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Redskins would have rocked 'Hard Knocks'

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Redskins would have rocked 'Hard Knocks'

It's official. The Miami Dolphins, will star in the next installment of HBO's 'Hard Knocks,' a behind the scenes look at NFL training camps. The immensely popular series had taken a hiatus as a result of the NFL lockout and is now back with a splash, right?Wellwhile it will be hard to replicate Rex Ryan's infamous (and don't forget, inspirational) snack quote, it's safe to say HBO show producers know what they are doing. Couple that with the gravitational pull of the NFL? Chances are, fans will at least check out the first episode.There are teams, however, that would have made this season 'must-see TV.' Teams such as the Washington Redskins, a franchise shrouded with secrecy, who naturally, declined HBO's offer.People love lists, so without further adieu, here are 5 reasons why the Redskins, headlining 'Hard Knocks,' would have captivated audiences:
1) RGIIIThe future of the Redskins franchise has been placed on the shoulders of a rookie quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Not just any QB, but a Heismann winner who brought Baylor University's program out of obscurity and into the national spotlight.In Mike Shanahan's own words, he is a 'natural' leader, just one of the reasons why the head coach is straying from his M.O. and building the offense around his coveted new signal caller. Heralded as the total package, Griffin is equally as dynamic off the field as he is on the grid iron. Griffin has some huge socks to fill, not only must he live up to the hype--he must surpass it.
2) Coach Mike Shanahan's new found 'swag'Coach Mike Shanahan has said he is 'excited' about the future of the Redskins and it shows. A smile across Shanny's face used to be something of a mythical occurrence, say a Bigfoot sighting or Albert Haynesworth dropping a few lbs, but Mike has something to smile about and he does so quite often. Why is the usually stoic coach all of a sudden so jovial? Just reference the first entry on this list.The stakes are high for Shanny. With two super bowl rings under his belt, he's going for a third and trying to solidify a spot in the Hall of Fame. The head coach is not only responsible for grooming a young man to be an elite QB, but his son, offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan is also under his tutelage. Young Shanahan is poised to be a head coach one day. Imagine cameras honed in on THAT dynamic under the pro-football pressure...Shanahan probably has some better soundbites than, 'Let's go eat a goddamn snack,' in his artillery, but we'll never know.
3) The validation of London FletcherLinebacker, London Fletcher is entering the fifteenth season of his NFL career.Marinate on that for a secondin fact, take a whole minute.In 2011, Fletcher started all 16 games for the Redskins. Fletcher recorded 1.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, and led the league in tackles with 166 (NFL GSIS). And yet, Fletcher didn't make the initial 2012 Pro Bowl roster, he was an alternate.While RGIII will be the face of Washington's franchise, in terms of leading the team, the QB will be taking his queues from Fletcher. 'Hard Knocks' would have given 59 national exposure to all football fans, not just the burgundy and gold faithful.
4) The redemption of Fred Davis and Trent WilliamsBoth Davis and Williams appear to have learned a lesson after their off-field 'indiscretions' led to a four-game suspension at the end of last season.In the off-season Davis was still anointed with the franchise tag after a career year with 59 catches for 796 yards and three touchdowns prior to the penalty. Offensive co-captain, Williams as the Skins' left tackle, is bestowed with duty of protecting RGIII's blindside.As Mike Shanahan looks to rid his roster of problem players, Davis and Williams will be under a fine microscope. Ultimately, the two were judged harshly not by what was seen as a malicious decision, but rather an idiotic one. Actions speak louder than words, so Davis and Williams now have to walk the walk and it would be interesting to have a camera present for whether they prevail or fail.
5) The spectacle that is 'RGIII Mania'Had to sneak in Griffin on this list one more time, right? Imagine front row seats to the circus, led by the charismatic ringmaster, Robert Griffin III. For those not in the greater Washington area, it is hard to convey the magnitude of Griffin hysteria. That's where the 'Hard Knocks' cameras come in.Forget about what Griffin can do on the field, RGIII is a media savvy, beat boxing, mega-star that sponsors only dream about. He has his own line of socks, seriously who does that?And the fans love their burgundy and gold savior. Robert Griffin III currently has the NFLs top-selling jersey. He hasn't played a snap in the NFL, apologies on the repetitiveness, but seriously who does that?One of CSNWashington.com's most viewed videos in the past few weeks is of RGIII simply pumping a lil iron and to clarify little--there's only 8 secs of footage.Fans simply cannot get enough of RGIII. Imagine a film crew with RGIII as settles in to his first place out of college and gets to know the DMV, along with his finance. Or actual footage of RGIII sharing a burrito with Kirk Cousins?Or better yet, a moment when Griffin isn't so TV polishedwould fans get a different glimpse of Robert?
Disagree with any of these? Did I miss something? Let us know in the comments below!Better yet, the Redskins choose to pass on the show for a reason, what do you think is the number 1 reason why it's a good thing Washington opted out of 'Hard Knocks'?

