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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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New Giants QB Colt McCoy thinks both Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones have 'a ton of potential'

New Giants QB Colt McCoy thinks both Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones have 'a ton of potential'

Veteran quarterback Colt McCoy has spent over a decade in the NFL and been in the same room as some talented quarterbacks along the way. In 2019, McCoy had an up-close look at Redskins first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins, as the two -- along with Case Keenum -- competed for the starting job in training camp and spent the entire season in the same QB room.

After spending six years with the Redskins, McCoy signed a one-year deal in March to stay in the NFC East with the Giants. in New York, Jones will likely serve as the backup to Daniel Jones, another first-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft.

During his introductory media session with the Giants on Wednesday, McCoy was naturally asked about the Redskins second-year passer. The veteran used the opportunity to praise both Haskins and his new young quarterback teammate.

"I think Dwayne has a ton of potential, just like Daniel," McCoy said. "I think Daniel played a little bit more [last] year, so he probably has a little more experience. But both of those guys were highly sought after in the draft last year. They both had great college careers and they both have a ton of skill at playing the position."

Last season, the Giants won both matchups between the two squads. Haskins made his NFL debut in the Redskins Week 4 loss to New York, and looked uninspiring. Coming in for an injured Keenum, Haskins threw three interceptions, as New York won handily.

But when the two teams squared off in Week 16, Haskins was a different and much-improved quarterback. The Ohio State product completed 12 of his 15 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and was on his way to the best game of his young career before an ankle injury in the third quarter ended his afternoon, and then his season.

Jones also dazzled in that Week 16 matchup, a game that resulted in a Giants' 41-35 overtime win. The Giants passer turned in his best game as a pro, throwing for a career-high five touchdowns and 352 yards in the victory.

After spending a season working alongside Haskins, McCoy is looking forward to having the opportunity to work with another young quarterback in Jones.

"I know Dwayne is very talented throwing the football," he said. "I’m excited to work with Daniel after having worked with Dwayne last year. I know he has a bright future. His future is bright, his ceiling is high and he seems like a really great person."

Now with the Giants, McCoy is excited for the chance to face Washington, a place he called home for six seasons.

"I get to play against the Redskins for at least this year, and we’ll see what happens," he said. "It should be fun."

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Buffalo Bills GM believes the Redskins misused Josh Norman in their system

Buffalo Bills GM believes the Redskins misused Josh Norman in their system

When it comes to Josh Norman's largely disappointing stint with the Redskins, the blame pie for that stint has two dominant slices.

One of those slices belongs to Norman, obviously. His performance in Washington never matched the massive contract he signed in 2016, and by his last year with the team, he was essentially unplayable. 

He also was involved in lots of non-football activities — from Dancing with the Stars to appearing on pregame shows to jumping over bulls in Spain — and while NFL players absolutely deserve to live their lives the way they want, those things were easy to criticize as his on-field production waned.

However, the front office and coaches own a slice of the pie, too, and it's a hefty one. The Burgundy and Gold made Norman the highest-paid corner in the sport and then inexplicably put him in situations that didn't suit him over and over again. Instead of letting him use his instincts more in zone coverage, for instance, the Redskins left him in spots where his lack of speed was exposed. 

That idea that Norman was misused is something Bills GM Brandon Beane brought up on Thursday. Norman signed with Buffalo in March after Washington released him in February:

Some fans won't want to give Norman any excuse for what transpired during his tenure with the Redskins, but Beane definitely has a point. Even though Norman is much older now than he was when he landed in D.C., don't be surprised if he has a resurgence in 2020 as long as Beane and the Bills are true to their word and devise a better plan for him.

Now, the promising part for Redskins fans is that Ron Rivera has a reputation for getting the absolute most out of players, something that Kendall Fuller and many others have noted. So while Norman's talents were wasted to a certain extent in the past, those kinds of failures will hopefully be much more limited in the future.

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