Redskins Rumors

Redskins 'Covering Bases' With RB Visits

Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles made plans to visit the Redskins this weekend, following Orleans Darkwa in doing so. This effort to add a piece to a reeling backfield won’t be to bring in a starter but to add depth to a position group that needs it. Jay Gruden said (video link) his team is “covering our bases” in arranging visits with these free agent backs. Being merely a four-year veteran with a light carry history, Darkwa certainly has the most left in the tank. He led the Giants in rushing last season. Peterson, though, has recent experience fitting in quickly with a new team. Although he didn’t do well on a per-carry basis behind a struggling Cardinals offensive line, the future Hall of Fame back posted two 130-plus-yard performances last season — the first of which coming in his initial Cards game. Charles fell out of the Broncos’ rotation late in the season, but the two-time All-Pro made it through last year healthy and performed fairly well (4.3 yards per tote) before being shut down.

Washington lost Derrius Guice and has Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall on the mend. Here’s the latest from some of the Redskins’ rivals, along with news out of the AFC East.

Redskins To Host Adrian Peterson

The Redskins will host free agent running back Adrian Peterson on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Washington is in serious need of backfield depth, especially after losing presumptive starter Derrius Guice to a torn ACL. Meanwhile, Samaje Perine is expected to miss at least a week with an ankle injury, and Byron Marshall could be sidelined for a month with his own ankle issue. The Redskins also waived/injured running back Martez Carter earlier today, leaving them with Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson, and Kapri Bibbs as their only health backs.

Guice was expected to handle early-down work for the Redskins, and that’s a role Peterson can conceivably still handle. However, the 2017 campaign wasn’t Peterson’s finest, as he averaged just 3.4 yards per carry on 156 rushes between the Saints and Cardinals. That was the second-lowest figure league-wide among backs with at least 150 carries, while Peterson also finished 46th among 47 RBs in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, meaning he wasn’t efficient on a per-play basis.

At his best, of course, Peterson is a Hall of Fame-caliber player, and he managed more than 1,400 yards on the ground as recently as 2015. His pass-game deficiencies aside, Peterson could give Washington a Guice replacement, one capable of handling running downs before ceding to Thompson on passing plays.

The Redskins worked out fellow running backs Orleans Darkwa and Jamaal Charles on Sunday, but it doesn’t appear Washington is in a hurry to sign either player, per Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jamaal Charles To Visit Redskins

The Redskins’ search for running back depth continues, as the team is set to meet with free agent Jamaal Charles today, per ESPN’s Josina Anderson (via Twitter). Washington is also planning to work out Orleans Darkwa today.

Washington lost presumptive starter Derrius Guice to a torn ACL during the team’s first preseason game, and Samaje Perine is expected to miss at least a week with an ankle injury, so Rob KelleyChris Thompson, and Kapri Bibbs are the team’s only healthy backs at the moment. While Thompson offers upside as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and as a change-of-pace back, the Redskins could really use some more help.

Enter Darkwa and Charles. Darkwa was a bright spot in an otherwise miserable season for the division-rival Giants in 2017, posting career-highs in starts (11), rushes (171), yards (751), and touchdowns (five). Advanced metrics were generally fond of his play, and he has generated plenty of interest this offseason.

Charles, meanwhile, made it through the 2017 campaign healthy — which was an accomplishment in and of itself — but aside from that, it was not an especially memorable season for the 31-year-old. The two-time All-Pro, who was one of the most exciting players in the league before being plagued by extensive knee trouble, racked up just 69 carries for the Broncos last year, and while he led all Denver ball-carriers with a 4.3 YPC average, he was a healthy scratch to close out the year and was frustrated with his lack of playing time.

Charles did meet with the Saints back in June, but we have not heard of any other interest in his services.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins To Work Out RB Orleans Darkwa

Free agent running back Orleans Darkwa will work out for the Redskins on Sunday, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Washington is in serious need of backfield depth, especially after losing presumptive starter Derrius Guice to a torn ACL. Meanwhile, Samaje Perine is expected to miss at least a week with an ankle injury, and Byron Marshall could be sidelined for a month with his own ankle issue. The Redskins also waived/injured running back Martez Carter earlier today, leaving them with Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson, and Kapri Bibbs as their only health backs.

If he were injury-free, Darkwa almost surely would have landed a new contract by now, but a May surgery to remove a plate in his leg likely concerned interested clubs. Darkwa received medical clearance more than a month ago, but still has yet to find a new home.