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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

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Early returns show solid Redskins squad, with potential for more

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USA TODAY Sports

Early returns show solid Redskins squad, with potential for more

More than 100 days remain before the Redskins take the field in meaningful NFL action.

Any and all excitement needs to be tempered, significantly, because what happens on a practice field in May without pads does not represent what will happen in September, October and beyond. 

Still, the Redskins group that took the field this week for OTAs showed promise. 

New quarterback Alex Smith looked crisp, connecting with a variety of wideouts and commanding the huddle. New wideout Paul Richardson made the best play of the session when he streaked down the field past rookie cornerback Greg Stroman and hauled in a deep pass from Smith. The play showed Smith's ability to identify open receivers downfield, as well as Richardson's ability to go up and grab a contested catch. Even Stroman, the seventh-round rookie, positioned himself well, he just fell victim to a perfect pass and tremendous athleticism.

That was only one play in a two-hour session. Again, don't take too much from May, when players don't wear pads or engage in any of the violence that the NFL is predicated upon. But the OTAs do serve a purpose, both for players and coaches, and there were nuggets to absorb and try to project for the fall. Here they are:

  • Jay Gruden made clear he's not concerned about the health of his offensive line. Trent Williams and Morgan Moses are recuperating from offseason surgery, but Gruden believes both are on track for when things start to matter. It's a good thing the coach isn't concerned because this was the 'Skins line in OTAs (left to right): Geron Christian, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, John Kling. Should that lineup take the field this fall, there will be trouble. 
     
  • The Redskins lost Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland this offseason, and the secondary depth will be something to watch throughout training camp. At OTAs, newly signed veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick lined up opposite Josh Norman in the team's base 3-4 defense. In nickel and dime coverage, Quinton Dunbar lined up opposite Norman and Scandrick moved to the slot. As things progress, it will be interesting to see if Dunbar surpasses Scandrick in base coverage, and what becomes of 2017 third-round pick Fabian Moreau. Stay tuned.  
     
  • Rookie running back Derrius Guice looked every part of the first-round talent many judged him to be before draft season rumors caused him to slide to the late second round. Guice cuts with authority and is able to see holes before they form and patiently wait to hit the open space. Guice also looked fine in pass-catching drills, one area that was a question coming out of LSU (but that says more about LSU's prehistoric offense). Watching the Redskins offense work, it seems clear Guice will be the heaviest used runner this fall.
     
  • That said, don't count out Robert Kelley. He looks leaner and plenty quick, showing a few impressive runs during the session. Byron Marshall also looked good, and Gruden pointed out his success in his post-OTA press conference. The running back group will have plenty of competition all the way through Richmond. 
     
  • Jonathan Allen has switched jersey numbers from 95 to 93. Rookie Daron Payne is now wearing 95. Payne and Allen both went to Alabama, both are huge, and both play defensive line. The number switch will take some getting used to. 
     
  • Zach Brown missed the OTA session as he was moving, and interestingly in his spot with the starting defense was Josh Harvey-Clemons. The second-year pro out of Louisville showed impressive speed in coverage, and remember he played safety in college and performed quite well. He has ball skills and great size to be a coverage linebacker. Some were surprised when the Redskins kept JHC last season at the cut to 53, but his development appears to be paying off for the organization. 
     
  • Another linebacker that made a play was Zach Vigil. He impressed for the Redskins late last season and was running the Washington second-team defensive huddle. At one point, Vigil broke through the line of scrimmage and blew up a run play. That prompted D.J. Swearinger to yell from the sideline, "OK Zach. OK ZACH!"
     
  • Speaking of Swearinger, the Redskins defensive captain seemed in midseason form when it comes to yelling encouragement on the field. Nobody hypes up the defense like Swearinger, particularly when the secondary makes a big play. On one pass Dunbar made a nice diving play to break up a pass, and Swearinger and Josh Norman got very fired up, shouting and jumping around. The entire defense responded. Little stuff like that helps disrupt the monotony of offseason work. 
     
  • Jamison Crowder looks jacked and quick. The end. 

 

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