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Need to Know: Shanahan has no regrets about starting RG3 in Week 1

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Need to Know: Shanahan has no regrets about starting RG3 in Week 1

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 11, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the Atlanta Falcons.

Nickel coverage

Five notes and quotes from Wednesday’s epic Mike Shanahan news conference (the full transcript is available right here).

1. Does Shanahan have second thoughts about starting Robert Griffin III in Week 1? He said that he might but he doesn’t. “I think you can always go back and always question yourself on what’s the best situation, but at the time that we decided to go with Robert, the doctors said he was 100 percent. So you go with the doctors. Robert felt that he was 100 percent.”

2. Do you want to win these last three games? So why are you sitting your franchise QB “I think it’s 100 percent different when you take a look at the quarterback position. A quarterback needs an offseason program. It’s important to him. When you take a look at a quarterback who is your franchise quarterback, he’s your future. If you miss two offseasons in a row, it’d be the hardest thing to do is recover from that. I take a look at the next three games, I’d like him to have that experience, but at the risk of setting him back where he doesn’t go into the offseason [healthy], I think that would be devastating to him.”

3. So Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder are both behind this move? “Well, just put it this way, I said if either one wasn’t 100 percent behind my reasoning that I’m giving you, I said we won’t go there. Nothing needs to be said. We’ll just keep it status quo.”

4. I asked Shanahan why his offensive line that has been together for two years had trouble protecting the quarterback to the point where he had to bench his starter. “It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where it’s at. You’ll see as time goes on — is it the offensive line? Is it the quarterback? Is it the receivers? There’s a combination of different things and I don’t get into detail, but at the end of the day you’re always trying to improve your football team. I think when you take a look at the year before, when we’re the No. 1 offense in the National Football League — for every time the ball’s snapped we had more yards rushing and more yards passing — that’s pretty good with a bad offensive line, isn’t it?”

5. Finally, he was asked about the ESPN report that he planned to quit after last season. Why not just say no, the report isn’t true? “What I said is there’s always bits and pieces of an article that are true. I’m not going to go into detail what was true about the article. I don’t think it’s fair to the organization and I would speak to that person first before I would speak to anybody else.”

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Stat of the day

—If Robert Griffin III is indeed done for the season he will finish the year with a passer rating of 82.2. In the 22 seasons since the Redskins won their last Super Bowl that is the seventh-best passer rating among quarterbacks who threw at least 125 passes in a season.

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 3; Cowboys @ Redskins 10; Start of NFL free agency 89

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and Jim Haslett news conferences and player availability after practice (approx. 2:00)

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Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 19, 98 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 42
NFL free agency starts 50
First Sunday of 2017 season 235

The coordinator search and more

As noted above, we have 42 days until the deadline for the Redskins to put the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The immediate future of the franchise is contingent this situation being handled correctly by the organization. It’s time to turn the attention and the $100 in imaginary casino chips towards what might happen with Cousins as the process unfold. We will revisit this from time to time as the various deadlines approach so consider this the early odds.

Sign before the tag deadline, $5—This seems unlikely after his rather cold response to my question immediately following the season-ending loss to the Giants when he said, “The ball’s not in my court.” He indicated that it’s up to the Redskins to tag him. It doesn’t look like he and his agent will have much of an inclination to sit down to any serious negotiations before that happens.

Let him go into free agency, $5—Yes, I know that this is out there but it makes no sense to take the chance of the possibility that he could walk with zero compensation. While there might be some logic in finding out what Cousins would be worth in a true free market in order to establish the basis for a fair contract the risk of behind left empty-handed is just too great.

Tag and trade, $20—This also has been discussed by various media types as a possibility. It would involve giving Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would let him go out and negotiate a deal with another team. The Redskins could then match that offer or choose to get compensation. The CBA calls for compensation of two first-round picks although the two teams may negotiate something less. The most frequently suggested trade partner is the 49ers and their soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan but there are probably around half a dozen teams, maybe more, who could be interested. If the Redskins don’t think they will ever sign Cousins long term this could be the way to go.

Tag and sign by July 15 deadline, $30—This may be a little low for this possibility. Perhaps if the other options are off the table he will consider that he is a perfect match for Jay Gruden’s offense and that he might not be such a good fit elsewhere. There also is the possibility of injury or, for whatever reason, Cousins having a subpar season. Those thoughts could spur him to instruct his agent to get the best deal he can get in Washington.

Tag and play the season on the tag, $40—Right now, this appears to be the mostly likely scenario. They can afford the $24 million cap hit and it would get them one more year of his services. However, the prospects for him remaining in a Redskins uniform for 2018 and beyond would be very cloudy.

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

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3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

3 of 4 Redskins named to Pro Bowl won't attend

Ryan Kerrigan, Jordan Reed and Brandon Scherff will skip next week's Pro Bowl in Orlando a team spokesman confirmed to CSN. All three players dealt with injuries late in the season, most notably Reed, and playing in the exhibition game is not in the cards. Trent Williams, however, is still slated to play in the game. 

Reed suffered a separated shoulder on Thanksgiving playing against the Dallas Cowboys. For the rest of the season, Reed played through significant pain and his production dipped.

Kerrigan played much of the season with an injured elbow and hurt his finger in the final game against the Giants. Scherff played with ankle pain and was listed on the injury report much of the season's final four games.

For Reed and Scherff, this year marked their first Pro Bowl. The recognition was deserved for both players, and shows that the guard and tight end are gaining national spotlight for their play.

Kerrigan played in the Pro Bowl following the 2012 season. He finished this year with 11 sacks, 2.5 short os his career high 13.5 in 2014. 

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