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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins injury woes were league-wide issue in 2019

Redskins injury woes were league-wide issue in 2019

Injuries are a part of the game. In something as physically demanding and grueling as football, they are bound to happen. 

But for the Redskins, injuries have seemed like more of a definite than a possibility in recent seasons, and 2019 was no different. However, when looking at the trend from a league-wide perspective, they were not alone.

According to a report by the Associated Press, NFL teams lost over $500 million to either Week 1 starters who were injured or players who ended the season on injured reserve during the 2019 season.

Washington certainly contributed to that number, as the 3-13 season was filled with injuries. From the beginning to the end, the Redskins consistently had players end up on IR. By the end, the likes of Jordan Reed, Derrius Guice, Brandon Scherff and a plethora of others were all on the sideline come gameday.

The Redskins also fit the mold when it came to which type of players were suffering the most injuries. Associated Press reported that wide receivers were the most injured group in 2019, with cornerbacks and safeties coming right behind. Looking at Washington, the IR was littered with those skill position players. 

Paul Richardson Jr. and Trey Quinn were unable to stay healthy, leaving the Redskins with a thin receiving corps. As for the secondary, Quinton Dunbar, Jimmy Moreland, Deshazor Everett, Danny Johnson, Fabian Moreau and Montae Nicholson all finished the season not suiting up. By the final few weeks, Washington was pulling players off the street and inserting them into the game.

Yet, while the Redskins' list of injuries goes on and on, they were not alone. Per the report, the New York Jets racked up the most players on IR with 21, while the Philadelphia Eagles had the most money going toward players that were not active on the field.

There's no denying that the Redskins dealt with a large number of injuries in 2019, but it looks as if they were not unique. With a new training staff coming in for 2020, Washington will look to become an outlier on the injury trend rather than a big contributor.

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DeMaurice Smith: 2-year strike may be necessary leverage for NFLPA in CBA negotiations

DeMaurice Smith: 2-year strike may be necessary leverage for NFLPA in CBA negotiations

Super Bowl week includes a host of fanfare and festivities before Sunday's game. On Tuesday, Super Bowl week included discussions about the league's immediate future when NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith spoke at a rally in downtown Miami. 

Smith, who is currently engaged in negotiations with the NFL on the next collective bargaining agreement ahead of the current deal's expiration in March 2021, said Tuesday if players want to receive everything they're seeking, a two-year strike may be necessary. 

"People need to understand that it's really easy to call for a work stoppage; it's really hard to win one," Smith said at the rally. "So that's why I started notifying players four years ago about saving their checks, making changes to their debt structure, and the reality is that if we want to hold out and get everything we want, that's probably going to mean a two-year strike."

In the next CBA, the NFL and its owners are seeking the ability to expand the regular season to 17 games during the deal, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN. The option to expand playoffs is also being considered, and the league would shorten the preseason slate if the regular-season schedule receives an increase. Another obstacle in negotiations is what the appropriate increase in revenue share for the players — which is currently a 47% minimum — is to agree to a longer season. 

Over the course of an NFL season, Smith visits all 32 teams to give an overview of collective bargaining and what the players can do for leverage. Smith negotiated the current collective bargaining agreement, a 10-year deal agreed to in 2011, and he knows that there could be some concessions made throughout negotiations.

"Any collective bargaining deal is going to be a package of things," Smith said. "Is it going to be an agreement where you get 100% of everything you want? Probably not, and one of the reasons that we're in a position of bargaining right now is because the league didn't get everything they wanted in 2011."

Owners engaged discussions with the players early in 2019, hoping to reach an agreement on a new deal well ahead of the expiration of the current deal, according to Graziano's report. Several components of the new deal have already been agreed upon, including the league's drug and discipline policy and training camp rules, which would limit contact and duration of practices.

The leading issue still to be resolved is the aforementioned regular-season duration. San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders — who played all 17 games in 2019 after a mid-season trade — recently spoke out against a 17-game season. With that key decision looming over the negotiations, Graziano said any optimism that a new deal can be agreed to this offseason has faded. 

Ultimately, the decision is up to the players, as Smith reiterated Tuesday. Players will have the chance to vote on any deal he and his committee formulate.

Smith will meet Thursday with player representatives from 30 of 32 teams — excluding the two Super Bowl teams as they prepare for Sunday's game — to discuss options going forward with no official vote expected, according to Graziano. The NFL hasn't had a strike since 1987, but in the coming months, the players could decide that it's the best course of action to take. 

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