Redskins Rumors

Redskins To Release TE Jordan Reed?

It sounds like Jordan Reed‘s tenure with the Redskins has come to an end. ESPN’s John Keim reports that the veteran tight end has finally cleared the concussion protocol and will soon be released.

The move isn’t overly shocking. While Reed still has two years remaining on his five-year, $47MM contract, the organization can save $8.5MM against just $1.8MM in dead money by cutting him. It was important for Reed to pass the concussion protocol; if he didn’t, the Redskins would have been on the hook for the remainder of his contract (barring a settlement).

Reed suffered this latest concussion – his seventh documented concussion since the start of college – following a helmet-to-helmet hit during Washington’s third preseason game. This forced him to miss the entire 2019 campaign, and the tight end has only suited up for 13 games over the past three seasons.

When Reed saw the field, he was a force. Even with his long list of injuries, the offensive weapon still managed to haul in 329 passes for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns between 2013 and 2018. If this is indeed the end of Reed’s tenure with the organization, he’ll rank top-10 in Redskins history for touchdowns and receptions.

While Reed may be done in Washington, it sounds like he’s not ready to hang up his cleats. We learned earlier today that the 29-year-old “100 percent” wants to continue playing.

On the other side, Reed will join a growing list of players let go by the Redskins. The organization released cornerback Josh Norman and wideout Paul Richardson last week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins’ Jordan Reed Wants To Play

Jordan Reed missed the entire 2019 season after suffering the seventh documented concussion of his career. Many have wondered if it would be best for the tight end to walk away from the game, but according to one source who spoke with ESPN.com’s John Keim, he “100 percent” wants to continue playing (Twitter link). 

When healthy and on the field, Reed has been a focal point of the Redskins’ offense. He caught 329 passes for 3,371 yaards and 24 touchdowns between 2013 and 2018, even though most of those seasons were shortened by medical issues. When he was at or near full strength, he was nearly unstoppable.

In 2015, when he suited up for a career-high 14 games, he tallied an 87/952/11 stat line with a catch rate of 76.3%. In 2016, he finally secured his first Pro Bowl nod as he notched 66 grabs for 686 yards and six TDs in just 12 games. Unfortunately, in the last three years, he’s suited up for just 13 games out of a possible 48 contests.

Whether Reed returns or not, the Redskins will have to fortify their tight end group this offseason. Veteran Vernon Davis retired earlier this month (he also missed time with concussion issues in 2019), leaving them perilously thin at the position.

Reed has two years to go on his five-year, ~$47MM deal with the Redskins. The team can release him this offseason to save $8.5MM against just $1.8MM in dead money, provided that is cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol. Otherwise, the Redskins would still be on the hook, unless they’re able to negotiate a settlement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Exercise Adrian Peterson’s Option

The Redskins announced that they have exercised Adrian Peterson‘s option for the 2020 season. With that, they’ve committed to the legendary running back for his age-35 campaign. 

[RELATED: Greg Olsen Turns Down Redskins, Signs With Seahawks]

Peterson will count for a $3.1MM hit against the Redskins’ 2020 cap. Had they declined the option, the Redskins would have saved $2.4MM.

In 2020, Peterson will be chasing history. He currently sits fifth on the NFL’s all-time rushing list and he can leapfrog Barry Sanders with another ~1,000 yards. That won’t be easy to do, but Peterson ran for 1,042 yards in his first season with the Redskins and notched 898 yards on the ground last year.

Peterson has had his ups and downs, but he staved off Father Time in 2019. Last year, he played in 15 games and averaged 4.3 yards per tote. At the same time, Derrius Guice was limited to just five games and there are serious question marks about his status given his longstanding medical history.

Bringing back Peterson solves one part of the Redskins’ RB puzzle. They still have to figure out what they’ll do with pass-catching specialist Chris Thompson, who is slated for free agency. The Redskins will also have to keep an eye on 2019 fourth-round pick Bryce Love who has yet to play an NFL down thanks to his pre-draft ACL tear.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Sign TE Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen‘s first free agency tour will produce a deal with the Seahawks. The veteran tight end will choose Seattle over Buffalo and Washington, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

The 13-year veteran agreed to a one-year, $7MM deal with the Seahawks, per Schefter, who adds this pact comes with $5.5MM guaranteed. The chance to play with Russell Wilson helped make Seattle a more attractive destination than those with ex-Panthers staffers in place, per Schefter (on Twitter).

