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Need to Know: It's lying season again

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Need to Know: It's lying season again

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 9, Day 11 of the Redskins’ search for a new head coach.

Beware of smokescreens

Every year as the NFL draft approaches, I make it part of my civic duty to warn fans that the closer the draft gets the more likely it is that anything you hear is a lie. Smokescreens are as common in April as tulips.

It’s time for another public service announcement. When the coaching carousel is turning, it’s also lying season.

I hit on this a bit yesterday when discussing Mark Maske’s report that Jay Gruden might prefer to work for the Titans rather than the Redskins. Many fans took this tidbit to be the gospel truth and started complaining about getting into a bidding war and wondering why the Redskins would want a coach who would rather be somewhere else.

But tap brakes here a bit. Where did this “information” come from? It had to come from Gruden’s camp, right? I mean, is he going to tell the Redskins that he’s rather be in Tennessee and, even if he does say that, why would the Redskins push that out to the media?

It’s the oldest trick in the book and it’s been around for so long because it works. It looks like Gruden has two teams that want him. The Titans know they are up against Daniel Snyder, who has some of the deepest pockets in the league and a willingness to empty them out to get what he wants. And the Redskins have now heard that Gruden might prefer Tennessee. Each team had better come forward with its best offer.

Now, the Redskins know every trick in the book themselves. They know that this is “information” coming from the Gruden camp. But Gruden might actually rather be in Nashville than in Ashburn so they can ignore the leak at their own peril.

The lesson for fans is to not hang to and react (or overreact) to every report that comes out. There is a good chance that your blood pressure is going up over something that is not true in the first place.

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Timeline

—It’s been 11 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 241 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL free agency 61; Offseason workouts start 88; 2014 NFL Draft 119

In case you missed it

Tandler on Redskins Nation

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Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports declared Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL. Prisco repeatedly points out that while Cousins is a good quarterback, the notion that he should be paid like one of the best passers in the league is what makes him overrated.

From Prisco:

After having six 300-yard-plus passing games in his first 11 games, including two over 400, Cousins had one in the final five games last season as the Redskins pushed for a playoff spot. He had five touchdown passes and five interceptions in those games, going 2-3 as Washington folded. It wasn't all on him, but that's the point. I don't think he's a quarterback who rises above situations when the team isn't going right. I am not going to sit here and pan him as a starter. He has proven to be that, and a pretty good one. It's just that the perception is he's much better than that, which is why he's my most overrated player in the NFL in 2017.

Here's the problem with Prisco's login: Simple market economics. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

An argument can be made Cousins is a Top 10 passer. He's certainly in the top half of the league at the position. Few, if any, would argue Cousins is a Top 5 quarterback, but his contract situation forces him to be paid like he is. Those are the exact terms of the franchise tag, even before the 20 percent increase Washington paid this season to use a second-straight tag.  

Since the Redskins lost their window to sign their single-season passing yards record holder to a team-friendly deal last year, Cousins has leverage and the advantage of inflated QB salaries on his side.

That doesn't mean Cousins is overrated. 

If the threshold for being overrated is money, then Brock Osweiler wins this thing in a landslide. After the 2016 season in Houston, Osweiler seems unlikely to ever again be considered a starting QB in the NFL. He's due to be paid $18 million this fall and his offseason trade to the Browns will go down as the first-ever salary dump in NFL history. 

Is Cousins overpaid? Probably. That's the way contracts work in pro football. 

Is Cousins overrated? Probably not. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards and completed about 68 percent of his passes over the last two seasons. 

There just aren't enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and guys who can play the position get paid handsomely. That doesn't make Cousins overrated. 

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys. The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.

Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation.

The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family.

 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 

 

Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.

 

RELATED: COWBOYS WR LUCKY WHITEHEAD'S DOG REPORTEDLY HELD FOR RANSOM