Colt McCoy breaking his leg weeks after Alex Smith broke his leg was an interesting study in how you view the Redskins. Either it was an incredible coincidence, a prime example of a team that is snake bitten, or the disastrous result of a number of bad personnel decisions.
The Redskins were leading the NFC East with a 6-4 record after Smith’s injury. McCoy started two games, but was injured after only 4 pass attempts vs the Eagles. The Redskins sat at 6-6, and despite pulling Mark Sanchez off the couch to disastrous results, they thought they still had a chance at the playoffs. This led to Colt McCoy not being placed on injured reserve until the end of the season, and a rush back to the field that potentially made the injury worse.
McCoy had multiple surgeries on his broken fibula, and his status for OTAs was put in serious doubt when he was seen on crutches again. Adam Schefter reports that McCoy has now returned to the Redskins, and should be able to fully participate by training camp.
The Redskins QB room has changed drastically since McCoy’s injury. Washington made a great trade to pick up veteran journeyman Case Keenum on a cheap deal. Then they let the draft come to them, and were able to land a consensus top 2 QB at #15 with Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. The main advantage McCoy has in this room is his experience in Jay Gruden’s system.
That won’t be enough if the Redskins feel that Haskins offers them their best chance to win, and win now. The team could also opt to go with the veteran Keenum to start the season until DH7 is ready.
McCoy seems like the odd man out in this situation, but Gruden likes him, and you can’t count him out until he is released. The Redskins have no real incentive to do anything until training camp, and Haskins could benefit from more experience in the QB room, but McCoy’s outlook looks dimmer this year, than any of his previous seasons.
Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson (ankle, ribs) said he is feeling healthy this offseason, but he’s still dealing with some soreness in his ankle. The 28-year-old has been a third-down weapon for Washington in his six years with the team, and he’s caught at least 35 passes in each of the last four seasons.
However, injuries have allowed him to play in just 20 games the last two years. He had 43 carries for 178 yards and no touchdowns while adding 41 receptions for 268 yards and a score in 2018. Thompson still might be relevant in PPR leagues, but his fantasy ceiling will be lower with both Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice splitting early down carries this season.
The Dallas Cowboys have arguably the NFL’s best running back in Ezekiel Elliott. But behind him on the depth chart are two rookies and two other players with almost no pro experience. If Dallas wants to bolster the RB group for 2019, signing former Redskin Rob Kelley may be a cheap way to do it.
Kelley has spent three years in Washington since joining them as an undrafted free agent in 2016. His rookie season was his best one; Rob started nine games after an injury to Matt Jones. He rushed for 704 yards and had six touchdown, plus another score and 82 yards off receptions.
In 2017, Kelley lost playing time to Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine. He still started seven games but was eventually used more for short-yardage situations. He finished the season on injured reserve from a high ankle sprain in mid November.
Last season, Kelley again found himself on injured reserve after an early-season toe injury. Before then, Washington had already added Adrian Peterson as the new starter. However, Rob had made the team at final cuts in a continued reserve role.
Rob Kelley became an unrestricted free agent after the Redskins decided not to place an RFA tender on him this offseason. He remains available, and at this point could probably be signed for the veteran minimum.
Over the last few years, the Cowboys have typically had an experienced player as their number-two running back. From Rod Smith to Alfred Morris to Darren McFadden, the team has had solid depth throughout Ezekiel Elliott’s time as the starter.
But currently they have two rookies, fourth-round pick Tony Pollard and seventh-round pick Mike Weber. While he has some exciting athleticism, Pollard is considered more of a gadget player in the mold of a Lance Dunbar. He may not hold up with the pounding of full-time touches if Elliott were to go missing.
Weber is the more traditional back but, again, is a late-around rookie. Other options include Darius Jackson and Jordan Chunn, who have almost no playing time on their resumes.
Rob Kelley isn’t a dynamic player but he’s still young and brings valuable experience. His physical running style also suit this team well; he can get a head of steam with the running lanes that the Cowboys’ offensive line creates.
While Kelley’s injuries the last two years are worth noting, they weren’t major knee issues or anything that should linger into another season. If anything, they’ve kept his mileage down.
Even if Dallas is hoping for success out of its two rookies running backs, it wouldn’t hurt to sign Kelley for the minimum and let him compete. There would be no risk and you might get more out of him than Washington, with their offensive issues the last few years, ever could.
The Cowboys are always looking for good deals, and Rob Kelley offers one of the better combinations of youth, experience, and minimal expense among the current free agents. If they want to add more depth to the running back position, he could be a smart way to go.
The Miami Dolphins today announced they have signed defensive end Ziggy Hood and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams and activated linebacker Mike Hull off injured reserve.
