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Redskins right to pass on Calais Campbell - and here's why

Redskins right to pass on Calais Campbell - and here's why

The answer to everything is always money.

Calais Campbell is a terrific player, arguably the best free agent defensive lineman available in 2017. And the Redskins need a boatload of help on the D-line. So it makes sense for Redskins fans to recoil when they see the news that Campbell will sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Dig a little deeper, however, and maybe the Redskins are making the right move. 

Campbell, who will be 31 years old when the 2017 seasons starts, stands to be paid $14 million per year on his new deal with the Jags. That's a lot of money to an aging defensive lineman.

Make no mistake, Campbell stays in great shape. He hasn't missed a game in two years and has only missed two games in the last four years. Campbell is a stud interior lineman that can get to the quarterback and disrupt passing attacks with his 6-foot-8 frame. The Redskins pursuit of Campbell made sense. 

This isn't just about age though. Couple the age with the high dollar salary, and then consider the true positional need in Washington.

RELATED: Options for the Redskins now that Campbell is off the table

For seven seasons the Redskins have run a 3-4 defensive base scheme. For the bulk of that time, the Redskins have lacked a true nose tackle. All 11 members of a defense are vital, but without a good, legitamite nose, the 3-4 has trouble standing up to the run game. That's been the case in Washington for a while.

Campbell is a great player, and an interior player, but at 272 lbs. he's not a nose. In fact, Campbell is most adept in a defensive tackle/end hybrid role. For all of their flaws, the Redskins don't lack for pressure off the edge. Could they be better? Sure, but Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Trent Muprhy, they're all good edge rushers. None of them can play nose. 

The Redskins need to shell out big money for someone on the defensive line in this free agency cycle. They must. But that list doesn't end with Campbell.

Dontari Poe goes 6-foot-3, 346 lbs. Johnathan Hankins goes 6-foot-3, 320 lbs. Bennie Logan goes 6-foot-2, 310 lbs.

The Redskins need big help from a big man in the middle of their defensive line. They need more help than just that, but an anchor of that D-line isn't a want, it's a need. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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49ers seal rainy victory over Redskins with slip-n-slide celebration

49ers seal rainy victory over Redskins with slip-n-slide celebration

After coming across the country and holding the Redskins scoreless, the 49ers celebrated their victory over Washington in the most appropriate way possible.

In a rain-fulfilled contest that featured poor field conditions, including multiple puddles throughout the playing surface at FedExField, several players on both sides slipped constantly on Sunday. 

On the last play of the game with a San Francisco victory just seconds away, 49ers rookie Nick Bosa sacked Redskins quarterback Case Keenum as the clock winded down. Bosa celebrated with a headfirst slide across the grass, fully embracing the poor field conditions that affected both sides all afternoon long.

But as soon as Bosa hit the turf, several of his 49ers teammates joined him in the act. All of a sudden, dozens of white jerseys were sliding across the wet grass, as the two teams began to commemorate postgame.

"It was a lot of fun. It was definitely worth it," 49ers defensive end Deforest Buckner said. "I saw Bosa out there sliding, so I said, 'Let's do it.' Everybody else started sliding around and everything. It was like a bunch of little kids out there. That's part of the game, having fun. Right now, we're having a lot of fun."

Even head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was likely happier about this victory than many others, considered joining in.

"I did think about it," Shanahan said. "But I don't think I would have done it right."

The head coach wasn't the only 49er to sit the celebration out.

"I spent plenty of time getting wet in the game," tight end George Kittle said. "I let other guys do [the celebration] for me."

"I saw those guys running and diving on the ground," cornerback Richard Sherman said. "I was like, I got out of this one healthy, so I'm just going to go. I'm just going to observe and then jog to the sideline, but it was fun. It was the 'Mud Bowl 2019 Champions.'"

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo also sat the celebration out, but not by choice.

"I missed the slide. I was upset about that," he said.

After holding the Redskins to zero points and just 154 total yards, the 49ers deserved to celebrate in any way they wanted. And they did just that.

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49ers coach Kyle Shanahan gets his revenge on Redskins, gives dad, Mike, the game ball

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan gets his revenge on Redskins, gives dad, Mike, the game ball

It is personal for Kyle Shanahan. It always will be. 

The former Redskins offensive coordinator, who served in that position under his dad, Mike, for four years from 2010-2013, and helped Washington win an NFC East title in 2012, says he moved on long ago from the traumatic end here. 

The Shanahans were fired after a miserable 3-13 season where they sniped with upper management and their young star quarterback Robert Griffin III as things fell apart on the field. 

On Sunday, Kyle Shanahan returned to FedEx Field for the second time since taking over the 49ers in 2017. They lost that initial return game here in his first year with a rebuilding roster. But it was gratifying nonetheless to leave with a 9-0 win this time. According to 49ers players, he even gave the game ball to his dad.   

The 49ers are 6-0 and headed toward the playoffs. The Redskins are 1-6, fired coach Jay Gruden, the man who replaced the Shanahans, and are starting over. Again. Shanahan might try to keep the personal out of it, but a small smile creased his face when asked about the irony.

“I'm always a little more sensitive to this because of what I went through with my dad here,” Kyle Shanahan said. “It’s always nice to get the win. But it definitely had nothing to do with the game, nothing to do with the score. You always want to take care of things the right way when you're bothered by some things that happened to a family member."

Shanahan tried to say all the right things during his mid-week conference call with Washington reporters. It was NOT personal. He’d been back to FedEx Field before and lost. He’d been to other places he’d coached before and played without strong emotions. He’s moved on with his life and so has the family. 

But there will always be a little part of the Shanahans that will revel in beating the Redskins. Mike Shanahan doesn’t get the game ball if they’ve totally moved on. They never felt everyone was on the same page during their tenure here. The issues with drafting and developing Robert Griffin III are well told at this point. 

The Shanahans certainly deserve a fair share of criticism for what happened in Washington. The overall record was 24-41, including that lone playoff loss to Seattle in 2012, and a change had to be made by owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen. Things had turned toxic by the end - even if the staff had three future NFL head coaches as assistants. 

But each Shanahan has had success in other places during their careers as NFL coaches, and Kyle is riding high now with a talented young team that hasn’t lost yet. At 1-6, with yet another coach fired and more change on the horizon, the Redskins remain lost in the wilderness. 

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