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Need to Know: How realistic was a Redskins-Cousins contract agreement in 2015?

Need to Know: How realistic was a Redskins-Cousins contract agreement in 2015?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 17, 41 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 31
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 56
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 68
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 120
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 177

Friday three and out

1. A mystery solved.

I get frequent questions about why the Redskins have not had Johnathan Hankins in for a visit or why there hasn’t even been any reported contact with the Giants’ D-lineman. This says there are 10 million reasons why Hankins’ phone hasn’t been ringing with 703 on the caller ID or from any other area code for that matter. Hankins is a good, young player but $10 million a year is just way too much. Perhaps he will get the message at some point and lower his asking price. He could end up going with a one-year contract like Dontari Poe did with the Falcons. That would make it even more difficult for the Redskins to sign him. It’s not so much the money; they could make that work. But if Hankins is going to go with one year in hopes of being able to cash in next year he is unlikely to sign up to be a nose tackle. It’s much harder to generate eye-popping stats the generate big contracts from the zero technique than it is from a defensive tackle spot.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 5.0

2. A free agent signing but not the one you’re looking for:

Carter is the prototypical journeyman who will try to make the team as a special teams contributor. It looks like he will be the replacement for Terence Garvin, the linebacker/special teams guy who was here last year and hasn’t been re-signed. Carter, an ex-Steeler like Garvin, has played in 42 NFL games and he has yet to record a sack.

3. I get that everyone is mad because Scot McCloughan wanted to sign Kirk Cousins to a contract extension in 2015 after Cousins was named the starter and Bruce Allen didn’t want to do it. But how realistic is it to think that they could have come to an agreement on a long-term contract at that time? Would they base the value on his 2014 starts, when he was turnover prone and eventually benched and demoted to third string? Or after, say, Week 6 when he was sitting there with six TD’s and eight interceptions and a passer rating of 77.4? There were talks during the bye week after the “you like that!” comeback over the Bucs but nothing materialized. And according to the Breer article by the time December came around the Cousins camp wanted to wait until 2016 to talk.

So they essentially had a window between the bye week and December to get a deal done. The Redskins went 2-2 in that stretch with blowout losses against the Patriots and Panthers. While you couldn’t necessarily blame either loss on Cousins, they weren’t the kinds of performances that made you want to throw a bunch of money at him, either.

If someone can tell me when there was an opportunity there to come up with a contract that offer that would have been either so high as to look like a vast overpay for the team or a big-time lowball from Cousins’ perspective, I’m all ears. The timing just wasn’t right. This doesn’t mean that disagreement over how it should be handled was a good thing and it shows that McCloughan's instincts were right. According to Breer it was the nexus of things falling apart in Ashburn. But thinking that Cousins would be signed for a few more years now if McCloughan had prevailed in 2015 doesn’t really add up.

Out—with a fan question:

This is an easy one on defense—a solid nose tackle. Yesterday morning on 980 Greg Manusky talked about looking at Phil Taylor, Joey Mbu, and A.J. Francis at the position. If those are his choices for Week 1 the defense is in serious trouble.

On offense the answer is less obvious. I’d say it’s a blocking tight end who is, you know, an actual tight end. Ty Nsekhe sure can block as a sixth offensive lineman but having someone who can catch passes as your extra blocker sure does give the defense a lot more to think about. I also think they need a young quarterback in case Cousins departs either this year or next.

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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Yesterday afternoon after a close NCAA finish:

In case you missed it

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Redskins Playbook: 3 under-the-radar players who could make big impact

Redskins Playbook: 3 under-the-radar players who could make big impact

Much of the Redskins offseason has been focused on players like Josh Norman and Kirk Cousins, or the addition of guys like Terrelle Pryor and Zach Brown. Further down the roster, however, is where games are won. Here's a look at three players that will have the opportunity to make a big impact in 2017.

