Redskins Rumors

Redskins Expected To Change Name

The Redskins’ team name has been heavily criticized for some time for its racial overtones, though owner Dan Snyder previously avowed that he would never change the name. But as someone once said, “never say never.”

Facing renewed pressure to make a change, including a request from stadium sponsor FedEx, the club is undertaking a thorough review of the team name. The team issued the following statement (h/t Adam Schefter of ESPN.com via Twitter):

” In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name. This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.

Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, stated, ‘This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field.’

Ron Rivera, Head Coach of the Washington Redskins, remarked, ‘This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our military.’

We believe this review can and will be conducted with the best interest of all in mind.”

Schefter believes the mere fact that the review is taking place is a clear indication that the name will indeed be changed. And sources tell Rick Maese, Mark Maske, and Liz Clarke of the Washington Post that the process will end in a new name and mascot, which could happen by the start of the 2020 season. After all, it would be a bad look, even by Snyder’s standards, to undergo a review and not make a change. While there’s not yet any clarity as to what the new name will be, Rivera’s comments suggest that it will somehow pay homage to the nation’s military.

Investment firms worth about $620B recently asked Nike, FedEx, and PepsiCo to end their relationships with the Redskins, and it could be that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Nike removed the Redskins name and their merchandise from its website Thursday night. The Tennessee Titans — the last team to change their name, after a two-year Tennessee Oilers phase — now reside at the bottom of the shoe giant’s list of teams.

Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a brief statement indicating that he has been discussing the matter with Snyder in recent weeks and is supportive of what appears to be an impending change.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FedEx Requests Redskins Change Name

FedEx has requested the Redskins change their team name. The franchise plays its home games at FedEx Field, and FedEx CEO Fred Smith is part of the team’s ownership group.

We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” the company said in a statement.

This has long been an issue the Redskins have encountered, and owner Daniel Snyder has continued to come out against changing the team’s name — despite frequent calls to do so. Snyder said in 2013 the team will “never” change its name. The franchise has been in existence since 1932, when it entered the NFL as the Boston Braves. They became known as the Boston Redskins a year later, moving to Washington in 1937.

FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo have received dozens of letters from investment firms and shareholders — worth a combined $620 billion — with the purpose of the Redskins changing their controversial name, according to AdWeek.

While the Redskins play home games in Landover, Md., the Washington Post recently reported that Eleanor Holmes Norton — Washington D.C.’s nonvoting delegate in the House of Representatives — said the name needed to be changed if the franchise wanted to build a stadium in the district. The Redskins played in the district (at RFK Stadium) until 1996. The Redskins’ lease with FedEx Field expires in 2027, ESPN.com notes.

Ron Rivera: Different Circumstances Would Have Led To Cam Newton Pursuit

  • Despite the Patriots waiting until late June to add their likely starting quarterback, their QB situation now looks better than the Redskins‘. Ron Rivera discussed a Newton deal earlier this offseason but said this week the fit was not right in Washington. “If the circumstances had allowed us, I would not have had an issue with that,” Rivera said during an interview with 670 The Score (via NBC Sports Washington). “I would’ve been very confident and comfortable going after him and bringing him to be part of what we’re doing here.” The Redskins are set to enter training camp with Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen as their top healthy QBs, though Alex Smith remains on the roster.

Peterson Still Not Planning Retirement

  • Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but Adrian Peterson has no near-future retirement plans. The new play-until number is age 39, the running back told TMZ. Peterson’s Redskins contract expires at season’s end. Peterson (14,216 career rushing yards) is within striking distance of Barry Sanders (15,269) for fourth on the all-time rushing list this season, and if he is granted a 15th season in 2021, he would likely be a good bet to pass the Hall of Famer like Frank Gore did last season. Though, Sanders amassed that total in 10 seasons.

Redskins’ Emanuel Hall Tears Achilles

Emanuel Hall‘s season is likely over. The Redskins wide receiver announced via Instagram that he has torn his Achilles. 

