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Need to Know: Situation could change quickly in Redskins-Cousins contract talks

Need to Know: Situation could change quickly in Redskins-Cousins contract talks

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 10, 18 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 182 days ago. It will be 64 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Franchise tag contract deadline 5; Preseason opener @ Falcons 32; Final roster cut 55

The Redskins week that was

As you may have heard the deadline for the Redskins and their franchise tagged quarterback to reach a long-term deal is this Friday at 4 p.m. If a new contract is not signed, sealed, and delivered by then Kirk Cousins will play in 2016 for a guaranteed salary of $19.95 million and further negotiations will have to be put on hold until the end of the regular season.

You also may have seen reports that the deal won’t get done. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported the following on Friday:
For Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, the deadline is irrelevant; an impasse exists that won’t be broken in the next eight days.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, nothing is happening by way of negotiations between Cousins and the team, and nothing will be happening. The two sides won’t be reaching a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.
Adam Schefter of ESPN has been saying essentially the same thing for at least a month as have others. So there won’t be a long-term deal between Cousins and the Redskins.

Unless there is.

Deadlines drive deals. You don’t have to go back further than one year to find a case where reports of no deal as the tag contract deadline approached turned into reports of a done deal in a hurry.

In 2015 Demaryius Thomas was the Broncos franchise player. Here is a chunk of a PFT report from Florio that is dated July 13, 2015 two days before the deadline to get a long-term deal done:
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it’s currently “not likely” that the Broncos and Thomas will work out a new contract before the close of business on Wednesday.
[Note: The July 15 deadline fell on a Wednesday last year.]

About 48 hours later PFT was reporting that Thomas and the Broncos had agreed to a five-year, $70 million contract. Things went from “not likely” to signed, sealed, and delivered in a hurry.

The point here is not to bust on Florio for being wrong. His report on Thomas was not an outlier at the time nor is his reporting on the current situations with the Redskins and Cousins different from what others are saying. The point is that these situations can change rapidly and they often do.

There is always incentive to get a deal done. For the player it’s security; for the team it’s financial and roster certainty. Whether those incentives are enough to push the two sides to bridge the gap between them remains to be seen. But the door is not closed until the deadline passes on Saturday.

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Hypothetical first-round trade could be a good one for the Redskins

Hypothetical first-round trade could be a good one for the Redskins

On Monday, Redskins college scouting director Scott Campbell publically sent out the message that the Redskins are open for business when it comes to making a trade in the upcoming draft. Peter King of the MMQB.com put one into his mock draft that just might catch the Redskins’ interest if it is proposed when the draft starts on Thursday.

The deal has the Redskins swapping first-round picks with the Texans. Houston needs a quarterback and they won’t get one they want with pick No. 25. So they send that pick plus their second-round pick, No. 57 overall, to the Redskins for pick No. 17. With that pick the Texans take Deshaun Watson of Clemson. At No. 25, Washington selects ILB Jarrad Davis of Florida.

There is a lot to consider when trading back in the first round, the most important of which is the players on the board when you trade back. If you bypass the chance to get a game-changing talent who fits your system to add a pick later in the draft you could end up regretting it.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 10.0

In King’s mock draft, these players who have been connected to the Redskins during the draft process are off the board—RB Christian McCaffrey, LB Haason Reddick, OLB Derek Barnett, LB Reuben Foster, DL Jonathan Allen, and OLB Takkarist McKinley. The next four players off the board after the Texans take Watson are two offensive tackles, a tight end, and a wide receiver. None of those would fill a major need for the Redskins. A trade back seems to be a reasonably safe move.

The other factor to evaluate is the value of the deal and that works out well for the Redskins if you look at the traditional trade chart. The 17th pick is worth 950 points. The point values for picks 25 and 57 add up to 1,050. The 100-point difference is about a pick in the middle of the fourth round. The Texans may ask for a later pick back in return and the Redskins could gauge how desperate Bill O’Brien is to get his quarterback of the future in the building.

Davis, who ends up with the Redskins in this scenario, is an interesting prospect. His athleticism and high motor fit those of a high first-round pick. But he missed time in his last three seasons with the Gators due to injuries, including problems with both ankles last year. There is some buzz that the Redskins are considering Davis with the 17th pick so to could get him at No. 25 and pick up a second-round pick in the process would be quite a coup.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often 

In an interesting side note, King reported that the Redskins are “divided” on Florida State running back Dalvin Cook. He unquestionably has talent but he has three arrests in his past and a high fumble rate. No. 25 might be a better spot to take a chance on Cook than No. 17. King also mentions Missouri edge player Charles Harris as a possibility at No. 25 as well.

Among the players the Redskins may be able to add with that additional second-round pick are Michigan DL Chris Wormley, G Dan Freeney of Indiana, CB Cordrea Tankersley, and CB/S Desmond King of Iowa.

This is all a hypothetical scenario. King is not reporting that such a deal is in the works. But it does make sense for both the Redskins and the Texans and it would not be surprising to see something like this deal unfold on Thursday night.

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.

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Need to Know: With 10 draft picks, the Redskins are ready to deal

Need to Know: With 10 draft picks, the Redskins are ready to deal

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 24, two days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 17
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 29
—Training camp starts (7/27) 93
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 138

Let’s make a deal

Even though the Redskins have 10 picks going into the draft, Scott Campbell, the team’s college scouting director, said that they will still be open to making deals to add more.

Washington has one pick in each of the seven rounds plus additional selections in the fourth, sixth, and seventh rounds. Campbell said that the team will be happy to add picks if the right deal is on the table. He is not concerned about having too large a draft class competing for a limited number of competitive roster spots.

“Yeah, I don’t know if you can have ‘too many guys,’” said Campbell. “I think the main thing to get better is you want to add competition to the team and anywhere you can add competition, even positions where you think you may be set depth-wise, you know, add more competition. Get the best players in here and I think it pushes each other and makes everybody better.”

It’s a matter of improving the odds of finding players who can help them.

“It’s not an exact science, Campbell said of the draft. “You’re not going to hit on all the guys. You’d like to think you can, but I mean that’s not reality, no one’s ever done that. Just increasing the odds of adding the more players, the more guys that can help us, that’s great.”

Campbell specifically mentioned the team’s two fourth-round picks, which are the 115th and 123rd overall selections, as possible capital to move up or as bait to trade back and get more picks.

What could they do with those picks? If they make a deal that goes by the draft value trade chart, they could trade their second-round pick (17th in the round, 49th overall) and the higher of the two fourth-rounders for the 11th pick in the second (42 overall). If they see a player they like in the third, that same fourth round pick would move them up to from the 81st overall pick (17th in the round) to the 68th overall pick (4th pick of the round).

The return for moving back in the fourth round is not very high. You’re looking at a fifth-round pick in return for moving all the way back from 115th overall to the end of the fourth round. That’s OK if you’re in a range where there just aren’t any players you like but you are very unlikely to get a game-changer in the fifth.  

With 10 picks it would be surprising if the Redskins just used all 10 of them without making any moves. It’s just a matter of if there will be a blockbuster deal involving their first pick or if there are more minor deals on Saturday afternoon.

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.

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