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Cousins trade window may extend past draft

Cousins trade window may extend past draft

The window for the Redskins to trade backup quarterback Kirk Cousins will open at 4 p.m. on March 11. It may not close for quite some time.

First, let’s give the obligatory update on the Cousins trade situation. He has said that he is “open” to being traded to a team where he can start. That’s all well and good but it’s really meaningless since the Redskins have the right to trade him or keep him as they please. For their part, the team has indicated that it is not planning to trade Cousins. Of course, that is the proper public stance to take to get maximum value in a deal.

Many are thinking that if the Redskins do deal Cousins, it will happen either before the May 8 draft or at some point during the draft. The Redskins lack a first-round pick and a second or third would help replenish their stock of selections.

However, the Redskins may want to wait until after the draft to make a deal. In fact, they might have to. Potential trade partners might want to see how the draft unfolds for them before calling. After the draft, teams that missed out on the QB’s they may have wanted might come calling. Or a team might get into minicamp and, after seeing how its signal callers perform on the field, decide it doesn’t like its situation at quarterback. They could then decide to call the Redskins and try to work out a trade for a 2015 draft pick.

If the Redskins don’t get an offer for Cousins that they believe returns sufficient value they could go to camp with him and wait to see if another team loses its starter to injury during the preseason. At that point they may be able to get maximum value from a team facing going into the season without a starting caliber quarterback.

It could even stretch into the regular season and a team that either suffers and injury to its starter or finds out that its Plan A at quarterback isn’t working could pick up the phone and call Redskins Park.

Of course, Cousins could end up being on the Redskins’ roster all season. If he is still a Redskin after the trade deadline they will have to trade him in 2015 if they want to get anything in return for him. After that season he will be a free agent and will be able to sign wherever he wants to.

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Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 19, 98 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 42
NFL free agency starts 50
First Sunday of 2017 season 235

The coordinator search and more

As noted above, we have 42 days until the deadline for the Redskins to put the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The immediate future of the franchise is contingent this situation being handled correctly by the organization. It’s time to turn the attention and the $100 in imaginary casino chips towards what might happen with Cousins as the process unfold. We will revisit this from time to time as the various deadlines approach so consider this the early odds.

Sign before the tag deadline, $5—This seems unlikely after his rather cold response to my question immediately following the season-ending loss to the Giants when he said, “The ball’s not in my court.” He indicated that it’s up to the Redskins to tag him. It doesn’t look like he and his agent will have much of an inclination to sit down to any serious negotiations before that happens.

Let him go into free agency, $5—Yes, I know that this is out there but it makes no sense to take the chance of the possibility that he could walk with zero compensation. While there might be some logic in finding out what Cousins would be worth in a true free market in order to establish the basis for a fair contract the risk of behind left empty-handed is just too great.

Tag and trade, $20—This also has been discussed by various media types as a possibility. It would involve giving Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would let him go out and negotiate a deal with another team. The Redskins could then match that offer or choose to get compensation. The CBA calls for compensation of two first-round picks although the two teams may negotiate something less. The most frequently suggested trade partner is the 49ers and their soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan but there are probably around half a dozen teams, maybe more, who could be interested. If the Redskins don’t think they will ever sign Cousins long term this could be the way to go.

Tag and sign by July 15 deadline, $30—This may be a little low for this possibility. Perhaps if the other options are off the table he will consider that he is a perfect match for Jay Gruden’s offense and that he might not be such a good fit elsewhere. There also is the possibility of injury or, for whatever reason, Cousins having a subpar season. Those thoughts could spur him to instruct his agent to get the best deal he can get in Washington.

Tag and play the season on the tag, $40—Right now, this appears to be the mostly likely scenario. They can afford the $24 million cap hit and it would get them one more year of his services. However, the prospects for him remaining in a Redskins uniform for 2018 and beyond would be very cloudy.

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In case you missed it

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

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3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed and Brandon Scherff will skip next week's Pro Bowl in Orlando a team spokesman confirmed to CSN. All three players dealt with injuries late in the season, most notably Reed, and playing in the exhibition game is not in the cards. Trent Williams, however, is still slated to play in the game. 

Reed suffered a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving playing against the Dallas Cowboys. For the rest of the season, Reed played through significant pain and his production dipped.

Kerrigan played much of the season with an injured elbow and hurt his finger in the final game against the Giants. Scherff played with ankle pain and was listed on the injury report much of the season's final four games.

For Reed and Scherff, this year marked their first Pro Bowl. The recognition was deserved for both players, and shows that the guard and tight end are gaining national spotlight for their play.

Kerrigan played in the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season. He finished this year with 11 sacks, 2.5 short os his career high 13.5 in 2014. 

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