get lots of opportunities.

In four seasons with the Redskins, Crowder played in 56 games and averaged 5.8 targets per game. He averaged about 12 yards-per-catch in Washington, and was good for 60+ catches per season in his first three years with the 'Skins before injuries limited Crowder to just nine games in 2018. That's a lot of action for the slot role in Gruden's offense. 

Looking at the Redskins potential quarterbacks, Quinn would be an asset for any of them. Case Keenum's game definitely works well with skilled slot WRs - like Stefon Diggs in Minnesota two seasons ago. If rookie Dwayne Haskins gets the starting job, he could certainly use a consistent target in the middle of the field, and Quinn should serve that role. Should Colt McCoy take over as Redskins starter, he and Quinn actually found success on the field last season, particularly against the Cowboys. 

In fact, Keenum is already speaking highly of the former Mr. Irrelevant. 

"Trey Quinn is going to be really special," Keenum said during minicamp. 

Health is never a guarantee. Quinn struggled to stay on the field as a rookie, but when he was on the field, he did not struggle. Redskins receivers coach Ike Hilliard is typically a man of few words, but even he praised Quinn this offseason and considers him a breakout candidate for the 2019 season.


Summer is the time for optimism in the NFL. Nobody has fumbled, players are mostly healthy, and nothing has gone wrong. 

With Quinn, there is plenty of optimism. More importantly, based on Crowder's targets, there are reasons to buy the excitement around Quinn. 

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