[RELATED: Redskins Had Chance At Peyton Manning]

Hall, 23, joined the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2019. After the Missouri product missed the final cut, he went on to spend time with the practice squads of the Bucs and the Redskins. This year, the Redskins re-signed him on a futures deal, giving him a place on the 90-man offseason roster and a chance to make the team. Now, he’ll likely have to wait until 2021 before retaking the field.

Before the injury, Hall was pushing for one of the final spots on the WR depth chart, though he was facing some long odds. Terry McLaurin, Kelvin Harmon, and Trey Quinn headline the group, while Cam Sims, Steven Sims Jr., and fourth-round pick Antonio Gandy-Golden are among those fighting for supporting roles.

In other Redskins news, Ryan Kerrigan says he wants to finish out his career with the Redskins. It’s not clear if the Redskins are willing to discuss an extension, but a longer deal could make sense for both sides. The veteran edge rusher’s $11.5MM salary for this year is totally non-guaranteed; an extension could smooth out that hit and give the Redskins some extra space.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Had Chance At Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning‘s decision to sign with the Broncos eight years ago changed the franchise’s trajectory, but the future Hall of Famer did not get the chance to strongly consider a team that would likely have been on his list. While it is not certain the Redskins would have beaten out the Broncos, the presence of Mike and Kyle Shanahan would have given Washington a key selling point. The then-free agent passer met with the Shanahans while in Denver to watch film, and Manning indicated he was “very impressed” with Kyle — then Washington’s OC. Mike Shanahan, then in his third year as Washington’s HC, confirmed the franchise was interested in Manning when the Colts released him on March 7, 2012. But in between Manning’s Colts exit and his Broncos commitment, the Redskins sent the Rams a monster haul for the No. 2 overall pick.

The Redskins-Rams trade became official March 13 — three days after the Manning-Shanahans film session took place, per The Athletic — but the teams agreed to the deal March 9. Years later, John Elway informed his former head coach he believed the Redskins may have held more appeal than the Broncos ultimately presented in the Manning sweepstakes.

Ryan Kerrigan Wants To Stay With Redskins

Ryan Kerrigan has one year to go on his deal with the Redskins, but he’s hoping to stick around for longer. The edge rusher told the team website that he wants to finish his career in Washington.

I obviously hope to be here for the duration of my football career, however long that is,” said Kerrigan. “I’ve gotten to talk to [head] coach [Ron] Rivera a couple of times over the phone, [but] haven’t really been able to meet him in person yet because of the whole lockdown and whatnot. Hopefully, I’m here for the long haul. I want to be here. They know where I stand and I want to be here.”

From the sound of it, the two sides have yet to discuss an extension. For now, Kerrigan is set to earn $11.5MM in base salary for 2020, though that sum is completely non-guaranteed. A longer deal would allow the Redskins to smooth over the $11.687MM cap hit while giving Kerrigan the additional years he’s seeking.

Kerrigan stands as the Redskins’ second-longest tenured player on the roster. The nine-year pro is 1.5 sacks away from topping Dexter Manley as the franchise’s all-time leader in the category. He’s also coming off of a down year, which may complicate things. In 2019, Kerrigan had just 5.5 sacks, the lowest single-season tally of his career.

What I did last year was definitely not what I ever want to put on film again,” Kerrigan said. “I got away from some fundamental things that really prevented me from being productive like I usually am.”

There was some talk that the Redskins would cut Kerrigan this offseason, but Rivera said in February that the veteran is staying put.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trent Williams: I Was “Really” Ready To Play For Redskins Last Year

After years of bitter conflict with Redskins management, Trent Williams got his wish – a one-way ticket out of D.C. But, before the offseason trade that shipped him to the 49ers, Williams says he legitimately wanted to retake the field. 

[RELATED: 49ers, Trent Williams Rework Contract]

Williams held out for the the first two months of the 2019 season, but reported to the Redskins after the late October trade deadline. However, he cited immense pain when trying to put on his helmet and flunked his physical. Even after that, Williams said that he wanted to play and find a suitable post-surgery helmet, but the Redskins parked him on the NFI list instead, ending his season and stopping his paychecks.

