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Comings and goings in Ashburn

Comings and goings in Ashburn

After going for six weeks with no roster moves, the Washington Redskins made three of them on Tuesday. Here's who's in, who's out, and what it means.

Punter Ryan Plackemeier in, punter Durant Brooks out—The Redskins were as patient as they could be with Brooks but they just couldn't afford to wait for him to develop into a consistent punter. The last straw was a 26-yard punt from the end zone that allowed the Rams to kick a field goal without needing to gain as much as a first down. Those three points in a game the Redskins lost by two, obviously, were critical. Plackemeier punted pretty well for two seasons in Seattle before getting the ax after a poor performance in the Seahawks' opener this year. He signed a two-year deal so if he does well he'll be around next season.

Analysis: It's hard to get very excited about this as there is no guarantee that Plackemeier will represent an immediate upgrade. Still, the odds are that he'll be more consistent than Brooks, who was waived-injured. That means that the Redskins could put him on injured reserve, giving him a shot at competing for the job next year.

Safety Reed Doughty out, safety Mike Green in—Since opening day, Doughty has gone from starter to reserve to injured reserve. His back may need surgery to correct a nerve problem. Green is a seasoned veteran, having spent six years with the Chicago Bears before spending the last two seasons in Seattle.

Analysis: The Redskins were extraordinarily inexperienced at the safety position with Doughty, in his third year, being the sage veteran of the bunch. Chris Horton has been a great playmaker but he also has needed to ride the bench from time to time due to mental errors. Fellow rookie Kareem Moore had brain lock and didn't blitz on the 43-yard pass the Rams completed to set up their game-winning field goal. Green played under Greg Blache in Chicago so he should be able to pick things up pretty quickly and fill in during the times that Moore and Horton need mental time outs.

Safety Justin Hamilton out, running back Shaun Alexander in—Ladell Betts, on the shelf with knee and hamstring injuries, replaces Hamilton on the weekly inactive list for at least three or four weeks. Former Seahawk Alexander will get Betts' carries.

Analysis: Alexander's performance has dropped off dramatically since he gained 1,880 yards and scored 28 touchdowns for Seattle in 2005. Not coincidentally, it says here, he signed an eight-year, $62 million contract after that MVP season. Since the ink dried on that deal he has not been the same runner; he's been leaning into the line rather than slamming into it and tiptoeing rather than running with authority. If now, after spending a couple of humbling months on the street, he is concerned about his legacy he could be a valuable asset. If he's still fat and happy about the size of his bank account he'll be a downgrade and the Redskins will be counting the days until Betts can return.

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Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports declared Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL. Prisco repeatedly points out that while Cousins is a good quarterback, the notion that he should be paid like one of the best passers in the league is what makes him overrated.

From Prisco:

After having six 300-yard-plus passing games in his first 11 games, including two over 400, Cousins had one in the final five games last season as the Redskins pushed for a playoff spot. He had five touchdown passes and five interceptions in those games, going 2-3 as Washington folded. It wasn't all on him, but that's the point. I don't think he's a quarterback who rises above situations when the team isn't going right. I am not going to sit here and pan him as a starter. He has proven to be that, and a pretty good one. It's just that the perception is he's much better than that, which is why he's my most overrated player in the NFL in 2017.

Here's the problem with Prisco's login: Simple market economics. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

An argument can be made Cousins is a Top 10 passer. He's certainly in the top half of the league at the position. Few, if any, would argue Cousins is a Top 5 quarterback, but his contract situation forces him to be paid like he is. Those are the exact terms of the franchise tag, even before the 20 percent increase Washington paid this season to use a second-straight tag.  

Since the Redskins lost their window to sign their single-season passing yards record holder to a team-friendly deal last year, Cousins has leverage and the advantage of inflated QB salaries on his side.

That doesn't mean Cousins is overrated. 

If the threshold for being overrated is money, then Brock Osweiler wins this thing in a landslide. After the 2016 season in Houston, Osweiler seems unlikely to ever again be considered a starting QB in the NFL. He's due to be paid $18 million this fall and his offseason trade to the Browns will go down as the first-ever salary dump in NFL history. 

Is Cousins overpaid? Probably. That's the way contracts work in pro football. 

Is Cousins overrated? Probably not. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards and completed about 68 percent of his passes over the last two seasons. 

There just aren't enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and guys that can play the position get paid handsomely. That doesn't make Cousins overrated. 


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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police


Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys.

The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr. Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.

The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.

The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation. The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 


Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.