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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 Playbook: With offseason over, what mattered most?

Redskins Playbook: With offseason over, what mattered most?

Things were not dull in Washington this offseason. The team fired general manager Scot McCloughan and failed to reach a long-term contract with quarterback Kirk Cousins. Again. 

Of all the things that happened this offseason, what will make the biggest impact on the field? The results might not correspond to what created the biggest buzz. Going in reverse order, here's what will matter most to the Redskins this season.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

  • No. 4 - The Redskins again could not reach a long-term deal with Kirk Cousins, but like in 2016, the quarterback won't allow that to impact his performance on the field. Bruce Allen's public statement about contract talks didn't help matters, but Cousins has possibly one hundred million reasons to stay focused on the field. 
  • No. 3 - Losing Sean McVay was a blow for this team that isn't being properly talked about. McVay's absence will absolutely have more impact on the 2017 season than Cousins' contract situation. An accelerated offensive mind adept at engaging players and running meetings, McVay will be missed. 
  • No. 2 - The Redskins handled the firing of Scot McCloughan about as well as a toddler handles applesauce. It was a mess. The team deserves to be admonished for how things shook out. That said, on the field in 2017, the Redskins won't really feel the affects. The team is in place, including many players of McCloughan's choosing. Some organizational, cultural loss could occur, but that is likely to be felt in the years to come. 
  • No. 1 - The biggest thing that will impact the Redskins on the field in 2017? Losing two of their best players from on the field in 2016. For all of the controversy that surrounded McCloughan's ouster and not getting a deal done with Cousins, not having Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson will by far cause the most shockwaves for Jay Gruden's team. Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson might, even should, offset much of the loss, but until the proof is on the field this will remain the biggest offseason question in Washington. Jackson and Garçon accounted for more than 40 percent of Cousins' 2016 passing yards. That's a giant hole. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

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Need to Know: Five pre-training camp questions for Jay Gruden

Need to Know: Five pre-training camp questions for Jay Gruden

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 26, one day before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 206 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 46 days.

Today’s schedule: Players report to training camp for physicals and conditioning test. Jay Gruden news conference 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 15
—Preseason vs. Packers at FedEx Field (8/19) 24
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 38

Five pre-camp questions for Jay Gruden

RICHMOND—The media portion of training camp gets underway on Wednesday as Jay Gruden holds his pre-camp presser at 2 pm at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center (that’s probably the last time I’ll use the full name of the facility).

Here are some questions we will ask of Gruden as he enters his fourth season as the Redskins head coach.

Will Kirk Cousins’ contract situation be a distraction? This must be asked, even though we know that the answer will be no. Yes, Cousins handled a similar situation just fine last year. But a quarterback playing on a second franchise tag is unprecedented. Certainly, Gruden has to guard against things getting out of hand if the season starts to turn sour.

In his fourth training camp, what is he doing now that he wishes he would have done in 2014? One very visible change has been a reduction in the amount of contact that takes place on the field. Will this continue to decline or, give the issues the team had tackling last year, will it ramp up? What used to be the morning practice and afternoon walkthrough were flipped a couple of years ago. Has there been any thought to changing it back?

How has the adjustment process to having so many new coaches gone so far? The Redskins have new coordinators on both sides of the ball and several new position coaches. As happens when any group of co-workers gets added to a workplace, there is an adjustment period. In the NFL, the coaches have to get up to speed with each other in a hurry.

Will Gruden use the season-ending loss to the Giants as a motivational/learning tool or just bury it in the past? It’s a fine line between learning from past mistakes and dwelling on them. While Cousin should make sure that he doesn’t throw another late-game interception like the one he threw in that game, he can’t have it spook him to the point where he can’t pull the trigger on a pass late in a close game. How Gruden handles the 2016 finale could have a major effect on how 2017 unfolds.

After having one of the highest pass ratios in the league, will Gruden look to run the ball more often? Last year, Sean McVay called passes on 62.4 percent of the Redskins’ snaps. The Redskins drafted a fourth-round running back in Samaje Perine and they may team him with starter Rob Kelley and call to keep the ball on the ground a few more times per game.

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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