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Need to Know: McCloughan's 5 worst Redskins acquisitions

Need to Know: McCloughan's 5 worst Redskins acquisitions

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 3, 34 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

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Timeline

Days until:

NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 26
—NFL Draft (4/27) 83
First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 219

McCloughan’s five worst acquisitions

Last week I took a look at Scot McCloughan’s best five player acquisitions. This morning we take a look at the other side of the coin. Here are his worst acquisitions, all of them free agent signings. They are in order from “bad” to “absolute worst”.

5. S Jeron Johnson—This was a McCloughan guy from the Seahawks. He wasn’t very expensive as he signed a 2-year, $4 million contract. But he was not at all a solution to the Redskins’ perpetual safety woes. He was behind Duke Ihenacho during the offseason and training camp. The telling moment came when Ihenacho went out with an injury early in the season opener and Trenton Robinson, not Johnson, went into the lineup. Johnson was released last spring.  

4. DL Kendall Reyes—Reyes looked like he was in decline for a couple of years, with his sack total with the Chargers going from a total of 10.5 in his first two seasons to a combined three in his last two. But that didn’t stop McCloughan from bringing him on board with a one-year, $2.5 million contract with a $1 million signing bonus. Reyes was on the roster Week 1 so his money was fully guaranteed. The Redskins cut him after he played in just two games but they were on the hook for the entire contract.

3. S David Bruton—McCloughan saw him as a starter after he spent most of his career with the Broncos as a reserve. They gave him a three-year, $9 million contract and immediately inserted him with the first string and he stayed there. He struggled in four games before a concussion landed him on injured reserve. Bruton was later waived off of injured reserve, a move that cost the Redskins $1.75 million in dead cap space this year.

2. DL Stephen Paea—The former Bear got a $5 million signing bonus and a guaranteed salary of $2.85 million in 2015. He played in 11 games, got 1.5 sacks and made 11 tackles. In Week 13 he was put on injured reserve despite the absence of any apparent injury. The company line during the offseason is that Paea needed a year to adjust to the new defense but apparently he never did as he was cut before the season started. The Redskins will eat a $2.5 million dead cap charge this year to account for the rest of his signing bonus.

1. CB Chris Culliver—Culliver cost the Redskins $8 million for six games in 2015. I’ll do the math for you, that’s $1.3 million per game or about $22,200 for each of the 360 snaps he took. Fortunately, a one-game suspension for violating the personal contact policy voided some guaranteed money in his deal. If not, the Redskins would either have been forced to keep Culliver on the roster in 2016 or take an additional $8 million dead cap hit.

Although some of McCloughan’s draft picks look questionable it’s too early to put any of them in the “worst” category at this point.

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Terry McLaurin was not surprised a hobbled Dwayne Haskins stayed in vs. Green Bay

Terry McLaurin was not surprised a hobbled Dwayne Haskins stayed in vs. Green Bay

Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins played much of the Redskins Week 14 loss to the Green Bay Packers with a sprained ankle.

The rookie had a very noticeable limp and struggled to put weight on his bad leg. Haskins was clearly not at full health. Backup quarterback Case Keenum was seen warming up multiple times on the sideline, but never entered the game.

In the team's postgame press conference, interim head coach Bill Callahan said he never considered pulling Haskins from the game. Rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who was teammates with Haskins at Ohio State and has known the quarterback for a while, never thought that Haskins would exit the game, either.

"I know Dwayne. I've known him for a while now," McLaurin told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay. "He's a tough guy, and I feel like he gives us a good chance to win games. I knew if he was out there, he was going to be good to go. He was hobbled a little bit, but he wasn't going to use that as an excuse at all. It was cool to see him fight through it. We just hope that he can get healthy for next week."

McLaurin was then asked whether he thought Haskins should have been pulled. The wideout commended his quarterback for his toughness, and believes that will go a long way in terms of earning respect from his teammates.

"I mean, I'm not a doctor, so I feel like if you feel like you can play, then you try to play. Only that person knows how bad it is," McLaurin said. "He's a tough guy. He's a guy trying to earn the respect of this team. He's a quarterback, he's young. I feel like stuff like that really puts you in a step forward to get some respect. He was noticeably hurt and he fought for us."

Haskins finished 16-for-27 for 171 yards. He connected on an incredible late touchdown pass with McLaurin to pull the Redskins within five with just over a minute remaining in the game. On the two-point conversion try, Haskins put his body on the line, diving for the goal line headfirst. He didn't convert.

The Packers recovered the Redskins ensuing onside kick attempt, the Burgundy and Gold's final hope at pulling off the upset. 

The Redskins offensive line did not help out a hobbled Haskins much either. The rookie was sacked four times in the loss and hit the turf on numerous other occasions.

Although the Redskins weren't able to pull off the upset, Haskins showed poise and toughness by fighting through a noticeable injury and giving the Redskins everything he had.

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The Redskins’ far-fetched playoff dreams were officially dashed after losing to the Packers

The Redskins’ far-fetched playoff dreams were officially dashed after losing to the Packers

The Redskins entered Lambeau Field in Week 14 with a 3-9 record, but because the NFC East has been such a mess this year, they still had very slim playoff hopes. 

Thanks to their 20-15 loss against the Packers, however, those slim hopes are now nonexistent. Washington will not play in the postseason for the fourth straight campaign. 

The Burgundy and Gold would’ve had to finish by winning their final four contests and also would’ve needed major help from the Cowboys to the Eagles in order to sneak into the playoffs. That scoreboard watching isn’t necessary anymore, of course. 

“It’s tough being eliminated,” Terry McLaurin said in the visitor's locker room. “Our division is so open.”

Now, the team will use the next three weeks to further look at Dwayne Haskins’ growth as well as the development of other young pieces on both sides of the ball. Then, when those games wrap up, they’ll need to find a new head coach for 2020 and consider other possible changes within the franchise as well. 

When this season began back in July at training camp, there was some thought that the Redskins could compete behind a potentially improved defense and a run-centric offense. Those things didn’t emerge, though, and now, the organization will again be irrelevant on the field when January comes around.

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