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Need to Know: Redskins free agency notes—Chiefs S Berry unlikely to be available

Need to Know: Redskins free agency notes—Chiefs S Berry unlikely to be available

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 17, 20 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 12
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 59
—NFL Draft (4/27) 69
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 205

Free agency quick hitters

—Redskins fans who are getting pumped about dreams of seeing Chiefs safety Eric Berry in burgundy and gold should get ready to be disappointed. I heard Chiefs beat writer Terez Paylor on Sirius XM NFL radio yesterday. He said that both the owner and the GM of the team assured him that Berry will be back. Berry is the leader of the team on both sides of the ball and if they can’t come to a contract agreement they will use the franchise tag on him. Berry has said that he won’t play on the tag again (he was franchised last year, too) but the Chiefs will cross that bridge when the get to it. It seems certain that even if the Redskins may be willing to pay what Berry would command on the open market they won’t get a chance to bid.

More Redskins: Are they afraid of making the wrong choice with Cousins

—The Redskins may want to upgrade the running back position in free agency but there doesn’t appear to be a prime back who will be on the market. Le’Veon Bell is likely to be tagged and the quality drops off significantly after him. I know that ex-Cowboys aren’t necessarily popular among fans but Darren McFadden rushed for 1,089 yards with the Cowboys in 2015 and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Yeah, he did have that weird elbow injury he suffered while trying to catch his phone last year but if the Redskins are in the market for a veteran back he’s worth a look.

—As JP Finaly wrote here yesterday, former agent Andrew Brandt, talking on ESPN 980, said that he didn’t see the Redskins stepping up and giving him the kind of offer that it will take to sign Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal. It should be noted that Brandt was not reporting this from a source, just giving his read on the situation. You can’t rule out anything happening but there is nobody in the business who believes that a deal will get done by March 1.

Related: #RedskinsTalk podcast: The tag window is open

—Backup center John Sullivan is down on the list of free agents who get discussed much but he is one to keep an eye on. When the Redskins had to stick Josh LeRibeus into the lineup when Kory Lichtensteiger got hurt in 2015, Gruden said that he wanted to keep a true center around as a backup. With Lichtensteiger now retired the value of Sullivan to the Redskins went up several notches. He’s an eight-year veteran who turns 32 early in training camp. He may want to find a team that will have him penciled in as the starter rather than backing up Spencer Long. But if there are no such opportunities perhaps the Redskins will be able to persuade him to stay around.

Tandler on Facebook

Kirk Cousins round table - fire away with questions!

Posted by JP Finlay on Thursday, February 16, 2017

In case you missed it

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

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Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has agreed to become the new offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, according to a report from ESPN

He will join the staff of first-year head coach Joe Judge.

Garrett was recently let go after a 10-year unimpressive stint with the Dallas Cowboys. In that span, he only led the team to three playoff appearances and with that two playoff wins. 

The team under-performed in 2019 after starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations. Stumbling to an 8-8 record, It became clear that Garrett was the not the answer at head coach. Following the end of the regular season, the team decided to go in another direction replacing him with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

The Princeton alum led the Cowboys to an 85-67 overall record during his tenure in Dallas.

As a former backup QB for the Giants (2000-03) and Cowboys (1993-99), he has an extensive background in game-planning against the NFC East.

Judge was named head coach on Jan. 7 after spending eight seasons with the Patriots. He was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015, and also became the team's wide receiver coach in 2019.

Garrett and Judge will be tasked with developing a young roster with some intriguing options at their disposal, as well as the No. 4 overall pick in April's draft.

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DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman has drawn criticism because of his performance in D.C. during his 5-year, $75 million contract he signed in April 2016. Former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall came to Norman’s defense during a radio appearance with Craig Hoffman on 106.7 The Fan on Friday.

“He does compete, he’s a competitor. And if I have a football player on my roster who’s a competitor, who wants to be out there, who fights hard and plays hard, I’m [going to] find a way to put him in position to make plays,” Hall said. “I think we could’ve done a much, much better job of putting Josh in position to make plays.”

In November, then-interim head coach Bill Callahan benched Norman, and the 32-year-old cornerback played just 10 defensive snaps over the last six games of the season. Should Washington choose to cut ties with Norman this offseason before June 1, the team would save $12.5 million of cap space.

Hall, who interviewed for the Redskins’ defensive backs’ coaching position last January, said Norman wasn’t given the chance to be the leader of the defense. Hall said some of that was self-inflicted because of Norman’s habits and preparation, but a portion of that was because of schematics. 

“I always told those coaches ‘If you want Josh to be a leader — because Josh wants to be a leader — you’ve got to put him in a position to make plays, the same way Carolina put him in a position to make plays,” Hall said. 

The peak of Norman’s career came in 2015 under the direction of Washington’s newly hired head coach Ron Rivera. In that all-pro season, Norman recorded 56 tackles, 18 passes defended, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two touchdowns. 

Hall believes Norman still possesses that all-pro ability; it just needs to be tapped with the right defensive scheme. Hall compared the situation to Richard Sherman, who has revitalized his career in San Francisco after battling injuries. 

“It’s not because [Sherman] is the best lockdown man-to-man corner. It’s because they play Sherm in a system that he’s able to succeed and shine, and they put players around him so that he can make plays,” he said. “If we [would’ve] done the same thing to Josh Norman, he could’ve been an all-pro player here, too, just like he was in Carolina.”

Despite Hall’s belief in Norman’s ability, and the presumption that Rivera and new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will run a similar system to what Norman played in with the Panthers, the former Redskins defensive back doesn’t think the $15 million price tag is worth it for a franchise that has other holes to fill.

“I, as a fan, would love to have Josh back on this team, in this defense that I feel will be similar to Carolina,” Hall said. “But to me, it doesn’t make sense to bring Josh back for $15 million. It’s just a big pill to swallow when you can do a lot with that money on a team that needs a lot of help.”

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