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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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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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Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Is Adrian Peterson a good fit with the Redskins?

Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in NFL history.

But is he the best running back for the Redskins right now?

The Redskins signed Peterson, 33 years old and a 12-year NFL veteran, to a one-year contract. They have been hit with injuries at the running back position, most notably the loss of second-round pick Derrius Guice for the season with a torn ACL. They didn’t make any moves when that diagnosis was announced a week and a half ago. But they lost two more backs to short-term injuries last Thursday and they decided that now is the time to go out and get somebody.

Is the need for a running back really there? Rob Kelley was the starter for the last half of the 2016 season and for seven games last year before a variety of ailments sent him to injured reserve. Samaje Perine became the starter after that and while he struggled at time he also showed growth potential.

Kelley is 25 and Perine is 22. In the absence of Guice, they could develop and when Guice returns next year the team would have a good stable of young running backs.

But now, Peterson is in the picture. We don’t yet know what his role will be, but they did not sign him to be the back who is inactive on game days. He will get some carries and that will take work away from Perine and Kelley.

Now, if Peterson is more productive than either of the two younger backs then that is a worthwhile swap. But what does he have left in the tank at age 33?

Last year, playing for the Saints and Cardinals he gained 529 yards on 156 carries, a very pedestrian average of 3.4 years per carry. That is very similar to the production of Perine, who had 175 carries for 603 yards, a 3.4 average. In his two years in the NFL, Kelley has averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

By signing Peterson, however, the Redskins are hoping that Peterson has one more big year, or at least a medium year by his standards, left in him. After all, it was just in 2015 that he led the NFL in rushing for the third time in his career as he ran for 1,485 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. The Redskins would be delighted if he could get half of that total.

Any free agent signing can only be evaluated when the contract details are available. We only know that it’s a one-year deal and according to some reports he did not get any money guaranteed at signing. That seems to be a team friendly deal, but we will have to see what might kick in if he is on the Week 1 roster.

As with everything else, time will tell if this move works out. If the money is right, it’s a low risk transaction with some possible upside for Washington.

Back during minicamp while talking about how quickly Alex Smith would have to get up to speed with the offense, Jay Gruden said that the Redskins are not in a rebuilding mode and that they need to win now. After the trade for Smith, the Peterson signing is another indication that patience may be wearing thin.

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Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

Former MVP Adrian Peterson signing with Redskins amid mounting RB injuries

The Redskins agreed to terms with free agent running back Adrian Peterson, per multiple reports and confirmed by NBC Sports Washington.

Washington added Peterson as their running back group took a number of hits this preseason. Rookie Derrius Guice was lost for the year in the preseason opener, while Byron Marshall, Martez Carter and Samaje Perine got hurt in the second preseason game against the Jets.

Peterson is a huge name. He’s likely headed for the Hall of Fame when his career ends, and he’s one of only a handful of rushers to gain more than 2,000 yards in a season.

His best seasons came with the Vikings, but Peterson hasn’t delivered top flight results since 2015.

If he’s healthy and ready to go, Peterson could be a tremendous steal for the Redskins. There is no way to know until he suits up in the preseason, which could happen as soon as this Friday night against Denver.

On the roster, Washington has Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs and Chris Thompson available at running back. At his best, Peterson is significantly better than that group.

Will the Redskins get Peterson at his best?

That’s the big question. And with two preseason games remaining, he will get the chance to prove it.