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Need to Know: 5 Redskins notes as they report for minicamp

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Need to Know: 5 Redskins notes as they report for minicamp

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 16, one day before the start of Redskins minicamp.

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Here are five things you need to know about the Redskins as they prepare for minicamp and the final week of their offseason program.

—Today is reporting day for minicamp and practices start tomorrow. Players check in and, if necessary, get playbooks and take a physical. With attendance at OTAs running near 100 percent, with just a few players missing a few days here and there, it’s all kind of a formality. Everyone has been there, introductions are not needed and they have been running the plays in the book.

—The only player who has missed minicamp since I started covering the team full time in 2009 was Albert Haynesworth. It was his shot over the bow to Mike Shanahan. Say what you will about Shanahan and his tenure in Washington but he did do the franchise a huge favor by getting rid of Albert, who would still have two years left on his contract had he stuck around.

—On the other hand, you have to wonder how much of a favor Shanahan did the Redskins having Robert Griffin III run the read option so much when he was a rookie. Sure, it got the Redskins a division title and RG3 earned a ton of individual accolades. But it cost him a year of development into a pocket passer and then last year his development was hampered by his knee injury. It’s not as though Griffin is like a rookie this year but he’s going to have to learn a lot of stuff that he should have been learning the last two years. The decision to use Griffin as they did seems to be a case of short-term gain for long-term pain.

—We’re not looking for any of the Redskins’ walking wounded to return for minicamp. Even if the likes of Leonard Hankerson (knee), Richard Crawford (knee), Tracy Porter (shoulder), and Stephen Bowen (knee) are feeling well enough to give it a go—and there is no indication that any of them are—the Redskins would do the smart thing and not risk a setback for the sake of three days of practice.

—After practice on Wednesday the veteran players will be off for five weeks before reporting for training camp in Richmond on July 23. The rookies may be required to report earlier for some classroom learning. The coaches will probably take a week or perhaps two off before getting into the grind of work weeks that run 80 or more hours a week from the start of camp through December (and, if things work out well, longer).

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Timeline

—It’s been 169 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 83 days until they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Minicamp starts 1; Training camp 38; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 91

In case you missed it

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Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 6 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Cardinals Week 13

3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23

David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).

Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation

Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.

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Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run all season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!