Redskins

Quick Links

Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Need to Know: Redskins' Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky, McCloughan

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 24, 36 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:

NFL free agency starts 44
—NFL Draft 93
First Sunday of 2017 season 229

Gruden's fate rests on Manusky, McCloughan

In his press conference the day after the Redskins lost to the Giants to end their season, Jay Gruden talked about the decision-making process that would unfold if there were changes in the coaching staff.

“Ultimately I would think it is my call – our call,” he said. “Bruce [Allen] will have some input, Dan [Snyder] will have some input, Scot [McCloughan] will have some input, but from a staff standpoint, I like to think I have a lot of pull on that one.”

That doesn’t make it sound like he was completely free to replace the fired Joe Barry and new Rams head coach Sean McVay with whomever he chose. Others could make suggestions and have input and possibly veto power.

The decision to make Greg Manusky the defensive coordinator likely was influenced by and/or had the approval of, McCloughan. Manusky ran the defense in San Francisco when McCloughan was the GM there. McCloughan was instrumental in getting Manusky to come to the Redskins to coach the outside linebackers a year ago, after he was fired as the Colts’ defensive coordinator.

Related: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Greg Manusky

Having McCloughan’s approval for the hire provides Gruden with some degree of security. If it doesn’t work out, if the Redskins upgrade the talent on defense and still don’t get better results, the heat will be on McCloughan as well as Gruden.

Still, Gruden will be the one in the spotlight this season. When the annual media lists of coaches on the hot season in 2017 come out, Gruden is sure to be atop many of them. It’s simple math, really. In Gruden’s three seasons the team has gone 4-12, 9-7, and 8-7-1. A return to double-digit loss territory would be a regression and there would be legitimate concern over whether Gruden is the guy who can make progress and then maintain it and build on it.

Did Gruden get his first pick for the job? Probably not. It seems that Gus Bradley was the favorite, having built the aggressive Seattle defense and having ties with McCloughan from there and with Gruden and Allen from Tampa Bay. But he decided to head west and take over the Chargers’ defense, perhaps wondering about Gruden’s job security. If Bradley didn’t top the list, then Gruden’s top choice probably was Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. But he is under contract and the Bengals denied permission for him to talk about making a lateral move.

More Redskins: Redskins stay in house

Wade Phillips decided to go to the Rams, who have decidedly better defensive personnel than the Redskins, before he had a chance to meet with Washington. We’re not sure how seriously Gruden pursued Phillips but it’s possible that he would have taken him over Manusky if he had the chance. That means that Manusky was at best Plan C or Plan D.

But that’s water under the bridge. Gruden’s fate now lies in the hands of Manusky and in the hands of McCloughan, who must set out to get the new defensive coordinator a significant talent upgrade. If Gruden gets a better defense and can maintain a top offensive attack (given Kirk Cousins’ contract status, he needs McCloughan’s help there, too) and the Redskins can take the next step he should be expecting to start serious extension talks in 2018.

If the Redskins spin their wheels and end up around .500 again or if they regress and post double-digit losses like they did for five out of six years from 2009-2014 they could be cleaning house and starting over again. That wouldn’t be a good scenario for anyone. The organization is counting on Manusky, who was Plan C, and McCloughan to help Gruden get things on track.

Tandler on Twitter

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 www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Quick Links

Contract makes Adrian Peterson a no-risk acquisition for the Redskins

Contract makes Adrian Peterson a no-risk acquisition for the Redskins

Adrian Peterson is truly a no-risk acquisition for the Redskins. 

The 33-year-old running back signed with the Redskins on Monday afternoon, for one year at the NFL minimum salary of $1.015 million according to Field Yates of ESPN

The contract structure means that the Redskins can have him practice for the next week and a half, play in the two remaining preseason games, and then let him go prior to Week 1 and walk away owing him nothing. 

If they do keep him for Week 1 against the Cardinals, his salary for the season will become guaranteed. But if they decide to let him go at some point in the season the payout of the remainder of his salary will be a drop in the bucket of a $176 million salary cap. There is no signing bonus, roster bonus, or other guaranteed salary. 

