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The 49ers are looking at the top QBs in the draft; how might this affect the Redskins and Kirk Cousins?

The 49ers are looking at the top QBs in the draft; how might this affect the Redskins and Kirk Cousins?

When the 49ers signed quarterback Brian Hoyer early in free agency this year many assuming that Kyle Shanahan was bringing the veteran in to be a placeholder until he could sign Kirk Cousins in 2018. But it turns out that Hoyer may be keeping the seat warm for a different quarterback.

For a team that supposedly has its quarterback plan set, the 49ers sure have been doing a lot of quarterback shopping. They had a private workout with Cal QB Davis Webb on Tuesday. Webb is just one in a long line of quarterbacks on whom the 49ers have done research lately.

They have had private workouts or visits with Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Texas Tech product Patrick Mahomes, and DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 8.0

Those five quarterbacks are generally considered to be at the top of the class, the QBs who will go in the first or second round. The 49ers have the second pick each of the first two rounds. If the Browns take Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the top pick as expected, Shanahan and GM John Lynch would have their choice of any quarterback on the board. Even if they bypass a quarterback at No. 2 they could well have Webb and/or Kinzer still on the board early in the second round.

Certainly, the 49ers could just be doing some due diligence here. But the reason you conduct due diligence is that you never know what you might find. What if Shanahan decides that one of those quarterbacks could be as good as Kirk Cousins in a couple of years, or at least close enough to make going with that QB in the draft worth the $15-$23 million per year in cap space they would save by going with the draft pick instead of bringing Cousins in at around $25 million per year.

If that happens, where would that leave Cousins in 2018? His first choice of a destination would be gone. If Jared Goff of Sean McVay’s Rams shows any signs of promise the Rams will be reluctant to move on from the first overall draft pick after just two seasons and Los Angeles would be out of the Cousins sweepstakes.

That might leave Washington as Cousins’ top option. Jay Gruden’s offense is perfectly suited to what Cousins does well and the organization has a history of keeping the team stocked with offensive weapons.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins seven-round mock draft

And regardless of who the 49ers draft or how Goff performs, how much will Cousins be worth next year on the open market, without the artificial value of the franchise tag? A transition tag by the Redskins would carry a value of $28 million but while that’s relevant right now in figuring out what’s a fair contract for Cousins it won’t mean anything if he starts shopping for an offer sheet. Teams will bid for his services starting from zero, not from a tag number.

So maybe the Redskins are playing this right. Maybe the bidding for Cousins won’t go sky high, especially if the Rams and 49ers are not in the mix. Maybe his true market value will prove to be closer to $20 million per year than $25 million per.

Of course, all it takes is one team to throw in a huge offer that the Redskins won’t want to match and then they face losing Cousins without compensation. It’s certainly possible that the Redskins will end up being big losers in all of this. But it’s also possible that playing this out until the last possible moment in March of 2018 could just work out for the Redskins.

For the first hint as to how it might play out, let’s see what the 49ers draft strategy is and take it from there.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The top five receivers the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five receivers the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, June 28, 29 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 178 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 74 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 19
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 43
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 66

The five best wide receivers the Redskins will face in 2017

We’ve looked at the best quarterbacks and the best running backs on the Redskins’ schedule. Now here are the five best wide receivers they will face as determined by 2016 receiving yards.

Odell Beckham, Giants, 1,367 yards in 2016—Josh Norman didn’t exactly shut him down in their two meetings as Beckham has 12 receptions for 165 yards. But Beckham didn’t score any touchdowns or have any other game-changing plays against the Redskins. Their first matchup this year comes under the lights at FedEx Field on Thanksgiving. Save room for popcorn after your Thanksgiving feast.  

Amari Cooper, Raiders, 1,153 yards—There was plenty of chatter that the Redskins wanted to draft Cooper when they have the fifth selection in 2015. But the Raiders snapped him up right before the Redskins picked. Cooper has been a steady and consistent target for Derek Carr. In fact, Carr should get Cooper a really, really nice Christmas present with some of the $125 million contract he just signed, a deal that Cooper helped him get.

Michael Thomas, Saints, 1,136 yards—Others sucked up all the rookie of the year conversation in 2016 but Thomas, a second-round pick out of Ohio State was very worthy of some accolades. To be sure, the Saints’ offense, led by perennial 5,000-yard passer Drew Brees, is very friendly to racking up a lot of receiving yards. With Brandin Cooks traded to the Patriots, look for Thomas to get even more opportunities in 2017.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks, 1,128 yards—He is coming off career highs in receptions (94) and receiving yards (1,128). Baldwin has only played against the Redskins twice in the regular season and once in the playoffs and he hasn’t done much damage.

Demaryius Thomas, Broncos, 1,083 yards—You have to think that Thomas misses Peyton Manning already. In 2016, he had his worst production in five years. Still, he made his fifth straight Pro Bowl.

Pierre Garçon, 49ers, 1,041 yards—Adding a sixth here because, hey, we know this guy. He was the Redskins’ leading receiver three of the five seasons he was in Washington. I don’t think there is any reason he should want revenge. He was treated well and played well while in Washington. But certainly, he has a ton of professional pride and he will want to do well against his former team.

Best of the rest: Larry Fitzgerald led the NFL in receptions last year with 107 although he averaged only 9.6 yards per catch. Demaryius Thomas’ teammate Emmanuel Sanders also had over 1,000 yards receiving. So did Michael Crabtree, Cooper’s teammate in Oakland. I’m not a big fan of Alshon Jeffery but he instantly becomes the Eagles’ best receiver. Brandon Marshall also came into the division with the Giants. And don’t forget about Dez Bryant even though he appears to have taken a step back; he still is very dangerous.

In all, the Redskins will face nine receivers who gained over 1,000 yards last year.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Report: 'There isn't a real price that will make Kirk Cousins happy' with Redskins

Report: 'There isn't a real price that will make Kirk Cousins happy' with Redskins

Following a slew of reports that cast doubt on the Redskins reaching a long-term deal with Kirk Cousins, ESPN's Dianna Russini tweeted Tuesday that the impass is not about money. 

If the report is true, then Washington has run out of good options for retaining Cousins in the long term.

It's possible the team could use a third-straight franchise tag to keep him next season, but the price tag around $34 million would be astronomical for one season.

The transition tag would be worth in the neighborhood of $28 million. 

Russini doesn't elaborate on the reasons behind her report that Cousins wouldn't be happy in Washington regardless of price. But it's important to note that both teams and players have incentive to create leverage in contract negotiations through the media. 

The Redskins have until July 17 to reach a long-term deal with Cousins. 

MORE REDSKINS: Backup center again a question mark for the Redskins