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Scouting the playoffs: Possible Redskins free agent targets in Steelers-Chiefs

Scouting the playoffs: Possible Redskins free agent targets in Steelers-Chiefs

The Redskins have a substantial amount of salary cap space and a ton of needs to fill. During the NFL playoffs, CSN Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take a game by game look at the best unrestricted free agent prospects playing for each team.

Steelers vs. Chiefs

Tandler gave you a look at the Steelers’ pending free agents last week. Today the focus is on potential Chiefs targets.   

The Chiefs are tight on cap space with about $4.9 million as of now, the third-lowest available money figure in the NFL. The good news for them is that they have only six pending unrestricted free agents so they don’t have to spend a whole lot to keep the team intact. Still, they have some decisions to make.  

S Eric Berry played the season on the franchise tag. The Chiefs could opt to tag him again, a move that would give him a cap number of just under $13 million. They could do that but they might want to use the tag on the next player on the list. On the open market, Berry could command a deal comparable to those of Earl Thomas and Harrison Smith, in the $10 million per year range. Even though Barry’s age, 28, and Washington’s chronic need at safety might tempt the Redskins, that price tag is likely to be too rich.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

—If the Chiefs don’t tag Berry they may decide to slap it on DT Dontari Poe, who can be absolutely dominant in the middle of the line. That move would cost them around $14 million. A long-term contract for Poe would be comparable to the six-year, $102.6 million deal that Fletcher Cox signed with the Eagles last year. Again, Poe’s age, 27 when training camp starts, and position need would make him attractive to the Redskins but his potential contract demands are likely to scare them away.

—So how about a player the Redskins might actually sign? RB Knile Davis started and ended the year with the Chiefs but he also was the property of the Packers and, briefly, the Jets before re-signing with Kansas City. Last year was a lost season for Davis but in part-time duty in 2013-2014 the former third-round pick of the Chiefs was a solid part-time player, averaging about 30 yards per game in total offense. If the Redskins don’t feel comfortable with Matt Jones as their second option behind Rob Kelley, they could take a look at Davis, who would come at a very reasonable cost.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on the Redskins' new OC

—Since he was drafted by the 49ers in 2011 OL Michael Person has been with five other teams. He was the Falcons’ starter at center in 2015 and that is why he might interest the Redskins. If John Sullivan leaves and Kory Lichtensteiger is released as a cap casualty they may be in search of a backup center. Person will come cheap and may be a fit.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Dwayne Haskins welcomes fellow OSU alum, XFL QB Cardale Jones to D.C.

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Dwayne Haskins welcomes fellow OSU alum, XFL QB Cardale Jones to D.C.

There's a new Buckeye in town.

The XFL conducted the first part of their 2020 Draft Tuesday with D.C.'s newest team, the Defenders, drafting quarterback Cardale Jones.

Dwayne Haskins welcomed his fellow Buckeye to town on Twitter, to which Jones replied, "roommates?" "Towels and linen ready," Haskins tweeted back.

Jones led the Buckeyes to a National Championship in 2015, leaving Ohio State to enter the 2016 NFL Draft the year Haskins arrived.

Jones' NFL career was short-lived. He was drafted during the fourth round in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, was then traded to the Los Angeles Chargers, cut at the end of this past August, picked up by the Seattle Seahawks and cut two weeks later. After an NFL career that never seemed to materialize, Jones is looking forward to a career in the XFL.

“It’s an opportunity to go somewhere and be ‘the guy,’ instead of being on someone’s practice squad," Jones said in a phone interview with the Washington Post after being cut by the Seahawks.

The XFL and D.C. Defenders kick off their inaugural season at Audi Field in February 2020.


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It's time to start regarding Quinton Dunbar as a top cornerback in the NFL

It's time to start regarding Quinton Dunbar as a top cornerback in the NFL

Many features of the Redskins' defense has disappointed in 2019. Quinton Dunbar's performance isn't one of them, though.

The 27-year-old's effort on Sunday against the Dolphins included an interception and ended with him receiving the second-best single-game grade of his career, according to Pro Football Focus.

Any idea which contest was the only one to top his afternoon in Miami? Oh, it came just a few weeks ago versus the Giants, where he picked off two Daniel Jones passes and shut down whatever pass-catcher lined up across from him.

Overall, Pro Football Focus rates Dunbar as the NFL's third most effective cornerback this year. He's missed two matchups due to injuries, but when he's active, he's active in the secondary.

"He was tremendous in so many areas," interim coach Bill Callahan said on Monday when looking back at what Dunbar did in Week 6. "He was relentless versus their screens — he came up, he supported, he filled the alley, really impressive — and the play he made on the slant on the pick, really great anticipation, awareness, instinct, intuitiveness."

Those four qualities that Callahan mentioned are what really stand out from the former-receiver-turned-corner (whenever writing about No. 23, it's necessary to point out he didn't even play on defense until 2015, illustrating just how incredible his development at DB has been). His pick of Josh Rosen happened thanks to his ability to read and then react to the route:

Dunny's other two thefts this season were much like that one: he shadowed the opponent step-for-step then ran through his body to force a turnover. He's not nabbing overthrows or getting lucky off deflections; he's stealing balls from the offense.

As mentioned, leg issues have kept Dunbar on the sidelines this campaign as well as the last one for some extended periods. He's also lining up on a unit that's been nothing more than mediocre for a while, which is another factor preventing him from getting the recognition he deserves. 

But with the way he's stepping up as of late, his name should stop popping up more when running down the list of the sport's best at his position.

Redskins fans have long lamented what Josh Norman has done and how the team doesn't have a special CB. It's beginning to look like they do, however — it's just the guy on the other side of the field.