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Twice as nice: Redskins draft MSU QB Kirk Cousins

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Twice as nice: Redskins draft MSU QB Kirk Cousins

The Redskins loved drafting a quarterback so much this year, they did so, twice.With the first of two fourth-round selections, the Redskins selected Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins with the 102nd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.The 6-foot-3 Cousins threw for 3,316 yards with25 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions while completing 63.7 percent of his passes last season for the Spartans. In three seasons as a starter,the three-year captaintossed 64 touchdown passes and completed over 60 percent of his throws each season.Some draft analysts projected Cousins as a second-round selection. While he makes for a nice value in the fourth round, the selection is initially curious considering the assets the Redskins gave up to acquire Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick. Now RG3 and Cousins will become a brother in arms as Redskins quarterbacks with veterans Rex Grossman and John Beck still on the roster.
Pro Football Weekly notesCousinshas "rare intangibles and leadership ability. Can rally a huddle and inspire a locker room when the chips are down. Outstanding work habits. Can line up and direct an offense knows the responsibility of every player on the field."PFW's overall summary: "Has the intangibles and intelligence to develop into a highly efficient, dink-and-dunk, rhythm passer. Resemblance to 49ers QB Alex Smith and must continue developing physically to survive the toll of an NFL season. Could thrive with crisp coaching and confidence-building play-calling in a precision passing game such as that of the Texans, Redskins, Patriots or 49ers."

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After Tony Romo injury, Vegas has a new favorite to win NFC East

After Tony Romo injury, Vegas has a new favorite to win NFC East

The Redskins won nine games and the NFC East title last season, but that hardly matters in Las Vegas. Since odds came out in May, Bovada.lv gave the Dallas Cowboys the best chance to win the division, but given recent events, things shifted.

Last week in a preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo fell awkwardly and stayed on the ground in apparent pain. Initial reports suggested Romo might have handled the hit unscathed, but news came out last weekend that Romo cracked vertebrae in his back and will miss extended action. The Cowboys now turn to rookie Dak Prescott at QB - and in turn - Vegas turned elsewhere for their NFC East favorite.

Still, it's not the defending champion Redakins.

With odds of 7/4 Bovada likes the New York Giants to win the NFC East. The Redskins are now tied with the Cowboys at 12/5 while the Eagles come in at 6/1.

In late May Bovada put the odds of winning the NFC East as:

  1. Cowboys 7/4
  2. Giants 9/4
  3. (TIE) Redakins 15/4, Eagles 15/4

Curiously, the oddsmakers have moved up the Giants odds despite New York's struggles in the preseason. Regardless, it's obvious that the wise guys still don't have high expectations for Washington.

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Redskins' Trent Williams on Stephen Paea and Perry Riley release: 'It's tough, man'

Redskins' Trent Williams on Stephen Paea and Perry Riley release: 'It's tough, man'

The first surprising Redskins cuts of the summer hit this morning when word got out that linebacker Perry Riley and defensive lineman Stephen Paea had been released. For coach Jay Gruden it was a decision that had to be made.

“It's what goes into every decision when we release anybody,” said Gruden. “It takes a lot of thought. A lot of times now when you have the depth we feel like we have it's not so much about the players we release as about the players we kept and we'll leave it at that. We've got some guys at linebacker we feel have played extremely well and we've got some guys on the defensive line we feel like are competing and playing well.”

The play of others certainly was part of the decisions to let Paea and Riley go. Although Gruden did not say it, it’s likely that money was involved as well. Releasing the two players saves a total of $7.3 million in salary. Although there is nearly $5 million in dead money that will have to be accounted for, that cash has already been spent. The bottom line is that Riley ($4 million) and Paea ($3.3 million) were making too much to be backups and that’s what thy were.

But to their teammates it’s much more than about dollars and positions on the depth chart. Riley and offensive tackle Trent Williams both came to the Redskins in the 2010 draft.

“It's tough, man, it's tough,” said Williams. “Especially with Perry. He was one of my best friends on the team, we came in together, we got drafted together, roommates together. I think the whole team was kind of blindsided by that one.”

Paea and Riley both are 28 and both are likely to get another shot at the NFL.

“Those two guys are excellent football players, I imagine they'll catch on somewhere else and do well,” said Gruden. “They have a lot of football left in their career. They're both great guys who worked hard and it was just a part of the decision process.”

Mason Foster should know. He came in after the season started last year when some linebackers started to get banged up. One of them was Riley. Foster took over the starting job when Riley went out with a broken foot. Now Foster is the starter and Riley is out of a job.

“He’s a great player, everybody knows he's a great player,” Foster said of Riley. “He'll get a chance to play someplace else.”

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Redskins release Perry Riley, Stephen Paea in roster trim-down

Redskins release Perry Riley, Stephen Paea in roster trim-down

The Redskins have let go of two high-priced veterans as they move towards reducing their roster to 75 by today’s 4 p.m. deadline, according to multiple reports. 

Released were linebacker Perry Riley, who was drafted in the fourth round in 2010 and had been a starter since midway through the 2011 season, and defensive lineman Stephen Paea, signed as a free agent in 2015. CSNmidatlantic.com was able to confirm Paea and Riley took to Twitter to announce his own release.

Paea signed a four-year, $21 million contract last year. He was expected to step in and become a starter and a force on the defensive line right away. But he struggled and spent the last part of the season on injured reserve.

This year Paea was relatively healthy but he found himself down near the bottom of the depth chart and he never was able to climb back up. He was schedule to make a $3.3 million salary. His release saves the Redskins a net of $3.4 million this year but they will face a $2.5 million dead cap hit in 2017.

Riley wasn’t able to beat out Mason Foster for the starting job this year and apparently the team figured that his $4 million salary was too much for a backup.

Riley’s release saves the team $4 million against the cap with about $1.6 million in dead cap.

MORE REDSKINS: A compressed learning schedule for Redskins' Sudfeld