Skins ac­quire Allen, trade away Dun­bar

Swaps in­volve giv­ing up draft pick, get­ting one

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - SPORTS - BY MICHAEL PHILLIPS Richmond Times-Dis­patch mphillips@timesdispa­ (804) 649-6546 @michaelpRT­D

Mon­day brought one of the strong­est state­ments yet on how new Red­skins coach Ron Rivera plans to ap­proach the 2020 sea­son.

In one day, Rivera un­loaded two de­fen­sive starters who might have caused headaches, while adding an­other player from his time with the Carolina Pan­thers.

First, the Red­skins ac­quired Carolina quar­ter­back Kyle Allen, a third-year player who will pro­vide depth and sta­bil­ity at the quar­ter­back po­si­tion.

Dwayne Hask­ins will re­main the starter, but in what is shap­ing up to be a short­ened off­sea­son, Allen will be able to jump in right away with Rivera and of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Scott Turner and pro­vide a ca­pa­ble backup op­tion.

He’s also fa­mil­iar with the cul­ture that Rivera has of­ten spoke of need­ing to bring with him - the more play­ers who can carry Rivera’s mes­sage, the bet­ter, in his mind.

The Red­skins gave up a fifth-round pick to ac­quire Allen, then turned around and ac­quired a fifth-round pick later in the evening.

They did so by trad­ing cor­ner­back Quin­ton

Dun­bar to the Seat­tle Sea­hawks.

Dun­bar, who is en­ter­ing the fi­nal year of his rookie con­tract, had in­di­cated he wanted a new deal.

The tim­ing wasn’t ideal - Rivera ar­rived to face a player with con­tract de­mands and had never worked with him.

Dun­bar’s re­quest wasn’t with­out merit, though. He took over the No. 1 cor­ner­back spot on the Red­skins from Josh Nor­man, and had done well in the po­si­tion.

Un­load­ing a No. 1 cor­ner­back for a fifth-round pick is set­tling for pen­nies on the dol­lar, but in this case, the mes­sage trumped the money.

It’s the same de­ci­sion

Wash­ing­ton is likely to make with Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Wil­liams, who is seek­ing his own de­par­ture.

To cap it, Wash­ing­ton re­leased safety Mon­tae Ni­chol­son, who was taken in the fourth round of the 2017 draft.

Ni­chol­son worked his way into the start­ing ro­ta­tion mostly, but was also an off-the-field li­a­bil­ity for the Red­skins. He was in­volved in an af­ter­hours fight at an Ash­burn bar, and a wo­man died of a drug over­dose af­ter be­ing at his house last Novem­ber.

The Red­skins signed safety Sean Davis in free agency — he’s likely to start op­po­site Lan­don

Collins when the sea­son be­gins.

Ni­chol­son’s de­par­ture is dif­fer­ent from Dun­bar’s - Ni­chol­son’s trade value was zero, and he might not land on an­other team com­ing out of train­ing camp.

Still, the moves in­di­cate that for Rivera, cul­ture will trump pro­duc­tion, at least in the regime’s first year.

Do­ing so gives Rivera time to scout the land­scape, though he’ll also be do­ing so with­out his start­ing cor­ner­back.

For Allen, it’s the same rea­son­ing as Rivera’s de­ci­sion to bring many of his as­sis­tants from Carolina - fa­mil­iar­ity.

As an added ben­e­fit, Rivera can lean on those coaches and play­ers if the off­sea­son is cut short by coro­n­avirus con­cerns, lead­ing to an ac­cel­er­ated sched­ule lead­ing into Week 1.

If that is the case, Hask­ins likely would need to take 100% of the prac­tice reps, plac­ing a pre­mium on hav­ing a backup who can step in with min­i­mal on-field in­struc­tion time.

Allen was the third­string quar­ter­back in Carolina in 2018, his rookie year, be­fore start­ing 12 games in 2019 af­ter Cam New­ton was in­jured. He fin­ished the sea­son with 3,322 yards pass­ing.

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