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Five things you need to know about the Orakpo tag

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Five things you need to know about the Orakpo tag

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 4, seven days before the start of NFL free agency.

Nickel coverage

Here are five angles on the Redskins’ decision to put the franchise tag on Brian Orakpo.

1. Why did they do it?—In the end, they didn’t want to lose a home-grown, very good player at a very important position on the defense even if they perhaps would be overpaying him to an extent. They would rather have less cap space to work with than have to start over again when it comes to getting pressure on the opposing QB.

2. What does it do to the cap?—The move leaves them with less than $19 million in cap space, although they do have the ability to create more.

3. What are the ripple effects?—Ryan Kerrigan will be able to stay on the left side of the line, where he is more comfortable. But Rob Jackson, the only remaining member of the Redskins’ draft class of 2008, is unlikely to be back. He will probably head to a team where he will have an opportunity to start or at least have a more defined role.

4. Is there a fight coming?—There have been some reports that Orakpo’s camp will fight to have him designated a defensive end for tag salary purposes rather than a linebacker. That would mean higher pay to the tune of an extra $1.66 million. It seems doubtful that he will be successful but that won’t prevent his camp from trying.

5. What’s next?—Orakpo technically will still be a free agent when that opens up on March 11 and we’ll see if another team is willing to give up two first-round picks for the right to be able to pay Orakpo in excess of $10 million per year. Since that is highly unlikely to happen, Orakpo will have to decide when to sign his tender. When he does that $11.5 million salary becomes guaranteed and he must attend mandatory minicamp and training camp. He could opt not to sign and attempt to create pressure for a long-term deal by holding out.

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Timeline

—It’s been 65 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 187 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Free agency starts 7; Offseason workouts start 34; NFL Draft 65

In case you missed it

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Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

As the discussion rages around what the Redskins should do with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, $75 million cornerback Josh Norman made clear he wants the passer back. Norman explained that the 'Skins struggles should not be pinned to Cousins, but rather, a Washington defense that finished the year near the bottom of the NFL.

"We got to help him out of defense, and stop somebody on the field," Norman said on FS1 (click here for full video). "We did not help him out at all. I'll be honest with you. We got to do our job."

Norman's comments came during a spirited argument with Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Cris Carter in what amounted to a festival of hot takery. Whitlock's argument was that Cousins is not a franchise quarterback, and shoult not be paid as such, largely for losing the final two home games of the year against Carolina and the New York Giants.

Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards this year, a statitstic Norman pointed to in his defense of the QB. He also explained that Cousins still has room to grow.

"He only had two seasons," Norman said. "Cam Newton had five seasons."

Drafted in 2012, Cousins was just named the 'Skins starter in 2015. He's started every game the last two seasons and gone 17-16 while passing for more than 9,000 yards. Norman played with Newton in Carolina before signing with Washington last year, and got to watch the quarterback develop into the league MVP in 2015.

Norman described Cousins as a 'great guy' and leader in the locker room, but he allowed that, "I know a great guy don’t translate into wins. I'm not saying that."

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 9 worst play of 2016

Steelers at Redskins Week 1

10:18 left in Q2, Steelers ball 4th and 1 at the Redskins 29, Redskins leading 6-0

Ben Roethlisberger pass deep left to Antonio Brown for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Tandler: Things were looking up for the Redskins prior to this, even though they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in two forays deep into Steelers territory and had to settle for field goals (a taste of things to come all year). The Steelers drove down the field and went for it on fourth and one. Because Joe Barry opted not to have Josh Norman travel from side to side with Brown, it was Bashaud Breeland with one-on-one coverage on the right side. Brown beat Breeland and DeAngelo Hall was late giving safety help and Big Ben put the ball on the money. The score put the Steelers ahead to stay.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: It's easy to forget now that the Redskins had an early lead in the opener against Pittsburgh. In fact, their defense started well, until this point. In something that would be repeated throughout the year, the Steelers did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down against the Washington defense. Breeland was in pretty good position on the ball, though Roethlisberger's throw was right on the money. It would be only one more week until Josh Norman would then start traveling to cover other team's best receivers. Beyond the immediate impact of this play, it also seemed to stay with Breeland as he struggled somewhat in the first half of the season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!