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With John Lynch now in San Francisco, what about 49ers interest in Kirk Cousins?

With John Lynch now in San Francisco, what about 49ers interest in Kirk Cousins?

Let's start with the facts: Kirk Cousins could become a free agent in about a month, unless the Redskins can agree to a long-term deal with their quarterback or they place the franchise tag on the passer.

Those are far and away the two most likely scenarios - long-term deal or franchise tag - but another option emerged. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that San Francisco might make a strong trade offer for Cousins, perhaps even including the No. 2 overall pick. The crux of the Schefter report centered on the 49ers hiring Kyle Shanahan as coach, which is basically a done deal. Remember Shanahan was with the Redskins when Cousins was drafted, and the two are said to have a strong relationship. 

From Schefter's report: 

San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan. Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. 

Now, things have grown more interesting with the Niners hire of John Lynch as general manager. Lynch, a former player with the Bucs and Broncos, has no previous front office experience, but during his broadcasting work with Fox, repeatedly spoke highly of Cousins. 

"You know, there’s a lot of talk in Washington, should this be our guy moving forward, is he really [worth] a $20 million contract? You’ve got to take your head off the figure, off the number. I think that scares people. That’s the going rate, folks. You may not like it, but it’s the going rate for good quarterbacks. This guy is a really good quarterback. He’s earned the right, in my mind, to be the Redskins quarterback moving forward," Lynch said during the Redskins 27-22 win over the Eagles in December (via DC Sports Bog).

It's also interesting that Lynch was, in a way, Shanahan's hand-picked GM. Peter King of MMQB.com told the story of Lynch's hire, and said that it unfolded after the former Pro Bowl safety reached out to the currect Falcons offensive coordinator and said he'd be interested in the front office gig.

The more interesting nugget from King's story, that was mentioned twice, was that both Cousins and Lynch know without a quarterback their rebuilding effort in in San Francisco won't work.

  1. "If Lynch and Shanahan don’t find a long-term quarterback, regardless of their long contracts, they will fail in their quest to lead the 49ers out of the wilderness.​"
  2. "It all sounds good—the enlightened GM, the overly bright coach—but nothing will matter until one of them picks the right quarterback to help rebuild the Niners. Knowing each man the way I do, I expect they both know it."

Now, it's worth pointing out that both Washington team president Bruce Allen and head coach Jay Gruden said just last week in Mobile that the plan is to bring Cousins back to the 'Skins, and Allen went a step further to say the team wants to get a long-term deal done. 

If the Redskins want Cousins long-term, they can get that deal done. The price tag will be high, perhaps even more than the $20 million per year Lynch mentioned, but not unheard of at the position. 

If the Redskins are intrigued by a trade offer, however, there seems to be little reason the hire of Lynch will change San Francisco's reported interest. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

QB run will come at NFL Draft, but when it happens matters most for Redskins

Quarterbacks will come off the board in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night. That much is certain. Where those quarterbacks come off the board, however, matters much more for the Redskins. 

Mitchell Trubisky will be the first passer off the board, and depending on the information, he could be drafted as high as the first overall pick, and will certainly go early.

Trubisky, though, seems like the only certainty of a QB going early. Questions plague guys like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. Those guys could all go in the first half of the draft, but they could all slide into the 20s as well. 

For Washington, the earlier quarterbacks get drafted the better. It seems highly unlikely the Redskins make a draft day trade of QB Kirk Cousins, limiting hardly any interest in a first-round passer.

The more passers that go before the 'Skins pick at 17 means the more high-quality players slide down the draft board. Look around the internet at lists of the best prospects available. Hardly any signal callers crack the Top 20, but the positional need at QB demands the position be overdrafted.

Though the Burgundy and Gold continue to slow-play contract talks with Cousins, he is under contract for 2017 and the team holds an option for 2018. That means Bruce Allen can sit in his draft room and potentially be a trade partner for a team that wants to land a QB, or just wait patiently and watch as they come off the board and send other desirable prospects closer to 17.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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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Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 25, one day before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 16
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 28
—Training camp starts (7/27) 92
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 137

Wrapping up the Redskins pre-draft presser

We’ve looked at a some of what Redskins college scouting director Scott Campbell said during his pre-draft press conference on Monday, covering possible trades, who makes the final call on those trades, and how the organization handles character issues. Here are a few more bullet points from Campbell’s presser:

—Asked if the Redskins would draft to fill needs or take the best available player, Campbell gave the stock answer. “I guess as you asked the question, you kind of framed it and the way I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available,’” he said “And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus.” So, there you go. That said, don’t be surprised if the best players as defined by the Redskins in the first few also happen have the “bonus” of filling one the team’s top two or three needs.

—The needs could line up well because the strength of the draft as Campbell sees it coincides with side of the ball where the Redskins need the most help. “Well, I’m excited because I think it’s one of the strongest, deepest classes on the defensive side of the ball that I’ve seen,” he said. “I’ve told the guys upstairs I’m excited because we’re going to get better . . . And several different positions – sometimes it’s just maybe defensive line or outside backers or corners. Across the board on defense, I’m really excited about the class and the guys we’re going to bring in are going to help us.”

—The draft board is still used after the draft ends and the scramble for undrafted free agents starts up. “There’s going to be guys left on the bottom of that board that didn’t get drafted that we had rated as draftable,” said Campbell. “So that’s our No. 1 targets. I assign a scout to all the coaches, and really the coaches talk to the players – once the draft ends, let me be clear, it’s after the draft ends when we start making calls – the scouts are on the phone with the agent finding out what our competition is, how much.” Campbell said that money isn’t much of a factor in recruiting the undrafted players; selling opportunity is the key.

—The draft board was influenced by former GM Scot McCloughan but adjustments have been made since he was fired in early March. “Well, he certainly had influence on it because we all met as we always did the last couple of years and every team does. You meet right after the all-star games before you go to the combine and kind of get an initial ranking of how you like the guys. Of course Scot hadn’t been here since, so just like when he was here before, there’s adjustments being made to the board with the new information.”

—The 2016 draft class did not contribute a lot but does not mean that there is more pressure on the organization to do better this year. The pressure is always there regardless. “Always pressure. Every year’s pressure,” said Campbell. “I grew up in an NFL household. My dad was a coach and a player for 40 years. Pressure every year to perform, that’s what the NFL is. You’ve got to perform every year.” His father was Marion Campbell who played in the NFL for eight years and then coached for 21 seasons including stints as the head coach of the Eagles and Falcons.

—Campbell also asked for a little patience with the 2016 draft class, citing a group from a few years ago. “It takes a couple of years to develop a class,” said Campbell. “People are saying the ‘14 class had some success. Well, if I read articles and see what happened and what was said right after that draft, our grades in the mock drafts were not very good. It takes time. Morgan Moses didn’t start his first year, you know, but he’s come on to be one of the best right tackles in the league. That’s my opinion anyway. It takes time to develop. I still think with time, that class [2016] will be just fine.” I guess I buried the lede here—Campbell reads draft grades.

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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