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Deal or no deal?

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Deal or no deal?

Update 1:00 p.m.--Per an article on NFL.com, the league is considering pushing back the trade deadline due to Hurricane Sandy.

Update 2:30 p.m.--NFL has announced that the tarde deadline has been moved to Thursday at 4 p.m.

Hurricane Sandy or no, the NFL’s trade deadline will hit on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Will the Redskins make a deal?

Many Redskins fans are hoping fervently that the team will make a trade to bolster the ineffective secondary or even at wide receiver since it doesn’t look like they are going to get much out of Pierre Garçon, who was brought in to be the team’s top receiver. Will they pull off a deal?

While I’ve learned never to say never, it doesn’t look likely for a few reasons.

For one thing, there aren’t many players in the areas the Redskins need who are being offered, especially at defensive back. There just aren’t many teams out there that have a good enough supply of quality defensive backs to be able to deal any of them away for a draft pick next April.

Now, if a team is out of the playoff picture at this point it might be willing to part with a decent player for a draft pick. But 27 of the 32 NFL teams have at least three wins and everyone has eight or nine to play.

And even if there is a team that is willing to part with a player who could help the Redskins there is a final, fatal obstacle. The Redskins would have great difficulty fitting even a medium sized salary under the cap.

The team has somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million of cap space left. A solid veteran defensive back with an annual salary of $2 million would eat up all of that and leave them with no money for injury replacements for the last half of the year. There might be someone out there with a lower salary who could help but again you’re looking at supply and demand issues. The market would be strong for a solid, low-salary defensive back and the asking price might be too high for the Redskins, who don’t have a first-round pick.

Even if the Redskins could pry a defensive back or wide receiver away from another team and fit him under the cap there would be the matter of integrating him into the system. This is the major reason why in-season trades are rare in the NFL. It takes time to learn an offensive or defensive system and even more time to mesh with your new teammates. By the time a player is up to speed, the season is often over.

Again, it would be a mistake to completely rule out a move being made. The Redskins could make a strong big for a player, renegotiate an existing deal or two to create some cap room, and work him into the lineup as best they can.

It’s possible but very unlikely.    

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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

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

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

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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