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Rating the Redskins: Wide receivers


Rating the Redskins: Wide receivers

New Redskins GM Scot McCloughan aimed to improve nearly every position through the draft or via free agency. How has he done? Over the next couple of weeks, Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will examine and rate each group on the team. The ratings will be based on the quality of the players as compared to the rest of the league and, in particular, the division.

We’ll use a scale of 1 to 10. To receive a 10, a position group would need Pro-Bowl caliber starters and solid backups. A rating of 1 means the starters are aging and ineffective and there are no promising reserves in the pipeline.

We’ve already looked at the defensive line, offensive line and linebackers. Up today, we’ve got the wide receivers.

Starters: DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon.

Reserves: Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, Evan Spencer

El-Bashir: On paper, the Redskins possess one of the stronger groups of wide receivers in the NFL. The question in 2015—same as it was in 2014—is whether they'll have anyone who can get them the ball consistently. Quarterback play, however, will be covered later in this series, so back to the receivers. Jackson, 28, led the NFL in average yards per catch with 20.9 yards—three more than second place Michael Floyd of the Cardinals—and was 10th in yards after the catch among wide receivers, according to Garçon’s stats nosedived in ’14 due to the arrival of Jackson and the revolving door under center, but the 28-year-old still led the team in receptions with 68 and was on the field more than any other skilled position player (906 snaps). Roberts had a disappointing first season in Washington. Roberts could find himself battling with Jamison Crowder for playing time in the slot, assuming an investigation into the rookie’s off-the-field issues do not impact his season. Grant, meantime, is intriguing. He didn’t play much as a rookie, but if his performances during recent OTA sessions are any indication, he’ll get to show his sharp-route running skills and reliable hands in a more meaningful role in '15. Again, this is a group with impressive high-end talent and a couple of promising youngsters in Crowder and Grant. In fact, it could be argued that this is the Redskins' best position group—on either side of the ball. Rating: 7.

Tandler: I think that the potential is there for this to be a very good group of wide receivers, perhaps among the top half dozen or so in the league. But I need to see it before I can give the unit a strong rating. Jackson is one of several players in the league who are a legitimate threat to score at any time from anywhere on the field. Garçon is not as likely to make a big play but he is the reliable target that a team with a shaky quarterback situation needs. But the rest of the group consists of question marks running around in burgundy and gold. Roberts caught 36 passes, an almost pathetically low total for a player who was targeted 73 times. Add in the seven passes he dropped and you have to wonder why he played over 700 snaps. As Tarik noted he could get pushed by Crowder but we’ll see if there are legitimate reasons to get excited about the fourth-round pick when the games start counting. Grant works hard and we’ll have to see if that will earn him some significant playing time. And Spencer will almost certainly make the team due to his special teams play but this is a guy who caught 15 passes in 15 games for the Buckeyes last year. Perhaps by the time November rolls around Crowder will be making some big plays and Grant and Spencer will be contributing. But I’ve seen too many highly-touted receivers such as Taylor Jacobs, Malcolm Kelly, and Devin Thomas fail to deliver. I’m going to hold off on rating them as better than an average group of NFL receivers right now. Rating: 5

Consensus: 6

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Saints sign intriguing receiver off Redskins' practice squad

Saints sign intriguing receiver off Redskins' practice squad

The Redskins were overloaded with interesting wide receiver prospects back in training camp. Not all could make the 53-man roster initially. Simmie Cobbs landed on the practice squad and remained there.

Buzz this week centered on whether Cobbs might finally land a promotion. He did, just not with Washington.

The New Orleans Saints signed Cobbs off the Redskins practice squad Friday, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Washington.

Receiver injuries spiked for the NFC South leading-Saints in recent weeks, the result of which led the Drew Brees-led squad to poach Cobbs. The Indiana product had 72 receptions for 841 yards during his final season with the Hoosiers. He surprisingly went undrafted but joined a Redskins squad with uncertainty at receiver.  

Josh Doctson’s status remains unclear after suffering a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Giants. He remains “questionable” for this Sunday’s road game at Jacksonville, head coach Jay Gruden announced Friday.

Washington is already down three receivers from the Week 1 roster. Paul Richardson, Cam Sims and Trey Quinn landed on injured reserve. Quinn went down twice after an in-season return. The Redskins added Brian Quick for a few weeks and signed Jehu Chesson to help fill in rather than promote Cobbs or Darvin Kidsy from the practice squad.

Doctson’s status put forth the potential of Cobbs finally joining the 53 this week. It’s possible injuries elsewhere, namely to tight end Jordan Reed (toe) and long snapper Nick Sundberg (back) hampered the Redskins’ chances of adding another receiver.

"Simmie has been great. He's been great,” Gruden said Wednesday. “Kidsy has been great also, so if need be if one of those guys needs to be called up, I won't hesitate for a second. Like I said though, it’s a matter of roster spots. We don’t have a whole lot available so, we'll figure it out.”

Though the 6-foot-3 target made his shares of impressive catches during the summer, Washington kept another pair of rookies instead. Quinn was the Redskins’ final selection in the 2018 draft. Sims, also an undrafted free agent, wowed throughout training camp and the preseason before his season ended with a Week 1 foot injury.  

It’s unclear how Cobbs fit into Washington’s plans seeing as it never promoted him, though 106.7 The Fan radio reported the Redskins attempted to keep the rookie at the final minute and he chose the playoff-bound Saints. The Redskins have questions going forward at receiver, concerns beyond this season. Whatever the solution, the interesting prospect won’t be part of them.

The New Orleans Advocate first reported the Saints signing Cobbs. 


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Mason Foster apologizes to Redskins fans in wake of private message controversy

Mason Foster apologizes to Redskins fans in wake of private message controversy

After private comments on Instagram made significant waves among Redskins fans, Mason Foster addressed the media to explain how much he regretted his actions. 

"People know I love the fans," Foster said Friday. 

In a wide-ranging interview where Foster explained his missteps on social media, the linebacker said he deeply apologized for the comments attributed to his account. 

Foster owned the first conversation that emerged this week on Twitter, where he wrote, "F*** this team and this fanbase" but said that subsequent conversations that leaked out were written by his cousin. Allowing his cousin control over his account was another major mistake, Foster said. 

For Foster, all he can do now is try to do right and prove to his teammates and fans that he's committed to the franchise and doing good in the community. 

On the season, Foster has 108 tackles and two interceptions. He's the Redskins defensive captain and tied for 7th across the NFL in tackles.