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Deadlines Looming--Today's the Day

Deadlines Looming--Today's the Day

The clock is ticking on two critical deadlines, one of them hard, one of them self-imposed, that will shape the face of the Washington Redskins for 2006 and for years to come.

The one hard deadline comes at midnight tonight. If that hour passes and Laveranues Coles is still a Redskin, any cap relief the team would get from Coles' forgoing all or part of the $5 million installment he is due on his signing bonus on April 1 will not be credited until 2006. That doesn't mean that Coles will remain a Redskin; he could still be traded and the team could absorb the full cap hit. But that doesn't seem to be something that the Redskins are willing to do. From an article by Jody Foldesy in today's Washington Times:
A trade involving Washington Redskins wide receiver Laveranues Coles just might be back on. The New York Jets, the most likely partner, seemed to breathe life back into the potential deal yesterday by signaling some willingness to work with the respective parties on a swap.The "work with" the Jets now seem willing to do is to give Coles a restructured deal including some guaranteed money so that Coles could give back all or part of the $5 million.
Under terms previously discussed, the Redskins would receive speedy wideout Santana Moss in exchange for Coles. Moss then would receive a new contract from Washington.

However, the specifics of Coles' financial prospects remain uncertain. The Jets could give Coles a new pact as part of the deal, or they could pick up part or all of the $5 million Washington is due to pay Coles on April 1. That $5 million represents the final installment on Coles' original $13 million signing bonus. This will either happen today or it won't happen at all, although a trade of Coles for Moss, or some other player, could still happen if the Redskins are willing to eat the $6 million cap hit due to accelleration of cap hit of his original $13 million sigining bonus.

The Coles situation has been a roller-coaster ride since it was revealed eight days ago that he was unhappy with the Redskins and wanted out. It's been so confusing that the identical article carries two very different headlines on the Washington Post website Sunday night. First, it was this:
After Trade Fails, Coles's Release Appears More LikelyWithin a couple of hours, it was changed to this:
After Trade Fails, Coles's Return Appears More LikelyThat pretty well sums it up. Dan Daly has as good an explanation as any as to the nexus of the confusion:
Frankly, it isn't hard to envision a scenario in which Coles went to Snyder, expressed his willingness to forgo the last installment of his $13Â million signing bonus in exchange for his freedom, and the Redskins owner, imagining what he could do with that $5Â million, saying, "We might be agreeable to that." (He did, I'll just point out, give Deion Sanders a big signing bonus and let him walk after only a year.)

One can also envision Snyder running the idea by Gibbs, and Coach Joe, rightfully, saying, "What are you, crazy? We gave up the 13th pick in the draft for that guy. He caught 90 passes for us last season. We can't just give him away. We've got to get something in return." Speaking of confusion, this article is still up as of Tuesday morning in regards to the Redskins interest in former Tennessee cornerback Samari Rolle. From our good friend Len Pasquarelli at ESPN.com:
Rolle could nab $15M signing bonus from Redskins

Despite denials from team officials, the Washington Redskins are pursuing a deal with cornerback Samari Rolle, one of six veterans released last week by the Tennessee Titans in a bloody salary cap purge, and a player who is among the most coveted free agents in the league.

Several league sources here said that Rolle, a seven-year veteran with superb cover skills, could command a signing bonus of as much as $15 million given the spending habits of Washington owner Daniel Snyder and the team's need for a cornerback.However, both the Times article referenced above and a Post article by Nunyo Demasio say that a potential deal for Rolle is dead or, more accurately, every existed.
Meanwhile, reports of Washington's imminent signing of cornerback Samari Rolle are false, said several sources familiar with the situation. According to one club source, Rolle hasn't even been on Washington's list of free-agent targets, largely because of his asking price. One of the hottest rumors at the Indianapolis combine was Rolle going to Washington for a signing bonus of up to $15 million. (Gregg Williams, Washington's assistant head coach of defense, was Rolle's defensive coordinator at Tennessee for Rolle's first three NFL seasons. And Rolle is a former teammate of Redskins safeties coach Steve Jackson.) However, the misinformation was apparently spread to exploit owner Daniel Snyder's reputation for free spending while increasing Rolle's value in free agency. According to one NFL source, Rolle is scheduled to visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday.So, if we are to believe the local papers, we have ESPN.com's Lenny P. getting played like a fiddle by Rolle's camp in order to drive up his price. Stunning.

The other deadline comes at 4:00 PM today. That's the self-imposed deadline for getting tackle Chris Samuels' contract restructured to give the team relief from his 2005 salary cap hit, which is currently almost $10 million. The team could use the cap room to deal Coles without any cap relief or sign free agents, either those from other teams or their own such as Fred Smoot and Antonio Pierce.

A deal between Samuels and the Redskins has appeared to be done for the past several days and it's unclear what the holdup in finalizing it. It's possible that Samuels' agent is actually reading the contract before having his client sign it, something that Lavar Arrington's agents apparently failed to do when he signed his extension late in 2003.

