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Need to Know: Checking in on the Redskins draft picks after roster cuts

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Need to Know: Checking in on the Redskins draft picks after roster cuts

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 4, eight days before the Washington Redskins open their season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Off day, no availability

—The Redskins last played a game that counted 238 days ago. It will be eight days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 14; Browns @ Redskins 28; Redskins @ Ravens 35

Checking in on the Redskins’ draft picks

WR Josh Doctson (1st round)—He is now off of the active/PUP list because there isn’t one after the cut to 53. The wide receiver is now eligible to practice for the first time since OTAs. But that doesn’t mean that he will. We won’t really get a read on that until Thursday, when the Redskins issue their first injury report.

LB/S Su’a Cravens (2nd)—He was all over the place during preseason games. Although he played inside linebacker during those games, it wouldn’t surprise me if they have been carving out an additional role for him during the practices that have been closed since after the second game. Cravens may not always be where he's supposed to be but he does make plays.

CB Kendall Fuller (3rd)—There were concerns about his knee coming in but he was very nearly a full go from the moment he arrived for the offseason program. He appears to be in competition with Dashaun Phillips for the nickel cornerback role. For the moment it looks like Phillips is ahead but it could be decided in practice this week.

DL Matt Ioannidis (5th)—The only draft pick to get cut today, he has to qualify as a disappointment, at least in these early stages. It’s possible that he could land on the practice squad, work on his fundamentals, and land back on the roster as a productive player whether it’s later this year or in 2017. But for now, I'm looking at  a defensive line that got no help from the draft and at all of the wheeling and dealing for future picks that Scot McCloughan did around the fourth and fifth rounds in the draft and wondering if he could have done better. He was the third highest drafted player to get cut.

QB Nate Sudfeld (6th)—It’s a good thing he wasn’t being judged by his preseason numbers. Sudfeld completed just 52.8 percent of his passes and gained 4.5 yards per attempt. But he didn’t throw an interception and that along with his steady improvement in practice since OTAs likely helped convince Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan that he is worth trying to develop.

LB Steven Daniels (7th)—Daniels suffered a shoulder injury early on in camp and landed on injured reserve. He was a project and may not have made the 53 even if he had been healthy. Daniels will get a year to go to meetings and the injury happened early enough so that there is a good chance that he will be ready to go for the offseason program.

RB Keith Marshall (7th)—We’ll never know what he would have done with his chance to make a case for a roster spot during that third preseason game against the Bills because he suffered a sprained elbow on his first carry. Marshall has the physical tools to be a good back but he has to learn to stay on the field.

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Don't count out a third straight franchise tag for Kirk Cousins, and here's why

Don't count out a third straight franchise tag for Kirk Cousins, and here's why

For the second straight season the Redskins placed the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins. While the two sides are speaking amicably about a long-term deal, the July 15 deadline for those negotiations continues to inch closer without much expectation that contract will get signed. 

A second year on the tag is unprecedented for a quarterback. In 2016, Cousins made nearly $20 million playing on the tag. In 2017, that figure goes up to $24.

If the Redskins don't get a deal done with Cousins, many think the organization would not again go with the franchise tag because the price tag jumps to an exorbitant $34 million. 

Think again. 

Asked on Monday if another franchise tag would be an option for Cousins in 2018, Redskins team president Bruce Allen was clear.

"Yes," he said. "In the collective bargaining agreement, we really have one year and an option that we can do at the end of next season if we don’t get a contract."

Those options include the exclusive franchise tag, the non-exclusive franchise tag and the transition tag. Both franchise tags carry the same cost, but the non-exclusive allows Cousins' representatives to shop his services around the NFL. If a deal gets struck, and the Redskins don't match the contract, Washington is due two first-round draft picks as compensation for losing their franchise player. 

The transition tag carries a $28 million price tag, and the Redskins can match another contract but risk only receiving a possible 2019 third-round compensatory pick if Cousins walks.

Considering those options, another year on the non-exclusive tag might make sense. The NFL salary cap will be at least $168 million, which means Cousins at $34 million would account for about 20 percent of the Redskins' salary cap.

That's a crazy allotment for one player. Crazy. The Redskins do have about $54 million in cap space for 2018, so technically, another franchise tag could work. 

But the entire manner of the contract dealings with Cousins and the Redskins has been quite unconventional. The Redskins have already made history by franchising Cousins a second-straight year. 

"I think even Kirk said it, there’s a lot of players round the league who are on a one-year deal. It’s the nature of it, we’d like to get him a long-term deal and I think he should want to get one," Allen said. "Kirk’s played well on a one-year contract the last two seasons."

At this point, it doesn't require a degree in advanced mathematics to understand that the Redskins and Cousins have a different picture of the quarterback's long-term value. That could change by July 15th, it could, but it doesn't seem likely. The Cousins camp has little incentive to bend, as $24 million fully guaranteed for 2017 represents a great payday.

And maybe the Redskins don't plan on bending because the option of a third-straight franchise tag doesn't worry them. Or at least the option of letting Cousins shop his services on a non-exclusive tag, and then making a decision to match a deal or receive compensation seems a worthwhile endevaor. 

For Cousins, he's not counting out any possibility. 

"People, I’ve heard say, ‘There’s no chance they franchise tag him or even transition tag him the following season,’ and I chuckle because if the team has franchise tagged me for two years in a row," Cousins said to an ESPN podcast in March. 

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Redskins' offseason program ramps up with start of OTAs today

Redskins' offseason program ramps up with start of OTAs today

The Redskins’ offseason starts to move into high gear today as organized team activities, better known as OTAs, get underway at Redskins Park.

Players have been participating in workouts at Redskins Park since April 17. The first phase of those session consisted of strength and conditioning. In the second phase, they were permitted to run plays but not with the offense lined up against the defense. Finally, in OTAs, they will go offense vs. defense.

RELATED: Who are the Redskins' roster locks?

The practices, however, will not resemble an August scrimmage in Richmond. The players wear helmets but no pads and contact is not permitted. While players do block other players and there are collisions between players going after passes, the action is more like pushing and shoving that it is hitting.  

The part about no contact should be taken seriously. Seattle ran afoul of the no-contact rule last year and it cost them. The Seahawks were fined $400,000, lost their fifth-round pick in this year’s draft and they will not be permitted to hold their first week of OTAs this year. The Redskins will be very careful to keep within the rules.

MORE REDSKINS: Allen says new stadium ahead of schedule 

OTAs will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in each of the next three weeks. The sessions will be open to the media on Wednesday of each week. While player attendance is strongly encouraged the practices are voluntary.

The week after OTAs end the team will hold its minicamp on June 13-14. Minicamp is essentially a continuation of OTAs but player attendance is mandatory.

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.