Wilson has gone through a few tight ends since Jimmy Graham‘s departure. Ed Dickson experienced consistent injury troubles over the past two years; so has promising youngster Will Dissly. Olsen will add a proven weapon to Seattle’s pass-catching corps, coming in for his age-35 season.

The Seahawks last season were down both Dickson and Dissly, and they traded Nick Vannett to the Steelers early in the season. Jacob Hollister started both playoff games. Barring injury, Olsen will be in line to join Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf as one of Wilson’s top three targets next season. The Seahawks will be Olsen’s third team, following the Bears and Panthers.

In nine Carolina seasons, Olsen became one of the best players in franchise history. He eclipsed 1,000 yards en route to three Pro Bowls from 2014-16 and helped the Panthers to a 15-1 season that produced an NFC championship. Since coming into the league as a first-round pick out of Miami in 2007, Olsen has 8,444 receiving yards — third-most in the NFL among tight ends in that span.

Olsen, however, experienced significant foot trouble late in his Panthers tenure. Although Olsen played 14 games last season, he missed 16 games between the 2017-18 campaigns because of multiple foot maladies. This marks another injury-prone tight end on Seattle’s roster. The potentially rebuilding Panthers released Olsen, who had one more season left on his Carolina contract, earlier this month.

This will put Ron Rivera‘s Redskins in the market for another tight end and may move Sean McDermott‘s Bills to pursue one as well. FOX will need to delay plans to hire Olsen for one of its Sunday broadcast teams as well. The network has used Olsen for multiple broadcasts late in his career and made him an offer to join full-time this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 2/14/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Washington Redskins

Ladler spent some time with Washington in 2018, and then was signed off the street for Week 17 this past season, playing almost the entire game. Odom was on and off the practice squad and appeared in four games this past year, racking up two sacks.

Redskins Release Paul Richardson

The Redskins could be on the verge of a Valentine’s Day massacre. Shortly after cutting Josh Norman, they released wide receiver Paul Richardson, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). 

[RELATED: Redskins Release Josh Norman]

The Redskins gave Richardson a five-year, $40MM contract in 2018 with the expectation that he would take off in his prime years. Things, unfortunately, did not work out. Injuries have limited the former second-round pick to just 17 combined games over the last two seasons. resulting in a combined stat line of 48 catches, 507 yards, and four touchdowns. He also averaged just 10.6 yards per grab; the Redskins expected him to be a deep threat.

By releasing Richardson, the Redskins will save $2.5MM and incur $6MM in dead money. It’s a steep price to pay, but the Redskins’ new regime did not see much value in keeping him on the roster.

Richardson was something of a one-year wonder. He made noise in 2016 with the Seahawks as a supporting target, but he took a giant leap forward in 2017 as he caught 44 passes for 703 yards and six touchdowns. That averaged out to 16 yards per grab and positioned him as one of the best available receivers in the forthcoming free agent class.

The Colorado product’s natural ability has never been in question; his ability to stay on the field has been the main issue. Thanks to an ACL in Seattle’s divisional playoff win against the Panthers, he missed Super Bowl XLIX and all but one game in 2015. In six seasons as a pro, Richardson has only been healthy for about half of them.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen‘s free agency tour has come to an end after three stops, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The tight end is currently in negotiations with the Bills, Redskins, and Seahawks, and he will not be meeting with any other teams. 

The Panthers parted ways with Olsen earlier this offseason in yet another signal that they are prepared for a total rebuild. This, of course, came weeks after the dismissal of longtime head coach Ron Rivera. Soon, the Panthers’ revamp may result in the release of one-time MVP quarterback Cam Newton.

Back to Olsen – the veteran has rebuffed numerous offers from multiple networks who are hoping to lure him into the broadcast booth. Instead, he’s intent on playing at least one more season in the NFL with an eye on contending for a championship. If winning is Olsen’s priority, one has to think that the Seahawks would be at the top of his wishlist.

The Bills and Redskins also hold appeal for Olsen, who will turn 35 in March. In Buffalo, Olsen could be a key part of the offense and siphon snaps from youngster Dawson Knox. With the Redskins, Olsen would get to rejoin longtime mentor Ron Rivera. Depending on how things shake out in D.C., it could even be a full-fledged reunion. The Redskins cut Josh Norman on Friday, but they could fill their void at cornerback by pivoting to James Bradberry, who spent the last four years in Carolina.

