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Need to Know: Free agency changes look of many of Redskins '15 opponents

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Need to Know: Free agency changes look of many of Redskins '15 opponents

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 13, 48 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

What have the 2015 opponents done in free agency?

The Redskins’ 2015 schedule won’t come out until next month but we know who they will play. Let’s take a look at how free agency will affect the some of the teams the Redskins will play in 2015.

Eagles—Chip Kelly is not done making moves but we do know that he’ll have a different starting quarterback (probably Sam Bradford), running back (DeMarco Murray), and No. 1 wide receiver (nobody knows) in the lineup. Crazy? Genius? Both? We’ll start to find out.

Giants—It’s easy to see Shane Vereen catching swing passes out of the backfield from Eli Manning and creating death by a thousand paper cuts. Well, until Manning throws it up for grabs and Odell Beckham Jr. comes down with it.

Falcons—I’m not sure if Leonard Hankerson will strike fear in the hearts of defenders but it will be interesting to see how he can do with a stable QB situation. Former Texans linebacker Brooks Reed will be interesting to watch as he tries to put pressure on the QB in Dan Quinn’s defensive scheme.

Saints—The Redskins always have trouble covering tight ends so the absence of Jimmy Graham will be welcome.

Rams—Nick Foles lit the Redskins secondary up pretty well in their meeting in Philly last year so we’ll see how he does with offensive weapons not quite as good as the Eagles have (or had, anyway).

Bills—They’ll only have to face him once this year and won’t have to do it again until 2019 if he stays with the Bills but they do have to go up against Shady McCoy this season. They have done a fairly good job of containing him but the focus frees up others on offense.

Patriots—They lost Darrelle Revis and they could lose Brandon Browner. But something tells me that as long as they have that guy named Brady behind center they’ll be just fine.

Dolphins—The interior of the Redskins’ line is not their strong point and there’s no question that Ndamukong Suh will be quite a load to handle.

Jets—The Redskins don’t get out of facing Revis Island; it's now located at Met Life Stadium. They also brought back his ex-backfield mate Antonio Cromartie.

Timeline

—It’s been 75 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 184 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 38; 2015 NFL Draft 48; Redskins training camp starts 139

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Mike Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins, both as a person and as a quarterback. The former Redskins coach has made no secret about that. Luckilly for the 'Skins, especially with Cousins staring at free agency, Mike Shanahan is no longer coaching in the NFL.

His son Kyle, however, seems highly likely to take over as San Francisco 49ers head coach. And soon.

Kyle Shanahan currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, and once their playoff run ends, most expect Shanahan to be named Niners head coach. 

Why should Washington fans care? Allow ESPN's Adam Schefter to explain:

Kyle Shanahan is set to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach after Atlanta's season ends. San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan.

Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. And if Washington doesn't want to deal now, it could have issues later.

This news should not be a shock to Skins fans, but it should be taken seriously. Remember, Kyle Shanahan was part of the Washington organization when Cousins was drafted and the duo worked together in 2012 and 2013. Most quarterbacks would love to run Shanahan's No. 1 ranked offense from Atlanta, and the guess here says Cousins would probably jump at the opportunity. 

Still, much must be worked out.

While some in the Washington front office might have questions about what the long-term value should be in a Cousins contract, the team still has some control. They can place the franchise tag on Cousins this season, like they did last season, and work until mid-summer on a multi-year deal. Or Cousins can again play on a franchise tag in 2017, like he did in 2016 and passed for nearly 5,000 yards.

MORE REDSKINS: Kevin O'Connell to be hired as QB coach

What makes Schefter's report the most interesting is the mention of the No. 2 overall pick. Observing the Redskins in 2016, it became obvious the team needs more impact players on defense, and with the second overall pick combined with their own 17th pick and eight more after that, that could deliver an immediate boost. 

Whatever boost a package of draft picks might bring in will be hard pressed to match the production of Cousins. Finding a starting quarterback in the NFL is exceptionally hard, and while Cousins has shown flashes of a special player, he has certainly confirmed he is a capable player in two seasons at the helm of Jay Gruden's offense.

Scot McCloughan and the Redskins brain trust have a few more weeks before free agency, and with it, the deadline to again place the franchise tag on Cousins. It's nearly impossible to see a scenario where Cousins hits the open market this season, but if the No. 2 overall pick comes into play, other scenarios start to seem more possible. 

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!

 

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The Final Countdown: Josh Norman INT makes for Redskins 7th best play of 2016

The Final Countdown: Josh Norman INT makes for Redskins 7th best 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 at the 10 worst.

No. 7 best play of 2016

Redskins vs. Browns Week 4

6:37 left in Q4, Browns ball at their own 30, 2nd and 2, Redskins leading 24-20

Cody Kessler pass short middle intended for Terrelle Pryor INTERCEPTED by Josh Norman at CLV 25. Josh Norman to CLV 24 for 1 yard (Andre Hawkins).
PENALTY on WAS-J.Norman, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 15 yards, enforced at CLV 24.

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: Sometimes you have a great win, sometimes you dodge disaster. This one went in the latter category. The Redskins couldn’t quite shake the feisty Browns and Kessler for three and a half quarters. Then Norman stayed in Pryor’s hip pocket as the receiver ran a slat. Norman lunged in front of Pryor as the ball arrived and made the interception. He did draw a penalty for doing a bow and arrow celebration but the Redskins overcame that and drove in for the clinching touchdown in their 31-20 win.

More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?

Finlay: Josh Norman was the story of the Redskins offseason, and this game came one week after playing, and beating, Odell Beckham in New York. The spotlight was burning bright on Norman, and he made a crucial play when the Skins really needed it. Washington got out to a big lead early in this game only to let the Browns climb back in, mainly on the strength of Isaiah Crowell and th Cleveland run game. Losing at home to an awful Browns team would have completely derailed the modicum of momentum Kirk Cousins and the 'Skins established with the Week 3 win over the Giants, and Norman's INT made sure that didn't happen. 

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!