Mike Jones on Washington Redskins season tickets and more

Jul 15, 2011

NFL Insider Mike Jones chatted about the latest Washington Redskins season-tickets news and answered other questions about the Redskins and NFL.

Welcome to today's Redskins' chat. Plenty to talk about with stadium/ticket news popping this week, and the lockout seemingly close to ending. Let's get going...

 I have been a diehard Skins fan since 1968. I am 54 now, and I feel my Redskins love and fervor waning. Why is that? Is it because the team has been losing for the past 20 odd years? Is it because Dan Snyder has run the team into the ground? Is it because the team has actually sued its own fans? Or maybe its because the Redskins refuse to build a solid offensive line?

It's probably all of the above. Year after year Redskins fans enter the season with hope, and very little every changes. So, it's understandable.

It's nice that the Redskins picked up another DE/LB hybrid, a RB, and another WR, but don't you believe that they should have addressed the concerns of the offensive line? Also, if M. Pouncey was available, would you take him?

It was definitely surprising to see them not address the offensive line until the seventh round. I suspect that Mike Shanahan & Co. will go after some guards in free agency. They still have Artis Hicks, who can play guard as well. First priority on that line has to be re-signing Jammal Brown, and then bolstering the guard position. Pouncey could've been a good option.

Do you see the Redskins going after Aubrayo Franklin or Kris Jenkins to play Nose Tackle?

Both players have been linked to the Redskins in free agency talk this offseason, and it wouldn't be surprising to see them go after either. Franklin is the top NT available, and that's a big need for Washington. Jenkins is talented as well, and would be more affordable, but he has trouble staying healthy.

My dream FA class: Sidney Rice, Doug Free, Marshall Yanda, Jenkins Bros.. Any chance?

I definitely think Cullen Jenkins (Green Bay) is a strong possibility, and Kris Jenkins could be a good fit as well, if he can stay healthy. I'm not so sure the Vikings will let Sidney Rice get away, and Baltimore wants to hang onto Yanda, but Yanda  would be a good signing if the Redskins were able to lure him away.

I saw LaCanfora's list of FA's that the 'Skins will likely target. They won't get all of them (or maybe won't get any) but who on that list do you think is most likely to come to D.C.? And who do you think their #1 priority should be? My wish is the same as every year: upgrade the lines, OL being priority.

I agree with you that a high priority must be placed on the line. Will Montgomery showed promise at right guard, but he -- like Kory Lichtensteiger -- is a natural center. Hicks can play guard and tackle, but there's not much proven depth there. Erik Cook spent nearly all of last year on the practice squad. That being said, the Redskins also need help at corner, inside linebacker, nose tackle and receiver. Shutdown corner has to be one of the highest priorities, if not the highest priority.

We have Moss, Armstrong, Austin, Banks, Williams, and now Hankerson. I see Malcolm Kelly being the odd man out this year. He has yet to play an entire season, and is often injured. What are your thoughts?

They've got to re-sign Moss, but I think the chances are strong. And they also have rookies Niles Paul and Aldrick Robinson, who will compete for roster spots. Kelly definitely needs to stay healthy and have a strong training camp and preseason. The Redskins added Hankerson and Paul as bigger targets, so pressure will be on Kelly.

Carlos rogers is a decent player but in my view far from a great player considering he is 30 years old and is pretty outspoken about caring about money above and beyond anything else, I do not think its a disaster if he moves on, what do you think?

Rogers is definitely solid in coverage, but has bad hands. Both sides seem content to part ways.  There are talented corners on the market: Nnamdi Asomugha, Jonathan Joseph, Antonio Cromartie, Ike Taylor. If the Redskins can land one of them, they should be fine without Rogers.


I keep hearing all this talk about how the Redskins have to re-sign this guy? Was anyone watching last season? WHEN, he was healtly enough to play, he had tire tracks on his back at the end of every game. He was constantly getting beat. You can blame it on his injuries or that he doesn't play as well at RT, but aren't those just others reasons to get rid of this guy? Where am I going wrong?

Brown spent much of last season trying to get back into shape after missing the previous year with that hip injury. The final stretch of the season saw him improve. The Redskins believe that another offseason of strengthening will make for a stronger, more effective Brown.

Have any details on Haynesworth and Mcnabb? I still hold out FAINT hope that Mcnabb will be given a second chance, instead of giving a second chance to.....John Beck...... Also any chance of a Haynesworth/Mcnabb swap for Vince Young and a 6th round pick?

Things are still on hold for both players until the lockout is lifted. Then the Redskins can make moves. They would like ot trade both, but they don't have a lot of leverage and aren't likely to get a significant amount for either. If it were up to me, I'd give McNabb another shot. A second year in the system should help him improve. But all indications are that won't happen and that Shanahan's guy is Beck. And I'd be surprised if Young came to D.C. Shanahan wants a strong leader for a QB. That's not Vince Young.

From commentor ennepe68: I think the Skinz are on to something... If seats at games for your NFL franchise don't sell out, just reduce capacity! This could be just the thing for clubs in places like Jacksonville, Detroit, and elsewhere that don't make it to local TV due to league blackout rules.  Right?

The Redskins (depending on who's talking) will tell you otherwise, but that certainly seems to be the case. Even in big games there were plenty of empty seats at FedEx Field. Removing 10,000 seats and coming up with another use for those spaces would help eliminate all those empty seats.

Last week's Insider reported that Shanahan is holding out on Haynesworth for no less than a second-round pick. Do you think this is the time to start actively shopping Albert around, and if so, what is the selling pitch for the 'Skins?

Not quite what was said. I wrote that last year Shanahan was holding out for a second-round pick. That was before things went so obviously wrong between Haynesworth and his coaches and he wound up suspended, and before his road rage incident and the alleged sexual assault incident. There's no way the Redskins get a second-round pick for him. Once they get the green light, the Redskins definitely will see if they can find a trade partner. This guy still can be a playmaker. He's not over the hill. And his contract is much more affordable now that the team has paid him around $32 million of that $41 million in guaranteed dough.

Is there enough money for Nnamdi Asomugha? I'm sure he'll have a nice health price tag.

The Redskins have significant cap space, but I don't know how smart it would be to blow $20 million a year on Asomugha. Yes, he's one of the best in the game -- if not THE best. And shutdown corners are hard to come by. But the Redskins have a lot of needs.

Just wondering.. What ever happen to him?

I've been asked about Mike Williams quite a bit, and have asked several Redskins players, but none of them have been in contact with Big Mike. I even asked someone in the coaching ranks, but because of the lockout, they don't know how he's doing. He hasn't been able to come to the facility to be evaluated.

Paul Posluszny is one of the names being thrown around in free agency to supplement McIntosh in the middle. Do you think Shanahan makes a move to sign him and work with Fletcher as a 3-4 MLB?

Posluszny would seem to be a candidate considering he played in the 3-4 in Buffalo. He could line up to Fletcher, and is more natural at that position than Rocky McIntosh. But as of now, I haven't heard a definite that he is on the team's free agent target list.

I am one of the few Redskins fans saying this, but I am quite high on John Beck. Hes athletic, runs around a 4.675 40, has a good arm, and is very accurate (this was at least what was said about him before he got drafted).....however, after four games, on one of the worst NFL teams in leage history, people consider him to be a bust. Is four games really enough to evaluate a rookie quarterback? Do you think Beck has a chance to succeed with the Skins?

I like Beck as a person, and I like the way he carries himself and demonstrates a strong work ethic and strong desire. I think he was in the wrong place at the wrong time in Miami. New coach, new GM, and they wanted to bring their guy in. Cam Cameron, who had been his coach in Miami, insists that Beck can succeed in the NFL. He's certainly smart enough. But the Redskins have to be able to protect him.

Mike, what are the first three (outside) free agent signing the Redskins make when FA opens up?

It's no secret now that there is mutual interest between Cullen Jenkins and the Redskins. And I'd go Aubrayo Franklin over Kris Jenkins. Yanda would then fill a big need at guard. Those would be my picks.

From commenter pbc1: Wait, so if lines and traffic are awful with 70,000 fans at the game - how will lowering the seat count from 90,000 to 80,000 reduce lines and traffic?

Yeah, I hear ya on this. Are lines and traffic really the key concern, or are ensuring that empty seats are eliminated and that FedEx Field has some cool new wrinkles?

From commenter jon7: I didn't see anything in your article talking about how expensive it is to go to an individual game at Fedex. A large majority of people i have spoken to would love to go to a game except that they are way out of fan's price range. Add a bad economy to all of that, and TV coverage and quality getting better and it's easy to see why stadium attendance is down throughout the NFL, but especially here in DC.

Well, originally -- back in June when they first made the party deck plans known -- the Redskins were saying that the party decks would provide for standing room tickets (about $30 bucks a head), and that it was their goal to make games more affordable.  And you're right. Many fans I have heard from say "Why cough up $75, $80 bucks for a nosebleed seat when a team isn't winning?"

Does Shanahan NEED to make a big-name signing to keep fans interested this season? The free-agent market is somewhat lackluster, and the Redskins have had some big-money busts in recent years that have blown up in their faces. With the prospect of a shortened season ahead, would it be out of the question to develop the talent that is already within their system rather than looking to free agency?

No, Shanahan doesn't NEED to make a big-name signing. Showing improvement is what he NEEDS to do, both for the fans, and to keep himself off the hotseat. Developing the talent aleady in the system because of basically no offseason program is a big reason why the Redskins didn't go after a quarterback with their first and second round picks. They knew they wouldn't have time to give him an effective introduction into the playbook. Shanahan said himself  that there was no one in the draft that could help Washington at quarterback this year.

Who do you see starting at RB? Do we go and get somebody in FA?

It seems that  Ryan Torain will get the first shot. He did well last year, but the biggest thing was avoiding injury. He missed time last year and has to prove that he can remain healthy this year. They COULD go after a veteran, but I think Roy Helu and Evan Royster will get strong consideration as well.

I honestly feel bad for anyone who has to serve as a spokesperson for the Skins. I mean, the team's performance, the game day experience, the owner's decisions... across the board this organization is a disaster but you have to play Baghdad Bob and tell us that everything is great. Would you want that job?

It's definitely not an easy job. The team never escapes drama, and hasn't been able to win consistently, which only complicates matters. And Snyder has had little patience. As you know, the Redskins have gone through PR guys almost as quickly as they have head coaches.

Let's just run Snyder and his team out of town on a rail and force the NFL to give us a new team, with a new name. I'm thinking the Washington Generals, with a Pentagon and five stars on the helmet.

Do you REALLY want a team named the Washington Generals?? I know this isn't basketball, but the Washington Generals and winning were never mentioned in the same sentence.

"Shutdown corner has to be one of the highest priorities, if not the highest priority." There is one available this year (Nnamdi Asomugha) who is already 30 and might not be capable of playing well when the Redskins (hopefully) finally turn things around. Every team is looking for a shutdown corner but not many exist.

Yes, and that's a lot of money to pay for one guy. I'm interested in seeing what Kevin Barnes has to offer. He's a smart, versatile guy with good coverage skills.

The Redskins have a high risk/high reward corner in Deangello Hall. If Antonio Cromartie is signed, the Redskins will be giving up big plays left and right. Yes it is good when a corner makes an interception, but coverage has to be a priority especially with a gambler at CB already on the roster.

Yes, DeAngelo gets burned because he's a gambler, and Cromartie has a similar style, so who's to say that's a good fit. I'm not saying this will solve everything, but adding a free safety with great range (O.J. Atogwe) should definitely help the Redskins secondary.

Well looks like we're out of time. Thanks a lot for joining us, and we'll do it again real soon.

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Mike Jones
Mike Jones is the Washington Post's NFL Insider and Redskins beat writer.
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