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Need to Know: Redskins free agency notes—Chiefs S Berry unlikely to be available

Need to Know: Redskins free agency notes—Chiefs S Berry unlikely to be available

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 17, 20 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 12
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 59
—NFL Draft (4/27) 69
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 205

Free agency quick hitters

—Redskins fans who are getting pumped about dreams of seeing Chiefs safety Eric Berry in burgundy and gold should get ready to be disappointed. I heard Chiefs beat writer Terez Paylor on Sirius XM NFL radio yesterday. He said that both the owner and the GM of the team assured him that Berry will be back. Berry is the leader of the team on both sides of the ball and if they can’t come to a contract agreement they will use the franchise tag on him. Berry has said that he won’t play on the tag again (he was franchised last year, too) but the Chiefs will cross that bridge when the get to it. It seems certain that even if the Redskins may be willing to pay what Berry would command on the open market they won’t get a chance to bid.

More Redskins: Are they afraid of making the wrong choice with Cousins

—The Redskins may want to upgrade the running back position in free agency but there doesn’t appear to be a prime back who will be on the market. Le’Veon Bell is likely to be tagged and the quality drops off significantly after him. I know that ex-Cowboys aren’t necessarily popular among fans but Darren McFadden rushed for 1,089 yards with the Cowboys in 2015 and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Yeah, he did have that weird elbow injury he suffered while trying to catch his phone last year but if the Redskins are in the market for a veteran back he’s worth a look.

—As JP Finaly wrote here yesterday, former agent Andrew Brandt, talking on ESPN 980, said that he didn’t see the Redskins stepping up and giving him the kind of offer that it will take to sign Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal. It should be noted that Brandt was not reporting this from a source, just giving his read on the situation. You can’t rule out anything happening but there is nobody in the business who believes that a deal will get done by March 1.

Related: #RedskinsTalk podcast: The tag window is open

—Backup center John Sullivan is down on the list of free agents who get discussed much but he is one to keep an eye on. When the Redskins had to stick Josh LeRibeus into the lineup when Kory Lichtensteiger got hurt in 2015, Gruden said that he wanted to keep a true center around as a backup. With Lichtensteiger now retired the value of Sullivan to the Redskins went up several notches. He’s an eight-year veteran who turns 32 early in training camp. He may want to find a team that will have him penciled in as the starter rather than backing up Spencer Long. But if there are no such opportunities perhaps the Redskins will be able to persuade him to stay around.

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Kirk Cousins round table - fire away with questions!

Posted by JP Finlay on Thursday, February 16, 2017

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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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Need to Know: Redskins starters quick hitters, defense—Year 3 huge for Preston Smith

Need to Know: Redskins starters quick hitters, defense—Year 3 huge for Preston Smith

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 27, 31 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 21
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 46
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 58
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 110
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 158

Redskins starters quick hitters—defense

DE Stacy McGee—He had his best season last year despite missing seven games with a lingering ankle injury. McGee had just half a sack and no forced fumbled in his first three seasons. Last year he got 2.5 sacks and two FF’s. Improving with experience or turning it on for a contract year? We’ll see.

DE Terrell McClain—The Redskins will be his fifth NFL team in seven seasons, an unusual career path for a one-time third-round pick. Like McGee, in 2016 he exceeded his previous career totals in sacks and forced fumbles.

NT Phil Taylor—Yes, he’s the starter if the season began today. Taylor got off to a nice start after the Browns make him a first-round pick in 2011, starting 16 games and registering four sacks as a rookie. But injuries have taken their toll and he hasn’t played a snap since 2014. He is far from certain to play in 2017, either, if the Redskins can get a good nose tackle candidate in the draft.

ILB Will Compton—Compton is a defensive captain and while he doesn’t make a ton of big plays, his interception in London likely prevented a loss to the Bengals. Still, the Redskins gave him the minimum restricted free agent tender, a sign that they think they could recover if another team signed him away.

ILB Mason Foster—Should the Redskins draft an ILB who can start early, Foster likely will go back into the nickel linebacker role he assumed when Su’a Cravens was out injured.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—Although his income has jumped up to eight-figure territory he still drives the same Chevy SUV he’s had for several years. That sort of attitude will serve him well as his career goes on.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

OLB Preston Smith—The third year is huge for Smith, who has had flashes of dominance followed by weeks of near invisibility. If we see the Smith who showed up against the Vikings more often he could be in line for a big contract extension. But if he’s a no-show too often, edge rusher will appear at the top of the Redskins’ needs list in 2018.

CB Josh Norman—Hopefully, Greg Manusky will have Norman on the other team’s No. 1 receiver from the first snap of Week 1 on. The Redskins were 0-2 before Joe Barry started having Norman shadow and that had them behind the eight ball all year.

CB Bashaud Breeland—He always has a “it’s me vs. the world and all the haters” type of mentality, which is good for a cornerback. It will be interesting to see how he performs in a contract year.

SS Su’a Cravens—Some are skeptical that he has the coverage skills to be a quality strong safety. We won’t really know until he does it.

FS D.J. Swearinger—There also is skepticism regarding the free agent signee. Can he play free safety after playing strong for most of his career? He did it some in Arizona last year but we’ll have to see if his aggressive style will work while being the last line of defense week in and week out.

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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Don't believe trade hype: Bruce Allen insists Kirk Cousins will be Redskins quarterback in 2017

Don't believe trade hype: Bruce Allen insists Kirk Cousins will be Redskins quarterback in 2017

Kirk Cousins will be the Redskins quarterback in 2017. Period. At least that's the word from team president Bruce Allen.

"That's why we franchised him," Allen said of Cousins.

Asked about numerous trade rumors and reports on the Redskins single season passing record holder, Allen dismissed them all.

"I can't keep up with the rumors," Allen said. "Kirk and I have talked almost a dozen times this offseason, and we get to laugh when we hear these different rumors. We haven't talked to anyone."

MORE REDSKINS: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 6.0

Allen has spoken with Cousins representatives a number of times this offseason, and the organization still wants to get a long-term deal done with their passer. 

"Our goal from the beginning has been long-term," the team president said. "I'm still hopeful and confident we'll do it."

The team could again use a tag on Cousins, an option Allen mentioned. 

MORE REDSKINS: Exclusive: Allen answers questions on McCloughan firing