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NFL Free Agency: Redskins Sign Jeron Johnson

jeron johnson

Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan — who has rightfully earned the nickname The Ninja — continues to shape Washington’s defense this offseason, signing former Seattle Seahawks safety Jeron Johnson to a two-year, $4 million deal, according to reports.

It’s another point for the defense, as Johnson joins Ricky Jean Francois, Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea, and Chris Culliver as the Redskins’ top additions since free agency began less than a week ago.

1. Stickin’ to the plan. It may sound like a broken record at this point, but it’s the result of Redskins fans not being accustomed to quality contracts, promising players, and long-term franchise goals. Since McCloughan discussed his plan during his introductory press conference as the team’s general manager earlier this year, he’s done exactly what he said he would.

2. The money. Like the other contracts we’ve seen dished out by the front office so far, this one for Johnson is a fair one. Clearly it’s inexpensive, but also perfect for a backup who may have some potential, but who needs to be given a chance in order to see if he’s deserving of a long-term starting spot and the contract to reflect it. Additionally, there’s very minimal risk. If Johnson doesn’t cut it at safety, he remains a proven asset on special teams.

3. The fit. He fits because the Redskins secondary was terrible last season. From notes and reports, Johnson sounds like a more of a strong safety than a free safety, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him at either position; McCloughan is likely a fan of safeties who can play both spots. Not to mention, Johnson has played about four games worth of snaps in his career; are we really going to call him one kind of safety or the other at this point? Let’s wait and see. And again, in addition to his potential at safety, Johnson is a solid contributor on special teams.

4. The player. Johnson has only one start under his belt since signing with the Seahawks after going undrafted in 2011 out of Boise State, but he’s built a reputation on special teams. His ties to McCloughan may have given Washington a leg up in negotiations (or maybe not). For a signing like this, we’re excited more so about potential and cost than we are about past performance — and that’s far from a bad thing.

NFL Free Agency: Redskins Sign CB Chris Culliver

chris culliver

The Washington Redskins continue to move through NFL free agency with competency, wisdom, and responsibility, signing cornerback Chris Culliver on Friday to a four-year deal worth $32 million.

While the signings of defensive linemen Stephen Paea and Terrance Knighton were/are well received, this Culliver deal may take the cake as most exciting.

1. Stickin’ to the plan. There’s been a noticeable pattern so far with the Redskins’ free agent signings — average age, 27. New general manager Scot McCloughan isn’t only addressing areas of need, but also doing so with young(er) talent, rather than spending on old heads who are past their prime, firmly stuck in their ways, or both.

2. The money. It seems a bit high at first, but assume Culliver the starter opposite Bashaud Breeland moving forward and it’s not so bad for a starting corner. Again, he’s young, so there’s no issue with contract length, and the structure of the deal works in Washington’s favor.

3. The fit. Remember how much we laughed at this defensive unit a season ago? Scot McCloughan is doing his best to correct that. While remaining patient with David Amerson wouldn’t necessarily be frowned upon, there shouldn’t be much question as to Culliver being the starter opposite Breeland. Culliver probably won’t offer much in the run game (I say that based off stats only), but he’s a good athlete with ball skills and solid coverage numbers to back it up.

4. The player. According to Pro Football Focus, Culliver finished last season with a rating of 8.2 in coverage, which was good for tenth amongst cornerbacks having played at least 60 percent of their teams’ snapsa. He finished with six pass deflections and four interceptions on the year, and quarterbacks posted a rating of just 66.5 when throwing into Culliver’s coverage, which was fourth-best behind the likes of Vontae Davis, Chris Harris Jr., and Richard Sherman; and ahead of guys like Aqib Talib and Darrelle Revis. That said, he does come with a decent share of off-the-field run-ins, all of which can be learned about here. From a talent/need/money/fit standpoint, this is another good deal for the Redskinsb.

  1. Culliver missed two games due to injury  (back)
  2. And yes, I agree — it feels extremely weird to continue to praise Redskins front office moves. But maybe we should get used to it…?  (back)

Redskins Sign Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton

Terrance Knighton

Former Denver Broncos defensive lineman Terrance Knighton visited Washington on a Wednesday afternoon. By Thursday evening he became the newest member of the Redskins, inking a one-year deal worth a reported $4 million.

Similar to the Stephen Paea deal earlier in the week, the addition of Knighton won’t tip the scales or send Twitter into a tailspin; but it’s an encouraging deal for the Redskins.

1. Stickin’ to the plan. Not only is new general manager Scot McCloughan building from the inside out, but he’s also refusing to break the bank.

2. The money. One year, $4 million. It’s smart. It’s a bargain.

3. The fit, which means Paea is your end opposite Jason Hatcher, and Pot Roast gets the nod at nose tackle. Ironically enough, Chris Baker (who is a childhood friend of Knighton’s and who helped with the lineman’s recruitment) looks to be the team’s first rotational guy.

4. The player. At 6’3″, 335 pounds, Knighton is true to the nose tackle position, and it’ll be nice for the Redskins to have a large cog in the middle drawing double teams and helping to clog running lanes. There’s some concern/talk regarding his weight and fitness level, none of which really concerns me as a fan. Knighton isn’t a three-down player, the team didn’t sink a ship to sign him, and he’ll be playing with lots of motivation in Washington, including trying to outdo his best friend (Baker), as well as working to earn his next contract.

NFL Free Agency: Redskins Sign Stephen Paea

Stephen Paea

The Redskins kicked off NFL free agency with a redefined role under new general manager Scot McCloughan. Instead of chasing huge names or throwing money around, Washington’s first move of the period was a quiet one, signing defensive lineman Stephen Paea to a four-year deal, according to reports.

As Redskins fans, we like this deal for a few reasons.

1. Stickin’ to the plan, as in the plan Scot McCloughan described during introductory press conference after being hired by the Redskins. The gist of it was more reliance on drafting than free agency, and this sort of a deal is on the quieter side and fiscally responsible, which leads into the next point…

2. The money. It’s a solid deal for the Redskins because they address a need (defensive line) with a young player (26) by way of a reasonable contract (four years for a reported $21 million; $15 million guaranteed).

3. The fit, which sounds like it’ll be mostly at defensive end, and then inside on passing downs. The good news, too, is Paea’s intrigue and excitement about his own fit with his new team, saying, “Other teams were offering me a little bit more, but the way Washington would use me in their defense was the reason I chose Washington.”

4. The player. Because Stephen Paea is good. At 6’1″, 305 pounds, Paea is extremely strong, he’s disciplined, and he’s especially athletic (former rugby player). For a guy his size, he’s quick off the line and skilled enough to put all of his best traits together in order to disrupt the quarterback. As insider John Keim mentions, new defensive coordinator Joe Barry and the Redskins would like their ends to play more as one-gap defenders moving forward, which means Paea’s combined skills bode well for his new role in Washington.

Redskins Sign Niles Paul Ahead of NFL Free Agency

According to reports, Paul’s new deal could be worth up to $10 million (with incentives) over three years.

This is a solid move for the Redskins. With teams like Miami and Atlanta rumored to be interested in Paul, Washington gets to business early and brings back an improving pass-catching tight end, as well as a valuable special teams player. We all know how talented fellow tight end Jordan Reed is, and Paul can serve as a weapon on offense as well.

Eagles Trade McCoy to Bills, and its Impact on the Redskins

c/o of Nick Wass / AP

c/o of Nick Wass / AP

According to sources, the Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to a trade that will send running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

The trade cannot be made official until the new league year begins next Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

A few thoughts as it pertains to the Washington Redskins moving forward:

— I have no idea if trading McCoy is more or less suggestive of a plan for Philadelphia to trade up come draft time in order to land Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. However, if I were a gambling man, my money would be on the “more suggestive” side. Reason being, the Eagles don’t necessarily need cap room to sign draft picks, but they do need cap room to sign free agents, and they would require those free agents if they were planning to trade a decent stack of their draft choices in order to move up.

— The only trouble with that idea, however, is that it would’ve made sense (I think?) to make McCoy a part of a package deal (along with draft picks) to serve as the ammo to move up prior to the draft.

— As an added byline, I know there are fears of a division foe landing a very good player and then torturing the others for years to come (see: Tom Brady and Pats ruling the AFC East forever and ever), but that fear doesn’t seem to hit me when we talk about Mariota reuniting with his former college coach Chip Kelly. And with that said, I would hope the Redskins are open to trading their No. 5-overall pick to the Eagles in order for Kelly to land his Mariota.

