Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 6, five days before the start of NFL free agency.
The Redskins made some moves to clear some salary cap money on Tuesday. They may not be done. Here are five more players they could release to clear more salary cap space.
DE Stephen Bowen (cap savings $1.98 million)—This one is tougher than many think it is. Yes, the fact that he had microfracture surgery on his knee is an issue, especially on a big D-lineman around the age of 30. But it’s not the career death sentence it used to be. Bowen could be offered a contract with a reduction in his base salary of $4.4 million with an opportunity to make it back up in incentives and per-game roster bonuses.
G Chris Chester ($2.7 million)—After a solid 2012 he was “just a guy” or perhaps worse last year. And a $3 million base salary calls for being more than “just a guy”. You could move up 2012 draft picks Josh LeRibeus or Adam Gettis and they could be mediocre for a whole lot less money.
OT Tyler Polumbus ($2.5 million)—The worst thing that happened to Polumbus is the $1 million salary escalator that kicked in for this season. At his original cap number of $1.6 million he might have been able to fly under the radar survive as a backup. But at $2.6 million he might not be around unless he’s the starter and that seems to be far from certain right now.
C Will Montgomery ($1.925 million)—A complete housecleaning on the offensive line with the exception of Trent Williams is not out of the question, given that Jay Gruden showed a preference for larger linemen while he was at Cincinnati.
DE Jarvis Jenkins ($1.03 million)—Yes, this would be a major surprise but Jenkins has been a disappointment. If they decide to upgrade at defensive end, they could help pay for it with Jenkins’ million bucks.
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—It’s been 67 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 185 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Free agency starts 5; Offseason workouts start 32; NFL Draft 63
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!