Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 18, 10 days before the NFL Draft.
—The Redskins last played a game 99 days ago. It will be 147 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: 2016 NFL draft 10; Rookie minicamp 25 ;Redskins training camp starts 101
There isn’t much happening regarding long-term contract talks between the Redskins and Kirk Cousins and there may not be anything substantial happening until 2017.
The Redskins gave Cousins the franchise tag just before the March 1 deadline following the quarterback’s breakthrough performance in 2015, his first year as the starting quarterback. While that is a fairly small sample size, the price tag for keeping him around to gather another season’s worth of data was the $19.95 million franchise tag.
But it appears that the team is reluctant to commit more right now. “Right now, the Redskins view Cousins as a backup who ascended into a starting role,” reported Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. “Eventually, a threshold has to be crossed where they see him as the centerpiece of the franchise. Until that happens, an ironclad long-term deal isn't getting done.”
The Redskins have until July 15 to sign Cousins to a long-term contract. If they don’t get it done by then he will play out the season on the tag. The schedule just game out a few days ago and a quick glance reveals that there are no games scheduled between now and the deadline. Unless the Redskins are going to judge him to have crossed that threshold while running plays in shorts and helmets during OTAs in minicamp, they won’t have any more to go on when July 15 rolls around than they do now.
Of course, things can always change they could change their minds and increase their offer. Or Cousins could decide that he’d rather risk signing for less than he might get if he has a monster 2016 and take what the Redskins have on the table.
But the way things stand right now the chances that Cousins will be the first quarterback to play out a season on the tag are pretty strong.
Stat of the day
Last year the Redskins ran 238 times on first down. The NFL average was 231.
In case you missed it
Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 22, 95 days before the NFL draft.
—NFL franchise tag deadline 38
—NFL free agency starts 46
—First Sunday of 2017 season 231
Sunday morning quick hitters
—Talk that Greg Manusky is the favorite to get the promotion to Redskins defensive coordinator seems to be based more on deductive reasoning than from any reports from Ashburn. I think he is likely to be the guy but I’m not sure that there won’t be a surprise selection for the job.
—The four-year, $42 million contract extension the Rams gave WR Tavon Austin will set the market for DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. Both of their expiring contracts averaged about $8 million per year so they could be in line for healthy raises the year after turning 30. As in other sports, the market is often set by what your dumbest competitior is willing to pay.
—I didn’t give a second thought to leaving DeAngelo Hall off my projection of the defensive roster for the coming season. He said that he would be willing to redo his contract, which calls for him to make $4.25 million this year. That’s fine but I think that the organization will look at the 32 games he missed in the last three seasons combined and decide that they can’t keep a player that they can’t rely on at any price.
—How hot is Jay Gruden’s seat in 2017? Assuming he keeps his quarterback, I think that he will be fine with a 10-win season and he will be toast with double-digit losses. The tough call will be if they finish 8-8 or even 9-7 with a playoff miss.
—There was a lot of talk about how the Redskins’ salary cap spending on defense last year ($36 million) was dwarfed by what was spent on offense ($78 million). As of right now, the Redskins’ spending is about even, with $57.3 million going to offense and $59.2 million to defense. We’ll see how even the expenditures wind up being when the season starts in September.
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In case you missed it
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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. 7 worst play of 2016
Giants at Redskins, Week 17
4:02 left in Q4, Giants ball 1st and 10 at their own 31, game tied 10-10
Eli Manning pass deep left to Tavarres King pushed ob at WAS 25 for 44 yards (Will Blackmon).
Related: The Redskins week that was
Tandler: It looked like the Redskins were on the verge of saving their season. They were down 10-0 in the third quarter but they battled back to tie it up in the late going. But after lulling the Redskins defense to sleep with running plays and short passes, Manning launched one deep down the left sideline. King, who had one reception for six yards on the season coming into the game, had a step on cornerback Greg Toler and he hauled in the pass for 44 yards. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants the lead.
More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?
Finlay: In a terrible game that led to many more questions than answers for the Redskins, this play was just a huge, huge disappointment. Washington fought back to tie up a game that they had largely been outplayed in, particulrly in the first half. Remember, the Giants had nothing to play for while for the 'Skins, a win would put them in the playoffs. The New York offense was laregly nonexistent in the second half of this game, as it became obvious Eli Manning did not want to get hit. And still, the embattled Redskins defense gave up a long pass play to a dude that had contrbuted basically nothing all season.
10 best plays countdown
10 worst plays countdown
RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0
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