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
The Redskins offensive line struggled through the first two games of the 2017 preseason, and more bad news arrived Monday night when CBS Sports reported that center Spencer Long underwent a knee scope and is expected to miss the next two weeks.
Long moved to center last season when Kory Lichtensteiger got injured, and the results were solid. In 2015, Long started a number of games at left guard, but at center in 2016, he seemed a natural fit as a leader and a quick learner calling the Redskins protections.
With Long expected to miss some time, rookie Chase Roullier will take over the top center job. Rouillier played center his senior season at Wyoming and earned All Mountain West honors. At 6-foot-4 and 312 lbs., Roullier has comparable size to Long, who goes 6-foot-5 and 320 lbs. Both players also played some guard in college.
Washington coach Jay Gruden has repeatedly talked about the importance of a backup center, and with Roullier now moved to the top line, expect the Redskins to move quick to bring a veteran in for depth. This will make sorting out the offensive line roster even murkier as the Redskins approach roster cuts after their fourth preseason game.
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NFL preseason games usually don't cause a stir on the Internet. That is, until a very important player suffers an injury in one.
That's exactly what happened during Monday night's Giants-Browns game in Cleveland. While going up to snag an Eli Manning pass, Odell Beckham Jr. was cut down by Briean Boddy-Calhoun on what was a gruesome-looking play:
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At first, Beckham Jr. somehow looked like he was going to be OK. But he eventually had to head to the New York locker room, and the team later said his ankle is what they were concerned about:
If that's all it turns out to be, consider the receiver and the Giants lucky. In looking at replays of the hit, it's remarkable to think that he could emerge from it with no knee issues.
New York will surely update his status once they find out more.
UPDATE - 10:26 P.M.
The entire Big Apple sighs a giant sigh of relief:
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