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Exploring the three tag options Redskins have available for Kirk Cousins

Exploring the three tag options Redskins have available for Kirk Cousins

Wednesday marks the opening of the two-week tag period around the NFL. That means the Redskins have three distinct options for Kirk Cousins, should they choose to go that route. A quick reminder of the differences between the three options below, and remember, teams have until 4 p.m. on March 1 to place a tag on a player. Teams can only use one tag per year. 

  • Exclusive - This tag gives the player no opportunity to negotiate with other teams. If the Redskins tag Cousins with the exclusive tag in 2017, he will be due roughly $24 million, a 20 percent increase of his $20 million salary in 2016.
  • Non-Exclusive - Under this tag, players can negotiate with any team in the league. Should the player and another team agree to terms, the incumbent team has the option to match the deal. If the incumbent team chooses not to match, they are due two first-round picks as compensation. This tag opens up the door for trade scenarios, and Washington used the non-exclusive tag on Cousins in 2016. Like the exclusive option, this tag would pay Cousins $24 million in 2017.
  • Transition - Similar to the non-exclusive tag, the transition tag allows a player to negotiate with any team in the NFL and the home team gets the option to match any new deal. Unlike the non-exclusive tag, the transition tag does not offer compensation for the incumbent team should the player reach a deal elsewhere. The transition tag in 2017 would bring the same 120 percent raise as the other tags for Cousins, but in 2018, it might be an advantage for the team. Should the 'Skins not reach a long-term deal with Cousins, the team could transition him next year and only pay another 120 percent raise, instead of the 144 percent required by the franchise tag in a third straight season. This year, however, the transition tag has little to no usefulness for Washington. 

Should the Redskins place any tag on Cousins, it's unlikely it would come on the first day the team has the option. Last year, Washington did not place the non-exclusive tag on Cousins until hours before the deadline. Once tagged, any player has until July 15 to work towards a long-term deal.

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Redskins Week 3 injury report: Five are listed as questionable

Redskins Week 3 injury report: Five are listed as questionable

The Redskins had a tough, physical game against the Rams last Sunday and it shows on the team’s injury report. Five players are listed as questionable for the coming game against the Raiders at FedEx Field.

TE Jordan Reed (chest), RB Rob Kelley (ribs), ILB Mason Foster (shoulder), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), and CB Josh Norman (shoulder) are the players who are questionable.

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Of those players, Reed was the only one to miss a practice this week. He was out on Wednesday and was back on a limited basis on Thursday and Friday. The Pro Bowl tight end told reporters in the locker room that he will be in the lineup on Sunday.

There is particular concern about Kelley’s injury. He is likely to start as he usually does. But CSN is reporting that the team will have four running backs on the game day active list instead of the three they went with in Weeks 1 and 2. Mack Brown will dress for the Redskins after being inactive in both previous games.

MORE REDSKINS: A STRONG START FOR SMITH BUT MORE IS NEEDED

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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Pierre Garcon was fantastic vs. the Rams, but don't lament his departure just yet

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USA TODAY Sports

Pierre Garcon was fantastic vs. the Rams, but don't lament his departure just yet

Thursday night's Rams-49ers game was surprisingly fun. It was also unofficially the Check Out All These Ex-Redskins Now Playing or Working in California Bowl.

Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, two former Washington offensive coordinators, are now in charge of the two teams. Old 'Skins like Aldrick Robinson, Derek Carrier and John Sullivan, meanwhile, were a part of the on-field action.

It was Pierre Garçon, though, who pushed Burgundy and Gold fans to take their phones out of their pocket and pen sad tweets. That's because the 31-year-old wideout caught seven Brian Hoyer passes (that's impressive on its own, by the way) for 142 yards vs. Los Angeles on Thursday Night Football.

And while his team lost 41-39, Garçon didn't deserve to with plays like this:

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Even with that standout performance, however, Redskins fans shouldn't be cursing the franchise for letting Garçon go. Not yet, anyway.

This past march, the veteran left D.C. after five seasons to sign with San Fran. His deal was a rich one: five years for $47.5 million ($17 million guaranteed at signing). The Niners can get out of it after two years, but it still is a sizable contract even with that potential exit.

That kind of money is the first thing those who miss Garçon should think about. Now, the Redskins didn't exactly handle their negotiations with him that smoothly, but in the end, unless he gave Washington a nice discount, he just would've cost a lot to keep.

Secondly, it's easy to slam the 'Skins for losing Garçon while Kirk Cousins and Co. have stalled through two games in 2017. But the reason that's happening thus far has more to do with Cousins' inaccuracy in Weeks 1 and 2 and an offensive line that's not at the level it should be than with that familiar No. 88 not lining up outside anymore.

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Would Garçon have made a difference for the Redskins against the Eagles and Rams if he were still here? Yeah, probably. But when Jay Gruden's unit starts operating at its normal speed and precision — and it will — the upset voices lamenting Garçon's departure will get quieter.

This is nothing against the guy who was the NFL's 2013 receptions leader and who's well on his way to another productive campaign. It's just that it feels premature to make the connection that allowing him to move on is what's ailing the Washington offense, or that it was a disastrous decision. 

Give Garçon's far cheaper replacements (Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson) more time. Wait for the quarterback and his linemen to sync up again. In a league with just 16 games, that's very hard to do, but let's see if those in the area long for Garçon in December as much as they are currently longing for him in September.