One more team friendly aspect of this deal is that Peterson will cost less against the cap than the Redskins are paying him. The NFL has something called the veteran minimum benefit, designed to encourage teams to keep older players rather than the younger and cheaper one. Under this benefit, Peterson will count just $630,000 in cap space. That is the same cap charge as Byron Marshall carries. So, if it comes down to choosing between the Marshall and Peterson for a roster spot, the salary cap will not be a factor. 

Apparently, Peterson is anxious to play football and after spending the entire offseason as a free agent who wasn’t drawing much interest, a player who received $11 million guaranteed from the Vikings two years ago will go to work for a fraction of that. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

 

Quick Links

Fantasy Football: Top 200 rankings with tiers

elliott-vs-bengals-usat.png
USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football: Top 200 rankings with tiers

Rankings are cool, tiers are better. Here we have nine of them separating the top 200 fantasy football players for 2018. Dive in.

Tier 1

1.  Todd Gurley, LAR RB
 
2.  Le'Veon Bell, PIT RB
 
3.  Ezekiel Elliott, DAL RB
 
4.  David Johnson, ARI RB
 
5.  Antonio Brown, PIT WR

Notes: There's a temptation to make this a two-man tier as some concern exists with situations for Elliott (Will the Cowboys have a balanced offense?) and Johnson (Will he thrive as Cardinals transition?), but ultimately these are the main building blocks for any fantasy team. Order isn't locked and even less so in PPR.
 
Tier 2

6.  Alvin Kamara, NO RB
 
7.  DeAndre Hopkins, HOU WR
 
8.  Saquon Barkley, NYG RB
 
9.  Leonard Fournette, JAC RB
 
10.  Melvin Gordon, LAC RB
 
11.  Kareem Hunt, KC RB
 
12.  Julio Jones, ATL WR
 
13.  Odell Beckham Jr., NYG WR

Notes: Interesting dilemma starts here. Take the always needed running backs or grab one of the elite in a year in which there aren't many elite receivers?
 
Tier 3

14.  Dalvin Cook, MIN RB
 
15.  Michael Thomas, NO WR
 
16.  Keenan Allen, LAC WR
 
17.  Devonta Freeman, ATL RB
 
18.  A.J. Green, CIN WR
 
19.  Davante Adams, GB WR
 
20.  Rob Gronkowski, NE TE

Notes: These are the last running backs that can help owners desiring an RB1 sleep better at night. Cook dropped from Tier 2 to 3 because Minnesota's offensive line is a true MASH unit. ...The "Gronk" upside vs. injuy risk is, always, in play.
 
Tier 4

21.  Joe Mixon, CIN RB
 
22.  T.Y. Hilton, IND WR
 
23.  Mike Evans, TB WR
 
24.  Jerick McKinnon, SF RB
 
25.  Jordan Howard, CHI RB
 
26.  Christian McCaffrey, CAR RB
 
27.  Stefon Diggs, MIN WR
 
28.  Adam Thielen, MIN WR
 
29.  Doug Baldwin, SEA WR
 
30.  Tyreek Hill, KC WR
 
31.  Alex Collins, BAL RB
 
32.  Amari Cooper, OAK WR
 
33.  Travis Kelce, KC TE
 
34.  Derrick Henry, TEN RB
 
35.  Demaryius Thomas, DEN WR
 
36.  Lamar Miller, HOU RB
 
37.  Larry Fitzgerald, ARI WR
 
38.  Allen Robinson, CHI WR
 
39.  Aaron Rodgers, GB QB
 
40.  Kenyan Drake, MIA RB

Notes:  Fun group of running backs here for any owner who went receiver-receiver at the start. Mixon, Collins and Henry are particularly interesting, though all have some form of a stat-stealing pest in their respective backfields. ... Rodgers likely goes higher in most leagues. Considering the impressive QB depth this season, it's surely better to let someone else jump in while you fortify depth elsewhere. 
 
