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Redskins position outlook: Tight end

Redskins position outlook: Tight end

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.

So far we’ve looked at the running backs and the defensive line. Today the focus moves to the tight end position.

Tight end

2016 starter: Jordan Reed

Backups: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Derek Carrier

Free agents: Davis

Rewind: Reed had a Pro Bowl year despite being bitten by the injury bug. A concussion sidelined him in Weeks 6-7 and a shoulder injury forced him to be inactive for two late-season games and severely diminished his effectiveness in two others. If he had played 16 games his stats project out to 88 receptions for 915 yards and 8 touchdowns. As is was, his line was 66/686/6.

We will hear the “if only he could stay healthy for 16 games” lament often as the offseason progresses. That may not be realistic. However, after the played and stood out in the second half of the Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas after suffering the AC joint sprain to his left shoulder he can no longer be called “soft”. If he’s not playing, he’s hurting.

Related: NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Davis had a career revival at the age of 32. He appeared to be fading away as his production went way down in San Francisco in 2014 and with the 49ers and Broncos in 2015. But Scot McCloughan signed him and he proved to be a huge asset both filling in for an injured Reed and lining up with Reed. Getting 44/583/2 from their second tight end helped the offense become one of the best in the NFL.

Carrier and Paul both missed extensive time with injuries. Carrier started the season on the PUP list as he continued his rehab from a knee injury he suffered in Chicago in December of 2015. He was activated after Paul suffered a torn labrum in the London game. Neither played much on offense; Paul was in for 112 snaps on offense, Carrier for 80.

Fast forward: Reed is locked up through 2021 after signing a five-year, $46.75 million last May. He is a salary cap bargain this year with a charge of only $5.7 million. That’s well worth it even if he misses few games along the way.

He skipped playing in the Pro Bowl due to the shoulder injury. The good news is that it won’t require surgery and he should be good to go when offseason workouts start in April.

Davis is a free agent and getting him back is a priority for the team. The team started talks with his agent soon after the season ended. After the season Davis said all the right things about playing another year in his home town but it will come down to money. His deal paid him $2.4 million last year. It might take two years and $6 million to get him locked up this time with maybe $2 million guaranteed. Odds are he will be back but it’s no sure thing.

More Redskins: Defense with the top pick?

Paul is still under contract this year for $2 million in combined salary and roster bonuses. Money won’t be a factor in whether he’s back or not. The issue will be health and if he can stay on the field. He missed only one game due to injury in his first four seasons in the league but then he missed all the 2015 season with a dislocated ankle suffered in the preseason and half of last year. The coaches love his commitment, work ethic, and the way he plays with abandon. He can also play fullback; the team had to resort to using linebacker Houston Bates there after Paul was injured. Those factors should push them to keep Paul around and give him a chance to contribute what he can.

Carrier may not be as secure. After Paul and Logan Paulsen were injured in 2015 the Redskins traded a conditional 2017 fifth-round pick to the 49ers for Carrier. The fifth-rounder may have tilted the scales towards keeping him around. But the conditions for the fifth-round pick were not met and the pick is now a seventh-rounder. That won’t have much of an effect on a decision to keep him or not. Carrier is likely to stay around but he will have to earn a spot on the 53.

If Davis ends up leaving, the Redskins could look for a replacement in free agency. Perhaps Jermaine Gresham, who was with Jay Gruden in Cincinnati, could be a target if he’s healthy. And you can’t rule out Scot McCloughan grabbing a tight end in the draft if one is the best available player on the board.

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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Report: Trent Williams' dogs killed neighbor's dog

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Report: Trent Williams' dogs killed neighbor's dog

Trent Williams is defending his dogs after neighbors of a home registered to him in Missouri City, Texas say the Redskins' lineman's dogs brutally killed their dog.

The neighbor's dog, Sandy, according to reports, died after being mauled and dragged under an iron fence on their own property. 

According to Williams, the attack began after Sandy instigated conflict with one of Williams' smaller pets. Williams felt his dogs did nothing wrong and said the animals were defending the smaller dog, who is fighting for its life after $5,000 in medical bills. 

Williams told FOX 26 Houston that the situation was "dogs doing what dogs do."

In comments to local television stations, Sandy's owner's described how they found their dog.

"I found my dog halfway ripped apart, head and one leg on the other side of the fence, two of those stakes ripped through the body and one leg just dangling," said Jerry Flowers.

"They drug her head through the fence," Linda Flowers said. "Half of her body was through the wrought iron fence."

Animal control and local police are no longer investigating the incident according to ABC 13. Williams was not cited for the incident.

Williams is on the non-football injury list for the Washington Redskins after ending his holdout halfway through the season. 

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Once the Redskins Ironman, Ryan Kerrigan moved to injured reserve

Once the Redskins Ironman, Ryan Kerrigan moved to injured reserve

The Redskins moved outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan to the injured reserve after he injured his calf last week against Green Bay. He will miss the remainder of the season. 

Kerrigan had started every game for Washington since 2011 until just three weeks ago, one of the most impressive streaks in the NFL at 139 straight starts. 

He missed the Panthers game due to a concussion, was able to come back from the Packers game and then hurt his calf. 

After three straight seasons with double-digit sacks, Kerrigan’s numbers were down this year. He will finish the season with just 5.5 sacks after posting 37 over the last few years. 

Dexter Manley holds the Redskins franchise record with 91 sacks. After bringing down Aaron Rodgers last week in Green Bay before his injury, Kerrigan got to 90 sacks. 

If he comes back healthy in 2020, Kerrigan would look prime to break the franchise record. He will be in the last year of his contract, however, and will account for nearly $12 million against the salary cap.

Should Washington release Kerrigan, which was once unthinkable, it would carry no salary cap hit. 

To replace Kerrigan on the active roster the Redskins signed Caleb Wilson from the Cardinals practice squad.

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