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Playmaking, first-round linebacker Haason Reddick visited Redskins Park

Playmaking, first-round linebacker Haason Reddick visited Redskins Park

The Redskins got a visit from a player who could add some playmaking ability to its still-needy defense.

Haason Reddick, who played defensive end at Temple but would play inside linebacker in the Redskins 3-4 base scheme, confirmed on NFL Network on Friday that he had been to Redskins Park for an official visit.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com said this of Reddick: “Explosive, quick-twitch athlete. Great flexibility with loose hips to turn, twist, and chase. Excellent reactive quickness and change-of-direction agility. Dynamic playmaker in space.”

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Even though Washington just signed inside linebacker Zach Brown they still will be on the lookout for players at the position throughout the draft. The Redskins’ top three players at ILB, Brown, Mason Foster, and Will Compton, all have contracts that expire at the end of the season. The team will not want to start over again in 2018. And they are short on dynamic playmakers and explosive quick-twitch athletes on defense.

Reddick might be a good pick in this situation because he would be able to be eased into the lineup. Moving from the edge in college to the complex position of 3-4 inside linebacker will not be an easy transition. He played off the line some of the time in college and he occasionally dropped back into zone coverage. However, none of that is as complex as what he would be asked to do Reddick did start at Temple as a safety so he should have some coverage instincts.

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Reddick, 6-1, 237, is expected to be a first-round pick and if he is there when the Redskins are on the clock with the 17th pick he would be a good value pick. Having the time to make the transition to a new position would be a perfect situation for him.

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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Questions facing Ron Rivera: What happens next with Ryan Kerrigan?

Questions facing Ron Rivera: What happens next with Ryan Kerrigan?

In the last decade, no Redskins player performed better than Ryan Kerrigan. Incredibly, he started the first 139 straight games of his career, a run of more than eight years without missing a game, and posted double-digit sacks in four of the last six seasons. 

Kerrigan has been dependable and productive in a fashion that no Redskins player has demonstrated in a long time. He made the Pro Bowl in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and in those three years, he totaled 37 sacks. 

Looking at 2020 and a new era of Redskins football, however, and questions arise about Kerrigan's future. 

New Washington head coach Ron Rivera was presented a roster chock full of problems, and that allowed the coach to already make some easy decisions. Releasing Josh Norman and Paul Richardson was easy; those two moves saved the team nearly $15 million and cost the Redskins little on-field production. 

That's not the case with Kerrigan. 

Sure, he has a high price tag in 2020 with a cap number of nearly $12 million, none of which is guaranteed. And yes, Kerrigan is coming off the least productive season of his career and for the first time ever missed games to injuries. He will also turn 32 in August. 

Considering the above case against Kerrigan, and that Washington overhauled its coaching staff and front office already this offseason, releasing the veteran pass rusher could make sense. It would free up a lot of cash on the salary cap and give a veteran player a chance to catch on with a contender.

Don't expect that though. 

There is a multitude of reasons to expect Kerrigan to stay in Washington, but the most important is that he has publicly talked about a willingness to work out a contract extension (see video above). If the Redskins can add a year onto his deal, that would allow for immediate cap relief by spreading his money between the next two seasons. In many ways, that seems like the most likely option. 

Kerrigan is well-liked by everyone in the Redskins organization, including ownership, and is just one sack away from the franchise sack record. That might not mean much to some fans, but there is value in a distinguished player going his whole career for one team. 

There's also this and it's important: Kerrigan could thrive in 2020. 

For the past few seasons, the Redskins 3-4 defensive scheme consistently asked its pass rushers to drop into coverage far too frequently. It was a bad plan, and players knew it. New defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has openly discussed that he wants his pass rushers to focus on getting to the quarterback. It's an incredibly simple yet smart strategy, and that could help Kerrigan significantly. 

Consider what happened with former Redskins outside linebacker Preston Smith. In four years in Washington, Smith never got to double-digit sacks. His last year with the Redskins, 2018, was the worst of his career. He finished with just four sacks. This year playing in Green Bay, Smith registered 12 sacks and got to show his size, speed, and athleticism as a disruptive force. 

Kerrigan doesn't have Smith's athleticism, but he has more strength and could see a similar jolt by playing in a revamped defense. 

There is the issue of the second overall pick that Washington holds. Assuming the team doesn't trade the pick, the Redskins will take Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. Paired with 2019 first-round pick Montez Sweat, Del Rio would have some elite speed off the edge. 

Would Kerrigan lose reps in that scenario? More than likely. 

Can a team have too many pass rushers? Absolutely not. 

Kerrigan would provide different looks than Young or Sweat for opposing offenses when on the field, and has the strength to play in run situations as well. He could also serve as a role model for both young players in how to prepare and take care of your body over the course of a 16-game season. 

If a release seems unlikely and an extension might make sense, the trade option just exists. It's hard to know what the market would be for Kerrigan right now, as he only has one year left on his contract.

Keep in mind, however, that Kerrigan has been extremely productive in Washington for the last five seasons playing on some bad defenses. It's entirely possible, if not probable, he can deliver more double-digit sacks playing on an improved defense with a better scheme. 

What is certain in all of this?

Rivera would love to have Kerrigan from a culture standpoint. He won't miss any voluntary sessions and he will work hard every day. There's nine years of data, on-field and off, to support the theory that Kerrigan is the type of player all coaches love to have on their team. And that will matter too. 

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Ex-Panthers tight end Greg Olsen signing with Seahawks over Redskins, Bills

Ex-Panthers tight end Greg Olsen signing with Seahawks over Redskins, Bills

When tight end Greg Olsen was released from the Carolina Panthers last month, many pegged the Redskins as a possible destination due to his connection with new head coach Ron Rivera and the team's need at the position.

But the 34-year-old will not be reuniting with his old head coach. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Olsen has agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks, including $5.5 million guaranteed.

After parting ways with the Panthers, Olsen took visits with the Redskins and Buffalo Bills in addition to the Seahawks.

According to Schefter, Olsen strongly considered signing with both Washington and Buffalo, but the lure of playing with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was the major difference-maker.

By missing out on Olsen, the Redskins have plenty of decisions still to make at tight end. Jordan Reed is still in the concussion protocol recovering from one he suffered last August and is not expected to be back with the organization. Vernon Davis retired earlier this month. 

With Jeremy Sprinkle currently the Redskins top tight end and Olsen now heading west, the team could show interest in tight ends Austin Hooper and Eric Ebron in free agency, among others.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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