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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.


—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

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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.

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Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 23, 14 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  


Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 6
—NFL Combine (3/2) 7
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 53
—NFL Draft (4/27) 63
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 199

Free agent moves—Offense

Free agency starts two weeks from today. The Redskins have plenty of needs, both big and small. Let’s take a look around and see what offensive positions they might be looking to bolster when things get going. I’ll follow up with the defense in the next few days.

Quarterback—It could be a yawner at this position or there could be plenty of drama. If Kirk Cousins gets franchise tagged or defies current expectations and signs a long-term deal, the depth chart will remain the same. If he is gone via a trade, things could be shaken up. While they may draft a QB in late April they could go for a mid-priced veteran as insurance.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Running back—The Redskins have a depth chart loaded with young, unproven talent at this position. If they want a veteran presence in the meeting room they could look at someone like Robert Turbin (McCloughan had a hand in drafting him in Seattle in 2012) or maybe Knile Davis.

Wide receiver—Things will get very interesting if the word on the street comes to pass and both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson are gone. They have a presumably healthy Josh Doctson in line to replace one but they would need a veteran. Maybe Kenny Stills or Kenny Britt, both young and productive, could be under consideration. If one of the veterans stays they likely will get depth in the draft.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Tight end—Vernon Davis seems likely to be back. If he’s not, the Redskins probably would rather have an alternative to Niles Paul as Jordan Reed’s primary backup. The probably won’t swim in the deep end of the pool with Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook. But maybe they will look at Jermaine Gresham, who made the Pro Bowl twice in Cincinnati while Jay Gruden was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator.

Offensive line—Yesterday, JP and I discussed what they might do at left guard if they want to upgrade from Shawn Lauvao. Perhaps they could go for Kevin Zeitler, another Bengal who played under Gruden. But he will command a contract in the $8-$10 million range and with Brandon Scherff coming up for an extension next year that might be too much to spend at the guard position. Look for the Redskins to take an eventual Lauvao replacement in the draft.

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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.

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If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

It still seems like a long-shot the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, but if there is one persistent rumor, it's that the San Francisco 49ers want the Washington passer. The story is too familiar at this point: New Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was in D.C. when Cousins was drafted and wants the quarterback to come run his offense in San Francisco. With the second overall pick, the 49ers have a tremendous asset they can dangle in trade talks.


Whether or not any of this rumor is true, it sure makes for engrossing speculation. With the NFL Draft Combine next week in Indianapolis, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he wouldn't be shocked to see the trade go down.

That's the backdrop. Beyond the debate of the merits of trading an established QB like Cousins, which is a very serious debate, there's also the notion of what player the 'Skins would select with the second overall pick.  

MORE REDSKINS: 2017 top heavy Cap could be a problem

It's worth examining the impact players available to Washington with the second selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the options are varied, including perhaps a new QB. Check it out. 


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!