ASHBURN -- The Washington Football Team is building, and they have plenty of needs to fill. So, it's time to take a look at who we suggest the franchise should select and what the rest of the NFL world thinks, too. Keep it here, and check in often. We'll keep you updated.
JAN 5 The Washington Football Team has extended offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. with a three-year contract worth a reported $37.5 million. The move shores up one spot in the line as the WFT also has to deal with the future of Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff, who many expect to leave via free agency.
DEC 24 MOVES Washington has activated the following players off the Reserve/COVID-19 List: Kyle Allen, Kam Curl, Milo Eifler and Kendall Fuller. All should be a go at Dallas on Sunday night.
DEC 23 QB CUT The WFT is beginning to get healthier at the quarterback position. ... which means somebody's got to go.
Taylor Heinicke is activated off the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list, and his backup, Kyle Allen, is also approaching a possible return. So Washington has released Jordan Ta’amu, who was signed to the team’s practice roster amid last week’s COVID-19 outbreak.
Garrett Gilbert, who started in Tuesday night’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, is still currently listed on the team’s active roster, as is Kyle Shurmur.
Washington expects to start Heinicke at Dallas on Sunday night.
DEC 16 LEN HAUSS PASSES AWAY The Washington family is mourning the passing of offensive lineman Len Hauss,who passed away Wednesday at 79.
Hauss started 192 straight games at center in his 14-year NFL career with Washington. He played in a Super Bowl, was a five-time Pro Bowler and was named to Washington’s 70th anniversary team in 2002.
DEC 16 DEION MAKES HISTORY Former Washington standout and NFL star Deion Sanders has made waves in the coaching ranks since taking over at Jackson State in September of 2020.
However, none of those waves were as massive as the one he produced on Wednesday during college football's Early Signing Day, with Sanders flipping the nation's No. 1 overall recruit, Travis Hunter from Florida State.
Hunter signed on the dotted line during a shocking announcement ceremony, cementing his decision, and giving the FBS level Tigers the nation's top talent.
What is even more intriguing about Sanders though, is that his run on 2022's top players might not be over just yet...
DEC 13 JON ALLEN OUT? Washington Football Team standout defensive tackle Jonathan Allen has tested positive for COVID-19 and could miss Sunday’s game against the Eagles, per a sourced report from JP Finlay.
Washington, having dropped to 6-7 after Sunday’s loss to Dallas, is trying to keep it together and stay in the NFC playoffs chase. But this would be a serious blow to the defense.
And now NFL Network is adding that “a Tier 3 staffer with the Washington Football Team tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19, per source.”
Writes Tom Pelissero: “The first known case of that variant in the NFL. Another sign of the evolving nature of the situation, on the same day 36 NFL players went on COVID reserve lists.”
DEC 7 FITZ DONE? Washington Football Team QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who sustained a hip injury in Week 1, will undergo season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his injured hip on Tuesday, as first reported by The Athletic.
At 38, and playing on a one-year contract, it is reasonable to ponder the football future - in Washington and beyond - for the long-time NFL journeyman.
DEC 5 HASKINS BIG CHANCE? Rumor has it that Ben Roethlisberger, 39, is planning his retirement following the 2021 season.
Does that mean the Steelers might let Dwayne Haskins compete for the job?
Mason Rudolph is higher on the depth chart in Pittsburgh than Haskins, the former Washington first-round pick. A 2021 free-agent signing, he's free again next offseason. The Steelers coaching staff has said positive things about Haskins' work habits - something the WFT coaching staff never quite said - but he seems a long-shot for a Steelers team stuck in mediocrity ... and maybe needing to draft its next QB.
DEC 4 AD AGAIN The Seattle Seahawks just demonstrated in their loss to Washington that they have running back problems. And in a heartbeat, they have decided that veteran running back Adrian Peterson might be a solution.
Seattle added Peterson to its practice squad on Wednesday, and reportedly plans on promoting him to the active roster for Sunday’s game. The Seahawks (3-8) are facing the San Francisco 49ers this week.
Peterson, 36, previously appeared in three games for the Tennessee Titans this season. He carried the ball 27 times for 82 yards and one touchdown. The former WFT runner is someday going to the Hall of Fame ... but first? He's not letting go of one more chance ... and one more chance again.
NOV 30 NEW KICKER Another kicker change in Washington? Yes, indeed.
