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Need to Know: Five reasons the Redskins haven't signed your favorite free agent

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Need to Know: Five reasons the Redskins haven't signed your favorite free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 17, 21 days before the Redskins start their offseason workouts.

Nickel coverage

Are you wondering why your favorite free agent not signed with the Redskins? Here are five possible reasons.

Money—This is often, but not always, the issue. The team thinks the player is worth X dollars per year. The player and his agent think he’s worth X plus Y dollars. The team might go up a little and the player’s camp might come down a little but ultimately they just can’t come to an agreement. Or, the Redskins called the agent, found out what the opening contract demand were and then didn't call back. If you're wondering why a particular player isn't getting interest from anyone, it's often a case that he's pricing himself out of the market.

Length of contract—This is something that could be a hang up in getting a deal done with someone like Anthony Spencer. He might want a one-year deal to have a “prove it” season after he missed almost all of last year with an injury so that if he plays well he can hit free agency again in a year. The Redskins might want him on a two-year deal so that if he does break out they are rewarded with another season of having him under contract.

No interest in the team by the player—Perhaps the free agent you covet doesn’t want to play for the Redskins. It could be that the player wants to stay closer to home. Or he heard about the traffic and the high cost of housing in Northern Virginia. And even the most avid fans would have to admit that the recent history of losing and turmoil on the team could turn off some players.

Not a scheme fit—Your free agent may be ranked in the top 10 on every website you can find but perhaps he doesn’t fit in what the Redskins do. It’s just not a fit at any price if the player’s strengths are not what your scheme emphasizes. The Eagles’ Chip Kelly talked about it this week and the same could apply to the Redskins and most other teams

The player may not want to sign yet—This could apply to a player like Champ Bailey. He is likely to get a one-year deal and even if there is mutual interest (no reports that there are, just an example here) there’s no reason for him to rush and sign a deal. Maybe after minicamps are over, a coach will look at his defensive backs and might think Bailey is worth a little bit more than they thought. A player in Bailey’s situation has nothing to lose and everything to gain by waiting.

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Timeline

—It’s been 78 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 174 days until they play another one.

—Days until: Offseason workouts start 21; NFL Draft 52; Training camp starts 128

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Want to beat the Cardinals? Bring down Carson Palmer

Want to beat the Cardinals? Bring down Carson Palmer

Many considered the Cardinals a Super Bowl contender this season, though the team has not performed to that level so far in 2016. One huge problem for Arizona - protecting quarterback Carson Palmer. 

In its last four games, Arizona has given up 16 sacks on Palmer, including a staggering eight sacks against the Carolina Panthers. In the last two games, Palmer has gone down six times, and both games have been losses. 

With weapons like wideout Larry Fitzgerald and running back David Johnson, Palmer has lots of options to move the ball. That's why Jay Gruden knows how important it is for his front seven to get home.

"It’s going to start with the pass rush," Gruden said. "If Carson [Palmer] has all day to throw and give Larry time to do double moves and stem you inside and vertical and then get back out or break it back across, I don’t care how big you are or how fast you are, it’s going to be hard."

In all six Cardinals losses, Palmer has been sacked at least two times, and in four of the losses, Palmer has gone down at least four times. Beyond the Panthers' eight sacks, the Bills brought down the Cards QB five times, and both the Seahawks and Vikings got to Palmer four times.

While the sack totals stand out, Washington's Preston Smith knows each week is different in the NFL.

"Every game you’re fired up because you feel like it's an opporttunity to get out there and get sacks," Smith said. "You don’t think about what another team did, they’re going to play us different."

Talking on the latest #RedskinsTalk Podcast, Redskins linebacker Trent Murphy acknowledged that the defense knows how beat up the Cardinals' offensive line is. Murphy, who has seven sacks on the season, added that he's 'drooling' for this matchup and the opportunity to take advantage of the Arizona vulnerabilities up front. (Listen to the full podcast below.)

Bruce Arians knows his team is undermanned on the line, and the Arizona offense will be creative to protect Palmer.

"You have to help them," Arians said of his O-line. "You have got to stay balanced and hopefully not get into a situation where it’s a throw, throw, throw game because then you’re putting them in harm’s way and your quarterback in harm’s way."

It doesn't help that in his 14th season, Palmer is probably one of the least mobile quarterbacks in the NFL. After matching up against Aaron Rodgers and Dak Prescott in their last two games, the Redskins defense knows Palmer won't move nearly as much, though that doesn't mean he's neccesarily easier to get down.

"You’re not going against a mobile quarterback but you still got to get to that spot," Smith said. "Carson’s a good quarterback."

Linebacker Mason Foster said that sacks aren't as important as consistent pressure. 

"On a great quarterback like that you want consistent pressure all day long. Make things tough on him, you don’t want a clean pocket," Foster said. "If you have pressure in his face all day and you don’t get no sacks, I think that's a success."

Even at 36, Palmer is still a dangerous quarterback. He's thrown for nearly 3,000 yards this year with a beat-up offensive line and missing one start. But numbers are numbers, and the data shows that if the 'Skins pass rushers can get Palmer to the ground, the chances of a Washington win shoot right up. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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Poll: What is your approval rating for Redskins coach Jay Gruden?

Poll: What is your approval rating for Redskins coach Jay Gruden?

As always, hit the poll and then head to the comments section here and talk about your answer, or reply on Twitter.