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What will the Redskins do with WR Andre Roberts?


What will the Redskins do with WR Andre Roberts?

 In less than a year, the Redskins completed a stunning turnaround, ascending from a laughingstock in 2014 to a division champion in 2015. But now comes the difficult part: taking that all-important next step and improving from a franchise that was fortunate to get into the playoffs to one that can do some damage once it gets there. And that work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players.

In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will examine the 25 biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

No. 3—Should Andre Roberts return in 2016?

El-Bashir: Roberts’ tenure in Washington got off to what the wide receiver called a “frustrating” start. Of course, I’m talking about the Redskins recruiting him to be their No. 2 wide receiver in 2014…and then, just a few weeks later, signing DeSean Jackson. Roberts had not played a single snap in Washington and he had already been demoted to the No. 3 spot behind Jackson and Pierre Garcon.

It’s hard to say exactly how much that initial disappointment contributed to Roberts’ struggles, but it couldn’t have helped.

In 2014, Roberts was targeted 72 times and caught just 36 of those balls for 453 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't make much of an impact as a returner, either.

Things actually went downhill from there in 2015. Roberts lost his job as a returner, dropped a couple of passes early and by Week 4 was a healthy scratch. His season ended in December when he opted to have surgery on a knee that had hampered him for a month. In all, the 28-year-old finished with career lows in several categories including games played (9), receptions (11), yards (139) and touchdowns (0).

That sharp decline in production combined with the emergence of Jamison Crowder and Roberts’ $5 million cap hit in 2016 makes it very difficult to see him returning for a third year. 

Tandler: Sometimes a decision appears to be so easy that you have to look for reasons why the obvious may not happen. Rarely are choices involving millions of dollars as cut and dried as a decision to release Andre Roberts seems to be.

The Redskins have paid Roberts $8 million so far. He got a 44 million signing bonus and his 2014 and 2015 salaries, which totaled an additional $4 million, were guaranteed. Despite Roberts’ disappointing production in 2015 should the Redskins just cut bait on the sunk costs or try to et something out it it?

There are two years and another $8 million, in the form of $4 million salaries (not guaranteed) in 2016 and 2017, left on his contract. His $5 million cap number this year makes him 35th highest paid wide receiver in the NFL. It’s difficult to make a case that his performance justifies that salary.

But is he worth keeping around at a lower cap number? Roberts should be open to taking a pay cut since nobody would pay him anything close to $4 million if he hit the open market. They could offer him, say, a $1 million base salary with a chance to make another half a million or so in performance incentives and per-game roster bonuses he can earn if he’s on the 46-man game day active list.

That would give them some experienced depth in case of injury and a guy who can return kicks (remember he had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Panthers).

With all that said, the most likely outcome seems to be an outright release. That would save the Redskins $3 million against the cap and they could add depth to the position via the draft.

25 Questions series

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Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets 3-game substance abuse ban


Cowboys WR Terrance Williams gets 3-game substance abuse ban

Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, a ban he will serve while on injured reserve because of lingering issues from offseason surgery for a broken right foot.

The league said Thursday the suspension will be in effect Sunday when the Cowboys visit Washington. After Dallas’ open week and a home game against Tennessee, the final game of the ban will be Nov. 11 at Philadelphia.

But Williams will miss at least three more games after that while on injured reserve. His first possible game is Dec. 9 at home against the Eagles.

Williams was arrested in May on a charge of public intoxication in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, where team headquarters is located. The case was dismissed after Williams completed a state-mandated alcohol awareness education course.

Williams was ineffective before being placed on IR, as he mustered just two catches for 18 total yards over the Cowboys first two games. Dallas will also be without wide receiver Tavon Austin on Sunday when they face the Washington Redskins. Austin is suffering from a groin injury, and expected to be out multiple weeks.

NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux contributed to this story.


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Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt


Adrian Peterson's kids and the Internet are why he designed that shoe-in-facemask shirt

Luke Kuechly was just trying to make a tackle.

During the Redskins-Panthers Week 6 matchup, the Carolina star dove to wrap up Adrian Peterson and, like many, many, many before him, failed to bring the RB down.

Unfortunately for Kuechly, something else happened on the play that is going to help it live on much longer than your routine defensive mistake.

That something, of course, is that Peterson's cleat came off in the collision and lodged itself in Kuechly's facemask. And the uniqueness of that is why Peterson is now selling T-shirts commemorating it:

"I thought it was pretty cool," Peterson said Thursday in the 'Skins' locker room when asked why he felt moved to create the shirts, of which there are three to choose from on his site. "My kids got a big kick out of it. Obviously, the Internet did as well."

No. 26 has carried the ball 2,651 times in his career but said he's never had an attempt go like that one that involved his footwear and Kuechly's headgear.

However, because he's a legend, Peterson was able to deal with the lost shoe and still go on to pick up a nice chunk of yards as well as a first down.

"As I'm breaking free and I feel my shoe coming off, the only thing on my mind is, 'OK, let me make sure I plant my foot in a way where I don't slip,'" he explained. "That was the only thing I was focusing on on that play."

Will Kuechly get a shirt, though? After all, without him, they wouldn't exist in the first place.

"I might send him one," Peterson said.

What's lower: the odds of Kuechly wearing that shirt should Peterson ever send it along or the odds of another shoe finding its way into the linebacker's facemask? 

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