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Need to Know: If the Redskins get an offer for Cousins should they trade him?

Need to Know: If the Redskins get an offer for Cousins should they trade him?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 16, 14 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Should the Redskins trade Cousins if they get an offer?

I heard an interesting report from Kevin Sheehan on ESPN 980 yesterday. He said that there is a belief around Redskins Park that the team could get as much as a third-round pick for backup quarterback Kirk Cousins.

That would represent an increase in his value. Last year it was widely reported that the Browns offered a fourth-round pick for Cousins. The Redskins apparently wanted no worse than a second for him. The Browns would not up their offer and/or the Redskins would not lower their demand so no deal was made.

It appears that supply and demand may be driving Cousins’ value up. Last year there were three quarterbacks taken who appear to be their teams’ future at the position (Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, and Derek Carr) and another one who could hold that status (Zach Mettenberger). Plus there was Johnny Manziel, taken in the first round by the team that didn’t want to pay a second for Cousins.

This year the supply is lean. Jameis Winston is a character question mark, Marcus Mariota is a scheme question mark, and beyond those two there are projects. If a team needs a quarterback who can start this year or one that can serve as the primary backup, the trade market is likely to be a the way to go.

So, after a season where he played well at times but got a reputation for being a turnover machine, and one who didn’t react well after those turnovers, the short supply of quarterbacks in the draft could drive up the value of Cousins even though he has just one year left on his contract.

The question is, should the Redskins trade him? Are they better off with a third-round pick, Robert Griffin III as the starter, Colt McCoy as the backup, and a rookie or other inexperienced player as the third-string QB or with the status quo?

The answer depends on if Scot McCloughan and Jay Gruden believe that Cousins is a viable long-term starter for the Redskins if for whatever reasons they decide to let Griffin walk at the end of the year. If they don’t think he can be the starter, or at least a viable stopgap until they can find a franchise quarterback, then they absolutely have to hang on to him. A third-round pick isn’t worth it if they think there’s a chance Cousins could be the starter if Griffin falters.

But remember that Gruden buried Cousins on the bench the last half of the season. Perhaps he doesn’t believe the Cousins would be a good alternative to Griffin. In that case they should trade him for whatever they can get for him.

Timeline

—It’s been 109 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 150 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 4; 2015 NFL Draft 14; Redskins minicamp starts 61

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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Need to Know: Redskins looking for consistency from Preston Smith

Need to Know: Redskins looking for consistency from Preston Smith

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 9, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Practice 12:05; Jay Gruden and news conference and open locker room after practice approx. 2:00

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 10; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 15; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 23

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
Out:
G Long (concussion), S Blackmon (concussion), DE Baker (ankle), G Shawn Lauvao (groin)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), G Scherff (ankle), DE Jean Francois (knee/foot),
Thursday injury report

Around Redskins Park

—The Redskins’ third-down defense is the worst in the NFL in a long time. They are giving up first downs on 48 percent of opponents’ third downs. Since 2002 only one team, the 2011 Chargers, has been worse over the course of a full season. The Redskins have a chance to improve in the last four games of the season. Their remaining opponents rank 15th, 22nd, 26th, and 27th in converting third downs on offense. So, while the damage is done perhaps they can avoid historically bad territory.

—Perhaps one of the reasons why the Redskins haven’t done well on third down is because Preston Smith, a player they were counting on to generate pass pressure and rack up sacks, isn't getting that done. He has 3.5 sacks on the year, two of them coming into one game. What are they looking for out of Smith? “Consistency is the truest measure of performance,” said defensive coordinator Joe Barry. “You have got to show up every single week . . . Preston is giving great effort, he’s trying. He just has got to show up in the statistic column.”

—Barry was candid in admitting that they were taken by surprise when the Cardinals snapped the ball on the fourth and one play from their own 34 in the fourth quarter. “I think everyone was a little shocked that the ball actually was snapped and they ran a play, but that’s football,” Barry said. The center’s hand is on the ball, ball is ready, the ball can be snapped, we have got to be ready to execute.” Should the season go south from here that play will be remembered as the turning point.

—Although whether or not the season goes south will largely be dependent on the play of Kirk Cousins, he doesn’t think about the pressure. “I just go about my business. I think you take it one game at a time, that’s the best way to manage it, and just enjoy the process,” he said. “We’ll see where we are in a few weeks but I can’t play the game today, I can’t play next week’s game today. All I can do today is prepare and go to practice and have a great practice, and I thought today I had a great practice and that’s a good step.”

—Jay Gruden wants to see the defense improve in two specific areas in addition to third downs. “Turnovers the last couple of weeks and red zone,” he said. “Those are three big time areas of concern . . . We’ve been lacking in all three of those categories of late.” They have had just one takeaway in their last three games and in their last five games teams have punched it into the end zone on 14 of 17 red zone opportunities (82.3%).

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A little more left arm use by Reed on this catch. #Redskins

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Redskins injury report: Three return but still plenty of question marks

Redskins injury report: Three return but still plenty of question marks

The Redskins’ injury report is looking a little better today, three days away from their game against the Eagles. 

DE Chris Baker (ankle), CB Will Blackmon (concussion), T Ty Nsekhe (ankle), C Spencer Long (concussion) didn't practice today. That is a substantial reduction of the number of players who were out of practice on Wednesday.

Going from out yesterday to limited participants today were S Donte Whitner (illness), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee/foot), and DE Anthony Lanier (leg).

Also limited were TE Derek Carrier (knee), ILB Will Compton (hip), TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), and OLB Preston Smith (groin).

A player moving from out of practice to limited is no guarantee that he will be able to participate come Sunday but it’s a step in the right direction.

On area of concern is the offensive line. Three players who started against the Cardinals have not practiced this week. One was Nsekhe and he already was headed to the bench after the return of Trent Williams from suspension.

RELATED: Five Redskins who need to perform vs. Eagles

According to Jay Gruden, the line will have enough bodies even if Long, Nsekhe, and Lauvao are out. Second year guard Arie Kouandjio would start at guard and John Sullivan, who finished up after Long left the game on Sunday, would be the starting center. They could activate Kory Lichtensteiger from injured reserve to back up guard and center and Vinston Painter would be the backup tackle.

It appears that Reed is making progress from the AC joint separation he suffered in his left shoulder on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas.

“He looked good out there today,” said Gruden. “He’s still a little sore. Right now I have absolutely no idea (if he will play).”