Hood is a 10-year NFL veteran who has played in 134 career games with 73 starts. He’s totaled 225 tackles (139 solo), 14 sacks, 10 passes defensed, one forced fumble and five fumble recoveries in his career. Hood played the past three seasons (2016-18) with Washington. He appeared in five games for the Redskins in 2018 and totaled three tackles (two solo) before he was released on Oct. 16, 2018. Hood originally entered the NFL as a first-round pick (32nd overall) by Pittsburgh in the 2009 NFL draft.
Williams is a six-year NFL veteran who has played in 81 career games with 63 starts. He’s totaled 120 tackles (83 solo), six sacks, two passes defensed and one fumble recovery while spending time with Denver (2013-16), Tennessee (2017) and Detroit (2018). He played in six games with four starts for the Lions this season, totaling six tackles (four solo), before he was released on Oct. 25, 2018. Williams originally entered the NFL as a first-round pick (28th overall) by Denver in the 2013 NFL draft.
Hull has played in 35 career games with four starts for the Dolphins (2015-17) and totaled 42 tackles (27 solo), one interception, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery. He also has 27 career special teams tackles (19 solo) and finished third in the NFL with 18 special teams tackles in 2016. Hull was placed on injured reserve on Sept. 3, 2018 and has yet to appear in a game this season.
Washington cutting defensive tackle Stacy McGee.Washington’s doing big deals. Again.
Which means undoing previous big deals. Again.
PFT has confirmed Washington is releasing defensive tackle Stacy McGee.
Two years ago, he was signed to a five-year, $25 million contract, but they clearly preferred to allocate resources elsewhere.
After signing Landon Collins to a gigantic deal, some other outgoings were expected, and McGee appears to be the first. He played in eight games last year, after beginning the year on the PUP list following groin surgery.
The Washington Redskins let Michael Floyd and Pernell McPhee walk this offseason. The two of them ended up signing with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Redskins let a lot of players walk this offseason. A lot of attention was paid to the top talents that walked, including Preston Smith, Jamison Crowder, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Ty Nsekhe but, the team lost some depth players as well.
However, the team lost some depth players as well, and there were some that were still lingering on the market. But over the past couple of days, the Baltimore Ravens scooped them up.
With the May 7 compensatory pick deadline passed, the Ravens decided to sign wide receiver Michael Floyd and edge rusher Pernell McPhee to contracts. Both spent one year, 2018 with the Redskins and McPhee is returning to the Ravens after leaving them following the 2014 season. Because of the deadline, neither player will impact the ‘Skins’ 2020 compensatory picks.
Of the two players, McPhee seems likely to have a bigger role. The Ravens lost some of their key edge rushers in the offseason including Za’Darius Smith and long-time Raven, Terrell Suggs. McPhee is familiar with the team and in his final season with the squad, he had a career-high 7.5 sacks. He can play on the edge and his strength-based attack should make him a decent rotational rusher, though he has slowed down in recent seasons.
As for Floyd, he will have a tougher time making the roster. He is one of many veterans fighting for a spot in a receiving corps that is unsettled but has four players drafted within the past two seasons vying for roles as well. Floyd could make the roster but the spot could also go to a guy like Seth Roberts. And even if Floyd makes it, he’ll just be a depth player.
Despite these losses, the Redskins won’t miss either player too much. McPhee played less than 20 percent of the defensive snaps, ceded time to Cassanova McKinzy near the end of the year (before McKinzy’s injury), and failed to log a sack. Meanwhile, Floyd played about 34 percent of the offensive snaps and logged 10 catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. His production can be replaced by a younger player like Terry McLaurin or Kelvin Harmon.
At this point in the offseason, these are just bookkeeping notes, and these veterans are now not available to be signed if the ‘Skins need depth at either position. But considering that they didn’t want either player on their 90-man roster, they were always unlikely to make the team anyway.
The Washington Redskins have had trouble finding effective running back depth since the departure of Alfred Morris. For 2019, it looks like they have the most depth they’ve had in recent years.
For the better part of the last five years, the Redskins have had an issue at the running back position. After Alfred Morris left the team in free agency following the 2015 campaign, the team was unable to find a truly solid starting option. Matt Jones had issues fumbling the ball and was eventually cut. Rob Kelley couldn’t stay healthy and lacked game-breaking ability. And over the course of the last two years, the team had issues staying healthy at the position.
But heading into 2019, things are looking up for the once-embattled group.
As of right now, the Redskins have seven running backs on their roster excluding fullback/H-back Elijah Wellman. Of the seven on the roster, five have a legitimate case to be a part of a rotation in the NFL, and you could make the case for a few of them as starters.
The most notable of the potential starters are Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson. Guice, of course, has yet to play a down in the NFL after suffering a torn ACL during the preseason. The second-round pick in 2018 has a ton of potential and was regarded as one of the top backs in the ’18 class. He fell to the Redskins’ pick in Round 2, and they were lucky to retain his services. Provided that he can stay healthy, he could emerge as a more-than-solid starter for the Redskins.