At this stage, Olsen is no longer a top-flight tight end. However, he was still reasonably productive last season and it’s clear that he still has some gas in the tank and fire in his belly. For his career, Olsen has notched 718 catches, 8,444 receiving yards and 59 touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Release Josh Norman

The Redskins have released cornerback Josh Norman, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter). Some believed that new Redskins head coach and old friend Ron Rivera would keep Norman on board, but his outsized contract ultimately pushed him out of the picture. 

[RELATED: Redskins’ Dunbar Requests Trade Or Release]

Norman was at odds with the Redskins last year and the club tried to shop him at the deadline. Towards the end of the season, he missed time due a reported illness and saw his snap count dwindle. He wound up playing in just 12 games total and recorded 40 tackles, his lowest career showing for any season with double-digit appearances.

The advanced metrics also showed that he lost a step or three in 2019. Norman graded out as the third-worst qualified cornerback in PFF’s rankings with a putrid 45.6 overall score. It was a precipitous fall for the 32-year-old, who was once one of the league’s best.

Norman joined the Redskins on a five-year, $75MM deal in April of 2016 following a messy breakup with the Panthers. At the start of the offseason, the Panthers employed the franchise tag to keep Norman from testing free agency – a one-year, $14MM deal. Then, they hit a stalemate in long-term talks when Norman demanded roughly $16MM per season. The Panthers stunned everyone by rescinding the tag and the Redskins were happy to pounce on the opportunity.

At the time, Norman profiled as an absolute game-changer. In 2015, he was named to the All Pro first team and notched career highs in interceptions (four) and passes defensed (18). In that season, he was PFF’s No. 12 ranked CB.

With drama throughout the organization and issues on both sides of the ball, the Redskins have been mired in an absolute rut for years. Norman, never one to pull punches, was openly critical of Washington throughout.

Cornerback now profiles as one of the Redskins’ top needs this offseason, and they’ll have a bit of extra cap room to land a new cover man. Panthers free agent James Bradberry – one of Rivera’s faves from their time together in Carolina – figures to be heavily connected to the Redskins as they reconfigure their secondary. For his part, Bradberry says he wouldn’t mind a reunion, though staying with the Panthers would be his top choice.

By releasing Norman, the Redskins will save $12.5MM against the 2020 salary cap with just $3MM in dead money.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Sign LB Jared Norris

Jared Norris has found himself another NFL gig. The Redskins announced today that they’ve signed the veteran linebacker (via Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com)

After sitting on the injured reserve for most of the 2018 campaign with a toe injury, Norris found himself out of football in 2019 after getting cut by the Panthers. The last time the 26-year-old appeared in a regular season game was Week 3 of the 2018 season.

The Utah product originally joined the Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2016, and he proceeded to compile 11 tackles in 28 total games over three seasons. As Williams notes, Norris has never played a defensive snap in his entire career, although he’s taken part in 526 special teams plays.

The Redskins made the move despite not having a definitive general manager. Without a replacement lined up for Bruce Allen, Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith has taken the lead in the front office.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins’ Quinton Dunbar Requests Trade Or Release

Quinton Dunbar turned in a strong 2019 season, but his standing with the current Redskins regime may not be as firm as it was with the previous power structure.

The veteran cornerback has requested to be traded or released, John Keim of ESPN.com reports. Dunbar also personally confirmed his desire to move on to a team that wants him for the long haul, as JP Finlay of NBC Sports tweets.

Dunbar had engaged in extension talks with the Bruce Allen-led regime, but it’s not clear if any such discussions have transpired since Ron Rivera‘s hire. Dunbar spoke with a Redskins front office staffer Monday but, per Keim, had not been in contact with the team’s new power structure since Rivera’s arrival.

Dunbar is attached to a three-year, $10.5MM deal. Signed shortly after the 2017 season ended, that pact runs through 2020. Dunbar signed that Washington extension when he was a part-time player, but after a breakthrough 2019, the ex-Florida Gator may be looking to cash in.

The former UDFA intercepted a career-high four passes (in 11 games) last season and graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 overall cornerback. Washington’s other two primary corners — Fabian Moreau and Josh Norman — ended the season as PFF’s Nos. 97 and 111 corners.

Considering the going rate for starting corners, Dunbar is underpaid. The 27-year-old defender is set to make just $3.25MM next season. That figure ranks well outside the upper reaches of the cornerback salary hierarchy, one that was long topped by Norman’s $15MM-per-year deal. Multiple rookie-deal corners out-earn Dunbar on average. Norman is expected to be released this offseason, but the Redskins appear to have more issues than anticipated at this position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.