REDSKINS MIDWEEK NOTEBOOK: SCANDRICK's ROLE; CRAVENS UPDATE
BY BEN STANDIG | MARCH 20, 2018
Rather than wait until next week for another Redskins notebook, here are some nuggets about their newest player, the offensive line plan and Su’a Cravens.
The two-year contract worth a maximum of $10 million was not exactly received warmly by the Redskins fan base and other observers. Beyond Scandrick having spent the past decade with the hated Cowboys, the cornerback’s recent bio explains why.
Scandrick, 31, ended last season with Dallas on injured reserve because of a back injury. He missed all of 2015 with a knee injury and played in 23 of 32 games over the past two seasons. Pro Football Focus ranked him 113 out of 121 cornerbacks last season.
Recognizing the chill in the air (and I don’t mean this freak late March snowstorm), I reached out to a source close to the situation for additional context. Why Scandrick for the Redskins?
The first part of the response focused on football. Scandrick can play all over the field. He can play in the slot. The Redskins traded last season’s slot to Kansas City in the Alex Smith trade.
Washington isn’t bereft of corner options.
Josh Norman leads the way. Quinton Dunbar re-signed and likely has the edge over 2017 third-round pick Fabian Moreau for Bashaud Breeland’s now vacated outside spot. Joshua Holsey, another rising second-year player, provides additional depth. The Redskins needed more and ideally a veteran in case the kids weren’t ready.
Scandrick checks all those boxes. The belief is, according to the source, when healthy, he remains “one of the best slot corners in the league.” Following his release from the Cowboys, which Scandrick asked for, the Dallas Morning News wrote, “Scandrick was the Cowboys’ best cornerback in recent seasons, especially strong in the nickel role.” Dallas spent two early draft picks on corners last year.
Let’s circle back to the veteran part. It seems likely that corner-turned-safety DeAngelo Hall does not return for a 15th season. At least not as a player. That loss is bigger for the locker room than the playing field.
“(Scandrick) will take on DeAngelo Hall leadership role. Intelligent player who will help (with) communication. More to the player on the field. He adds just as much off the field.”
It’s conceivable the Redskins add another cornerback in free agency, but it appears likely they have their group not including a draft pick or camp find. Scandrick’s health will be an important topic this offseason.
In Monday’s notebook, I discussed the Redskins apparent financial plan at left guard and center after free agent Spencer Long signed with the Jets:
“The reason may ultimately be less about Long’s shortcomings and more about not looking to spend big dollars at center and left guard in 2018, a source tells The Sports Capitol. … Veterans, according to a source, are generally seeking deals with a floor of around $3 million. By patiently waiting the Redskins might be able to land one of these players for half that.”
In related news, the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday announced they signed free agent guard Matt Slauson to a one-year contract for…$3 million. The Redskins had at least a passing interest in Slauson, according to a source. Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan served in the same role when Slauson played for the Jets and was Slauson’s head coach at Nebraska.
The free agent interior line pool is getting thin. Jack Mewhort is the best remaining option and the 26-year-old should command a decent multi-year deal. The idea of pairing Luke Joeckel, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by Jacksonville, is interesting.
If Washington does not budge on its spending plan, realistic options include 34-year-old Jahri Evans and former Redskins player Tom Compton.
Shawn Lauvao remains a free agent. He played in 41 games over four years with Washington including nine in 2017, but injuries limited his chances. Arie Kouandjio, Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis are the current in-house options.
Su’a Cravens got himself a new agent. That agent, Peter Schaffer, also represents Redskins defensive lineman Stacy McGee, Broncos running back C.J. Anderson and… former Washington general manager Scot McCloughan.
This rep swap does not make a Cravens trade more likely – unless you believed Jay Gruden at the NFL Combine when he told reporters, “We’re not trading him, from what I know.” Maybe they don’t, especially if they remain stubborn on the asking price for the 2016 second-round pick. Pro Football Talk reported Washington seeks at least a third-round selection, a line of thinking one source confirmed with The Sports Capitol.
Cravens did not play last season after debating retirement and leaving the team shortly before the start of the 2017 season. The Redskins then placed Cravens on the reserve/left squad list. The hybrid safety was also dealing with post concussion syndrome, according to his former agent, Fadde Mikhail.
Multiple reports have the Broncos hoping to land the 22-year-old. Offering a late Day 3 pick seems like a fair ask considering the damaged relationship. It seems highly unlikely Cravens returns either way. At some point, the Redskins should probably just move on. For now, they are apparently in no rush with free agency less than a week old and the draft five weeks away.
Photo by Joe Glorioso for The Sports Capitol