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Scouting the playoffs: Possible Redskins targets in the Raiders-Texans game

Scouting the playoffs: Possible Redskins targets in the Raiders-Texans game

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.

First up, Tandler looks at the AFC wild card game between the Raiders and Texans.

Houston Texans

The Texans have most of their core players locked up at least through 2017 but there are a few intriguing names to watch.

—The biggest name on their list of free agents is NT Vince Wilfork and he seems much more likely to retire than to move on to another team.

—Given how the Redskins are always looking for help at safety they might take a look at S Quintin Demps. He has started 26 games the last two years and he had six interceptions in 2016. But he will be 32 before training camp starts and he has been with five different teams in nine seasons in the league. Bringing him in to the Redskins would have the feel of another patch job at a position that has had too many of those.

TE Ryan Griffin could get targeted as many as half a dozen times today. This season he caught 50 passes for 442 yards and two touchdowns. That’s not significantly less production than the Redskins got from Vernon Davis in 2016. At age 27, he could be a relatively inexpensive alternative to Davis or a good addition to the tight end corps.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders have a few more pending free agents on display today; here are a few who might be of the most interest to the Redskins.

—If the Redskins’ new defensive coordinator moves the team to a 4-3 base defense they will need an outside linebacker or two to fit the new scheme. OLB Malcolm Smith has started 30 games for the Raiders in the last two seasons. You may have heard of him; he was the MVP of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl win following the 2015 season, mostly for returning an interception 59 yards of a touchdown. Smith, who will be 28 before training camp starts, was a 2011 pick of the Seahawks, a time when Scot McCloughan was a personnel executive in Seattle.  

CB D.J. Hayden was a first-round pick of the Raiders in 2013, the 12th pick overall. But things have not gone well for him in Oakland as he has started just 25 of a possible 64 games. He still has talent and he’s only 26; if he is willing to sign a deal as a depth player the Redskins could give him a look.

—An alternative to Demps as a Band-Aid at safety could be S Nate Allen, who is a couple of years younger. He has seven years in the NFL with the Eagles, who drafted him in the second round in 2010 (using the pick acquired from the Redskins in the Donovan McNabb trade) and Raiders. The Redskins may look to see what he has left.

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Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

Arizona State punter Michael Turk dominates the bench press at NFL Combine

As far as reputations go in the NFL, punters are not generally known as the tough, strong guys on the team.

Arizona State punter Michael Turk is working to change that.

At the NFL Combine on Thursday, Turk stepped up to the bench press with 225 pounds on the bar waiting for him. What did he do? Just casually ripped off 25 reps.

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. A punter just put up 25 reps on the bench press. That number is impressive as is, for anyone of any position. However, let's put it in context to show just how strong Turk is.

Jadaveon Clowney, Chandler Jones and Rob Gronkowski are all known as some of the strongest humans to ever hit the football field. Their bench reps? 21, 22 and 23, respectively. Michael Turk, the punter, out-did them

Turk will need his legs to impress teams and scouts as he looks to head to the NFL, but he clearly has plenty of power in the upper body as well. If whatever team he lands on wants to run a fake punt, defenders won't have an easy time taking him down.

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Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

INDIANAPOLIS -- While recent meetings between Redskins head coach Ron Rivera and disgruntled left tackle Trent Williams helped repair the relationship between star player and team, the situation isn't resolved.

In fact, Williams still wants to be traded if he can't get a new contract, according to a new report from NFL Network.

Williams did not play a single snap for Washington in 2019. Not one. That came as the result of a cancer scare that he didn't believe was adequately handled by the Redskins medical staff. He also lost trust in former team president Bruce Allen. Importantly too, Williams wanted a new contract with lots of guaranteed money. 

Rivera has overhauled the Redskins medical staff and Allen is obviously gone from the team, but the contract hurdles remain. 

For the Redskins a new deal for Williams might not make a lot of sense. He will turn 32 in July and hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013. He's also a great player, so perhaps an extension could make sense. 

The best read on the situation is Williams likely won't play on his current contract, which has one-year remaining and a salary-cap charge of $14.5 million. None of that money is guaranteed. 

Right now, it seems like both sides are playing nice. The Redskins don't want to come out and say they're not going to pay Trent. And Trent's side doesn't want to come out and demand a trade. The meetings with Rivera and Williams mattered in that a resolution that pleases both sides is possible. 

What seems impossible, or at least unlikely at this point, is that Williams wears the Burgundy and Gold this fall unless a new contract emerges.

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