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Kirk Cousins knows he needs to deliver more than just yards for 2017 Redskins

Kirk Cousins knows he needs to deliver more than just yards for 2017 Redskins

Kirk Cousins shattered his own Redskins passing record in 2016 as he threw for almost 5,000 yards.

Statistically, Cousins' 2016 season was superb, but his team only won eight games and fell short of the playoffs with an ugly loss in the season finale.

Cousins completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,917 yards to go with 25 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. The numbers earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl, but likely the pass he remembers most is the interception that sealed the Redskins season in that Week 17 loss against the Giants.

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"Clearly, just putting up a bunch of yards isn’t necessarily the catchall. That doesn't just mean you win games," Cousins said on Redskins Nation (full video above). "We certainly want to win our division and all those things, and have great results at the end of the year."

Against the Giants, Cousins had the chance to be a hero for Washington and get the 'Skins to a second straight playoff berth for the first time in 20 years. It didn't work out. The Giants' defense stymied the Redskins, and Cousins, throughout the afternoon. 

Interestingly, the loss to the Giants and an earlier Week 15 home loss to the Panthers illustrates Cousins' point about yards not equaling wins. In those two losses, Cousins threw for more than 600 yards, an impressive total against two top defenses. Yet, the Redskins offense was hardly effective in either game and the team scored only 25 points combined.

In no uncertain terms is Cousins wholly at fault for the defeats, but those are not two games to pin on the struggling Washington defense either.

Moving forward, unsurprisingly, Cousins has a great attitude about his team for 2017 and the work being put in now.

"You can’t win the division in May. It's about a process. It's about what can we do on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday here in the spring that gives us a chance in the fall to win games," he said. 

Players are putting the work in to improve in 2017. 

RELATED: One reason to watch every Redskins game this year.

"That's what I’m excited about. I feel the stars of the team, the Josh Normans, the Terrelle Pryors, are coming in and working hard, checking their egos at the door and just showing up being great teammates and great leaders. That's a great step."

One more win. That's all that separated the Redskins from the playoffs in 2016. If Cousins is right, and the process is right, the work in May might deliver that win in December.

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ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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Report: 'There isn't a real price that will make Kirk Cousins happy' with Redskins

Report: 'There isn't a real price that will make Kirk Cousins happy' with Redskins

Following a slew of reports that cast doubt on the Redskins reaching a long-term deal with Kirk Cousins, ESPN's Dianna Russini tweeted Tuesday that the impass is not about money. 

If the report is true, then Washington has run out of good options for retaining Cousins in the long term.

It's possible the team could use a third-straight franchise tag to keep him next season, but the price tag around $34 million would be astronomical for one season.

The transition tag would be worth in the neighborhood of $28 million. 

Russini doesn't elaborate on the reasons behind her report that Cousins wouldn't be happy in Washington regardless of price. But it's important to note that both teams and players have incentive to create leverage in contract negotiations through the media. 

The Redskins have until July 17 to reach a long-term deal with Cousins. 

MORE REDSKINS: Backup center again a question mark for the Redskins

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Redskins 2017 depth chart preview: Interior offensive line

Redskins 2017 depth chart preview: Interior offensive line

Over the next few weeks, Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ 2017 depth chart as the team enjoys some R&R ahead of training camp. Some positions are easy to handicap. Others have moving parts and, thus, are more complex. So, who’s in? And who’s in trouble?

Up today…

Position: Interior offensive line

On the roster: Guards Shawn Lauvao, Brandon Scherff, Arie Kouandjio, Tyler Catalina, Kyle Kalis, Isaiah Williams; Centers Spencer Long, Chase Roullier, Ronald Patrick

Locks: Lauvao, Scherff, Kouandjio, Long

As noted here this morning, there seemed to be a pretty good chance that Lauvao would be on his way out. But free agency and the draft went by and no serious challenger for him was acquired. It looks like they will let him play out the last year of his free agent contract and then see what they want to do with him next year when he will be a 30-year-old free agent.

RELATED: 3 Redskins who are up, 3 down

The Redskins might like Kouandjio, going into his third season, to emerge as a viable option as Lauvao’s successor. He was not up to the task in a couple of spot starts last year. But, just like Lauvao, he can take some comfort in the fact that the organization did not expend any major resources on bringing in another guard for competition.

Scherff went to the Pro Bowl in his second year in the league. He will be a fixture at right guard for the next decade or so, provided the Redskins can figure out a way to get a third high-priced offensive lineman under the salary cap (in addition to tackles Trent Williams and Morgan Moses).

Long did a solid job in his first year as the starting center. He will anchor the line again this year. He is eligible for a contract extension and it will be interesting to see if talks heat up between now and training camp.

On the bubble: Roullier

In an ideal Redskins world, the rookie sixth-round pick would be able to learn center and both guard spots well enough to be a workable fill-in on game days. In the real world, that may not work. During minicamp, offensive line coach Bill Callahan told me that while he had been impressed with how well Roullier had picked things up so far, the real test will come with the pads on in Richmond.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense

Long shots: Catalina, Kalais, Williams, Patrick

You never know what will happen during the preseason but it seems that the practice squad is the best hope for any of these guys to be around Ashburn in the fall. If injury or issues with Roullier’s development create a hole in the depth chart in the 53-man roster the organization is likely to go outside to find help off the waiver wire. Two or three on this list are likely to be back for another shot in 2018.  

Redskins 2017 depth chart previews: Offensive tackle | Wide receiver

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.