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Redskins practice report: Cravens lines up at both safety spots

Redskins practice report: Cravens lines up at both safety spots

Some observations from the Redskins OTA practice on Wednesday:

Jordan Reed and Trent Williams were still out although both are expected to be back for next week’s mandatory minicamp. Matt Jones also was absent.

—Reed’s absence let Niles Paul get some first-team reps that he might not otherwise have taken. Paul is looking good after missing all but eight games of the past two season with injuries. He will have to fight for a job after the team drafted Jeremy Sprinkle in April.

—With Williams training elsewhere, Ty Nsekhe got most of the first-team snaps at left tackle with Vinston Painter getting a few of them.

—While which units various players line up with gets discussed on a regular basis, be careful not to put too much into it at this time. Today, WR Ryan Grant got a lot of the first-team work while WR Josh Docston mostly lined up with the twos. It won’t be that way in September.

MORE REDSKINS: Who is on the bubble?

—Doctson demonstrated what the coaches mean when they talk about his impressive catch radius. He ran a pattern over the middle and Colt McCoy threw the ball behind him. Doctson reached back and made a juggling catch.

—RB Keith Marshall faces an uphill climb up the depth chart to make the roster but he did flash his speed a couple of times, making his way through some heavy traffic for a nice gain. If he stays healthy (a big if, given his extensive injury history) it could be tough for the coaches to cut him.

Kirk Cousins and Vernon Davis are definitely on the same page. Cousins hit the tight end with a beautiful, long spiral for a TD in the first session of team drills.

Jim Tomsula doesn’t need practice film to see what his players need to do. After the first team session he brought the D-line together on the sideline and went through some of the mistakes that were made, such as problems shedding blocks and dealing with double teams, and showed them the proper technique right then and there.

—We saw the good and the bad McCoy in the space of a couple of plays. He woefully under threw Brian Quick on a deep pass and then a few plays later he hit Quick in stride with a 20-yard laser down the numbers on the left.

—Nobody is immune from mistakes at this time of year. Jamison Crowder, who was targeted 92 times last year and dropped just three passes, dropped an easy one over the middle during team drills. I don’t think it will cost him his roster spot.

RELATED: The Redskins week that was

—At least at this stage, the Redskins are using Su’a Cravens at both safety positions. On the first snap of the final stages of team drills he was lined up as the single high safety. He lined up at strong and blitzed on the next play. A few snaps later he and D. J. Swearinger were both lined up deep.

—The are unlikely to start to seriously sort out kickoff returners until training camp but here goes with the players back to field kickoffs: Bashaud Breeland, Will Blackmon, Maurice Harris, Chris Thompson, and Zach Pascal.

— Reserve offensive lineman Kevin Bowen, who was on the practice squad last year, suffered an ankle injury late in practice and had to be carted off of the field. About 15 player gathered around him as an air cast was put on the ankle.

—Right before that they had an uneven two-minute drill (actually they put 55 seconds on the clock). Cousins’ first pass was batted down at the line and then he got chased to the sideline and had to throw it away. But it ended well for the offense with Cousins throwing a nice strike to Vernon Davis in the end zone from about 35 yards out.

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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Need to Know: A look at the Redskins' key 2019 free agents

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: A look at the Redskins' key 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 27, 16 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Here is my sunrise view from this morning:

Looking at next year’s free agents

This post was originally published on March 18. 

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens. 

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard). 

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility. 

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon. 

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup. 

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight. 

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

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Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler