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Pernell Passes on Falcons, Close to Joining Redskins?

March 24, 2018
The Redskins appear to be closing in on finding some help at a much needed position, at the EDGE pass rusher spot in their 3-4 defense.

As first reported by Jordan Schultz of Yahoo! Sports, Pernell McPhee, who met with the Redskins earlier this week, appears to have chosen the Redskins offer over the Atlanta Flacons interest/offer.

John Keim of ESPN added that it appears the Redskins will land McPhee but as Shultz also noted, the deal is not complete, regardless of McPhee’s intentions.

Even Jay Gruden's son, Jack, seemed to be optimistic that McPhee was coming aboard, as he welcomed McPhee to the Redskins. He later explained to me and other reporters that he was simply reacting to the news and not confirming it. 

It seems like the situation will end up in the favor of the Redskins landing McPhee and if so, this is a much-needed boost after losing Trent Murphy and pulling the contract offer they made to Junior Galette.

McPhee is talented and brings bulk with pass-rushing ability. He 6’2” and listed at 274 pounds which means he can hold up and anchor at the point of attack, when trying to stop the run.

That was one part of Trent Murphy’s game that Redskins coaches always liked and if McPhee can help replace some of that loss – Washington will be in a better spot to do something they haven’t consistently been able to do for much of the last eight plus years.

McPhee had 4.0 sacks last year in 13 games along with a forced fumble and 20 tackles. He’s been hampered by injuries the last few years in Chicago but is still on the south side of 30 (29 years old).

McPhee also had 4.0 sacks in just nine games (no starts) in 2016 but 13.5 combined over his final season in Baltimore and first season in Chicago in 30 total games.

The bottom-line is this: If McPhee can play 14 games or so for the Redskins – he might be an upgrade over Galette who was more of a pure pass rusher. Galette was my number one priority for the Redskins in free agency when the off-season started, but that was primarily because I believe you can’t have enough “special” pass rush talent. 

In defense of the Redskins: The Washington pass rush in 2017 was pretty darn good overall and ranked  second by's NextGenStats staff. 

Losing Galette will hurt the special speed and pure pass rush component  but the Redskins felt differently about him, despite having interest in bringing Galette back. Especially after Murphy left. 

So it appears that McPhee might be their third-option and sometimes – three times is a charm.

Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade for Monumental Sports Network (  Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN