WASHINGTON — The Washington Redskins have lost some quality players in recent seasons, including DeSean Jackson, Alfred Morris, Pierre Garcon and Chris Baker.
But what those four players have in common with their former teammates is that everyone is watching the NFL playoffs from their respective couches. Only two significant Redskins alumni remain in the postseason, and they aren’t names you might expect.
Vikings kicker Kai Forbath got his career started with the Redskins, taking the reins from Billy Cundiff in 2012. At first, he was a breath of fresh air, converting an NFL record 17- straight field goals to start his career. However, he regressed to the NFL average, converting 87 percent of his field goals but lacking some of the leg strength that a prototypical kicker needs.
Forbath last three seasons in Washington and won the job out of training camp in 2015, but was given a short hook when he missed a kick from 46 yards in Week 1. He was cut, replaced by Dustin Hopkins and the Redskins have never looked back.
Meanwhile, Forbath landed in New Orleans for 10 games that season, replacing an ineffective Zach Hocker, who ironically beat out Hopkins for the job the year before.
Forbath was solid in Washington but likely earned himself no favors with his notorious criticism of the conditions at FedExField in 2014, saying:“It’s the field surface, the wind, it gets pretty cold in the winter. Just all around, there are just factors that bring it way down.”
Forbath won a kicking competition with the Saints going into 2016 but was still cut before Week 1, replaced by rookie Will Lutz. He waited around for a call from the Vikings, who signed him to replace Blair Walsh weeks later.
Since then, Forbath has found his stride in Minnesota, converting 88.7 percent of his field goal attempts, including seven of 10 from beyond 50 yards. Sunday was a great opportunity to find revenge against the Saints, and he converted two extra points and three-of-four field goals, including a long of 53 yards.
Next weekend, he will kick for the Vikings in Philly, hoping to punch a ticket home and defend home-field advantage in the Super Bowl.
Ricky Jean Francois:
Patriots defensive end Ricky Jean Francois was a much more recent subtraction from the Redskins, leaving the team at the start of free agency last March. Francois was a numbers casualty, brought on by the additions of Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain.
One week after leaving the Redskins, Francois signed with Green Bay and played two stints with the Packers in 2017. He collected just one tackle in six games with the team, earning his ultimate release on Nov. 1, 2017. He was cut by New England at the start of December but landed back with the team in time for the playoffs.
With the divisional game against the Tennessee Titans well in hand on Saturday, Francois got some playing time and collected his first sack with the Patriots. This was his first sack in the regular or postseason since Week 6 of the 2016 season against the Philadelphia Eagles.
As it stands, Francois and Forbath might be playing for the favorites to face one another in Super Bowl LII.