The Washington Redskins have announced via their twitter account that they have signed rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins, the player announced via Twitter.Cousins actually beat the Skins to the punch, tweeting, 'Just signed my contract. Officially a member of the Washington Redskins.While terms of the deal have not been released, fourth-round picks last season signed four-year deals worth around 2.5 million.The Michigan State signal caller was drafted in the fourth round.Only two of the nine drafted rookies remain unsigned. First-round pick Robert Griffin IIIand third-round pick Josh LeRibeus have yet to close a deal with the Redskins but continue to take part in offseason practices.Cousins is up against with veteran Rex Grossman and Jonathan Crompton for next slot on the depth chart after Griffin.
The Redskins’ offseason starts to move into high gear today as organized team activities, better known as OTAs, get underway at Redskins Park.
Players have been participating in workouts at Redskins Park since April 17. The first phase of those session consisted of strength and conditioning. In the second phase, they were permitted to run plays but not with the offense lined up against the defense. Finally, in OTAs, they will go offense vs. defense.
RELATED: Who are the Redskins' roster locks?
The practices, however, will not resemble an August scrimmage in Richmond. The players wear helmets but no pads and contact is not permitted. While players do block other players and there are collisions between players going after passes, the action is more like pushing and shoving that it is hitting.
The part about no contact should be taken seriously. Seattle ran afoul of the no-contact rule last year and it cost them. The Seahawks were fined $400,000, lost their fifth-round pick in this year’s draft and they will not be permitted to hold their first week of OTAs this year. The Redskins will be very careful to keep within the rules.
MORE REDSKINS: Allen says new stadium ahead of schedule
OTAs will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in each of the next three weeks. The sessions will be open to the media on Wednesday of each week. While player attendance is strongly encouraged the practices are voluntary.
The week after OTAs end the team will hold its minicamp on June 13-14. Minicamp is essentially a continuation of OTAs but player attendance is mandatory.
Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, May 23, 21 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp on May 22.
It’s been 142 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 110 days.
—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 21
—Training camp starts (7/27) 65
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 79
Who will surprise in 2017?
As OTAs start today, all 90 players on the roster have something to work for. But few dozen of them don’t have to work for a job. These are players who either because of their contracts or draft status or importance to the team who are locks to make the 53-man roster. Here are the 2017 roster locks.
Backs: QB’s Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, and Nate Sudfeld; RB’s Rob Kelley, Chris Thompson, and Samaje Perine.
I’ve had Sudfeld on the bubble ever since the Redskins drafted him but he’s past the point where they are going to give up on him and risk putting him on the practice squad. A year ago, Kelley was on the outside of the bubble and now he is a mortal lock.
WR/TE: WR’s Terrelle Pryor, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder; TEs Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis
Receivers Maurice Harris and Robert Davis are close to being locks but there is a lot of competition going on in the bottom of the depth chart. Jeremy Sprinkle is likely to make it as a tight end but he may have to beat out special teams stalwart Niles Paul.
O-line: OT’s Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, G’s Shawn Lauvao, Brandon Scherff, Arie Kouandjio; C Spencer Long
You can argue about Lauvao but the fact that the team did not draft or sign serious competition for him tells me he is safe. Someone who can back up a center is a lock to make the roster. That could be sixth-round pick Chase Roullier or a veteran plucked off waivers.
D-line: Terrell McClain, Stacy McGee, Jonathan Allen, Anthony Lanier, Ziggy Hood
Lanier will still be a project but after keeping him last year the Redskins will hang on to him again to see if he can develop into a pass-rushing threat. Matt Ioannidis could be the sixth defensive lineman but he could get beaten out.
Linebackers: OLB’s Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Junior Galette, Ryan Anderson; ILB’s Will Compton, Zach Brown, Mason Foster
Trent Murphy will be suspended for the first four games so he won’t be on the initial 53. Martrell Spaight is close to being a lock but competition will be fierce for that last inside linebacker spot.
Backs: CB’s Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar; Safeties Su’a Cravens, D.J. Swearinger
Five or possibly six positions are up for grabs here. Third-round pick Fabian Moreau is a lock to be with the organization but he could be on the PUP list.
Specialists (3): LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way, K Dustin Hopkins
It would be very surprising if they brought in competition for Hopkins.
Tandler on Twitter
In case you missed it
- Chris Thompson is the NFL's best 3rd-down RB, Gruden says
- For Redskins, finding a nose tackle needs to be a priority
- In which state could Redskins' new stadium be built?
- Which Redskins will surprise in 2017?
- Redskins plan to add multiple new front office positions
- Redskins could learn valuable lesson from Patriots
- Reminder: Why Redskins unlikely to trade for Richard Sherman