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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Free agency is almost upon us

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Free agency is almost upon us

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 4, 5 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 44
—NFL Draft (4/27) 54
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 133
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 190

The Redskins week that was

My take on the most popular posts of. the week from Real Redskins and CSN Mid Atlantic

Report: Redskins' Cousins 'not going anywhere'—The Redskins aren’t going to put up a “for sale” sign on their franchise-tagged quarterback. But if they get a strong impression that they won’t be able to sign Cousins to a long-term deal, you’d best believe that they will at least listen to what other teams have in mind. The odds are still against it but just because they are putting out a message like this don’t believe it is off the table.

NFL Mock Draft Ver. 4.0—In general mock drafts don’t start making sense until after free agency. But in four mock drafts for CSN Ben Standig has had the Redskins taking the same defensive lineman. I don’t think free agency will change the need there enough to change it.

'It's all bullsh**' the latest on McCloughan, per source—The McCloughan situation played out three days ago and we still don’t know much more now than we did then. Perhaps there is something going on but it just doesn’t ring true that a well-paid professional is missing a huge event like the combine because his 100-year-old grandmother died a month ago. Maybe there is another family matter that isn’t being disclosed. But based on the information we have, it doesn't pass the smell test.

Why won’t Redskins brass talk to the media at the NFL Combine? This was written prior to the McCloughan absence becoming common knowledge. Perhaps that’s the answer—they didn’t want Jay Gruden to have to answer questions about why McCloughan wasn’t there. Of course, there was a simple fix available. The team could have put out a statement saying that McCloughan would miss the combine due to personal reasons and Gruden could have taken to the podium and referred to the statement if he had been asked about it. But being transparent about such things just doesn’t seem to be in the organizational DNA. 

Will the Redskins be interested in C Mangold, RB Murray? The combine is just underway and then free agency gets cranked up immediately after that. Seriously, it’s immediately. The last prospect workouts are Monday and at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday teams and player agents can start talking contracts. I don’t think they will go after an aging Nick Mangold or bring Latavius Murray into a crowded backfield depth chart. But, really, after the signed Josh Norman last year I can’t completely rule out anyone.

In case you missed it

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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Redskins practice observations OTAs 05.24.17—Injured players getting back on track

junior_galette_otas_usat.jpg
USA Today Sport Images

Redskins practice observations OTAs 05.24.17—Injured players getting back on track

The skies were dry but the fields were wet and that forced the Redskins into the bubble for their second OTA practice.

Here are my observations from the session:

OLB Junior Galette took a light workload but it was surprising that he did anything at all considering that he is 10 months removed from an Achilles tendon tear. He was sprinting during stretching and he took part in some team drills. It’s early but if he is healthy in September the Redskins’ pass rush could be a force.

Not present were TE Jordan Reed, OT Trent Williams, and RB Matt Jones. Jay Gruden said that Reed and Williams are working out elsewhere and he was vague about the absence of Jones, although he said that it was not unexpected.

Also in good health was TE Niles Paul. He suffered a shoulder injury in Week 8 last year and finished the season on injured reserve. The veteran appeared to be a full go in both individual and team drills.

RB Rob Kelley looks like he lost a few pounds in an effort to become more durable and maybe a little quicker. He also is sporting a new jersey number.

Rob Kelley now wearing No. 20. #Redskins

A post shared by Rich (@richtandler) on

P Tress Way is in midseason form. He lofted a punt that landed in one of the light fixtures some 100 feet above the floor of the practice bubble and stayed in it. The third-year player said that he couldn’t do that again if he tried 100 times.

RB Mack Brown faces some serious competition for his job but he is not going to give it up easily. He looked good on some runs off tackle, showing some good speed and quickness.

They rotated a lot of defensive linemen through during team drills. Undrafted rookie Ondre Pipkins got a lot of run at nose tackle and Anthony Lanier played quite a few snaps at end as did Ziggy Hood. Top draft pick Jonathan Allen’s reps were somewhat limited as were those of Phil Taylor. They likely plan to rotate  their linemen a lot throughout OTAs, minicamp, and training camp to try to find a good combination.

QB Kirk Cousins mostly kept to shorter passes but in seven on seven drills he did launch one deep down the middle that WR Maurice Harris went up and grabbed for the nicest offensive play of the day.

Rookie TE Jeremy Sprinkle dropped a pass on a short crossing pattern. As a fifth-round pick he can afford some mistakes now but he can’t drop too many in August.

QB Nate Sudfeld was shaky in the beginning, throwing a few passes at the shoe tops of his receivers. But he did get better as the practice went on, through some nice, accurate passes while rolling out.

Gruden called for a trick play at the end of on team session. Cousins threw a quick backwards pass to WR Jamison Crowder, who was on the left. RB Chris Thompson snuck out of the backfield and he was open along the right hashmark. But Crowder’s pass was underthrown, allowing ILB Zach Brown to break it up.

Brown, Will Compton, and Mason Foster rotated in and out at inside linebacker. All possible combinations of the three were on the field at various times. It will be interesting to see how the lineup settles in when the season starts.

I think that S D.J. Swearinger is going to be annoying to players and fans from other teams. After Harris caught a pass, he was jogging down the field with the ball after the whistle blew. Swearinger came up and gave the ball a bunch to try to knock it out of his grasp. It was more playful than violent but I can see how he will get under the skin of opponents.

WR Josh Doctson appears to be healthy. He turned on the jets to catch a QB Colt McCoy pass down the right sideline. Of course, it’s May and the goal is for him to be healthy in September but it looks like it’s so far, so good.

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Kirk Cousins sounded optimistic about contract talks with Redskins

Kirk Cousins sounded optimistic about contract talks with Redskins

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins repeatedly sounded optimistic about his ongoing contract negotations with the organization, though he acknowledged the talks will probably go until the last minute.

"Deadlines do deals," Cousins said.

Speaking Wednesday to the media after an OTA session, Cousins explained that talks with the Redskins have been positive and ongoing. He also admitted that he doesn't expect a deal to get finished before the July 15th franchise tag deadline.

In 2016, conversations between the Redskins and Cousins largely broke down before the tag deadline. That seems to be a different story in 2017, and while it may only be a glimmer of hope, it's an encouraging development for Washington fans that want to keep their passer. 

"It's been very positive," he said. Of July 15th, Cousins said, "it will be a telling date, as it was last summer."

Over the last two seasons as starter, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards, twice breaking the franchise single-season passing record. In 2015, Cousins emerged in the second half of the year to play some terrific football and lead the Redskins to a division title. In 2016, Cousins never quite hit the same highs as 2015, but was much more consistent and piled up passing yards. 

Redskins team president Bruce Allen said earlier this week he remains positive about a long-term deal for Cousins. Allen maintained that talks are ongoing with Cousins' representatives, and similarly to Cousins, expects the bulk of the talks closer to July 15th.

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