Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 13, 62 days before the start of NFL free agency.
Five free agents the Redskins should bring back
QB Kirk Cousins—He will not hit the open market. If he is not signed to a long-term deal by the March 7 deadline, the Redskins will put the franchise tag on him.
OLB Junior Galette—This should be a fairly easy one. Galette may not sign a deal for the veteran minimum like he did last August but he wants to return and likely will sign a team-friendly deal. If you have a question about what will happen to Preston Smith or Trent Murphy if Galette is on the team, the answer is, “You can’t have too many pass rushers.”
FB Darrel Young—Sure, he only played 112 snaps on offense all year. But he played on all four of the major special teams units and that should not be overlooked. Even of you don’t need a fullback often you do need one occasionally and Young is a good person to have on the team.
ILB Mason Foster—It would not be surprising to see Keenan Robinson move on as a free agent so the Redskins would be well advised to keep Foster around. He’ll be 27 in March, right in the wheelhouse for a McCloughan free agent, and he did a good job starting five games at the end of the season. They will know what they’re getting as they know he has been a solid locker room presence. Moe linebacker is a position they might want to upgrade but Foster can be plugged in until a draft pick can learn the position.
NT Terrance Knighton—Perhaps some expected a dominant force wreaking havoc in opponents’ backfields. They didn’t get that from Knighton but they did get a solid job from him as a nose tackle. The Redskins will probably pay more than some would like for him but large bodies who can move like he can are rare and therefore they are at a premium.
—The Redskins last played a game three days ago. It will be about 242 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL combine 42; NFL free agency starts 62; 2016 NFL draft 106
In case you missed it
The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:
- The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
- It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
- Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous.
- While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.
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JP Finlay and Rich Tandler address the most important question for Redskins fans after two straight losses - is it time to freak out?
Click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!