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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

In case you missed it

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Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 6 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Cardinals Week 13

3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23

David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).

Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation

Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.

More Redskins: Will the first round fall into place?

Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run all season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN 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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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!