The competitive juices started to flow, so I was really prepared to make my return last year,” Williams said. “I know all of the things that had went on and just being in that facility, being around teammates, being around the guys you fought with and bled with for some many years. It was almost impossible for me to fight the urge not to just want to get back on the field.”

I was literally waiting on my new helmet to come in. I was getting ready to kind of gear up and it was going to be somewhat of a surprise to some, but I think for the people who know me best they know how competitive I am…I was put on NFI right before I could even get the helmet to get back out there. It was a bummer but figured it was just how it was supposed to work out.”

Ultimately, things worked out alright for Williams. Towards the end of draft weekend, the Redskins shipped him out west to the 49ers, where he’ll take over for Joe Staley at left tackle. And, while he doesn’t have an extension just yet, the Niners did guarantee a portion of his 2020 salary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Adrian Peterson, Dwayne Haskins

  • Ron Rivera has said a shortened training camp would work in Kyle Allen‘s favor due to the recently acquired quarterback’s knowledge of Redskins OC Scott Turner‘s system. On Wednesday, however, Turner praised Dwayne Haskins‘ work during the team’s virtual program. “When we’re talking to him [on Zoom sessions], he’s speaking the language,” Turner said, via ESPN’s John Keim. “It’s pretty easy to tell if they get it or not. Dwayne’s doing a great job. You can tell he’s putting the work in away from the meeting time.” Being drafted by a different regime and having finished with Football Outsiders’ worst QBR figure last season, Haskins is already facing a critical season as he begins work under Rivera and Turner.
  • The Redskins signed Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic and drafted hybrid-type player Antonio Gibson in Round 3. They also employ Derrius Guice and Bryce Love, both of whom coming off injuries. Adrian Peterson‘s spot in Washington is not a given, despite the future Hall of Famer leading the Redskins in rushing the past two years. But Turner said (via NBC Sports Washington’s J.P. Finlay, on Twitter) he has “a ton” of respect for Peterson and that there is a role in his offense for “that type of back.” Peterson has never offered too much in the passing game, having not exceeded 300 receiving yards in a season since 2010. But the 35-year-old back surpassed four yards per carry in each of his two Washington seasons.

Release Candidate: Redskins RB Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson has big plans for 2020. The 35-year-old is 1,054 rushing yards away from passing Barry Sanders on the league’s all-time board and he believes that he might have enough gas in the tank to overtake Emmitt Smith’s No. 1 position. In February, the Redskins exercised his option for 2020, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the veteran will be in D.C. this year. 

[RELATED: Redskins’ Latimer Makes Court Appearance]

Peterson was already facing backfield competition from Derrius Guice and Bryce Love when the Redskins picked up his option, but the RB depth chart became even more crowded in the spring. First, the Redskins signed former Buc Peyton Barber to a two-year, $3MM free agent deal. Then, in April, they used a third-round pick to select Antonio Gibson out of Memphis. Gibson, a young and sure-handed playmaker, more or less has his roster spot cemented. That leaves no more than three – and, possibly, only two – running back spots up for grabs. Peterson, one of the most electrifying rushers the game has ever seen, could be the odd man out.

Peterson is set to earn $2.25MM in base pay this year, but the Redskins can drop him without much fiscal penalty. Cutting Peterson would leave the Redskins with just $750K in dead money, versus $2.48MM in savings. Would that be the smart move? There’s a case to be made in both directions. Peterson offers veteran leadership for the Redskins’ inexperienced backfield and could serve as a safety net for Guice if the former LSU star gets sidelined again. He’s also delivered for the last two years in D.C., despite the skeptics who said he was washed up. Between 2018 and 2019, Peterson has averaged a solid 4.2 yards per carry while suited up for 31 of a possible 32 games.

Ultimately, we expect the Redskins to do what’s best for business. Or, at least, what they think will be best for business. If the rest of the Redskins’ RB room stays healthy through training camp, Peterson could easily wind up on the curb this summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.