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Need to Know: Redskins' McCloughan outlines his draft pick expectations

Need to Know: Redskins' McCloughan outlines his draft pick expectations

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 16, 12 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 97 days ago. It will be 149 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 2; 2016 NFL draft 12; Redskins training camp starts 103

Hot topic

Here are five of the most popular posts of the Redskins week that was from here and www.CSNmidatlantic.com/Redskins.

Redskins running back suspended indefinitely without pay—Silas Redd may have had a hard time making the Redskins’ 53-man roster but he at least would have had a chance to get some preseason carries and get some good tape out there for the rest of the league. But now his NFL future is in limbo as he’ll be sidelined for at least a year before he can apply for reinstatement. He’s a good guy to talk to, hopefully he will start making smart decisions.

NFL Mock Draft 9.0: The post Titans-Rams trade edition—I’m not so sure about Ben Standig’s first-round pick for the Redskins here. Not that I don’t like the player but I think that a combination of an injury and the value of the position might make McCloughan shy away. I do think it would make a lot of fans happy, however.

Who will start at center for the 2016 Redskins?—A lot of fans have the notion that finding a new starting center should be a huge priority for the Redskins. I’m not under the impression that the organization views it quite that way. I think they know they need to upgrade at some point but they can get by with what they have if they need to.

McCloughan knows who he wants to draft at No. 21—This was a very interesting comment at the end of a very interesting McCloughan interview with Bleacher Report. He said that the player he hopes is there in the first round has all of he key traits—“toughness, smarts, competitiveness, team.’ If you want to know what that's about, McCloughan suggests you look at last year's top pick, Brandon Scherff.

Redskins depth chart will undergo some shuffling in the next month—The Redskins started their process of adding and subtracting players in the last few days when they signed CB Greg Toler and cut OLB Jackson Jeffcoat. Between now and the start of OTAs in late May there will be plenty more roster churn; check the details on what to expect in the post.

In case you missed it

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Don't count out a third straight franchise tag for Kirk Cousins, and here's why

Don't count out a third straight franchise tag for Kirk Cousins, and here's why

For the second straight season the Redskins placed the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins. While the two sides are speaking amicably about a long-term deal, the July 15 deadline for those negotiations continues to inch closer without much expectation that contract will get signed. 

A second year on the tag is unprecedented for a quarterback. In 2016, Cousins made nearly $20 million playing on the tag. In 2017, that figure goes up to $24.

If the Redskins don't get a deal done with Cousins, many think the organization would not again go with the franchise tag because the price tag jumps to an exorbitant $34 million. 

Think again. 

Asked on Monday if another franchise tag would be an option for Cousins in 2018, Redskins team president Bruce Allen was clear.

"Yes," he said. "In the collective bargaining agreement, we really have one year and an option that we can do at the end of next season if we don’t get a contract."

Those options include the exclusive franchise tag, the non-exclusive franchise tag and the transition tag. Both franchise tags carry the same cost, but the non-exclusive allows Cousins' representatives to shop his services around the NFL. If a deal gets struck, and the Redskins don't match the contract, Washington is due two first-round draft picks as compensation for losing their franchise player. 

The transition tag carries a $28 million price tag, and the Redskins can match another contract but risk only receiving a possible 2019 third-round compensatory pick if Cousins walks.

Considering those options, another year on the non-exclusive tag might make sense. The NFL salary cap will be at least $168 million, which means Cousins at $34 million would account for about 20 percent of the Redskins' salary cap.

That's a crazy allotment for one player. Crazy. The Redskins do have about $54 million in cap space for 2018, so technically, another franchise tag could work. 

But the entire manner of the contract dealings with Cousins and the Redskins has been quite unconventional. The Redskins have already made history by franchising Cousins a second-straight year. 

"I think even Kirk said it, there’s a lot of players round the league who are on a one-year deal. It’s the nature of it, we’d like to get him a long-term deal and I think he should want to get one," Allen said. "Kirk’s played well on a one-year contract the last two seasons."

At this point, it doesn't require a degree in advanced mathematics to understand that the Redskins and Cousins have a different picture of the quarterback's long-term value. That could change by July 15th, it could, but it doesn't seem likely. The Cousins camp has little incentive to bend, as $24 million fully guaranteed for 2017 represents a great payday.

And maybe the Redskins don't plan on bending because the option of a third-straight franchise tag doesn't worry them. Or at least the option of letting Cousins shop his services on a non-exclusive tag, and then making a decision to match a deal or receive compensation seems a worthwhile endevaor. 

For Cousins, he's not counting out any possibility. 

"People, I’ve heard say, ‘There’s no chance they franchise tag him or even transition tag him the following season,’ and I chuckle because if the team has franchise tagged me for two years in a row," Cousins said to an ESPN podcast in March. 

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ROSTER BATTLESLeft guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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Redskins' offseason program ramps up with start of OTAs today

Redskins' offseason program ramps up with start of OTAs today

The Redskins’ offseason starts to move into high gear today as organized team activities, better known as OTAs, get underway at Redskins Park.

Players have been participating in workouts at Redskins Park since April 17. The first phase of those session consisted of strength and conditioning. In the second phase, they were permitted to run plays but not with the offense lined up against the defense. Finally, in OTAs, they will go offense vs. defense.

RELATED: Who are the Redskins' roster locks?

The practices, however, will not resemble an August scrimmage in Richmond. The players wear helmets but no pads and contact is not permitted. While players do block other players and there are collisions between players going after passes, the action is more like pushing and shoving that it is hitting.  

The part about no contact should be taken seriously. Seattle ran afoul of the no-contact rule last year and it cost them. The Seahawks were fined $400,000, lost their fifth-round pick in this year’s draft and they will not be permitted to hold their first week of OTAs this year. The Redskins will be very careful to keep within the rules.

MORE REDSKINS: Allen says new stadium ahead of schedule 

OTAs will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in each of the next three weeks. The sessions will be open to the media on Wednesday of each week. While player attendance is strongly encouraged the practices are voluntary.

The week after OTAs end the team will hold its minicamp on June 13-14. Minicamp is essentially a continuation of OTAs but player attendance is mandatory.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.