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Need to Know: Is Redskins' Jay Gruden really on the hot seat?

Need to Know: Is Redskins' Jay Gruden really on the hot seat?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 29, 31 days before the March 1 NFL franchise tag deadline.


Days until:

NFL free agency starts (3/9) 39
—NFL Draft (4/27) 88
First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 224

Sunday morning quick hitters

I’m not sure that Jay Gruden’s seat is as hot as many believe that it is. I don’t believe he can survive a 4-12 season and even 6-10 could put him in danger if there are signs that he lost the locker room. But I don’t think that it’s playoffs or bust for Gruden. Dan Snyder hasn’t fired a head coach who didn’t have double-digit losses since Marty Schottenheimer and that was 15 years ago.

Related: NFL mock draft ver. 2.0

Although I think that Kirk Cousins getting tagged and traded is a scenario that is in play, I don’t see the 49ers giving up the No. 2 overall pick in the draft to get him. Yes, the Vikings gave up a first for Sam Bradford but it’s the 15th pick. Looking at the draft trade chart, the second (2,600 points) is worth about two No. 15 picks (1,050 each) plus a high second rounder. If a first-round pick is involved in a Cousins trade to San Francisco it likely would be their 2018 selection.

Some fans have asked me about the prospect of the Redskins getting Carolina free agent defensive tackle Kawaan Short in free agency. Although he would fill a need as he is a pass-rushing presence on the inside of the line, I don’t see the Redskins biting at the $17 million per year price tag that he should command on the open market.

More Redskins: Breaking: DeSean Jackson is still fast

The estimate for Short’s deal comes from Spotrac. They assessed the market value for Chris Baker at $7.4 million per year. That’s a nice increase from the $3 million plus incentives he averaged on the three-year contract that just expired. Baker might give the Redskins a slight hometown discount but at age 29 this is likely his last big contract so he can’t go too low. I think they’ll work something out.

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After two seasons on IR and little production, is Paul Richardson's time over with Redskins?

After two seasons on IR and little production, is Paul Richardson's time over with Redskins?

The Redskins signed Paul Richardson in 2018 to be the deep threat the team lost when DeSean Jackson left via free agency after the 2016 season. It didn't work. 

In two years with the Redskins, Richardson has 48 catches for 507 catches and four touchdowns, and both seasons finished with trips to the injured reserve. Washington, however, paid Richardson handsomely for his work.

He signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Redskins that guaranteed $12.5 million at signing. To date, he's made nearly $20 million despite never being the team's leading receiver. 

Next year, Richardson will carry an $8.5 million salary cap number, but the team could get $2.5 million in cap relief if he's cut while taking a $6 million cap hit. The final two seasons of his contract have no guarantees and no cap number unless he plays.

If the Redskins wait until after June 1st, 2020, to cut Richardson then the numbers flip. The team would save $6.5 million against the cap and Richardson's contract would only count $2 million against the cap. In fact, the team doesn't need to wait until summer to make the move, but rather can use the Post-June 1 designation that the NFL allows organizations to use to better their cap. This should be the obvious move. 

Considering Washington has made a youth movement at receiver, with rookies Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon and Steven Sims looking like the future, Richardson looks quite expendable. Especially considering the emergence of McLaurin as a potential elite wideout, both with deep speed and route running ability. 

Redskins team president Bruce Allen signed Richardson, but it's hard to know who will be making calls for the organization in 2020. There is much speculation that Allen could be on the way out, and the team already fired head coach Jay Gruden in October. Interim head coach Bill Callahan is not expected to remain in that position next season. 

If Richardson is cut, it's hard to look at the signing as anything but a disappointment. Big money for little production. That's not winning football. 



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Report: Chase Young plans on returning to Ohio State in lieu of entering NFL Draft

Report: Chase Young plans on returning to Ohio State in lieu of entering NFL Draft

The Redskins are unlikely to secure the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but there is certainly a scenario where the teams that finish ahead of them would be in need of quarterbacks. If that’s the case, then Washington could be in line to select Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, who’s widely considered to be the highest-graded player in the draft.

But in an interview with TMZ, Young said his “plan” is to return to Ohio State for his senior year. Young set a school record with 16.5 sacks and counting this season despite missing two games due to suspension.

The Buckeyes are the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff, slated to face No. 3 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28 for the right to play in the national championship. Ohio State hasn’t won the title since 2014, when Young was still in high school.

It’s unknown whether he’d enter the draft if OSU wins it all. For now, Young’s draft status will be something for the Redskins—who will enter the offseason with a plethora of roster needs—to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.