Meanwhile, it appears that Smoot and Pierce will both enter the free agent market at midnight. There is a chance that both will return, with the odds on Pierce being better than those on Smoot. From the Times article:
Some NFL executives believe Pierce will take the Redskins' best offer and shop it at least a day in free agency, but yesterday Pierce said he hoped to be back.

"I'm very optimistic," Pierce said in a phone interview. "Things are looking positive." The fact that the team is not after Rolle makes it more likely that Smoot will be back, but that prospect is still quite problematic. From the Post article:
"Fred's desire is Washington, but there's a whole lot of fish out there in the sea," Smoot's agent, Bus Cooke, said Monday night. "We've had amicable talks with Mr. Snyder and Mr. Gibbs. We'll see how it plays out."

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Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

The Redskins and Cardinals highlight the Week 13 schedule with a showdown in the desert with heavy NFL playoff implications on the line.

If the Redskins (6-5-1) can score a victory over the Cardinals (4-6-1), the team can move closer to solidifying one of the top two Wild Card spots in the NFC playoff race.

Depite the Redskins' difficult Week 12 loss to the Cowboys, Kirk Cousins is playing the best football of his career as of late, and earned the NFC Player of the Month honors for his efforts.

While running back Robert Kelley did have a slip-up against the Cowboys, the team's run game still looks vastly improved from the early season, which allows the passing game to thrive even more. Jamison Crowder continues to impress, and although Jordan Reed will miss the Cardinals game with an injury, Vernon Daivs has proven to be an excellent option for Cousins.

The most entertaining matchup of Week 13 might be Redskins DB Josh Norman vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, but the most important matchup will undoubtedly be the Redskins defensive line vs. Cardinals RB David Johnson. 

RELATED: NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS HEADING INTO WEEK 13

Johnson trails just DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott -- who finished with 83 yards and one TD in Week 12 -- in total rushing yards with 920 and trails just Elliott and Legarrett Blount in rushing touchdowns with 10. The Redskins rank 25th in rushing defense, and have given up an average of 108 rushing yards in their last five games.

Redskins vs. Cardinals kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4 on FOX. Redskins Kickoff gets things started at 3:00 p.m. ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (Channel Finder)

CSN is providing all the live updates, stats, scores, highlights, videos and analysis from Redskins vs. Cardinals. Got a comment on the game? Be sure to let us know in the comment section and join Santana Moss and Sebastian Salazar at halftime for the Facebook Live Q&A.

RELATED: BEST & WORST REDSKINS ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates

PREGAME:

10:30 AM: Game Preview: The five things you need to know before Redskins vs. Cardinals.

1. Keep it moving
2. Missing in action
3. Consider the source
4. Problems don't go away
5. Harder they fall

10:15 AM: Be sure to follow CSN Insiders J.P. Finlay and Rich Tandler, who are at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ari. Also, give our CSN Redskins Twitter account too. Come for the analysis, stay for the dank memes.

10:00 AM: Welcome to CSNMA's live updates blog of Week 13 Redskins vs. Cardinals. As always, I am Troy Machir and today I will be your online guide to Redskins vs. Cardinals football in the painted desert of the southwest. If you have an issue with me, you can cuss me out on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. It's fun.

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Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 4, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Cardinals 4:25 pm

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 7; Panthers @ Redskins 15; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 20

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Cardinals

—It needs to be a Ryan Kerrigan day if the Redskins are going to win. Or a Preston Smith day, something rarely seen this year. Or perhaps Arizonan Trent Murphy will get a couple of sacks for his friends and family. Carson Palmer has been ineffective this year because he has been under constant pressure. Washington needs to keep that up.

—It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Josh Norman and Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals don’t just put Fitz into the slot as a wrinkle; they do it all the time. Norman isn’t comfortable covering in the slot but Joe Barry and Jay Gruden will be very uncomfortable if Fitzpatrick dominates Kendall Fuller. Maybe they will try to start off with Norman on the outside but they will adjust quickly. I know I’ve been back and forth on this all week but the Redskins will not use their base defense very often since the Cardinals like to spread the field so much. There will be no “standard” set for this game.

—The Redskins gain 6.4 yards per play, second in the NFL. The Cardinals allow 4.7 yards per game, first in the NFL. As usual, Washington may have to get their score into the upper 20’s to win. That might require a takeaway or a big special teams play.

—A lot of running backs would like to be in a “slump” like the one David Johnson is in now. After gaining at least 83 yards in five straight games, including going over 100  yards in three straight, Johnson has a combined 240 rushing yards in his last four games. Sixty yards per game is respectable but not dominant. The Redskins will gladly sign up for that going in but the Cards will want to get him going against Washington’s leaky rushing defense.

—I think the Redskins will be able to pressure Palmer but Johnson probably has a big day on tap. Unlike some other teams who have played the Redskins this year, if the Cardinals get a good running game going they won’t abandon it. On the other side of the ball, the Redskins’ offense will be slowed down but not shut down. My prediction, which I make with no hesitation but without much confidence:

Redskins 27, Cardinals 21

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