After Joey Slye's injury Monday night in the Football Team’s 17-15 win over Seattle, the WFT is signing Brian Johnson off the Bears' practice squad, as first noted by NFL Network.
NOV 23 GARRETT GONE The arranged marriage between New York Giants head coach Joe Judge and the offensive coordinator he was urged by ownership to hire, Jason Garrett, is over.
The Giants on Tuesday fired offensive coordinator Garrett - the long-time former Dallas Cowboys head coach and backup quarterback - after yet another failed start to a New York season.
Freddie Kitchens, Judge’s other top offensive assistant, and a long-time Judge friend, is reportedly expected to take over with Garrett gone.
Garrett came to Judge’s staff after being fired by the Cowboys following the 2019 NFL season, as he was replaced in Dallas by Mike McCarthy.
Garrett accomplished many things in Dallas, but the Cowboys never truly contended for a Super Bowl during his decade in charge. Meanwhile, in New York, the Giants have for the last two seasons consistently been at the rear of the NFL offensive stat ratings.
NOV 22 TE TO RETURN The Washington Football Team is about to get some offensive fortification, with NFL Network reporting that tight end Logan Thomas, who has been on IR with his hamstring injury since Oct. 6, is expected to practice this week.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport writes that Thomas "hasn’t been fully cleared yet to return, but the plan is to do so and start his (21-day activation) clock.''
NOV 17 COVID CHANGE The NFL - just in time for Cowboys Thanksgiving - is installing more stringent COVID protocols around Thanksgiving as a reaction to rising cases across the U.S., NFL Network notes.
The new policy includes mandatory masking and testing all players and staff twice after the holiday, while also encouraging clubs to offer testing for visiting friends and family.
The temporary protocols will involve a mask mandate indoors for all players and staff, regardless of vaccination status, between Nov. 25-Dec. 1.
In addition to rising concerns in general, NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills said on a conference call Wednesday that the league is coming off its highest number of positive COVID-19 cases all season,
NOV 13 HUFF PASSES AWAY Sam Huff, the legendary Hall-of-Fame linebacker who in the mid-1950s and early 1960s helped the New York Giants to a series of title appearances and then became a Washington institution as a player and broadcaster, died on Saturday. He was 87.
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Huff died of natural causes in Winchester, Virginia.
Huff spent three seasons working as a radio commentator for the Giants before moving to Washington in 1975, when he began a 38-year run calling games.
"Anyone who knew Sam knew what an amazing person he was," WFT owners Tanya and Dan Snyder said in a statement. "He was an iconic player and broadcaster for the franchise for over 40 years and was a great friend to our family. He represented the franchise with honor and respect on the field and in the booth and was beloved by our fans. Tanya and I would like to extend our deepest condolences to all of Sam's family and friends during this time."
NOV 11 CAM IS BACK The people who run the WFT have a full understanding of what Cam Newton is.
And yet, coach Ron Rivera and company never bit ... as the Panthers just did.
Carolina will now have a familiar feel, as the Panthers officially announced the signing of street free agent QB Cam Newton ... a way to fix the team's problems at the position that sort of began when they let him go two years ago.
They weren't bad enough to draft high enough. They tried Teddy Bridgewater. They traded for Sam Darnold.
None of that has really worked, and now Darold is dinged up.
Enter Cam. Again.
Rivera, of course, coached the NFL MVP Cam in Carolina. ... and yet, again, this idea never really played well inside WFT HQ.
Make your own evaluation of that ... as the Panthers try to go forward by going backward. ... and as Washington stays committed to the Fitzpatricks and the Heinickes and whomever.
And now, in Carolina, he probably doesn't have that problem.NOV 8 HOP-KICKS Washington released longtime kicker Dustin Hopkins last month, and it seemed the right move. Since then, though … replacement Chris Blewitt has struggled in his two games, with three of his kicks being blocked.
Meanwhile, the WFT ex is now with the Los Angeles Chargers, and in Week 9 he helped beat the Eagles 27-24 with a late kick …
And earned a game ball.
NOV 1: AD HEADS TO TENNESSEE 2012NFL MVP Adrian Peterson is heading to the AFC South. The former Washington running back and likely future Hall of Famer is signing with the Tennessee Titans' practice squad but is expected to be elevated to their active roster.
