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Need to Know: Cooley doesn't think RG3 should have played Week 1 last year

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Need to Know: Cooley doesn't think RG3 should have played Week 1 last year

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, June 28, 26 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

—Chris Cooley stated on ESPN 980 earlier this week that after looking at game video from the early part of last season that it was clear to him that Robert Griffin III should not have been playing (I don’t have the exact quotes, I was driving at the time). He did make it clear that he did not believe that Griffin was still injured, and that he was not risking further injury by being out there. But in Cooley’s view Griffin was not prepared to play against the Eagles and Packers, the Redskins’ opponents in Weeks 1 and 2.

—That is a conclusion that has been reached by others who don’t have Cooley’s trained eye in the film room. You didn’t really need to look past the fact that he threw three interceptions in the first two games of 2013 after throwing just five in all of 2012. But my question for those who say Griffin should have been sidelined early in 2013 is this: What should he have done while he wasn’t playing? How was he going to get better? Griffin didn’t play in the preseason and wasn’t permitted to do much in training camp. Like it or not, those early season games against Philadelphia and Green Bay were his preseason. If he sits them out, he’s probably just as rusty in Weeks 3 and 4 or whenever he came back. If he was healthy enough to play Week 1 you can make a good case that he needed to play.

—So it’s easy to say that Griffin should not have played last September. But the reality is far from cut and dried. There are too many “what ifs” involved to reach any firm conclusions. Perhaps the solution would have been for him to play in a couple of preseason games. Maybe Dr. James Andrews would not have cleared him but we don’t know if he was asked to or not. Mike Shanahan knew there would be a firestorm if Griffin had been hurt in a preseason game so perhaps him sitting out until the season opener was as much a coach’s decision as it was a medical decision. We’ll never really know.

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Timeline

—It’s been 181 days since the Redskins played a game; in 71 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Training camp 26; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 40; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 78

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Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 19, 98 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 42
NFL free agency starts 50
First Sunday of 2017 season 235

The coordinator search and more

As noted above, we have 42 days until the deadline for the Redskins to put the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The immediate future of the franchise is contingent this situation being handled correctly by the organization. It’s time to turn the attention and the $100 in imaginary casino chips towards what might happen with Cousins as the process unfold. We will revisit this from time to time as the various deadlines approach so consider this the early odds.

Sign before the tag deadline, $5—This seems unlikely after his rather cold response to my question immediately following the season-ending loss to the Giants when he said, “The ball’s not in my court.” He indicated that it’s up to the Redskins to tag him. It doesn’t look like he and his agent will have much of an inclination to sit down to any serious negotiations before that happens.

Let him go into free agency, $5—Yes, I know that this is out there but it makes no sense to take the chance of the possibility that he could walk with zero compensation. While there might be some logic in finding out what Cousins would be worth in a true free market in order to establish the basis for a fair contract the risk of behind left empty-handed is just too great.

Tag and trade, $20—This also has been discussed by various media types as a possibility. It would involve giving Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would let him go out and negotiate a deal with another team. The Redskins could then match that offer or choose to get compensation. The CBA calls for compensation of two first-round picks although the two teams may negotiate something less. The most frequently suggested trade partner is the 49ers and their soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan but there are probably around half a dozen teams, maybe more, who could be interested. If the Redskins don’t think they will ever sign Cousins long term this could be the way to go.

Tag and sign by July 15 deadline, $30—This may be a little low for this possibility. Perhaps if the other options are off the table he will consider that he is a perfect match for Jay Gruden’s offense and that he might not be such a good fit elsewhere. There also is the possibility of injury or, for whatever reason, Cousins having a subpar season. Those thoughts could spur him to instruct his agent to get the best deal he can get in Washington.

Tag and play the season on the tag, $40—Right now, this appears to be the mostly likely scenario. They can afford the $24 million cap hit and it would get them one more year of his services. However, the prospects for him remaining in a Redskins uniform for 2018 and beyond would be very cloudy.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed and Brandon Scherff will skip next week's Pro Bowl in Orlando a team spokesman confirmed to CSN. All three players dealt with injuries late in the season, most notably Reed, and playing in the exhibition game is not in the cards. Trent Williams, however, is still slated to play in the game. 

Reed suffered a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving playing against the Dallas Cowboys. For the rest of the season, Reed played through significant pain and his production dipped.

Kerrigan played much of the season with an injured elbow and hurt his finger in the final game against the Giants. Scherff played with ankle pain and was listed on the injury report much of the season's final four games.

For Reed and Scherff, this year marked their first Pro Bowl. The recognition was deserved for both players, and shows that the guard and tight end are gaining national spotlight for their play.

Kerrigan played in the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season. He finished this year with 11 sacks, 2.5 short os his career high 13.5 in 2014. 

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