— While it does feel like the Eagles won in this trade with the Bills, it will be nice not having to face Shady twice a year. Alonso is an athletic linebacker who looked really good as a rookie two years ago, but he’s coming off ACL surgery and we’re unsure of his impact moving forward.a

  1. And that’s not to say I’m doubting Alonso in his return. The dude’s good and I like him, but when it comes to injuries, you never know until you know.  (back)

Redskins Sign Ricky Jean Francois, Cut Cofield and Bowen

Ricky Jean-Francois

As for the first act of Washington’s moves on Friday, the Redskins signed defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois to a three-year deal worth $9 million, according to Brian McNally of CBSDC.

Details and notes about the deal:

— Reports state the deal includes $4 million in guaranteed money, and could be worth as much as $11.25 million with factored incentives.

— Who is Jean Francois? A 28-year-old defensive lineman who can play both ends on the defensive line and serve primarily against the run. He was originally drafted in the seventh round in 2009 by the 49ers, whose front office was then run by current Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan.

And for the second act, the Redskins released defensive linemen Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen.

Details and notes about the roster move(s):

— It was safe to assume Bowen was on his way out (that cap hit is utterly ridiculous), but Cofield is somewhat surprising. Although both names were popular on the list of potential cap relief, Cofield remained an effective piece of the line when healthy.

— Cofield’s release will save the Redskins $4 million in cap room.

— Bowen’s release will save the Redskins $8 million in cap room.

Source: Redskins “a Potential Suitor for Adrian Peterson”

adrian peterson

Nope. No way. Not happening. Adrian Peterson is not coming to Washington.

But according to league insider Jason La Canfora’s latest article documenting the rising tension between the All-Pro running back and the Minnesota Vikings organization, there’s at least a whisper about the Redskins being a dark-horse potential suitor for Peterson’s services.

La Canfora Quote

Would Peterson help a bad team like the Redskins? Sure, great players tend to do that. But given the state of the Redskins, their rebuilding efforts under new general manager Scot McCloughan, Peterson’s age, a running back’s positional value, etc., a move like this would do nothing more than start a fire amongst the Washington fan base about team owner Dan Snyder and his continued meddling.

Not to mention, say the Vikings can’t trade Peterson because the $13 million he’s owed next season is bonkers; would he really want to come to Washington of his own accord?

 

Takeaways from the Mike Shanahan Redskins Sound Off

Robert-Griffin-III-Mike-Shanahan-November-2013

Former Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan joined Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro on ESPN980’s The Sport Fix Wednesday afternoon and talked for more than an hour about his time in Washington.

You can listen to the entire six-segment series by clicking here.

Although listening to Shanahan in all his raspy revelation is well worth the time, no one will you blame you for skipping through, at which point you can rely on these few takeaways:a

— First things first: you either believe Mike Shanahan or you don’t.

— Shanahan is far from an angel in all of this. There may have been times, now in retrospect, where he’d like to go back and correct things. But at the same time, he shouldn’t be the one receiving the bulk of the criticism and/or blameb.

— It’s probably not accurate to accuse team owner Dan Snyder of meddling in the way Cowboys owner Jerry Jones does. He doesn’t claim to be the Redskins general manager, he isn’t clocking 40 times or scribbling scouting notes. But he is guilty of crushing on certain players the same way adolescent school girls rave about the young hunks in bad vampire movies. He’s guilty of treating certain players like childhood super heroes and then getting behind the idea of riding along in their pocket.

It’s not that owners can’t have relationships with their players. But if said owner isn’t mature enough to know where and how to draw the line, a conflict arises. And that conflict usually has an effect on the entire organization.

— Robert Griffin III is an insecure guy. It doesn’t really breakdown any simpler than that. He doesn’t take well to criticism and he’s constantly (and overly) concerned with his public image.

— Dr. James Andrews has a strong reputation and lots of credibility — and for good reason, I’m sure. But he comes off a bit slimy in his role with the Redskins and Griffin. Shanahan’s description of various situations involving Andrews (whether it be the Baltimore game, the Cleveland game, the one-on-one chat prior to the Dallas game, the post-surgery evaluation, etc) all seem very believable. If you remember back to when those incidents/times occurred, the way in which Shanahan describes each scenario not only fits as it should, but the reactions and resulting murmurs at the time fit as well.

— One of Griffin’s greatest attributes is his competitiveness. Unfortunately it may also serve as one of his worst. There’s a fine line between fiery and stubborn; between determined and delusional. Too often Griffin can’t seem to locate that line.

  1. Which are 100-percent opinion and perhaps worthy of ceaseless bashing.  (back)
  2. This, of course, coming from a guy who tends to believe what Shanahan said on Wednesday to be true(er) than any other account.  (back)
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