  1. Kendall Fuller - Let's be honest: the second-year Hokie had a tough rookie year. He started the season injured, and probably wasn't all the way up to speed when he began playing Week 4. Early on he produced at a good level for a rookie, but quickly, the league saw how to beat him. In a November game against the Vikings, Fuller repeatedly got beat on the inside by Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs. After that, the Redskins coaching staff looked elsewhere for a slot corner. 2017 is a new season, and Fuller will be a full year removed from his knee injury. He still has good vision and hips, an NFL pedigree, and should have the first crack at the slot corner role. If he can produce like many expected from him in 2015 - when he was an assumed first-round pick - Fuller could make a big difference for the Washington defense. Third round draft pick Fabian Moreau might also push for snaps at corner, once he gets healthy. 
  2. Stacy McGee - A new addition to the defense, McGee might be the answer Redskins fans want at nose tackle. Last season was by the far the best of McGee's career, and he emerged as a strong run stopper in Oakland. With his frame, and Jim Tomsula's coaching, McGee might play a big role this fall. His biggest hurdle? Staying healthy. In four seasons in the NFL, McGee has only played 16 games one season. Last year, he was limited to just nine games.
  3. Spencer Long - A free agent at the end of the season, Long comes in to 2017 looking to prove he can be a top tier center in the NFL. He excelled in pass blocking and calling the assignments on the Redskins line, but his run blocking could improve this fall. The literal centerpiece of a strong, young 'Skins line, 2017 will be a big opportunity for Long. Don't forget Washington moved up to draft Chase Roullier from Wyoming in the 6th round, and he played center and guard in college. Life in the NFL always has pressure, and Long will be facing some.

Always something on social: Enjoy the weekend folks.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Who will surprise, who will play NT

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Who will surprise, who will play NT

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 27, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp on June 13.

Timeline

It’s been 146 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 106 days.

Days until:

—Redskins minicamp (6/13) 17
—Training camp starts (7/27) 61
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 75

The Redskins week that was

Here are some of the most popular post from the last week on www.CSNmidatlantic.com and on www.RealRedskins.com

How well will the Redskins' defense adjust to six new starters? The Redskins unquestionably got an infusion of defensive talent but as we have seen in the past that does not guarantee better results. Throw a new defensive coordinator into the mix and it could take some time for this unit to reach its full potential. I think that there will be struggles early in the season and a better (but not dominant) unit by the time November rolls around.

Which Redskins will surprise in 2017? Every player carries expectations into the season. Some will be better than we believe right now (think of what many thought Vernon Davis would do last year) and some will play worse (Josh Doctson). I take out the crystal ball to figure out who will exceed expectations and who will fall below them.

Don't count out 3rd straight franchise tag for Cousins—Yes, Bruce Allen said that he is willing to franchise tag Kirk Cousins for a third time next year, a move that would cost $34 million for one season. But I think that’s a total bluff; the Redskins’ salary cap situation for 2018 would make such a move very difficult for them to pull off. The best hope for Cousins being a Redskin in 2018 is getting him signed to a long-term contract by July 15 of this year. The tone of the conversation regarding a new deal has been positive lately but the team must come up with a serious offer for a deal to happen.

For Redskins, finding a nose tackle needs to be a priority—Well, it’s up to Jim Tomsula to “make” a nose tackle. Phil Taylor is a true NT and he will get a shot. But he hasn’t played a snap since 2014. Undrafted free agent Ondre Pipkins also has nose tackle size at 6-3, 325. But he is a long shot, as are the Redskins’ chances of being significantly better against the run if they don’t find someone, anyone to be an adequate solution as the nose tackle.

Did Vernon Davis make the NFL change celebration rules? Although I prefer the John Riggins way of celebrating a touchdown—hand the ball to the referee because you’ve been in the end zone before and you expect to be back again soon—elaborate celebrations don’t bother me. After a TD in a game I’m covering I’m focused on writing about the scoring drive. When I’m watching at home, my attention goes to Twitter or to the refrigerator. I do think that it was dumb for the Redskins to lose 15 yards of field position because Vernon Davis put a jump shot over the crossbar so that’s why I’m glad that the NFL changed the celebration rules.

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.