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Need to Know: Gruden, Orakpo trending on Redskins Talk this week

Need to Know: Gruden, Orakpo trending on Redskins Talk this week

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 29, nine days before the Redskins start their offseason workouts.

Nickel coverage

Here are five top trending names on Redskins Talk this week:

Jay Gruden—The Redskins new head coach didn’t have any earth-shattering news to reveal but he dropped a number of interesting tidbits during his one-hour meeting with the media during the NFL owners meetings in Orlando.

Phillip Thomas—Brue Allen said last week that the second-year safety would have been a starter last year if he had not suffered a season-ending injury early in the offseason. If he can start—and we’re a long way from knowing if he can or not—a major hole in the defense would be filled.

Tracy Porter—He signed on the line with the Redskins and we started trying to figure out what his role might be. Porter is a former second-round pick of the Saints and he’s going to be wearing his fourth different team in four years.

Brian Orakpo—Although we really didn’t think of him as one, he technically was a free agent until Thursday morning, when he signed his franchise tag tender. For him, that means that his $11.45 million salary for 2014 is guaranteed. For the Redskins, that means that he can participate when offseason workouts start on April 7.

Robert Griffin III—Of course, Gruden was questioned extensively about Griffin and how things are going so far. Gruden said that his only concern is that Griffin won’t leave Redskins Park and he doesn’t want the QB to burn himself out. While Gruden was speaking, Griffin and a group of backs and receivers were in Arizona for a passing camp set up by the QB.

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Timeline

—It’s been 90 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 162 days until they play another one.

Days until: Offseason workouts start 9; NFL Draft 40; Training camp starts 116

In case you missed it

Tandler talks about what’s next for Orakpo and the defense

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Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst 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, 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).

Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation

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

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!

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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

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. 

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!