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Need to Know: Five free agents the Redskins are unlikely to sign

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Need to Know: Five free agents the Redskins are unlikely to sign

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 22, 48 days before NFL free agency starts.

Nickel coverage

Here are five free agents the Redskins are very unlikely to sign:

1. TE Jimmy Graham, NO—A two-tight end setup with Graham and Jordan Reed would cause many sleepless nights for opposing defensive coordinators. It’s not going to happen. Saints GM Mickey Loomis recently said that the team will give him the franchise tag if they can’t sign him to a long-term deal before the tag deadline.

2. WR Eric Decker, DEN—The Redskins certainly could use a receiver who caught 87 passes for 1,288 yards to line up across from Pierre Garçon. Financial considerations are likely to prevent that from happening. As was explained here last week it would be very hard for the organization to add another high wide receiver cap number to Garçon’s.

3. S Jairus Byrd, BUF—The Redskins have needed safety help forever and Byrd has the tools to give them a defensive boost. But after being franchised last year Byrd will be looking to get paid some serious money. That’s likely to knock him out of the Redskins’ price range. Actually, chances are the Bills will end up slapping with the franchise tag again or they may sign him to a long-term deal. He’s worth more to them than he is to any other team.

4. OT Branden Albert, KC—Yes, the Redskins need an upgrade at right tackle. However, Albert is a left tackle and that’s a higher-paid spot than the right side. Albert will be looking for the big dollars and it would be foolish of the Redskins to pay both him and Trent Williams LT money.

5. CB Aqib Talib, NE—Of the players listed here Talib is the one I could be wrong about. He has history with Raheem Morris and Bruce Allen. They made a very strong bid to sign him a year ago. Now, however, it’s much more difficult to see Talib leaving the Patriots. He recently said, “I’ve really been in the NFL since November of 2012,” referring to the date he was traded from Tampa Bay to New England. And seeing how bad the Pats’ secondary looked after Talib exited the AFC title game with an injury, it’s hard to see Bill Belichick letting him go.

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Timeline

—It’s been 24 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 228 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 28; Offseason workouts start 75; NFL Draft 106

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Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Redskins plan to 'spy' Cardinals' David Johnson with rookie Su'a Cravens, per source

Facing one of the NFL's best running backs in Arizona's David Johnson, the Redskins plan to use rookie linebacker Su'a Cravens as a spy in nickel coverage to slow down the Cardinals' threat, per a source close to the team.

Johnson ranks third in the NFL with 921 rushing yards, but it's the variety of ways the Arizona offense uses their second-year running back that makes him so difficult to handle for opposing defenses. Johnson also has 55 catches for 613 yards, and that's just through 11 games.

Cravens comes into the game with momentum as perhaps the Redskins most dynamic defensive threat. With size to play linebacker and enough speed to play coverage, the 6-foot-1, 220 lbs. rookie out of USC will be put in a tough position covering Johnson. The reality of his assignment is to try and contain Johnson as the Cardinals offense is so reliant on the runner that he will get a number of chances.

In their last two games, Johnson has gone for more than 150 total yards in each contest and scored multiple touchdowns. For his part, Cravens has proved a playmaker in his rookie season. To go with 29 tackles in nine games, his stat sheet has sacks and an interception listed.

Getting to Carson Palmer is the best path for the Redskins defense - especially considering the Cardinals' offensive line woes - but using Cravens to try and limit Johnson is a smart course of action for the 'Skins.

One member of the Washington defense explained that Johnson is "going to make plays" but that the key is to limit the damage. If the running back catches a ball out of the backfield, Joe Barry's defense will be focused on making a stop after a five-yard gain, instead of a 20-yard gain.

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 vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

The Redskins and Cardinals highlight the Week 13 schedule with a showdown in the desert with heavy NFL playoff implications on the line.

If the Redskins (6-5-1) can score a victory over the Cardinals (4-6-1), the team can move closer to solidifying one of the top two Wild Card spots in the NFC playoff race.

Depite the Redskins' difficult Week 12 loss to the Cowboys, Kirk Cousins is playing the best football of his career as of late, and earned the NFC Player of the Month honors for his efforts.

While running back Robert Kelley did have a slip-up against the Cowboys, the team's run game still looks vastly improved from the early season, which allows the passing game to thrive even more. Jamison Crowder continues to impress, and although Jordan Reed will miss the Cardinals game with an injury, Vernon Daivs has proven to be an excellent option for Cousins.

The most entertaining matchup of Week 13 might be Redskins DB Josh Norman vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, but the most important matchup will undoubtedly be the Redskins defensive line vs. Cardinals RB David Johnson. 

RELATED: NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS HEADING INTO WEEK 13

Johnson trails just DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott -- who finished with 83 yards and one TD in Week 12 -- in total rushing yards with 920 and trails just Elliott and Legarrett Blount in rushing touchdowns with 10. The Redskins rank 25th in rushing defense, and have given up an average of 108 rushing yards in their last five games.

Redskins vs. Cardinals kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4 on FOX. Redskins Kickoff gets things started at 3:00 p.m. ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (Channel Finder)

CSN is providing all the live updates, stats, scores, highlights, videos and analysis from Redskins vs. Cardinals. Got a comment on the game? Be sure to let us know in the comment section and join Santana Moss and Sebastian Salazar at halftime for the Facebook Live Q&A.

RELATED: BEST & WORST REDSKINS ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates

PREGAME:

10:30 AM: Game Preview: The five things you need to know before Redskins vs. Cardinals.

1. Keep it moving
2. Missing in action
3. Consider the source
4. Problems don't go away
5. Harder they fall

10:15 AM: Be sure to follow CSN Insiders J.P. Finlay and Rich Tandler, who are at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ari. Also, give our CSN Redskins Twitter account too. Come for the analysis, stay for the dank memes.

10:00 AM: Welcome to CSNMA's live updates blog of Week 13 Redskins vs. Cardinals. As always, I am Troy Machir and today I will be your online guide to Redskins vs. Cardinals football in the painted desert of the southwest. If you have an issue with me, you can cuss me out on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. It's fun.