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Ryan Kerrigan gives his two cents on DeSean Jackson's OTA absence

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Ryan Kerrigan gives his two cents on DeSean Jackson's OTA absence

DeSean Jackson’s absence from this week’s OTA practices hasn’t generated as much discussion inside Redskins Park as it has outside of the facility.

At least, that’s how veteran linebacker Ryan Kerrigan views the situation.

“I don’t think so,” Kerrigan said Friday on ESPN 980, asked if his teammates were “really upset” about Jackson's decision to skip the first week of voluntary practices. “Of course, you’d rather have him there than not.”

Kerrigan also acknowledged that there’s a different set of unwritten rules for star players vs. the rank and file.

“We saw what DeSean can do on the field last year,” Kerrigan said. “He was one of our best players, not only on offense but on the whole team. He’s a guy that showed up every Sunday, and he performed.”

Kerrigan added: “Obviously, you’d want him there just because you like having all the guys there. You like working together and kinda getting that cohesiveness, but at the same time we know what DeSean brings to our team and the kind of big-play ability he brings to the offense.”

Jackson, who is expected to rejoin the team for next week’s OTA sessions, led the NFL in average yards per catch (20.9) and topped the Redskins in receiving yards (1,169) and receiving touchdowns (6) last season, his first in Washington.

“I think the term ‘voluntary’ is used a little loosely,” Kerrigan said. “Most guys are expected to be back when the offseason program starts. A lot of guys, we want to be out here. We want to be getting these reps because we need them. I wish I was out there getting the reps because I know I need to improve and get better for this season. But I can’t unfortunately because of injury. A lot of guys really look at it as not something they have to do, but something they want to do because this is a good opportunity to improve and show the coaches that you have improved or you’re working to improve.”

As for Kerrigan, he’s still on crutches and has been advised to avoid lifting weights for another week. The 26-year-old had his left knee scoped earlier this month after he experienced some soreness and discomfort during workouts.

“The knee is doing well,” he said. “I’m almost two weeks out of surgery. I’m feeling good. I’m ready for the next phase in my rehab and just getting back closer to being myself again.”

There’s no firm timetable for Kerrigan’s return, but he’s expected to be 100-percent by training camp in late July.

“I honestly have come to realize this might be a blessing in disguise,” he said. “My body probably does need a little bit of break from time-to-time. Surgery is never a great thing, but this might be somewhat of a blessing in disguise right here.”

MORE REDSKINS: New defense, new role for DeAngelo Hall as he comes back from injury

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Brandon Scherff confirms that he and the Redskins have 'been talking' about a contract extension

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Brandon Scherff confirms that he and the Redskins have 'been talking' about a contract extension

Bruce Allen identified getting a contract extension done for Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff as one of the Redskins biggest priorities of the 2019 offseason. To this point, however, nothing has happened. 

That doesn't seem to have Scherff concerned. 

"We've been talking, but I'm not really worried about that," he said after OTAs on Monday. "I'm here for another year, so that's all I'm worried about right now. Everything will take care of itself."

Scherff, the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has played at an elite level since his rookie season. He's made two Pro Bowl teams in four years, and until last year, had been remarkably durable. 

In 2018, Scherff's season started very strong. 'Skins coach Jay Gruden described the former Iowa Hawkeye as the best pulling guard in the NFL and it was well-earned praise. Then, in a Week 8 loss, Scherff went down with a torn pectoral muscle. His season was over. 

At OTAs, however, Scherff was a full participant with no brace or apparent encumbrances from the injury. 

"I'm feeling really good, just taking it slow and making sure I'm 100 percent," he said. 

Expect the free agent market to be quite bullish. Once a lesser-paid position than tackle, guards have recently started pulling in significant cash. Zach Martin's recent contract extension in Dallas pays him more than $14 million per season, and Jacksonville is paying Andrew Norwell more than $13 million this year. 

For Scherff, expect top of the market money. He has the talent, pedigree and ability that if Washington won't pay in the neighborhood of Martin and Norwell, he can wait for free agency. 

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Reuben Foster's season-ending injury hurts the Redskins from a contract perspective, too

Reuben Foster's season-ending injury hurts the Redskins from a contract perspective, too

There are a lot of questions stemming from Reuben Foster's injury at Redskins OTAs, which looks to be a season-ending one.

Where does Foster, whose career has really yet to take off due to other injuries as well as numerous off-field troubles, go from here? What are Washington's options at inside linebacker now, since they were counting on him to produce?

And then there's this: How does Foster missing this year affect his contract with the 'Skins?

The answer, according to salary cap expert J.I. Halsell, is not much.

"When a contract tolls, that means basically the pause button is pushed and whatever you were supposed to make in 2019 carries over to 2020. That's not the case for Reuben Foster," Halsell said Tuesday while on the Redskins Talk podcast.

"Reuben Foster will earn his $1.29 million salary regardless of if he plays this season or not. While he'll probably spend his entire season on injured reserve, he'll make his $1.29 million in 2019."

Essentially, everything proceeds as normal. And that in and of itself is a decent setback for the organization.

One of the reasons the Redskins dealt with the controversy and backlash when they claimed Foster last November was because they were adding a first-round talent on his rookie contract. The team was hoping they could secure two years of elite play out of him at a bargain price, and then potentially exercise the fifth-year option on him to keep him in D.C. through 2021.

Now, however, they're losing one of those precious seasons and will have to make that decision on his fifth-year option next offseason without any tape or experience to really base that decision on. That's an important choice, and one that will carry significant financial implications as well.

"The fifth-year option for the 2021 season will be pretty expensive," Halsell said. "The long and short of it is it's going to be a lucrative dollar amount and given his injury history, his current injury, you would think that when they have to make that decision by the 2020 Draft, they will decline that option."

Haslell's right. The likelihood of the Burgundy and Gold committing big money to a guy with literally one rep in their uniform — and it's not like he was proven for the 49ers, as a linebacker or as a person, either — feels unbelievably slim. 

Yet — and now we're looking pretty far down the line — if he is able to return from this injury and contribute in 2020, the franchise could still look to keep him beyond that. There's a ton of time between now and then, but it's certainly possible.

"Theoretically, even though you don't have the fifth-year option for 2021, you can work on a contract extension for Reuben Foster assuming he comes back to full health," Haslell explained.

Still, not only does the injury hurt the player as well as the unit the player was going to start on, but it limits the team's potential payoff from claiming the player. The situation, from every angle, is an unfortunate one. 

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