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Need to Know: Redskins could try inexperienced options in Breeland's absence

Need to Know: Redskins could try inexperienced options in Breeland's absence

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, August 2, 12 days before Washington Redskins open their preseason against the Browns.

If you need to catch up on what's happening in Richmond, scroll to the bottom for a list of our posts from the last 24 hours. 

Redskins deep at corner—for now

RICHMOND—Somehow, Bashaud Breeland escaped major injury on Friday when he slipped while in coverage and bent his knee at an unnatural angle. It didn’t look good after it happened, as Breeland stayed on the ground for several minutes before being carted off the field. He was in obvious pain as he the cart headed to the locker room.

The prognosis that came back, however, was quite optimistic given initial expectations. Jay Gruden said on Saturday that they expect him to be out four to six weeks with a sprained MCL. The Redskins’ season opener is six weeks from today. Breeland has been suspended for that game so he is first eligible to play on September 20 in Week 2 against the Rams. Should there be a setback he could miss that game and return the next Thursday night against the Giants or, since that is a short week, possibly on October 4 against the Eagles.

The Redskins’ depth chart at cornerback should be able to handle a one to three-game Breeland absence. Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall are the starters. With Breeland out many thought we might see David Amerson work in at the nickel spot. But Justin Rogers, who played some for the Redskins last year, lined up in the nickel spot after Breeland went out on Friday.

Jay Gruden said the team would sort through some options.

“We have Justin Rogers, we drafted Tevin Mitchel. He was a nickel in college at Arkansas and he's going to get some reps,” said Gruden. “We're going to try Kyshoen [Jarrett] in there a little bit today so we’ve got some guys in there to fill in.”

The surprise name in the mix was Jarrett, who was drafted out of Virginia Tech as a safety. It would be surprising if the team used a rookie who is a converted safety as their first option at nickel back with Breeland out. But he may be their best option

Gruden said that the team viewed Amerson as more of an outside corner. As a rookie, Amerson usually came in for passing situations but he would go to the outside with Josh Wilson taking the slot receiver.

Whichever inexperienced corner gets the roster spot that will be vacated by Breeland’s Week 1 absence from the roster will have to get up to speed in a hurry. The fourth corner on game days usually takes at least a handful of snaps and, of course, he has to be ready if any of the top three goes down with an injury.

Like most teams, the Redskins can survive one short-term injury at a position. The issues come with multiple injuries at a position. The Redskins will hope that the rest of the group stays healthy. They will be keeping a particularly close eye on Hall’s twice-torn Achilles tendon. It might be wise to give him a few extra days off to increase the chances that he remains on the field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins walkthrough, 10:35 a.m.; Jay Gruden news conference approx. 2:45; Redskins practice, 3 p.m.

—It’s been 217 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 42 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Browns 11; final cuts 34; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 53

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For Redskins, will shorter term with full guarantees get a Cousins deal done?

For Redskins, will shorter term with full guarantees get a Cousins deal done?

The prevailing notion around the Redskins negotiations with Kirk Cousins on a long-term deal seem to center around a five-year contract, especially after the Raiders reached a five-year extension with Derek Carr, their young star quarterback. 

Much group think points to a similar deal between Cousins and the Redskins. If you're Cousins, however, why sign?

The Redskins passer has all the leverage in the situation. He's got $20 million in the bank from the 2016 season, and he's due $24 million this season on the franchise tag. All guaranteed. 

RELATED: What is the risk for Kirk Cousins in terms of a deal?

Washington team president Bruce Allen has repeatedly talked about team options for 2018. Those options would be a $28 million transition tag or another franchise tag at $34 million. Expensive options. Cousins has repeatedly talked about market value, and how he has little choice in what happens. 

One area Cousins has control: signing a multi-year contract. 

The longer this thing drags out, it seems more and more likely Cousins will play on the tag in 2017. While it might seem crazy, the Redskins have strongly suggested another tag is in play for 2018. 

That means Cousins would be in D.C. at least two more seasons. As Grant Paulsen reported, last offseason the Cousins camp was looking for a three-year deal with all guaranteed money, based on the 2016 franchise tag salary of about $20 million.

Could a similar, albeit more costly, deal get done now based on the 2017 franchise tag? Three years, $24 million per, all guaranteed?

Cousins knows, and has said, that the team can keep him at least two more seasons. The Redskins also know, should they use the transition tag to save some money, Cousins can walk with hardly any compensation next offseason. Is the organization brave enough to try a non-exclusive franchise tag in 2018? Cousins would likely be quick to sign a one-year deal at $34 million, and teams could wait for him to hit free agency in 2019.

The Redskins are low on options. Maybe less years makes more sense for Cousins, and maybe, just maybe, that can get a deal done. 

Washington might want a long-term deal, but after messing up this contract situation for two years, maybe now they should take what they can get. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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

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Picking 10 Redskins players to protect in a hypothetical NFL expansion draft

Picking 10 Redskins players to protect in a hypothetical NFL expansion draft

With the NHL adding a team in Las Vegas and the league's expansion draft taking place Wednesday, the internet started thinking about a hypothetical NFL expansion draft.

Since it's June and there's more than a month until training camp, why not give it a shot with the Redskins in mind? 

Remember the rules: In the NHL, no first- or second-year players were eligible for the Vegas Knights to pluck, so the same applies here. Nobody in the last year of their deal, either.

Going off of those parameters, check out this list of Redskins players who'd be wise to protect against possible expansion.

  1. Kirk Cousins - Obvious. Every team needs a QB, and with a long-term deal or not, Cousins is very likely under contract with the Redskins at least for the next two seasons. That has a huge amount of value.
  2. Jordan Reed - This contract jumps big time in 2018, but Reed is arguably the best tight end in the NFL. An elite route runner and gifted athlete, in his last 17 starts Reed has posted more than 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns. The only thing that can slow Reed is his health, and that's a guy any team would want. 
  3. Trent Williams - Five straight Pro Bowls and perhaps the best left tackle in football makes this is a gimme. Williams is under contract through 2020, and by then, the money will seem like a bargain. 
  4. Jamison Crowder - Only two years left on his rookie deal, Crowder probably has the most valuable contract on the Redskins roster. Poised for his first 1,000 yard season in 2017, Crowder should emerge as one of the best slot WRs in the NFL. 
  5. Brandon Scherff - He was drafted to play tackle but it quickly became obvious that guard was the correct spot. Even with the shift in position, Scherff made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and looks primed to do the same for the next five years. Still on a rookie deal for two more years too. 
  6. Josh Norman - Don't be surprised that the first five protected players on this list come from the offense. Norman is an elite talent, yet he's being paid as such. In 2017, he will make $20 million. From 2018 to 2020, he will make at least $14.5 million per season. His skills are undeniable, but if you're building a team from scratch, that's a lot of salary cap. 
  7. Ryan Kerrigan - Pencil him in for double digit sacks. Count on him to work hard. Oh yeah, his contract runs through 2020. This one is easy. 
  8. Morgan Moses - Fresh off a new deal that will keep him with the Redskins through 2022, Moses is developing into one of the top right tackles in football. This contract would get snatched up in an expansion draft.
  9. Preston Smith - Two years left on his rookie deal and he still has all the potential in the world. Smith flashed serious sack potential as a rookie but fell off a bit in his second season. Year 3 will tell a lot, but in an expansion situation, the Redskins would rather have him than lose him.
  10. D.J. Swearinger - New to the Redskins, sure, but he played quite well for the Cardinals in 2016. Washington is desperate for some stability in the back end of the secondary, and Swearinger should provide it. Plus, he's signed through 2019. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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