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Free Agency: Who's left, offensive line edition

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Free Agency: Who's left, offensive line edition

Now that salary cap-gate over, what's next for the Redskins 53-man roster. According to Rich Tandler- and without factoring in potential savings by cutting certain veterans -there is around 3.8 million left to play with, some of which goes toward signing the remaining draft picks. So, what should the Shanahan's do with that remaining coin? Considering the free agent options remaining are your rank and file types, we can probably ignore certain areas (defensive line, wide receiver, outside linebacker and - for now anyway - tight end and corner). Other trouble spots (inside linebacker, safety, running back, guardcenter) were addressed in the draft orduring the more vibrantportion of free agency though the depth chart is not set in stone. The Redskins drafted three offensive lineman, though not sure anyone thinks that means that problem area is completely solved.Tandler and I went point-counterpoint on the OL before the draft. While I like the attention given to the overall area during the draft - put me down now for saying fifth rounder Adam Gettis is the one to watch - not sure the starting right tackle spot and overall depth works for me. (If the NFL imposed cap hit impacted any single area on the team, you have to believe it was on the line. One has to believe once RG3 was in play, upgrading his protectors with veterans was a major priority, but once the dollars diminished, Plan B was inacted)Which brings us back around to the basis for this post: who's left on the open market. It's one thing to suggest more help is needed, butare worthy options available is the question. Here's a look at the top offensive linemen - heavy on the tackles - remaining in free agency:Marcus McNeill, OT (Chargers): Yep, he's still out there. Knee and neck injuries led to surgeries and missed games over the past two seasons, but when healthy, the 28-year-oldis a top shelf tackle option. With several teams still looking for tackle help - Falcons and Bears come to mind -McNeill will be snatched up once the next wave of free agency truly kicks in or before training camps open. With their (current) limited funds, not sure the Redskins can join the bidding.Kareem McKenzie, OT (Giants): Apparently even the 33-year-old right tackle is not sure what his football future holds. The 11-year veteran started al 16 games in four of the last five seasons for the Giants, but the Super Bowl champs are going with a needed youth movement up front (also, their line was not all that last season). As long as he maintains football shape, McKenzie is the kind of last second option a team could call one week and start the next.Jason Brown, GC (Rams): Went from being a top free agent after a strong run with the Ravens to one of the worst centers in the league. Considering the Redskins backup center hole and Kory Lichtensteiger is recovering from injury, Brown could be an interesting swingman target, though he might have better opportunities toland a starting gig elsewhere.Max Starks, OT (Steelers): This would be a sign-and-stash move as the 30-year-old tore his ACL during Pittsburgh playoff last season. If say Willie Smith shows the coaching staff enough to justify jettisoning Jammal Brown, perhaps Starks makes for a worthy signing with a look toward the second half of the upcoming season and 2013.Others: Jake Scott, G (Titans), Vernon Carey, T (Dolphins), Bobbie Williams, G (Bengals), Redskins in exile: Stephon Heyer (Raiders) and Derrick Dockery (Cowboys), still available.

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Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

After he signed the franchise tag a couple of weeks ago, the speculation, rumors and, for some fans, panic around Kirk Cousins has largely quieted down.

The Redskins can ink their quarterback to a long-term deal any time between now and July 15, but talks may not pick up until summer rolls around. A trade can also occur, but no recent reports have indicated that one is in the works.

Therefore, it currently looks like Cousins and the franchise that drafted him back in 2012 will be together for at least one more season. And according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, that's a wise choice by the Burgundy and Gold.

"I think they did the absolute right thing in making sure Kirk Cousins is gonna be their quarterback this year," King told CSN Redskins Insider JP Finlay at the NFL owner's meetings in Phoenix. "I absolutely, unequivocally would not trade him. That's a white flag." 

As for why King wouldn't move on from No. 8, his explanation was very simple.

"You don't get rid of a guy who's got the second-most passing yards in football over the last two years," he said.

MORE REDSKINS: WILL JAY GRUDEN'S ROLE IN DECISION-MAKING EXPAND THIS YEAR?

Finlay also gathered input on the Redskins' and Cousins' relationship from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who's another major voice in the league's media. Rapoport first stated that he would be "beyond stunned" if the 28-year-old was not in D.C. for the 2017 campaign and then laid out how he envisions the year unfolding.

"I do not believe he will sign the extension before the season," he said. "So, he's going to go out there, play on another one-year deal, bet on himself like he did last year. You hope it's the same thing. And then we'll see, because I know there's some talk about him not signing an extension — I'm not so sure about that. Everyone has a price, right?"

"If they offer him $25 [million] a year, Andrew Luck's deal, I would imagine plans would change pretty quickly, right?" Rapoport continued. "So you get to the end of the season, assess where you are, assess the value and see if you can make a business deal. It's terrible to have to pay so much money to your quarterback. The only worse thing is not being able to pay so much money to your quarterback." 

King and Rapoport are clearly both in agreement that losing their rising signal caller would be a huge blow to the Redskins. But while King says Washington should keep Cousins because of his production, Rapoport took a different route when concluding how the negotiations will end up.

"Really good quarterbacks never leave their team. It just never happens," he said. "So I would think there's a way to work this out."

RELATED: PRESTON SMITH ENTERING VITAL YEAR

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Josh Doctson's short tweet delivers good news for Redskins

Josh Doctson's short tweet delivers good news for Redskins

Josh Doctson’s tweet left 136 characters on the table but he didn’t need any more to deliver some good news to Redskins fans.

The wide receiver was the Redskins’ top pick in the 2016 draft. At 6-2 and an ability to high point the ball he repeatedly demonstrated at TCU, it was hoped he would add a different dimension to the Redskins’ fast but relatively short receiving corps.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

But it didn’t happen. An Achilles tendon injury flared up during preseason activities and he was very limited in OTAs. He was on the PUP list during training camp and the preseason games. Doctson was on the 53-man roster to start the season but after 31 snaps and one reception in two games he was shut down for the season.

Jay Gruden was apparently frustrated by the injury and throughout the season he wasn’t sure when Doctson would be ready.

MORE REDSKINS: 3 takeaways from talking to Allen

But last month via social media Docston sent out some pictures of him doing some strenuous work at Redskins Park. It appears that he was in Tampa today working with Jon Gruden and some other Redskins. The tweet from Doctson came a short time after this picture from one of Terrelle Pryor’s social media accounts was posted.

It should be noted that doing work in shorts a T-shirts does not equal being effective in an NFL regular season game. But it’s a good first step and considering Doctson barely took any steps last year that’s a good development.

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.