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Need to Know: The Redskins may have to release some cornerbacks they'd rather keep

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Need to Know: The Redskins may have to release some cornerbacks they'd rather keep

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 17, 11 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 189 days ago. It will be 57 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Falcons 25; Final roster cut 48; Cowboys @ Redskins 64

Three and out

—The Redskins are going to have to let go of a cornerback or two they would rather keep. The maximum they can keep without creating a major numbers squeeze elsewhere is five. Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, and Kendall Fuller are locks. Quinton Dunbar is close to being a lock. That leaves one spot for Dashaun Phillips, Greg Toler, and rookie Lloyd Carrington. Both Carrington and Phillips have practice squad eligibility but with the position at a premium around the league they’ll want to keep their best five on the 53. The competition will be interesting.

—Rashad Ross could have problems seeing the field much if the other receivers on the roster stay healthy. He could be a kickoff returner as he returned one for a touchdown in Week 3. But he has to be on the game day active list to do that and there are usually no more than five wide receivers on the 46. Going into training camp he clearly appears to be the sixth of the six receivers who should make the roster. He is going to have to work his way up the depth chart if he is going be on the active list on a regular basis. Either that or be so good a returning kickoffs that they can’t afford to keep him down.

—To clarify something that I’ve had numerous questions about, the Redskins and Kirk Cousins now can’t agree to a contract extension until the day after the final regular season game. The team can talk to Cousins’ agent but they can’t send a contract to the league until January 2, the day after their regular season finale. As Cousins said in a press conference during OTAs, it’s “see you on the other side” for both the team and the player. They will have from January 2 until early March to reach an agreement before the team will have to decide whether or not to use the franchise tag again. That move would give Cousins either 120 percent of his 2016 salary or the quarterback franchise tag salary, whichever is higher. It is very likely that the former option will be the bigger salary.

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Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Over/under: Redskins running backs in 2017

Redskins running backs over-under

The Redskins’ running backs depth chart looks quite different from how it did a year ago. Rob Kelley, who was “ninth-string” back last year per Jay Gruden, is the starter. Samaje Perine enters the mix with expectations that exceed those normally assigned to a fourth-round pick. Chris Thompson is the constant as the third-down back. What kind of numbers will they put up this year? Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay go over-under on some Redskins running back stats. 

Rob Kelley, 1,000 rushing yards

Tandler: If you project Kelley’s production in the nine games he started over 16 games it comes to about 1,050 yards. He had his ups and downs in those nine starts and he will have them this year. But he should have enough ups to be able to average the 62.5 yards per game needed to hit the thousand-yard mark. Over

Finlay: Unlike wide receivers, where 25 guys broke the 1,000 yard mark in 2016, it's getting harder and harder for a running back to hit four-figures. In 2016, only 12 RBs ran for more than 1,000 yards, and only eight got over 1,100 yards. As the NFL becomes more and more of a passing league, less backs are getting the carries sufficient for a 1,000 yard season. The Redskins haven't had a 1,000 yard rusher since Alfred Morris in 2014. While I think Kelley gets the bulk of the yardage, I think it caps out about 900 yards and Chris Thompson and Samaje Perine creep into the total. Under

RELATED: Who's next at QB for the Redskins?

Kelley, 10 rushing touchdowns

Tandler: He scored six as the starter last year and doing the math that comes to 11 over 16 games. But last year there wasn’t a player like Perine, who could come into the game and vulture some touchdowns after Kelley did the work to get the ball in goal to go position. Under

Finlay: Sorry to keep going back to stats, but last year only seven running backs got to 10 TDs or more. Only seven! Hard to see Kelley getting there on a team that didn't run all that much, or all that well either, in 2016. Under

Samaje Perine, 500 rushing yards

Tandler: It tough to set a line for a guy who hasn’t played. I’ll go off Matt Jones’ 2015 rookie season when he gained 490 yards while sharing time with Alfred Morris. If Perine averages four yards per carry, which is not hard to do, he’ll need about eight carries per game to get to 500. It’s close but if Kelley is effective, as I believe he will be, Perine might not get enough carries to have a chance. Under

Finlay: Tandler's Matt Jones comp pretty much works for Perine, but Jones had explosive speed that Perine doesn't have. A better comp for me was Derrick Henry last year as a rookie with the Titans. DeMarco Murray was established as the top dog, and Henry worked for a productive 490 yards. Under

MORE REDSKINS: Offer to Cousins not nearly enough

Chris Thompson, 60 pass receptions

Tandler: His role is beyond just third down. If the Redskins are behind in the fourth quarter, Thompson is usually in there to try to help spark a rally. Along with TE Jordan Reed and WR Jamison Crowder, Thompson will benefit from Kirk Cousins’ familiarity with him. Over

Finlay: Thompson should be a strong contributor in 2017, but 60 catches is a lot for a running back. Only David Johnson (80) and Le'Veon Bell (75) went over that number in 2016, while James White had exactly 60 catches. Thompson grabbed 49 balls in 2016, an impressive total. I could actually see Thompson getting a bigger percentage increase in carries, he had 68 rushes last season with a very solid 5.2 YPC, than catches. Under

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

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, 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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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast: Final refresh before 2017 season truly begins

Rich Tandler and JP Finlay wrap up the Redskins offseason and prepare for what will be the most intriguing and the most overplayed storylines at training camp in Richmond.

<<<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