Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 26, 34 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.
—NFL free agency starts 42
—NFL Draft 91
—First Sunday of 2017 season 227
Thoughts on a busy offseason unfolding for the Redskins
—My eyebrows were raised a bit after I saw that Jay Gruden said that one of the things that Greg Manusky would bring to the table is that he would get the players “to play a little harder.” The implication, of course, is that they didn’t play at 100% for Joe Barry last year and if that is the case why didn’t Gruden step in and do something about it? I think it also could also cold have meant the players couldn’t play hard because they were unsure due to communications problems, another area Manusky is charged with fixing. Still, it was an odd comment.
Related: NFL mock draft ver. 2.0
—With ex-quarterbacks as both the play caller and the offensive coordinator, is there any hope of the Redskins making the running game more of a part of the offense? The Redskins were good at running the ball last year when they did it. They were ninth in the NFL with 4.5 yards per attempt and their rushing DVOA via Football Outsiders was 5.0%, fourth best in the league. But they ran the ball only 379 times, 27th in the league so they ended up ranked 21st in rushing yards (1,696).
—I’m starting to plan some posts about free agency. Since Scot McCloughan’s arrival I’ve focused on the bargain bin of available players, younger guys who are likely to come with a modest contract. But after the April signing of Josh Norman to a big-money deal, I have to think that just about any player could be in the Redskins’ sights. They can’t do many more deals that average $15 million a year like Norman’s does but it also seems clear that McCloughan is not going to follow directly in the footsteps of Ted Thompson, his mentor who famously (or, to some Packers fans, notoriously) eschews free agency almost entirely. The bottom line is that the universe of potential Redskins is larger than it used to be.
More Redskins: 5 salary cap bargains in 2017
—The Redskins will spend some of their $62 million in cap space retain some of their own players. One of their free agents is wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Most have him headed out of town and I tend to agree. However, one widely respected salary cap guru, Jason Fitzgerald of www.OverTheCap.com, suggested over the weekend that Jackson will end up signing for three years for around $8 million per year. I have been thinking that it would take an additional year and $1-$2 million more per year to get him to stay. At that price, the Redskins would have to seriously consider keeping him around, with or without fellow free agent Pierre Garçon.
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In case you missed it
- NFC East draft needs by team
- Alabama, Michigan and LSU players stand out at Senior Bowl
- Jay Gruden 'fired up' to take back over Redskins play calling
- Cousins would "love" to stay but says it's not up to him
- Kirk is the Redskins' quarterback but for how long?
- The Final Countdown: DeSean goes deep for the Redskins 4th best play
- NTK: Five Redskins who are salary cap bargains in 2017