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Redskins Position Outlook: Talent at corner, but need better results in 2017

Redskins Position Outlook: Talent at corner, but need better results in 2017

Over the next few weeks, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler will grade each position group’s performance in 2016, break down the current personnel situation and evaluate the unit's outlook for 2017. 

Cornerback

Starters: Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland

Backups: Quinton Dunbar, Kendall Fuller, Dashaun Phillips, Greg Toler

Free Agents: Greg Toler 

Redskins Position Outlook: Running back | Defensive line | Outside linebackers | Inside linebackers 

Rewind: With Josh Norman starting opposite Bashaud Breeland, the Redskins should have one of the strongest set of starting corners in the NFL. Norman is an elite talent, and Breeland has shown he can be quite good. In 2016, however, the results weren't pretty.

The Redskins finished 25th in passing defense, and while that's not all on the corners, the position group doesn't get a pass either. Norman got his hands on a ton of passes, but was only able to haul in three interceptions. Breeland also had three picks. 

Washington struggled for much of the season defending the slot. Rookie Kendall Fuller showed promise early, but that ended fast in a game where he got torched by Vikings WR Stefon Diggs. Quinton Dunbar is an incredible athlete with a lot of potential, though he logged just two starts last year. Greg Toler and Dashaun Phillips gave the team depth, but neither player provided enough for coaches to depend on them.

Fast forward: Confusion seemed to reign in the Redskins secondary in 2016. Some of that might be a result of a patchwork group of safeties and a poor performing defensive line, but coaching changes might help in 2017. When Joe Barry was let go, so was secondary coach Perry Fewell. Last season, some folks say Fewell's coaching style and scheme led to breakdowns for the Washington corners. With a new defensive backs coach in Torrian Gray, some of that may change, but it's also worth pointing out that some players wanted Aubrey Pleasant promoted to that job. 

It would be near impossible for Breeland's 2017 season to start as poorly as 2016 did. Late in the year, Breeland was again playing well, especially when deployed in the slot. It's also hard to imagine Josh Norman can make as many clean breaks on passes without bringing a few more in. 

This group will largely be back, certainly Norman, Breeland, Fuller and Dunbar. New defensive coordinator Greg Manusky will have to decide early on his plan for a nickel corner, and if Fuller in his second season will be ready for that role. If not, it's possible Dunbar could work outside and Breeland move inside in spots.

Also, don't forget about Will Blackmon. The versatile defender was asked to play safety in 2016, but still has the wheels to play corner, his natural position. In 2015, Blackmon had two INTs and forced two fumbles as a corner. Should the 'Skins actually address the safety position via the draft or free agency, maybe Blackmon moves back to corner this fall, especially considering his ability to cover the slot.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Trent Williams rumor emerges from Cleveland but Redskins sources say nothing imminent

Trent Williams rumor emerges from Cleveland but Redskins sources say nothing imminent

A report emerged that Washington left tackle Trent Williams could land on the Browns roster in the coming days, but sources close to the Redskins front office told NBC Sports Washington that no move was imminent, though a trade with Cleveland was not ruled out.

Williams has not reported to the Redskins this year, holding out for both contract issues and personal issues. At least three teams contacted the Redskins about a possible Williams trade during training camp, sources told NBC Sports Washington, but the team did not engage in trade talks then.

Many with the Washington organization believed Williams would show up once regular season games started. He didn’t and based on his Instagram feed doesn’t appear to be anywhere close to coming back to the Redskins.

At 1-5, it makes total sense for Washington to move on from Williams. The team should get as much as they possibly can rather than continue with the sideshow of his holdout.

Redskins President Bruce Allen has said repeatedly he doesn’t plan on trading Williams, but things can always change. After a coaching change last week, perhaps the organization has changed its stance, too.

The deadline to complete trades in the NFL comes at 4 p.m. on October 29th. Sometime between now and then it seems possible Williams might be on a new team.

There was chatter, however, that other teams were scared off about Williams wanting a new contract. His current deal has two years remaining at more than $12 million per season, though barely any of that cash is guaranteed.

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Fantasy Football TE Rankings 2019: Week 7

Fantasy Football TE Rankings 2019: Week 7

Week 6 is in the books and rosters are beginning to take shape. Here are the top tight ends for Week 7.

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 7
Running Back Rankings: Week 7
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 7
Tight End Rankings: Week 7

TIER 1: Best of the best

1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs  
Opponent: at Broncos
2019 Stats: 32 Receptions, 497 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 87.7 PTS, 2019 TE3
Previous Ranking: 1   

2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers  
Opponent: at Redskins
2019 Stats: 31 Receptions, 338 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 72.6 PTS, 2019 TE8
Previous Ranking: 8

TIER 2: High-end TE1's3.  

3. Evan Engram, New York Giants  
Opponent: vs. Cardinals
2019 Stats: 33 Receptions, 373 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 82.8 PTS, 2019 TE4 
Previous Ranking: 3    

4. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons  
Opponent: vs. Rams
2019 Stats: 42 Receptions, 480 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 110 PTS, 2019 TE1
Previous Ranking: 6  

5. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles  
Opponent: at Cowboys 
2019 Stats: 33 Receptions, 373 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 82.8 PTS, 2019 TE5
Previous Ranking: 2  

6. Darren Waller, Oakland Raiders
Opponent: at Packers 
2019 Stats: 37 Receptions, 359 Receiving YDS, 73.6 PTS, 2019 TE7
Previous Ranking: Bye

7. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers  
Opponent: at Titans
2019 Stats: 12 Receptions, 160 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 2019 TE19
Previous Ranking: 9  

8. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens  
Opponent: at Seahawks
2019 Stats: 34 Receptions, 410 Receiving YDS, 3 Receiving TD, 91 PTS, 2019 TE2
Previous Ranking: 4  

TIER 4: Low-end TE1's  

9. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans  
Opponent: vs. Chargers 
2019 Stats: 21 Receptions, 215 Receiving YDS, 2 Receiving TD, 54.5 PTS, 2019 TE11
Previous Ranking: 10

10. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts 
Opponent: vs. Texans
2019 Stats: 14 Receptions, 128 Receiving YDS, 1 Receiving TD, 32.8 PTS, 2019 TE25 
Previous Ranking: Bye

11. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
Opponent: vs. Dolphins
Previous Ranking: Bye

12. Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints  
Opponent: at Bears
Previous Ranking: 12  

TIER 5: High-end TE2s  

13. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys  
Opponent: vs. Eagles  
Previous Ranking: 13  

14. Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams  
Opponent: at Falcons
Previous Ranking: 14  

15. T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions  
Opponent: vs. Vikings
Previous Ranking: 15  

For a tiered breakdown of each fantasy football position, click below:

Quarterback Rankings: Week 7
Running Back Rankings: Week 7
Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 7
Tight End Rankings: Week 7