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Need to Know: Cousins was right when he said a lot of Redskins are on one-year deals

Need to Know: Cousins was right when he said a lot of Redskins are on one-year deals

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 19, four days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs on May 23.

Timeline

It’s been 138 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 114 days.

Days until:

—Redskins OTAs start (5/23) 4
—Training camp starts (7/27) 69
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 83

21 Redskins are on one-year contracts

“There’s so many guys on this team who are on one-year deals,” quarterback Kirk Cousins told Larry Michael on Redskins Nation earlier this week. 

Cousins was not exaggerating. Between players like Cousins, whose franchise tag contract is in essence a one-year contract, and players who are on multi-year deals that expire after this season, there are 21 players who are not under contract in 2018 and eligible to become unrestricted free agents.

Not all these players are vital to the success of the Redskins. Some of them will not even make the team this year. But the Redskins would like to bring back some of them. Let’s look at the list of UFAs and break them down by how important it will be to re-sign them.

High priority: Cousins, RB Chris Thompson, WR Terrelle Pryor, ILB Zach Brown, C Spencer Long

The importance of retaining Cousins is obvious. Thompson is valuable as the third-down back. If Long makes progress in his fourth NFL season he could be the best young center the team has had in years. If Pryor and Brown perform like they did with other teams last year they will be key members of the offense and defense, respectively.

Moderate priority: CB Bashaud Breeland, OLB Trent Murphy, ILB Will Compton, K Dustin Hopkins, ILB Mason Foster, OLB Junior Galette

The Redskins have prepared for Breeland’s possible departure by drafting third-round cornerbacks in each of the past two seasons. Galette and Murphy could be an either/or situation with the team making an effort to sign one or the other. Same with Compton and Foster, assuming that Brown is back. Hopkins should be back but only at the right price.

Low priority: WR Ryan Grant, S Josh Evans, S DeAngelo Hall, S Will Blackmon, G Shawn Lauvao, LB Chris Carter, TE Niles Paul, WR Brian Quick, TE Derek Carrier, NT Phil Taylor

There are a couple of categories here. There are some older players and the Redskins likely will want to go younger and cheaper—Hall, Blackmon, and Lauvao. Then there are players who are on the bubble for making this year’s team in Grant, Evans, Carrier, Paul, Quick, Carrier, and Taylor.

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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Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

There continues to be a (ridiculous) debate on whether or not Kirk Cousins can continue to be a successful starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the betting industry, there is not much debate with Cousins being listed with 50/1 odds to win the NFL MVP award this upcoming season from Bovada. Among all the other players listed, he is in a tie for 14th. 

He is coming off back-to-back seasons with seven 300 yard passing games, a team record, and has an abundance of fresh, young wide receivers to compliment his passing style. Last year he was third in the league in passing yards with 4,917, trailing only Drew Brees (5,208) and Matt Ryan (4,944). 

The team may not be poised for a Super Bowl run in 2017-18, but if the team makes a post-season run, who will it be on the back of? Jordan Reed? Rob Kelley? Ryan Kerrigan?

No, it will be Kirk Cousins. 

RELATED: Ex-GM outlines staggering contract for Kirk Cousins

Entering this season at 40-years-old, and defending Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady is the overall favorite at 4/1. He is closely followed by Aaron Rodgers, and young quarterbacks Derek Carr and Dak Prescott. 

BOVADA 2017-18 NFL MVP ODDS:

Tom Brady, NE — 4/1
Aaron Rodgers, GB — 7/1
Derek Carr, OAK — 9/1
Dak Prescott, DAL — 12/1
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT — 12/1
Russell Wilson, SEA — 12/1
Matt Ryan, ATL — 16/1
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL — 20/1
Drew Brees, NO — 25/1
Andrew Luck, IND — 25/1
Cam Newton, CAR — 25/1
David Johnson, ARI — 33/1
Marcus Mariota, TEN — 33/1
Sam Bradford, MIN — 50/1
Antonio Brown, PIT — 50/1
Kirk Cousins, WAS — 50/1
Julio Jones, ATL — 50/1
Eli Manning, NYG — 50/1
Carson Palmer, ARI — 50/1
Adrian Peterson, NO — 50/1
Philip Rivers, LAC — 50/1
Matt Stafford, DET — 50/1
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG — 66/1
Rob Gronkowski, NE — 66/1
Alex Smith, KC — 66/1
Ryan Tannehill, MIA — 66/1
J.J. Watt, HOU — 66/1
Jameis Winston, TB — 66/1
Blake Bortles, JAX — 100/1
Andy Dalton, CIN — 100/1
Joe Flacco, BAL — 100/1
T.Y. Hilton, IND — 100/1
Marshawn Lynch, OAK — 100/1
LeSean McCoy, BUF — 100/1
Von Miller, DEN — 100/1
DeMarco Murray, TEN — 100/1
Carson Wentz, PHL — 100/1

RELATED: After Derek Carr deal, Cousins' best option may be short-term

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True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

Robert Kelley emerged as the Redskins top running back in 2016, an incredible story of an undrafted guy working his way to the top. Of course, Matt Jones' problems with fumbling helped push Kelley to the top. 

Redskins coach Jay Gruden speaks highly of Kelley, particularly his fluidity and vision, but the team drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round this year to provide additional competition in the backfield.

Here's the crucial statement: Rob Kelley will lead the Redskins in rushing yards in 2017.

Finlay: True.

Kelley averaged 4.2 yards-per-carry last season and the Redskins ground game is very much centered on a "4 or more" philosophy. Washington running backs coach Randy Jordan joined the #RedskinsTalk podcast and explained that the team wants a runner it can count on for positive yards more than creating big plays. The Redskins offense, as designed by Gruden, sets up for big plays in the pass game, and the run should allow for proper use of play action. 

In just nine starts last year, Kelley gained more than 700 yards. Project that out over 16 games, and he would be over 1,000 yards rushing. Perine has much to learn about the NFL, and understanding pass protections will take time for the rookie out of Oklahoma. Chris Thompson will be a key part of the offense, but much of his yardage will come via the pass game. 

Kelley will lead this team in rush yards. He's looked great in OTAs and minicamp while the coaching staff believes Kelley is in much better shape this year than he was as a rookie. Write it down in pen. 

RELATED: How will Kelley and Perine share the carries?

Tandler: True.

After the draft and during rookie camp I was saying that there was a chance that Perine could lead the team is rushing this year. But after seeing Perine playing with the big boys in OTAs and minicamp it’s apparent that he has a long way to go to become a consistently productive running back.

One thing Kelley seems to have going in his favor is that he has a very sensible outlook on the NFL. As JP noted, Kelley showed up to Redskins Park in better shape than he did as a rookie. This indicates to me that he understands that being an NFL players is a year-round job. Staying in great shape is important in the league but at running back it’s vital. Kelley gets that and because he does, his chances of being available for 16 games are much higher.

In turn, that improves his chance of being the team’s leading rusher. I’m not sure if he’ll get 1,000 yards—Perine will get things figured out enough to take some carries before the season gets too old—but Gruden will make sure that he gets fed plenty as long as he is available. 

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