Playing for the Giants in 2017, Darkwa posted the best campaign of his NFL tenure in by setting career-highs in starts (11), rushes (171), yards (751), and touchdowns (five). Football Outsiders ranked Darkwa as a top-25 running back in both DYAR and DVOA (meaning he was both effective overall and efficient on a per-play basis), while Pro Football Focus noted his ability to create his own yardage. Per PFF, Darkwa not only managed 67% of his rushing yards after first contact, but performed well in Yards Created, a metric which filters out game situation, score, offensive line performance, and other variables.

Thus far, the ColtsPatriotsJets, and Bills have brought in the 26-year-old for a visits. The Jets reportedly don’t have any immediate plans to sign Darkwa, but the other clubs haven’t specifically ruled him out.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/18/18

Today’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Signed: LB Kyle Coleman

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Signed: WR Darius Prince
  • Waived: DT Adam Reth

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Redskins Notes: Marshall, Perine

Redskins Reached Out To DRC Last Week

The Redskins reached out to free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie last week, according to JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter links).

Washington’s interest in Rodgers-Cromartie sheds light on the club’s decision to release fellow cornerback Orlando Scandrick earlier today. As Finlay notes, the fact that the Redskins looked into DRC doesn’t mean he’ll sign (or even meet) with Washington, but the move to cut Scandrick clearly wasn’t executed without the Redskins first exploring other options.

The Redskins were Rodgers-Cromartie’s first visit at the outset of free agency, but his asking price was too high for Washington at that time, reports John Keim of ESPN.com. Since then, DRC has worked out for the Seahawks while the Chargers and Raiders have reportedly eyed the 32-year-old defensive back.

Scandrick had been projected as Washington’s slot corner, and that’s a role with which Rodgers-Cromartie is extremely familiar. However, the Redskins are pleased with their more youthful options, as Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and supplemental draft pick Adonis Alexander are now expected to see more time. But head coach Jay Gruden didn’t rule out the possibility of signing a veteran, per Kimberely A. Martin of the Washington Post.

“We still have time,” Gruden said. “If it doesn’t work out, or somebody gets injured, we still have time to make moves also ourselves. … We’re going to go with what we have. We may sign another here shortly.”

In 2017, Rodgers-Cromartie appeared in 15 games (six starts) for the Giants, managing 31 tackles, a half-sack, and one pass defensed while grading as the NFL’s No. 58 cornerback, per Pro Football Focus. On 25 targets, DRC allowed 7.2 yards per pass, more than double his 2016 average of 3.5.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins' Gruden On Cutting Scandrick

The Redskins have moved on from cornerback Orlando Scandrick, but it’s not necessarily because of anything Scandrick did, coach Jay Gruden says.

With a deep group at cornerback headlined by Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, and Fabian Moreau, the Redskins felt that they could move on from Scandrick and save themselves millions in salary. However, they will not be able to recover the $1MM signing bonus they gave him in his two-year deal this offseason.

Redskins Cut Orlando Scandrick

The Redskins have released cornerback Orlando Scandrick, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Scandrick signed a free agent deal with the Redskins in March, so the move comes as a surprise. 

The Cowboys cut Scandrick after ten years with the club and the cornerback hooked on with the rival Redskins just days later. The deal was supposed to be worth $7MM with incentives that could boost the maximum value to $9 or $10MM. Instead, Scandrick is back out on the market and leaves after earning only his $1MM signing bonus.

A 2008 fifth-round pick, Scandrick played a key role on the past several Cowboys defenses. He started 11 games in 2017 and was signed with the hope that he might start opposite of Josh Norman in 2018. Now, it sounds like 2017 third-round pick Fabian Moreau or Quinton Dunbar will handle that job.

If the Redskins open up their cornerback search again, they could theoretically explore a reunion with Bashaud Breeland. The Redskins didn’t make much of an effort to re-sign him in March, but his asking price should be lower at this stage of the offseason. There’s also Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to consider. The Redskins explored signing DRC before they inked Scandrick, but he wanted too much money at the time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Work Out WR Allenzae Staggers

  • Former Southern Miss wide receiver Allenzae Staggers worked out for the Redskins today, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Following a breakout 2016 campaign where he hauled in 63 receptions for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns, the wideout took a step back in 2017, finishing with 44 catches for 471 yards.

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