Tier 5

41.  Marvin Jones, DET WR
 
42.  Jay Ajayi, PHI RB
 
43.  JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT WR
 
44.  Zach Ertz, PHI TE
 
45.  Royce Freeman, DEN RB
 
46.  LeSean McCoy, BUF RB
 
47.  Chris Hogan, NE WR
 
48.  Josh Gordon, CLE WR
 
49.  Golden Tate, DET WR
 
50.  Brandin Cooks, LAR WR
 
51.  Alshon Jeffery, PHI WR
 
52.  Mark Ingram, NO RB
 
53.  Tom Brady, NE QB
 
54.  Jarvis Landry, CLE WR
 
55.  Marshawn Lynch, OAK RB

Notes: Derrius Guice would have been the first rookie running back off the board after Saquon Barkley. Alas, that's not happening after his season-ending knee injury. Instead that honor goes to Freeman, who should pass Devontae Booker on the Broncos depth chart before long.
 
Tier 6

56.  Corey Davis, TEN WR
 
57.  Rex Burkhead, NE RB
 
58.  Rashaad Penny, SEA RB
 
59.  Ronald Jones II, TB RB
 
60.  Russell Wilson, SEA QB
 
61.  Dion Lewis, TEN RB
 
62.  Cam Newton, CAR QB
 
63.  Tevin Coleman, ATL RB
 
64.  Michael Crabtree, BAL WR
 
65.  Emmanuel Sanders, DEN WR
 
66.  Deshaun Watson, HOU QB
 
67.  Sammy Watkins, KC WR
 
68.  Robert Woods, LAR WR
 
69.  Marquise Goodwin, SF WR
 
70.  Randall Cobb, GB WR
 
71.  Robby Anderson, NYJ WR
 
72.  Sony Michel, NE RB
 
73.  Kenny Stills, MIA WR
 
74.  Pierre Garcon, SF WR
 
75.  Devin Funchess, CAR WR
 
76.  Greg Olsen, CAR TE
 
77.  Jamison Crowder, WAS WR
 
78.  Isaiah Crowell, NYJ RB
 
79.  Will Fuller, HOU WR
 
80.  Jimmy Graham, GB TE
 
81.  Kerryon Johnson, DET RB
 
82.  Cooper Kupp, LAR WR
 
Tier 7

83.  Jamaal Williams, GB RB
 
84.  Marlon Mack, IND RB
 
85.  Delanie Walker, TEN TE
 
86.  Drew Brees, NO QB
 
87.  Nelson Agholor, PHI WR
 
88.  Julian Edelman, NE WR
 
89.  Evan Engram, NYG TE
 
90.  Kyle Rudolph, MIN TE
 
91.  Paul Richardson, WAS WR
 
92.  Carson Wentz, PHI QB
 
93.  Carlos Hyde, CLE RB
 
94.  Andrew Luck, IND QB
 
Tier 8

95.  Tarik Cohen, CHI RB
 
96.  Kirk Cousins, MIN QB
 
97.  Kelvin Benjamin, BUF WR
 
98.  Chris Thompson, WAS RB
 
99.  Jordy Nelson, OAK WR
 
100.  Marqise Lee, JAC WR
 
101.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT QB
 
102.  Devante Parker, MIA WR
 
103.  Jordan Reed, WAS TE
 
104.  Trey Burton, CHI TE
 
105.  Matthew Stafford, DET QB
 
106.  C.J. Anderson, CAR RB
 
107.  Sterling Shepard, NYG WR
 
108.  Kenny Golladay, DET WR
 
109.  Allen Hurns, DAL WR
 
110.  Rishard Matthews, TEN WR
 
111.  Duke Johnson, CLE RB
 
112.  Josh Doctson, WAS WR
 
113.  Philip Rivers, LAC QB
 
114.  Tyler Lockett, SEA WR
 
115.  Matt Ryan, ATL QB
 
116.  Mike Williams, LAC WR
 
