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Need to Know: Do the Redskins need to lock up Cousins before Luck signs?

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Need to Know: Do the Redskins need to lock up Cousins before Luck signs?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 26, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 168 days ago. It will be 78 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Franchise tag contract deadline 19; Preseason opener @ Falcons 46; Final roster cut 69

Should the Redskins get Cousins signed before Luck gets done?

The news, such as it was, on Kirk Cousins’ contract last week was not encouraging. It was reported that there has been little substantial progress towards getting a long-term deal done. In fact, according to Albert Breer’s of MMQB, both sides were working on the assumption that Cousins will play out the 2016 with the $19.95 million franchise tag salary.

And it should be noted that this is the proper stance for Cousins’ camp and the Redskins to take at this phase. Neither should seem desperate to get a deal done. With almost three weeks to go there is no reason for one side to show signs of panic to the other.

But the Redskins have to have one thing in the back of their minds that may create some desperation as the deadline gets closer. Breer mentioned the ongoing Andrew Luck contract extension talks. Colts owner Robert Irsay has said that the deal will be “a big number”, which in today’s quarterback market is something in the neighborhood of $25 million per year.

So let’s paint the nightmare scenario for the Redskins, at least in financial terms. The July 15 deadline passes with no deal and Cousins plays on the tag in 2016. Then just before training camp starts the blockbuster deal for Luck is announced at six years, $150 million with $75 million guaranteed.

Suppose Cousins clearly outperforms Luck in 2016. Not necessarily because he’s a better, more talented quarterback than Luck but because he has better weapons and an offense that fits him perfectly.

If that entirely plausible scenario unfolds Mike McCartney, Cousins’ agent, will want to start negotiations in 2017 with Luck’s deal. The Redskins, who could lock up Cousins now for something in the neighborhood of $20 million per year right now, maybe even a bit less, may end up paying more—a lot more.

According to the old adage, patience is a virtue. But perhaps not in this case. Making sure that Cousins gets locked up in the next three weeks might cost them a couple of million more per year than they really want to pay. If they wait it out and Luck resets the market they might end up paying $40 million more over the life of the contract than they might if they act now.

What Luck may or may not do should not dictate what the Redskins and Cousins do. But it is a factor that needs to be considered.

 

In case you missed it 

 

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: JP & Tandler break down Redskins draft targets, and players to avoid

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: JP & Tandler break down Redskins draft targets, and players to avoid

How plausible is a draft day trade? Could the Redskins move up? And what to do about all those 'diluted samples'? JP Finlay and Rich Tandler break it all down.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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!

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Redskins roster by the numbers: Defense

Redskins roster by the numbers: Defense

The Redskins currently have 75 players on their roster. They are about to add some more in the draft and as undrafted free agents. They can have up to 90 players on their offseason roster. Year after year the distribution of those players to positions are consistent. We can look at what they have and see what they need to sign to get through OTAs, minicamp, and training camp.

Let’s break down the numbers by position and see where they will need to add players to get to where they want to be going into training camp. Last week we looked at the offense; today we’ll look at the numbers on defense.

End

Have: 6
Need: 8

Just like in a game, you want plenty of players to rotate through the line in the heat of training camp. They could carry one or two additional players here since they are legitimately in search of players who can have an impact beyond starters Terrelle McClain and Stacy McGee and pass rushing project Anthony Lanier.  

Nose Tackle

Have: 2
Need: 4

Like with the ends, you want to have a few big guys to rotate in when it gets hot in Richmond. It would be surprising if the Redskins didn’t add a nose tackle to the mix in the draft, probably on Saturday.

Inside linebacker

Have: 9
Need: 8

If the Redskins take an inside linebacker in the draft, as many expect that will, this position would get very crowded. They could keep as many as six on the final 53-man roster if there are a couple of key special teams players in the group.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 10.0

Outside linebacker

Have: 7
Need: 7

They could keep an extra one or two if they find some in the draft. You can’t have too many pass rushers, although they have kept just four on the final roster recently.  

Cornerback

Have: 7
Need: 8

It has always seemed to be a little odd to me that they’ll bring in a dozen wide receivers and only seven or eight corners.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often

Safety

Have: 7
Need: 7

The depth chart here is unusual in that all seven players have significant NFL playing time; there is no “training camp fodder” here. If the draft one, an experienced player might be let go.  

Total defensive players under contract: 38
Total needed for camp: 41

There are 34 offensive players and three specialists on the roster, making the total 75. If they don’t make deals and use all 10 of their draft picks that will leave just five spots to sign undrafted free agents. They likely will want to sign more than that meaning that some of the players currently on the roster will end up getting cut, particularly those on the defensive side.

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.