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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. 

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Junkies' call Mel Kiper's stance of the Redskins taking Tua Tagovailoa over Chase Young 'preposterous'

Junkies' call Mel Kiper's stance of the Redskins taking Tua Tagovailoa over Chase Young 'preposterous'

What should the Redskins do with the second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft? 

Some believe Washington has an easy choice and should take Chase Young. Some think they should consider taking Tua Tagovailoa despite drafting Dwayne Haskins a year ago. ESPN's Mel Kiper is a proponent of both.

"You can have all the Chase Young's you want," Kiper said Thursday. "This is a quarterback league all the way.

"If the medical staff clears [Tagovailoa], and the medical staff is going to be key to this," he continued. "If they sign off, you take Tua at No. 2. You don't trade the pick, you don't take Chase Young. And if Haskins turns out to better, than great then we can trade Tua."

This goes against what Kiper said just a month ago. In a mock draft from January 24, Kiper wrote, "If you scanned Washington's depth chart, you probably wouldn't pick out an edge rusher as its top need. It might not even be in the top three. And yet, the Redskins absolutely can't pass on Young -- unless they get bowled over with an offer from a team trading up."

Anyway, The Sports Junkies took time to react to Kiper's comments on their Friday show. Eric Bickel, J.P. Flaim and Jason Bishop had particularly interesting takes on whether the Redskins should consider drafting a quarterback in the first round in back-to-back years.

That's preposterous," Bickel said. "That's the part where it falls apart."

"You can't draft quarterbacks back to back in the first round and have them battle it out," Bishop said. 

"It would be just like what happened in Arizona," Bickel said in response. "They'd have to unload Haskins and get what they could."

The Cardinals did exactly what Kiper is proposing for the Redskins last season when they took Kyler Murray with the first pick despite drafting Josh Rosen in the top-10 the year prior. Arizona, similar to the Redskins this year, hired a new head coach after taking Rosen. 

The Cardinals then traded Rosen to the Dolphins on Day 2 of the draft last year in exchange for a second-round pick (Andy Isabella) and a 2020 fifth-round pick. Murray went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year and Rosen only made three starts for the Dolphins in 2019. 

The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and if the Redskins believe Tagovailoa gives them a better chance to compete for a Super Bowl than Dwayne Haskins, then they shouldn't worry about taking a quarterback in back-to-back drafts. It's certainly worked out for the Cardinals so far. But there are no certainties in the draft, as Flaim points out. 

"I think [Kiper's] just saying that," Flaim said. "The reality is if you really believe Tua is going to be one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Like, if you're evaluation is Tua's going to be a Russell Wilson, he's going to be an Aaron Rodgers, he's going to be an elite quarterback in the league, and Haskins is just going to be a guy, he could be a starter, then you take Tua. But it's so inexact you have no idea."

Washington's interest in Tagovailoa is unknown at this point, though they will be meeting with him and Joe Burrow prior to the draft. Head coach Ron Rivera did say however, the Redskins are, 'just doing our due diligence,' in meeting with the top two quarterbacks in this year's draft. 

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Report: NFL teams haven't contacted the Redskins about a Trent Williams trade

Report: NFL teams haven't contacted the Redskins about a Trent Williams trade

Trent Williams reportedly made his demands clear. He either wants a new contract or he wants to be traded, according to a report from NFL Network on Thursday. 

As the situation for the disgruntled left tackle continues to play out, the Redskins haven't received any trade inquiries about Williams, according to Sports Illustrated's Michael Silver.

"Has there been any trade interest around the league? So far, no," Silver said on an NFL Network appearance Friday. "Nobody has called Washington saying 'We'd like to talk about coming and getting Trent Williams.' Maybe that'll change."

Following up on earlier reports, Silver acknowledged that there has been a line of communication between Williams and new head coach Ron Rivera after changes to the medical staff — the root cause of the offensive lineman's original rife and distrust with the team. 

Rivera is widely regarded as a coach that players can trust and enjoy playing for. Silver commented on how that may impact Washington's direction with Williams' future.

"I think organizationally the feeling is 'Look, if Trent Williams doesn't feel comfortable with this situation, and doesn't want to be there for Ron Rivera, we're not going to spend a lot of time trying to appease him," Silver said.

After sitting out for the entirety of the 2019 season, Williams has one year remaining on his contract with a salary-cap hit of $14.5 million, none of which is guaranteed.

When Williams signed the deal in 2015, he set an NFL record for the highest-paid offensive tackle in league history. But as value has increased, the seven-time Pro Bowler has slid further down the list of highest-paid tackles, currently ranking eighth in highest average salary, according to Over the Cap.

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