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Five things you need to know about NFL free agency

Five things you need to know about NFL free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 11, the day NFL free agency starts.

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Here are five things to watch for today as the free agent frenzy gets underway at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

1. “Interest” does not equal a “contract”—We have been hearing of Redskins “interest” in a lot of players and we will continue to hear about it. That doesn’t mean that the Redskins want to sign all of those players or even any of them. Sometimes agents will play up even minor interest in their clients to make it seems like the player is in high demand.

2. Expect to hear a lot about players being overpaid—The salary cap increased by $10 million, about $6 million more than the teams expected. Teams can’t sit on cap money like they used to as they have to spend 89 percent of their available money over a four-year period per the CBA. Oh, and the cap will continue to grow and players signing this year are going to want a piece of that, too. In short, a lot of players are going to make a lot of money and, in the opinions of many analysts, they will be making too much.

3. Wait for the contract numbers—When you first hear that Player A has signed with the Redskins for X dollars over Y years, take a deep breath before going on an “overpaid” rant. Wait about 24 hours or so until the details of the deal come through. Chris Baker’s deal shrunk dramatically from the original report of 3 years/$12 million when it was revealed that a million bucks a year of that was incentives he probably won’t make.

4. Highest priorities don’t get filled first—If the Redskins’ first signing is of, say, a backup outside linebacker, don’t go screaming that they have no inside linebackers or where is the safety help. Deals don’t necessarily get done in order of need they get done in the order that the negotiations are finalized. The are working multiple fronts at once.

5. It’s not over after a couple of days, or even a month—Don’t get all bent out of shape if there is still a hole or two at the end of the week. Players will continue to sign deals for the rest of the month. Teams will take a break to see what they get in the draft and then there will be a few more singings after that. And then after they see what they have during OTAs and minicamps another small wave of signings will take place. Finally, as teams look around when training camp is starting they might look for a few players who have lowered their asking prices considerably.

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Timeline

—It’s been 72 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 180 days until they play another one.

—Days until: Offseason workouts start 27; NFL Draft 58

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Redskins and Morgan Moses agree to five-year extension

Redskins and Morgan Moses agree to five-year extension

The Redskins have signed one of their own to a contract extension.

According to multiple reports, the team has reached agreement with right tackle Morgan Moses on a five-year contract extension. The deal will make him the second-highest paid right tackle in the NFL.

RELATED: Final NFL Mock Draft

Moses was entering the final year of his rookie contract. Absent an extension he was slated to become a free agent in 2018.

Moses, who just turned 26, was a third-round pick of the Redskins in 2014. He played sparingly as a rookie, appearing in eight games and starting one. In training camp in 2015 he was installed as the starter at right tackle and he has started all 32 games since then.

The highest-paid right tackle in the game is Lane Johnson of the Eagles. His contract averages $11.25 million per year. Second on the list is Ricky Wagner of the Lions whose deal has an average annual value of $9.5 million per year. So look for Moses’ deal to come in somewhere in the $10 million per year range.

MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third 

Of course, the details and fully guaranteed money are the most important aspects. Those will be reported in the coming days.

Moses’ extension means that the Redskins now have both of their offensive tackles under contract through at least the 2020 season. Left tackle Trent Williams signed a five-year, $66 million contract extension in 2015.

The extension was first reported by ESPN.

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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Will McCloughan advising other teams hurt the Redskins in the draft?

Will McCloughan advising other teams hurt the Redskins in the draft?

Redskins’ college scouting director Scott Campbell acknowledged earlier this week that the team’s draft board will have Scot McCloughan’s influence on it. The Redskins may not be alone in having a McCloughan imprint on their draft tonight.

According to Mike Garofolo of NFL Media, the former Redskins GM has resumed the scouting service that he ran prior to being hired by the Redskins in January of 2015. He supplied his evaluation of various draft prospects to teams who paid for his service.

RELATED: Final NFL Mock Draft

Team president Bruce Allen has let it be known since they fired McCloughan in early March he was free to do work for other teams. And apparently, McCloughan is doing just that, providing his evaluations to teams that the Redskins are trying to outsmart in the draft.

The report did not specify to which teams McCloughan has been providing reports. However, Garafolo did say that McCloughan is “not giving up” information about the Redskins’ strategy. Of course, that’s a very gray area. If McCloughan tells a team that he gives Player X a third-round grade that team can reasonably guess that the Redskins have a similar grade on him. Teams are hungry for any tidbits about what other teams are thinking and they can put such nuggets to good use, especially if they are considering a trade.

MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third 

However, it’s possible that the Redskins’ board has changed enough to make whatever information McCloughan might be leaking out so outdated as to be of very limited use. Had the Redskins really been highly concerned about what McCloughan might say to other teams they either would have kept him on the job or they could have continued to pay him through the end of the draft and prohibit him from working anywhere else until after the final pick is made on Saturday evening.

If it’s not anything else it’s a reminder that the guy the Redskins let go a month and a half before the draft is so good at evaluating draft talent that other teams are willing to pay for him to provide them with those evaluations even this late in the process. This may not be an issue for them in this draft but it could be a problem as they try to grow a winning program through the draft in the coming years.

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.