This move comes after star running back Derrick Henry was ruled out for at least six weeks after undergoing surgery on a foot injury.
The 36-year-old Peterson has a tough task ahead of him as he tries to help fill in for a playmaker in Henry who is arguably the best in the league, and near enough unstoppable when at his best. Peterson last played back in 2020 for the Detroit Lions where he rushed for 604 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 appearances.
Peterson made 31 appearances between 2018 and 2019 for Washington, rushing for 1,940 yards and 12 touchdowns.
OCT 28: PULLING A TOMLIN Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made national headlines when he angrily denied any truth to rumors that he might jump from the NFL to USC.
"That's a joke to me,'' Tomlin said. "There's not a booster with a big enough blank check. ... Anybody asking (Saints coach) Sean Payton about that? Anybody asking (Chiefs coach) Andy Reid about stuff like that?"
No, but on Thursday, the media did toss the idea in the direction of Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who at least has a USC connection, having played here.
“I’m going to channel Mike Tomlin right now,'' Del Rio said. "Did he shut it down or what? I feel really good about being the defensive coordinator for Washington.”
OCT 27: LINEBACKER SIGNED TO PRACTICE SQUAD On Wednesday, the Washington Football Team signed linebacker Anthony Hines III to the practice squad. Hines played collegiately for the Texas A&M Aggies and opted out of the 2020 season after totaling 73 tackles in his sophomore season in 2019. He went undrafted in April of 2020, but spent time with the Dallas Cowboys this preseason after stints with the Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts, previously.
OCT 26: TWO RB TRYOUTS The Washington Football Team on Tuesday worked out Kerryon Johnson and D'Onta Foreman, a pair of young vet running backs. And of course you know why: Antonio Gibson has a shin injury. He keeps playing but ...
OCT 20: HOPKINS KICKED OFF According to Matthew Paras of The Washington Times, the WFT is moving on from kicker Dustin Hopkins.
Hopkins has been the team's kicker since 2015 and was 12-of-14 on field goals this season and 10-of-12 on extra points. In a corresponding move, the team elevated kicker Chris Blewitt from the practice squad.
OCT 15: ZACH ERTZ ON THE MOVE! Per Adam Schefter and ESPN, the Philadelphia Eagles are sending three-time Pro Bowl TE Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for CB Tay Gowan and a 2022 5th-round pick.
The stand-out tight end from Stanford was the 35th overall pick by the Eagles in the 2013 NFL Draft and holds the NFL record for most receptions in a season by a tight end with 116. Ertz won Super Bowl LI with the Eagles.
MAY 1 7:15: UDFA Signings Washington has looked to undrafted free agency to add more prospects to their team. Follow the full list below:
Jaret Patterson, RB (Buffalo)
MAY 1: 5:36: WFT ADDS LONG SNAPPER: In Round 6, Washington opted to go with Michigan long snapper Camaron Cheesman. While a lot of focus is placed on offense and defense by teams, going with a special teams move can be helpful, too.
MAY 1: 3:00: WFT UP SOON: WFT's social team couldn't help her make fun of the fact that Washington would not be picking for 73 selections. Who knows if that factored in to the recent move but Washington will soon be on the clock.
WFT sent a 2022 fifth-round pick to the Eagles in return for the No. 225 and No. 240. Although valuable, the hit rate of players on day three for Washington might make this worth something down the line.
MAY 1: 2:55: PHILLY FINDS DEPTH AT DL: Moving forward, it's all about depth. The Eagles certainly have found it in Round 5 with the addition of USC defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu.
A strong three-tech, he'll bode well inside stopping the run for Jonathan Gannon's front seven. With their next pick, Philly also found depth on the edge, adding Tarron Jackson out of Coastal Carolina.
MAY 1: 2:30: DALLAS ADDS RECEIVER DEPTH: Dallas could be preparing for life without Michael Gallup and might have found his replacement in Stanford's Simi Fehoko.
MAY 1: 1:51: WASHINGTON FIXES SECONDARY WITH FORREST: Washington wanted to add stability to its secondary. They could have found the long-term option at safety with the addition of Darrick Forrest.
A high-end starter for Cincinnati's defense, Forrest played both roles for the Bearcats defense. In three years as a starter, the safety recorded 12 pass breakups and six interceptions while also playing the run.
Expect him to compete at free safety and also add value on special teams opposite Kam Curl and Landon Collins