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Need to Know: Setting the odds on what's next for Redskins and Kirk Cousins

Need to Know: Setting the odds on what's next for Redskins and Kirk Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 1, 1 day before the start of the NFL Combine.  

Timeline

Days until:

—Start of NFL free agency (3/9) 8
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 47
—NFL Draft (4/27) 57
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 193

What happens to Cousins next?

The exclusive franchise tag has been applied to Kirk Cousins but that is only the beginning of the process. What happens now? Let’s get out the $100 in imaginary casino chips and set the odds.

Cousins plays the season on the tag, $60 He seems to want to do this despite the risks involved. It would virtually guarantee that he could never get tagged again and that he would be a true free agent in 2018. Unfettered free agency is rare for a competent quarterback in his prime and Cousins could command a record-shattering contract.

Cousins signs a long-term deal worth more than $24.6 million per year, $10 The $24.6 million is “Andrew Luck money”, the average annual value of the extension the Colts’ quarterback got last year. This could be Cousins’ goal, based on the one-year $24 million franchise tag salary. I think the Redskins will balk at going that high but desperate times lead to desperate measures.

Cousins signs a long-term deal for less that “Luck money”, $20 I think that the Redskins’ comfort zone for a long-term deal isn’t a whole lot higher than $22 million. That may be lower than Cousins’ camp wants to go but maybe they could compromise somewhere in the $22.5-$23 million neighborhood.

Cousins gets traded, $10 Earlier today I would have put more on this possibility, maybe as much as $25. But the exclusive tag puts a damper on the trade speculation even though it’s very much a live possibility. Within this proposition I’ll put $85 on the 49ers and $15 on the field.

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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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Redskins could face RB decision: Christian McCaffery or Dalvin Cook?

Redskins could face RB decision: Christian McCaffery or Dalvin Cook?

Mel Kiper's latest mock draft has the Redskins selecting Stanford RB Christian McCaffery with the 17th overall pick, while Florida State RB Dalvin Cook remains on the board until the Packers with the 29th pick. 

Both runners put up ridiculous stats in college. Cook posted nearly 5,400 total yards to go with 48 touchdowns in three seasons as a Seminole. McCaffery went over 5,100 total yards to go with 31 touchdowns in three seasons.

Until the NFL Combine, however, Cook seemed certain to go before McCaffery. The Stanford product impressed coaches and scouts, particularly with his 40-time of 4.48, a tenth of a second faster than Cook.

Like many high-profile prospects before him, Cook's game is being picked apart, as is a track record with multiple arrests. From Cook's NFL.com Draft Profile:

Very talented runner with outstanding balance, footwork and burst. Cook lacks the power that you may find with some running backs in this year's draft, but he is a homerun hitter with a resume featuring monster games against his most highly regarded opponents. Cook creates for himself with elusiveness and speed, but his value could be diminished by injuries, character and issues in pass protection. If everything checks out, he could become a rookie of the year candidate right away.

Now is a good time to note that even with the questions, Cook's draft grade from NFL.com was a 6.47. McCaffery's was a 5.99, but has much fewer questions. Additionally, McCaffery might project as a player that could line up as a slot receiver or work on special teams, two things not expected from Cook. 

From McCaffery's NFL.com Draft Profile:

Multidimensional runner with flex appeal for teams looking for a player who can carry the ball 20 times or catch it 10 depending on the game plan. McCaffrey's size, power and speed are just average, but he is able to create yardage for himself with his vision and elusiveness. McCaffrey's ability to return punts and kicks could be the value sweetner that pushes his name into the first round.​

Beyond the draft grades and abilities of each player, the question remains if the Redskins should even consider a running back at 17. The team has much bigger holes on the roster, but, McCaffery or Cook present possible game-changing talents. Going into 2017, Robert Kelley holds the 'Skins RB1 job, with Chris Thompson expected to return as a restrcited free agent.

Matt Jones and Mack Brown are also on the roster. Jones, remember, was a third-round pick in 2015 and held the starting running back job until about the halfway point last season, then was inactive the second half of the year. Drafting an early RB might signal the end of Jones' tenure in Washington. 

Cook? McCaffery? Defense? What should the Redskins do at 17? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Redskins roster turnover from 2016 likely to exceed 25 percent

Redskins roster turnover from 2016 likely to exceed 25 percent

The Redskins went 8-7-1 last year and finished a half game out of their second straight playoff appearance. Despite that modest success, the organization is undergoing some fairly substantial roster churn that started in the last month or so and will continue right up until the final 53-man roster is set in early September.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

Of the 53 players who were on the 2016 Week 1 roster, these nine will not be back.

  • DE Chris Baker (signed with Bucs)
  • WR Pierre Garçon (signed with 49ers)
  • WR DeSean Jackson (signed with Bucs)
  • C Kory Lichtensteiger (retired)
  • DL Ricky Jean Francois (released)
  • WR Rashad Ross (released during season)
  • DL Kendall Reyes (released during season)
  • S David Bruton (released during season)
  • C Austin Reiter (released and then signed off practice squad)

These four players are unsigned veterans and even if the Redskins do bring any of them back they will have to compete for a roster spot:

  • LB Terrence Garvin
  • S Duke Ihenacho
  • DL Kedric Golston
  • CB Greg Toler

That makes a total of 13 players who are unlikely to be on the 2017 Week 1 53-man roster, a 23 percent turnover rate. That initial 2016 roster had 13 players who were new to the organization. It seems likely that the Redskins will surpass that number this year.

There are some other players who were on the roster for a substantial amount of time in 2016 such as S Donte Whitner, DL Cullen Jenkins, and C John Sullivan, who also are unsigned and unlikely to be back. They are not counted in the turnover percentage here but the still represent a degree of roster churn.

Who will replace the departed players? They have signed five unrestricted free agents. Four of them, DL Terrell McClain, DL Stacy McGee, WR Terrelle Pryor, and S D.J. Swearinger, are locks to make the roster. LB Chris Carter was signed but he will have to compete for a spot.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock draft roundup: Will Foster fall?

The team has 10 draft picks and they will sign around a dozen undrafted players. It seems likely that six or seven of the draft picks and one or two UDFAs will be on the final 53 as well.

One other player who is likely to be on the 53 in September is OLB Junior Galette. He spent last year on the non-football injury list. Galette has been on the roster for two years without having played a single snap, preseason or regular season.

Some other roster spots could be filled by players who were on the 2016 practice squad such as DL A.J. Francis.

Still, more than 13 players from last year will be gone come September as there are at least 11 returning players who are on the bubble and vulnerable to having their jobs taken by one of the draft picks, UDFA’s or perhaps by street free agent signees such as CB Tharold Simon or NT Phil 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.