Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 17, 21 days before the Redskins start their offseason workouts.
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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—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
In case you missed it
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).
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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.
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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
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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!
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.
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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!