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Need to Know: Five possible veteran replacements for Kirk Cousins

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Need to Know: Five possible veteran replacements for Kirk Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 4, 93 days before the NFL Draft.

Nickel coverage

If the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, who would serve as the backup for Robert Griffin III? Here are five possibilities from among pending veteran free agent QB’s.

1. Tarvaris Jackson, SEA—His experience as a starter (34 games) gives him some added value. It may take some extra money to pry him out of Seattle, where he will collect playoff money and a ring after Sunday’s game.

2. Josh McCown, CHI—He might not be too anxious to leave his current team and he may want to go someplace where he can get a chance to start. But not too many fan bases are going to get energized over their team bringing in a 35-year-old journeyman to start no matter how well he played last year in relief of Jay Cutler.

3. Matt Flynn, GB—Yes he bombed in Oakland but he wasn’t exactly surrounded by the best talent there, either. He struggled in Green Bay when they first brought him in but he ultimately saved their season by beating the Cowboys. And anyone who can beat the Cowboys should be welcome in Washington.

4. Shaun Hill, DET—He’s an old (34) Maryland alum so he knows the area. Might not thrill anyone who isn’t a Terp but he’s started 26 NFL games and has a career completion percentage of almost 62.

5. Rex Grossman, WAS—He would be stepping up a notch from third to second string, making the possibility that he might have to actually come into a game much greater than it has been. But there are worse alternatives out there and Griffin loves having him around.

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Timeline

—It’s been 37 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 215 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 15; NFL Free agency starts 35; Offseason workouts start 62; NFL Draft 93

In case you missed it

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Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 18, 99 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 43
NFL free agency starts 51
First Sunday of 2017 season 236

The coordinator search and more

Did the Redskins underachieve this year? I know that a metric like Football Outsiders' DVOA is not the final word in the quality of a team but looking at it year after year it usually does work out that the teams with the better numbers in DVOA usually win more games than those with worse numbers. The Redskins finished 2016 eighth in DVOA. Considering that 12 teams make the playoffs, that could be considered a playoff quality team. Yet 15 teams finished with a better record than they did. I’m sure there are some holes in the formula for the stat but just looking at that it sure appears that the Redskins did leave some wins out on the field.

John Keim is reporting that the Redskins are prepared to switch to a 4-3 defense if that is what their new defensive coordinator prefers. They have been in the 3-4 since Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010. Whether it is because of the scheme or lack of draft and free agent resources spent on the line and at safety, the defense hasn’t been very good. As Keim notes, they will need to make some personnel changes if they do change but with a full load of draft picks and $62 million in cap space this may be the time to do it.

I expected the angst that was all over Twitter when word of the Rob Ryan interview got out. But it’s pretty dumb to get all worked up over an interview (with all due respect to readers here who may have been upset). It’s not a hiring. Look, somehow or another Ryan managed to stay employed as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 straight seasons. I don’t know how to research it without going through some very time consuming and tedious steps but I’d be willing to bet that only about a few dozen men in the history of the league have been able to remain a defensive coordinator for that many season in a row. The organization can learn something from sitting down and talking to him for a few hours.

I understand that we want things to talk about in a relatively slow time. But I just don’t see why there is fear out there over the possibility that Kyle Shanahan will get hired as the coach of the 49ers and somehow steal Kirk Cousins away to be his quarterback. The Redskins can maintain his rights via the franchise tag. They could tag Cousins and trade him to the 49ers but there would be a heavy price in terms of draft picks. But while it’s possible, it’s unlikely. The chances are very, very good that Cousins will be in a Redskins uniform this year via either the tag or a long-term deal. 

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In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

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