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Redskins at the crossroads: S Dashon Goldson

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Redskins at the crossroads: S Dashon Goldson

A handful of Redskins have arrived at career crossroads. Some haven’t been consistent. A few have battled injuries. Others simply are on the wrong side of 30. Whichever it is, these players are entering a make-or-break stretch as the team’s offseason program begins. In the coming days, Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir will evaluate their chances of making the 53-man roster. 

Up today…

Player: Dashon Goldson.

Position: Free safety.

Age: 31 in September.

2015 cap number: $4 million.

2014 stats: 14 games, 81 combined tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 pass defended, 0 forced fumbles, 0 interceptions. 

MORE REDSKINS AT A CROSSROADS: PHILLIP THOMAS 

Outlook: Unlike the first two players featured in this series—running back Chris Thompson and safety Phillip Thomas—Goldson isn't battling for a job. The ninth-year pro figures to make the Redskins’ roster and start Week 1.

For Goldson, 2015 is about securing his future.

The big, hard-hitting free safety signed a five-year, $41.25 million contract in with the Buccaneers in 2013. But after two subpar seasons in Tampa Bay—he missed five games, made just one interception and was deemed a poor scheme fit—the Buccaneers traded Goldson to the Redskins in a deal that included a swap of late-round draft picks. To facilitate the trade, the Bucs agreed to eat $4 million of Goldson’s salary.

The move gives both sides what they so desperately needed. The team fills a position that’s long been a problem. And the player receives a chance to show the Redskins (as well as 31 other teams) that he can still perform at a high level.

Since arriving Ashburn, Redskins coaches have raved about Goldson, who will earn a $2.3 million bonus if he’s still on the 90-man roster on Aug. 1.

“With Dashon, just being around him for the last five weeks, he’s exactly what you want in that position back there,” defensive coordinator Joe Barry said in a recent interview on ESPN 980. “He’s the quarterback of the secondary.”

Goldson’s tenure in Washington seems to be off a strong start. But the real test will come during the regular season. If Goldson can rediscover the form that made him a Pro Bowler in 2011 and 2012 (or anything close, really), he’ll resuscitate his career and perhaps find a home in Washington on a re-worked contract. If he struggles, the Redskins will move on and Goldson will be an aging, faded star seeking employment. 

So, yeah, the next six months are pretty big for him. 

 

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Redskins turned down Patriots offer of first-round pick for Trent Williams, per source

Redskins turned down Patriots offer of first-round pick for Trent Williams, per source

The Patriots offered the Redskins a first-round pick in a trade for disgruntled left tackle Trent Williams but Washington rebuffed the offer, a source with knowledge of the situation told NBC Sports Washington. 

Kevin Sheehan of Team 980 reported the same news Thursday morning on his radio show. 

That call from New England came a few weeks ago while the Redskins were holding training camp in Richmond, the source explained. The Patriots are no longer pursuing Williams. 

Washington has made clear they don’t intend to trade Williams, which makes sense publicly. Still, there have been at least three teams to contact the Redskins about trading for Williams. 

It’s believed the Redskins want a first and a second-round pick to move on from Williams, who is refusing to report to the team despite having two years left on his contract. 

The reports around Williams’ holdout have been significant, mainly centering around the suggestion that the seven-time Pro Bowler will not return to Washington due to a misdiagnosis from the team’s medical staff last season. 

Multiple sources near Williams have been clear that he will not return to the Redskins and will miss regular-season action. 

Earlier this week, Washington head coach Jay Gruden said there is no update on the Williams situation and he must prepare his team with the players that have reported. 

“It is what it is,” Gruden said.

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Jay Gruden wants to see a statement game from Case Keenum against the Falcons

Jay Gruden wants to see a statement game from Case Keenum against the Falcons

ATLANTA -- Through two games in the preseason Redskins head coach Jay Gruden can't be particularly impressed with his team. Thursday night could change that.

When the Redskins face the Falcons in the third and most important preseason game, Gruden could play his starters as much as the whole first half. In that time, there's plenty he wants to see from his team.

  1. No injuries - It might be redundant to put that at the top of each preseason article, but there is nothing more important for a coaching staff than to escape the meaningless preseason action without major injuries. It's football, guys are going to get banged up, but Washington cannot afford to lose any starters or key reserves in August action. Superstitious or not, Gruden is knocking on wood and lighting candles before his team takes the field in Atlanta.
  2. Making a case - With Colt McCoy out for an unknown period of time, Case Keenum is the presumed starting quarterback for the Redskins when the real action starts Week 1 in Philadelphia. With that in mind, it would be nice to see some offensive efficiency from Keenum. Against the Bengals last week, Keenum started hot but was undone by a few penalties that backed the Redskins up and away from the red zone. Keenum doesn't have a stranglehold on this job either, so it would be a wise move to prove to the coaching staff and Redskins fans that he should be on the field in Philly.
  3. Making a push - After Keenum comes rookie Dwayne Haskins. Through two games he hasn't been terrific, but he's shown flashes of being terrific. The 55-yard touchdown pass he threw last week to Robert Davis is the prettiest downfield toss from a Redskins QB in at least a year, and nobody questions the arm talent or potential of the former Ohio State star. While it seems unlikely Haskins will push for the starting job, with McCoy out, if Keenum struggles and Haskins shines, things could get interesting. It certainly bears watching if Haskins gets time with the first team on the field. 
  4. All the horses - Offensively the Redskins strength should be running the football, and for the first time in over a year, Derrius Guice should take the field in Burgundy and Gold. Gruden has been clear that he just wants to get Guice a few touches before the real action starts in about two weeks, and it makes sense as the charismatic running back is about a year removed from ACL surgery. Redskins fans should expect less than five carries from Guice, but it will be highly valuable to see him take on contact again. Guice, along with veterans Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson, could form a formidable backfield. 
  5. Keep it up - The starting defense didn't play much against the Bengals, but outside of some dumb penalties, that unit looked very good. The strength of the defense comes up front along the line, and that will get tested against a good Falcons offense. If the Redskins have real designs on a Top 10 defense, they need to prove it against Atlanta. These two teams met Week 9 last year, before Alex Smith was hurt and when the Redskins still looked like a playoff team. The Falcons scored 38 points and ran up nearly 500 yards of total offense in a runaway win at FedEx Field. Top 10 defenses don't give up 500 yards. 

Extra point - The Redskins special teams have been bad through two preseason games. Time to look better, especially with former special teams coach Ben Kotwica now on the Falcons sideline. 

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