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Need to Know: Do the Redskins want to see more before committing to Cousins?

Need to Know: Do the Redskins want to see more before committing to Cousins?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 18, 10 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—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

Hot topic

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

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Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

Long injury list hampers Redskins practice

As Jay Gruden stepped to the podium to read the injury report, he warned, “This will be a while.”

He was right, as he rattled off one the longest injury reports of the season.

Out were G Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion), DE Chris Baker (ankle), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), DE Anthony Lanier (lower leg), G Shawn Lauvao (groin), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), and S Donte Whitner (illness).

Of that group, all but Jean Francois, Lanier, and Nsekhe are starters. Between them and the limited players listed below it was difficult for the Redskin to conduct a normal practice.

“It was a challenge,” said Gruden of getting through it. “Practice was modified quite a bit today. We did more walkthrough today than we ever have on a Wednesday.”

“Sometimes you have to taper back just a hair to make it through practice, try to get the mental reps in with walkthrough and then hopefully the physical part will come maybe tomorrow. Friday we can open them up a bit.”

Limited in practice were TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and TE Derek Carrier (knee).

Reed returned to practice for the first time since suffering a Grade 3 sprain to the AC joint in his left shoulder in the game against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. He missed the game in Arizona. While his limited participation was a good sign for his return it’ is way too early in the week to say with any degree of certainty that he will be playing against the Eagles.

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Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

Robert Griffin III set to start Sunday for Browns vs. Bengals

RGIII is finally getting another chance to play.

Plagued by injury after injury — most recently breaking a bone in his left shoulder in the Brown’s 29-10 loss to the Eagles in their season opener — the former Redskin is set to start for Cleveland against the Bengals on Sunday, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports.

Griffin was cleared for contact last week after missing the majority of the Browns’ 0-12 season, and the team is coming off a bye week after its last loss to the Giants over Thanksgiving weekend.

In 2015, Kirk Cousins replaced Griffin as starting quarterback, and the Redskins released him at the end of the season. He signed a two-year, $15 million contract with Cleveland in March.  

In Griffin’s absence, the Browns have relied on Cody Kessler and Josh McCown, who boast a 65.5 and 54.5 completion percentage, respectively. The two combine for just 12 touchdowns this season.

Will Griffin be the key to ending the Browns’ winless season? We’ll find out Sunday.

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