117.  Devontae Booker, DEN RB
 
118.  Jack Doyle, IND TE
 
119.  Jimmy Garoppolo, SF QB
 
120.  Chris Carson, SEA RB
 
121.  D.J. Moore, CAR WR
 
122.  Patrick Mahomes, KC QB
 
123.  Giovani Bernard, CIN RB
 
124.  Anthony Miller, CHI WR
 
125.  Mohamed Sanu, ATL WR
 
126.  Ted Ginn, NO WR
 
127.  Matt Breida, SF RB
 
128.  George Kittle, SF TE
 
129.  David Njoku, CLE TE
 
130.  Cameron Meredith, NO WR
 
Tier 9

131.  Dez Bryant, FA WR
 
132.  Aaron Jones, GB RB
 
133.  Nick Chubb, CLE RB
 
134.  Chris Godwin, TB WR
 
135.  Tyrell Williams, LAC WR
 
136.  Ty Montgomery, GB RB
 
137.  Jared Goff, LAR QB
 
138.  DeSean Jackson, TB WR
 
139.  John Brown, BAL WR
 
140.  Alex Smith, WAS QB
 
141.  Michael Gallup, DAL WR
 
142.  Peyton Barber, TB RB
 
143.  Marcus Mariota, TEN QB
 
144.  Calvin Ridley, ATL WR
 
145.  James White, NE RB
 
146.  Keelan Cole, JAC WR
 
147.  Corey Clement, PHI RB
 
148.  Latavius Murray, MIN RB
 
149.  Mike Wallace, PHI WR
 
150.  O.J. Howard, TB TE
 
151.  Dak Prescott, DAL QB
 
152.  Bilal Powell, NYJ RB
 
153.  Martavis Bryant, OAK WR
 
154.  Quincy Enunwa, NYJ WR
 
155.  Nyheim Hines, IND RB
 
156.  Eric Ebron, IND TE
 
157.  Robert Kelley, WAS RB
 
158.  Tyler Eifert, CIN TE
 
159.  Charles Clay, BUF TE
 
160.  Austin Ekeler, LAC RB
 
161.  Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI TE
 
162.  Ryan Grant, IND WR
 
163.  Jordan Wilkins, IND RB
 
164.  Blake Bortles, JAC QB
 
165.  Samaje Perine, WAS RB
 
166.  Mitch Trubisky, CHI QB
 
167.  Theo Riddick, DET RB
 
168.  John Ross, CIN WR
 
169.  D'Onta Foreman, HOU RB
 
170.  Danny Amendola, MIA WR
 
171.  Cameron Brate, TB TE
 
172.  Doug Martin, OAK RB
 
173.  Vance McDonald, PIT TE
 
174.  Jermaine Kearse, NYJ WR
 
175.  Geronimo Allison, GB WR
 
176.  Chris Ivory, BUF RB
 
177.  Donte Moncrief, JAC WR
 
178.  Taywan Taylor, TEN WR
 
179.  Eli Manning, NYG QB
 
180.  Frank Gore, MIA RB
 
181.  LeGarrette Blount, DET RB
 
182.  Derek Carr, OAK QB
 
183.  Albert Wilson, MIA WR
 
184.  Austin Hooper, ATL TE
 
185.  Benjamin Watson, NO TE
 
186.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins, JAC TE
 
187.  Hayden Hurst, BAL TE
 
188.  Jacksonville Jaguars, JAC DST
 
189.  Courtland Sutton, DEN WR
 
190.  Christian Kirk, ARI WR
 
191.  Dante Pettis, SF WR
 
192.  Terrance Williams, DAL WR
 
193.  Travis Benjamin, LAC WR
 
194.  Jameis Winston, TB QB
 
195.  Mike Gesicki, MIA TE
 
196.  Spencer Ware, KC RB
 
197.  Andy Dalton, CIN QB
 
198.  Mark Andrews, BAL TE
 
199.  James Washington, PIT WR
 
200.  Greg Zuerlein, LAR