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Scot McCloughan's personnel record has hits and misses with Redskins

Scot McCloughan's personnel record has hits and misses with Redskins

Scot McCloughan only served as the Redskins GM for 18 months, but in that time, the roster changed significantly. Some moves were great, others, not so much. 

Great

  • Jamison Crowder - Arguably the best move of the McCloughan era, Crowder was a 4th round draft pick in 2015. In two seasons with the Redskins, the slot star has totaled more than 1,400 receiving yards and given Washington their best punt returner since Brian Mitchell was returning kicks. With DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon gone, the 2017 Redskins offense may run through the former Duke star.
  • Vernon Davis - An aging former star that many in the NFL thought was past his prime, Davis came in and played well for Washington in 2016. Davis had 44 catches for nearly 600 yards to go with two touchdowns in 2016. More importantly for Washington, Davis proved a strong run blocker and a highly capable complement to Jordan Reed when they were on the field together, or a high-level backup when Reed missed games.
  • Brandon Scherff - McCloughan's first draft pick with the Redskins, Scherff has developed into a Pro Bowl guard in just his second NFL season. The tough part for Scherff, even as a great player, the ceiling for a guard is somewhat limited, and some fans will always wonder if Leonard Williams might have been the better fit in Washington at the 5th pick in the 2015 Draft.

MORE: Redskins free agency live blog: News and rumors

Good

  • Robert Kelley - An undrafted free agent out of Tulane, Kelley proved highly capable of taking the RB1 role for the Redskins in the second half of the 2016 season. 
  • Mason Foster - Not all of McCloughan's best work came in the draft. Signing Foster gave some stability to the middle linebacker position, and Foster led the team in tackles in 2016.
  • Will Blackmon - Similar to Foster, Blackmon came in and immediately helped the Redskins. With a professional attitude and strong locker room presence, Blackmon made plays at cornerback in 2015. Switched to safety in 2016, Blackmon's play was a work in progress, but he will help younger players in 2017 and beyond. 
  • Josh Norman - The biggest free agent signing of the McCloughan era, Norman played well in his first season with the 'Skins. Plagued by penalties and an inability to hang on to interceptions, Norman could make a bigger impact in 2017.
  • Su'a Cravens - No doubt a playmaker as a rookie, Cravens arguably saved the Redskins season with a win-sealing interception against the Giants in Week 3 of the 2016 season. If his move to safety in 2017 pans out, it will be a huge swing for the Redskins. 
  • Preston Smith - Showed great promise as a rookie, but his stats slid backwards in his second season. Talented and with strong physical gifts, fans hope for a return to his rookie ways in his third year.
  • Ricky Jean François - A veteran with heart and ability, François will likely see the field more with the dismissal of former defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

MORE: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 4.0

Miss 

  • Matt Jones - Going into just his third season with the 'Skins, Jones still has time to reverse course. But in two seasons with the Redskins, Jones has lost the starting RB job to Kelley and proceeded to be inactive for the bulk of the second half of the 2016 season. Plagued by fumble problems, Jones has all the physical tools to suceed, just needs to prove it.
  • David Bruton - A career special teamer for seven years in Denver, the Redskins decided Bruton could be their starting safety in 2016. He couldn't. This was a big miss, and Bruton did not finish the season with the team after a concussion sent him to the IR in October.
  • Stepehen Paea - Signed by the Redskins in 2015, Paea never showed the 6 sack, disruptive performance he delivered in Chicago in 2014. The 'Skins cut Paea in training camp in 2016.
  • Kendall Reyes - Another defensive line signing, Reyes was terrible in his brief tenure with Washington. He played just two games with the 'Skins in 2016 before he was released.
  • Josh Doctson - Far too early to judge his career, but his rookie season was a miss. An Achilles injury limited Doctson to just two games in 2016. Washington will need much more from their 2016 first-round pick this season after the loss of Jackson and Garçon. 

Plenty more personnel moves can fit into the great, good or miss category. This is just a snapshot of McCloughan's work as general manager. Let us know what you think in the comments.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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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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