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Redskins yet to begin contract talks with Chris Baker, Pierre Garçon, other free agents

Redskins yet to begin contract talks with Chris Baker, Pierre Garçon, other free agents

Kirk Cousins ranks as the top free agent question for the Redskins, but the team has a number of other players with expired contracts. And so far, it seems the Washington brass isn't interested in working on new deals. 

Defensive lineman Chris Baker is yet to hear from the team on a new deal, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Baker has been the team's best defensive lineman the past two seasons, and if he hits the open market, will have suitors around the league. An able run stopper with good burst to apply interior pressure on quarterbacks, Baker registered 10.5 sacks over the last two seasons. 

Elsewhere on the roster, receivers Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson both could hit free agency. 106.7 the Fan's Brian McNally reported the team has reached out to neither player on a new contract. Should the Redskins lose both Jackson and Garçon, that is taking 2,000 receiving yards out of the 2016 offense. 

Staying on offense, veteran tight end Vernon Davis joined the 'Skins last year on a one-year 'prove it' type deal. He proved it. Davis caught 44 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns and gave the 'Skins a viable option at tight end when Jordan Reed dealt with injuries. ESPN's John Keim reported that the 'Skins have not talked much about a new deal with Davis either.

Speaking at the Senior Bowl with CSN, team president Bruce Allen said the team wanted to finalize their coaching staff before diving into player contracts. The staff is almost full, though some lower level positions are still open. Regardless, it's also possible for the team to reach out to players and their representatives while filling coaching jobs. 

Free agency does not open for another month, and the 'Skins still have time to enter into negotiations with the players they want to bring back. A month is a lot of time, but it's curious that Washington has gone silent on multiple notable free agents, especially for players they intend to bring back. The team has been allowed to work on new contracts with their own players for weeks. 

It's too early to determine that the Redskins are moving on from any of their free agents, though the extended silence says something. 

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Terry McLaurin expects Scott Turner to increase Washington's offensive tempo in 2020

Terry McLaurin expects Scott Turner to increase Washington's offensive tempo in 2020

On defense, Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio are emphasizing an approach that's heavy on attacking. They want their personnel moving upfield and playing with aggression, something Montez Sweat became just the latest to reference on Thursday.

They aren't the only side of the ball in Washington that's trying to be more assertive, though.

Also on Thursday, Terry McLaurin explained that he thinks the offense will be speeding things up in 2020 as they, too, aim to gain more control of every game.

"I feel like when you’re on offense, you should be dictating the tempo," the star receiver told reporters on Zoom. "You should decide when you guys get up to the line, when you’re snapping the play, when you’re calling audibles and running motions and things like that."

A major instigator of that change, according to McLaurin, will be new offensive coordinator Scott Turner.

"It’s just some things that Turner does a great thing on, that versatility and unpredictability," he said. "I’m really excited to see his style of play calling and how it works."

That type of plan could really aid a unit that's coming off a season where it was the NFL's worst at putting up points and entering a season where expectations aren't much higher. For a bunch that's slated to feature a second-year signal caller and set to surround him with a mostly very young supporting cast, picking up the pace will be useful.

And it's something Turner is already discussing. A lot.

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"I have heard Coach Turner speak numerous occasions on having some tempo in the way we get in the huddle, the way we get the play so the quarterback has enough time to assess what’s going on defensively," McLaurin said.

In evaluating Turner's entire scheme beyond the desire for operating with more speed, McLaurin identified it as a "very concise offense" that doesn't force the players to think too much. If they're not thinking, of course, they can devote more energy to producing. That is what every coach wants to accomplish in their job.

Overall, it wasn't surprising to hear McLaurin bring optimism to his presser with the media, because he's an optimistic person to begin with and August is not the time to touch on the shortcomings of one's team. 

Even so, as McLaurin was describing the mentality that Turner is instilling on his group, it was fun to, just for a moment, consider an outcome where things do click and they do take opponents by surprise.

At the very minimum, he laid out a compelling picture of how it could all come together.

"Just that attack mindset, it starts obviously up front with how we run the ball with Adrian Peterson and the group of guys we have on the offensive line, and then our skill players we have on the outside making plays, and I feel like that really opens up our offense because I feel like you can’t really key in on one thing or the other," he said. 

Having that vision and introducing that vision beginning on September 13 are two very different tasks, but the vision on its own is a promising one. In 2019, Washington was both lifeless and toothless with the ball. In 2020, they should at least improve in one of those areas.

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Report: Seahawks cut CB Kemah Siverand for attempting to sneak woman into team hotel

Report: Seahawks cut CB Kemah Siverand for attempting to sneak woman into team hotel

As NFL training camps open, teams are taking every protective measure to ensure player safety. Extensive testing protocols agreed upon by the NFL and the NFLPA and daily testing until at least September 5 prove safety is the league's number one priority.

But in order for the NFL's plans to work, players have to do their part

On Thursday, the Seattle Seahawks cut rookie cornerback Kemah Siverand after he was caught trying to sneak a female visitor into the team hotel, according to Tom Pelissero. Siverand and the woman, who was wearing Seattle gear in an attempt to disguise herself as a Seahawks player, were both caught on camera.

The Seahawks' quick action shows how serious teams are handling COVID-19 protocols. Head coach Pete Carroll is sending a clear message that actions that put the entire team at risk will not be tolerated.  

Fans got a glimpse of what the NFL's safety protocols were like during Hard Knocks this week. The quick decision to cut Siverand shows that irresponsible action won't be tolerated as the NFL season approaches.

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