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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins cap casualties

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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins cap casualties

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 3, 67 days before the start of free agency.

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It’s a fact of life that players get cut during the offseason in order for a team to create more cap space. The presence of a new coaching staff can make for even more cap casualties. Here are five players the Redskins could consider releasing in order to create more cap room (or just to save money):

1. DE Stephen Bowen has a $4.4 million salary and a $7.02 million cap number. He ended the season on injured reserve with a knee injury after being hobbled with another knee injury in the latter part of the 2012 season. He is a team leader but his productivity does not justify his cap number. Cap savings: $1.98 million

2. G Chris Chester went from being an asset on the line in 2012 to being a liability last year. The team can find someone to do the job at right guard for less than his $3 million salary and $4.3 million cap number. Cap savings: $2.7 million

3. It’s tough to release an injured player but the Redskins face a dilemma with DE Adam Carriker. It’s still not certain that he will be able to play this season after missing last year and most of 2012 with a quad injury. It’s tough to commit a $4.7 million salary and $6.76 million in cap space to a player in his situation. Cap savings: $3.24 million

4. In the grand scheme of the NFL salary cap, $1.36 million for a player isn’t a whole lot of money. But P Sav Rocca was 29th in gross punting average and dead last in net average. Someone much younger (Sav is 40) and cheaper could get that done. Cap savings: $1.2 million

5. Again, we’re not talking about a huge amount of money here but it is hard to envision OT Tyler Polumbus starting at right tackle in 2014. And you could probably find a backup for less than the $1 million he is slated to make. Cap savings: $1 million

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Stat of the day

—In 2012 the Redskins gained 6.2 yards per offensive play, tops in the NFL. This year they averaged 5.3 per play, 18th.

Timeline

—On this date in 2001, Marty Schottenheimer signed a four-year contract to become the Redskins’ head coach

—Days until: NFL free agency 67; 2014 NFL Draft 125; 2014 Opening Sunday 247

In case you missed it

Redskins casting a wide net in their coaching search

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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!