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Redskins sign DL Taylor, 2 others to futures contracts

Redskins sign DL Taylor, 2 others to futures contracts

The Redskins announced that they have signed LB Khairi Fortt, LB Pete Robertson, and DL Phil Taylor to reserve/futures contracts. The big name on that list, both literally and figuratively, is Taylor.

Taylor, who is listed at 6-3, 337, was a first-round pick of the Browns back in 2011, the 21st overall selection out of Baylor. Due to injuries and ineffectiveness he never lived up to his draft position. In four seasons in Cleveland he played in 44 of a possible 64 games, starting 42. He posted seven sacks and 69 tackles.

The Browns released him prior to the start of the 2015 season. He was out of football that year and signed with the Broncos in February of 2016. His career in Denver was very short lived as he suffered a knee injury early in training camp and was released with an injury settlement. Taylor did not play in 2016.

Right now, the Redskins are looking at Taylor, who turns 29 in April, as a player who will compete for a roster spot and provide some depth if he makes it. Taylor's injury problems have mostly dealt with his knees and that is something that will be monitored closely. His presence will not affect any plans to acquire top-line talent for the defensive line in free agency or in the draft.

But sometimes things work out differently. Around this time a year ago the Redskins signed Ziggy Hood, another former first-round pick, to a reserve/futures contract. The plan was for him was similar to the one for Taylor, to compete for a roster spot and provide depth. But after the release of Stephen Paea and an injury to Kedric Golston, Hood ended up starting 14 games.

The Redskins hope to acquire enough top-line talent to make sure that if Taylor does end up making the team he will be in a supporting role, not a featured role.

Fortt was a fourth-round pick of the Saints in 2014 but his NFL resume shows just three games played for the Jaguars that year. Robertson, from Texas Tech was not selected in last year’s draft. He signed with the Seahawks but he did not play in 2016.

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Report: Months after major leg injury, Reuben Foster regains feeling in toes

Report: Months after major leg injury, Reuben Foster regains feeling in toes

The Redskins signed linebacker Reuben Foster late in the 2018 season after his release from San Francisco amid domestic violence allegations. The signing caused tremendous backlash towards the organization, but in the end, it was supposed to be worth it for what Foster could do on the field. 

Eventually, charges against Foster got dropped and he wasn't suspended by the NFL. Unfortunately for him and for the Redskins, Foster got injured in his first snap of offseason team activities in May 2019, and it was a major injury. 

The scene on the field that day was traumatic as Foster was visibly in intense pain. In the news that emerged after the injury, Foster had torn multiple ligaments in his knee and NBC Sports Washington reported there was nerve damage in the leg as well. 

Now, it seems like there is finally some positive momentum for Foster's injury. His agent Malki Kawa spoke to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport: "He's got feeling in his toes, the underside of his foot, the side of his foot. The nerve is starting to fire again."

The alarming part here is that Foster had lost feeling in his toes, and for a long period of time too. Foster's injury happened last May. 

Rehabbing a knee is one thing, football players do that all the time. But nerves operate almost on their own, and some nerve damage is irreperable. 

"He's regaining feeling and power," Kawa said. "It shows the nerve is firing. When he moves his leg upward, he can feel around the ankle and the top part of the foot. That's a new thing. The next 60 days are going to be big as far as getting back to normal."

The Redskins know about scary nerve injuries. Promising rookie safety Kyshoen Jarrett sustained nerve damage in his arm in Week 17 of the 2015 season, and never played again. Two years ago, cornerback Quinton Dunbar dealt with a nerve issue in his leg and was basically lost for the year. 

What happens next for Foster will be interesting to watch. 

Kawa said the next 60 days will be important, and that timeline also coincides with more Redskins offseason work. After such a significant injury, it would be premature to make any assumptions about Foster's return to the field, and if/when that happens, his level of play. 

Foster has been seen around the Redskins training facility at times since he was signed in 2018. At various points he was using a scooter and then walking on his own with a significant brace.

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Report: Jay Gruden interviewing for Jaguars offensive coordinator job

Report: Jay Gruden interviewing for Jaguars offensive coordinator job

Jay Gruden’s absence from football might only last a few months. 

The former Redskins head coach is reportedly interviewing for the Jacksonville Jaguars vacant offensive coordinator position, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. Jacksonville parted ways with John DeFlippo last Monday after just one season with the team. 
 

The few times Gruden has spoken since being fired by Washington in October, the former head coach has expressed a strong desire to get back into coaching. Gruden recently told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport he’s been “itching to do something” and “would like an office to go to,” according to Garafolo. 

Interviewing for an offensive coordinator position is not unfamiliar territory for Gruden. He spent the past six years as the head coach in the nation’s capital, but perhaps his most success in the NFL was when the 52-year-old was the offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Behind the solid play of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, the Gruden-led offense in Cincinnati resulted in three straight playoff appearances. 

Should be be hired in Jacksonville, Gruden would have some promising pieces to work with. Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew showed plenty of hope in the 12 games he started, and second-year wideout D.J. Chark enjoyed a breakout season in 2019. Additionally, running back Leonard Fournette finished with a career-high 1,152 rushing yards last season. 

Former Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and former Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan have reportedly interviewed for the gig as well. 

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