Meanwhile, much has been made of the 34-year-old Peterson’s effort last year, as he went for over 1,000 yards and showed his elusiveness in his first year with the ‘Skins. He defied expectations and the future Hall of Fame player seems to still have juice left, something that few thought was possible after an awful 2017 campaign. Now, he will get a chance to continue to play a role and could split carries with Guice early in the season as Guice gets acclimated to the NFL.
Elsewhere on the roster, Bryce Love could have a chance to become a lead-back at some point in his career. While his final season at Stanford was good, a torn ACL caused him to drop to the fourth round of the draft. However, the previous year he had been a 2,000-yard runner and potential first-round option. He has true three-down ability and should be a good pass catcher at the next level. He may not be healthy enough to start the season on the active roster, but in late 2019 and moving forward, Love could end up emerging as a quality piece in the ‘Skins’ backfield. So, he can’t be discounted as a future starter and, if not, an excellent part of a one-two punch.
As the NFL lexicon slowly morphs into everyday language, more and more Redskins fans want to know if the team will do anything before June 1.
The NFL allows for some salary cap relief if a team releases a player from his contract after June 1. In fact, the league allows teams to designate two players as “post June 1” cuts even before free agency opens. That designation lets a team split the dead money remaining on a released player’s contract over two years rather than taking the immediate dead money hit on that year’s salary cap, freeing up money in March for free agency.
Hope that makes sense. For more, click here.
On a local level, despite some ballooning contracts for veterans, the Redskins did not release any players with a post-June 1 designation prior to free agency. And now, as the calendar turns to June, there appear to be no cuts on the horizon.
There has been some speculation that veteran cornerback Josh Norman could be a June cap casualty. Checking in with one team official, the word was there had not been discussions about releasing Norman.
The 31-year-old corner is slated to count $14.5 million against the cap this season, and none of it is guaranteed. If the Redskins released Norman in June, they would save $11.5 million against the cap and eat $3 million in dead money this season and next. Had they released him before June, or without the June 1 designation, those numbers would have been less advantageous for the club, including the full $6 million dead cap hit this year.
But, for all the fans that question if Norman has lived up to his Redskins contract, ask this question instead:
What do the Redskins look like at cornerback without Norman?
He might not be the best corner in the NFL, but Norman has been good in Washington. He accounted for seven turnovers last season and has missed just two games in three years with the ‘Skins.
After Norman, the Redskins have Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Adonis Alexander, Greg Stroman, Danny Johnson, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jimmy Moreland. All have promise, some much more than others, but also have questions.
Dunbar - Looked great early in 2018 before a mysterious nerve injury ended his season. Has not been seen running full speed since though Redskins officials say he's in good shape for Richmond.
Moreau - Played well at times in 2018, but doesn't look like a natural slot CB. Could 2019 be a breakthrough year?
Alexander - Showed little in 2018, but has every measurable for a star CB. Lottery ticket.
Stroman - Good games and bad last season as a rookie, smart player.
Johnson - Started strong, ended poor. Hardly a roster lock.
DRC - Last seen retiring from football in Oakland. If he's all the way in, versatile veteran presence the 'Skins could use. If he's not, probably doesn't last through Richmond.
Moreland - 7th-round pick out of JMU. Has shown nose for football in OTAs. Also a 7th-round rookie out of JMU. Small, needs to show the same ability in full contact as he does in non-contact drills in May. Real chance for roster spot and maybe more if his level of play doesn't drop with pads on.
After reading that, it’s easy to understand why team officials in Ashburn aren’t talking about cutting Norman. Put simply, if the Redskins were going to cut Norman, they would have months ago and already reaped the post-June 1 cap advantage. They didn’t.
That doesn’t mean the situation won’t change. Things change in the NFL.
After losing Reuben Foster to injury, the ‘Skins might look for help at inside linebacker. Should a quality veteran come available, maybe Bruce Allen does look to create salary cap space.
If that happens, a veteran like Norman or tight end Vernon Davis could be in a different situation. Davis is set to count $6.3 million against the Redskins salary cap in 2019, and if the team cuts him in June, they would free up nearly $5 million in cap space.
Inside linebacker isn’t the only spot Washington could look for a new player or an upgrade. If a veteran pass rusher or free safety popped up, that could be intriguing. There are also the unforeseen situations that pop up from time to time.
Nobody saw the Redskins landing DeSean Jackson in 2014, but they did. And nobody saw the Redskins landing Josh Norman in 2016, but they did.
That brings things full circle to Norman, and to the June 1 cuts.
If Washington wanted to cut Norman and get the salary cap advantage of a post June 1 designation, the organization could have done that already.