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Need to Know: Will any Redskins players be traded before the draft?

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Need to Know: Will any Redskins players be traded before the draft?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 5, 25 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

On the weekends I do quick-hit answers to some good questions that don’t require an in-depth reply. Let’s get going with one from the Real Redskins Facebook page:

Despite what you calendar may say, Gern, June 1 has already come and gone, at least in terms of NFL teams cutting players while trying to save 2015 cap room. The CBA permits each team to designate two players it releases after the start of the league year as post-June 1 cuts. It has the same cap effect but the player can hit the market during the prime of free agency while there still is money to be made. And the team avoids the prospect of having a player they know they are going to cut coming into the facility, working out, and possibly getting injured. So, for the past six years or so there have been nothing but very minor moves on June 1. Those cuts are already done. McCloughan and company will continue to evaluate any players that are released.

https://twitter.com/habimaki88/status/582235888261963776

I’m not sure I see a market for either player, at least not one that would generate an offer the Redskins would have a hard time turning down. Cousins was relegated to the bench after throwing interceptions in bunches last year and not reacting well to them. Garçon might be an attractive player but I don’t see a team giving up much for a good, not great, player with $7.5 million in salary and bonuses this year and $8 million in 2016. If there is any interest I’d say it comes after the draft if some teams didn’t get what they wanted in Chicago. But for right now I think that both players are worth more to the Redskins than they could get in return for them.

From what can be determined at this point, left guard is up for grabs only to the extent there is supposed to be competition for every position. It would be surprising of Shawn Lauvao was not the starting guard in Week 1. That could change if they draft a guard early on and that player is able to push out the starter. I’m doubtful that Josh LeRibeus has much of a shot at ousting Lauvao.

I would say that the chances of Moss being on the 53-man roster for Week 1 are very slim and it seems unlikely that he would even be signed to get a shot. But you can’t rule it out entirely, especially if the Redskins don’t draft a receiver or suffer an injury at some point. Last week Jay Gruden said that they would keep him in mind and might consider Moss after the draft so there is the proverbial chance.

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I don’t know if you’re crazy or not but a wide receiver could well be the best player available at No. 5. I’m partial to Kevin White but Amari Cooper could well be a better prospect. The Redskins will take a long look if those two are on the board. And, despite what some may tell you, there is a need at wide receiver. Both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson both will turn 30 next year and will have cap hits in excess of $10 million and $9 million, respectively. If you don’t see a need there, you don’t know what a need is.

Timeline

—It’s been 98 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 161 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 15; 2015 NFL Draft 25; Redskins training camp starts 116

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Jay Gruden wants DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon back, but 'won't blink' if they're gone

Jay Gruden wants DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon back, but 'won't blink' if they're gone

The Redskins face the very real prospect of losing receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon via free agency. Head coach Jay Gruden wants both players back, but is prepared to roll with the guys on the team if Jackson and Garçon depart. 

"Obviously DeSean and Pierre had great years. 1,000 yards each. Those are going to be hard to replace," Gruden said to reporters in Indianapolis. 

It's still possible the Redskins keep both Jackson and Garçon, or keep one of the two, just as both players could leave the organization. In his comments, it seemed like Gruden does not expect one or both guys to be back, and that the team will move on without them. That could mean losing Jackson's 1,005 receiving yards or Garçon's 1,041. 

"Coach the guys that we have. Free agency you’re never going to be able to sign everybody you want as a coach," he said. "I’d like to have Alshon Jeffery, Pierre and DeSean. Heck, give them all to me. I know that's not going to happen."

Gruden tends to joke often speaking with the media, and clearly the prospect of signing Jeffery, a star wideout for the Bears that will hit free agency next week, along with Jackson and Garçon isn't going to happen. The receiver market in free agency will be interesting to watch, as a number of top options will be available. Jeffery, Jackson, Garçon along with Cleveland's Terrelle Pryor and younger prospects like Kenny Stills and Kenny Britt. 

Asked if it was "necessary" to bring at least one of Garçon or Jackson back, Gruden bristled. 

"Would never say necessary. I’d love to have them both back, I'd love to have one back. If we are unfortunate enough to lose them both, I'm not gonna blink."

The coach explained the team has a good crop of young pass catchers already on the roster. 

"I do feel very good about Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant, Josh Doctson. I love the fact that Mo Harris got a lot of work in, he’s gonna develop."

The coach should feel good about the young receivers, their development is part of his job. Crowder looks like a future star in the slot. Still, Jackson and Garçon accounted for more than 40 percent of Kirk Cousins' passing yards in 2016. That's a lot of yardage to lose. 

Of course, Doctson's development will be a major theme this offseason. A first-round pick in 2016, the Redskins got next to nothing from him as a rookie as he dealt with an Achilles injury. A healthy 6-foot-2 Doctson could offset some of the lost productivity that would come with the departure of Jackson or Garçon.

And then there is always free agency. It's entirely possible Washington could sign another, perhaps cheaper, wideout on the marketplace should they lose two the same way. Gruden said the team has 'other free agents' the team could pursue.

"We have Plan B's and Plan C's ready to go," Gruden said. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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The Redskins aren't willing to trade Kirk Cousins unless they are

The Redskins aren't willing to trade Kirk Cousins unless they are

Shortly after Kirk Cousins got the exclusive franchise tag from the Redskins on Saturday, two sort of conflicting reports. One, from Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, was that Cousins “is not going anywhere” and a trade is essentially off the table. Mike Florio of Pro Football talk, quoting “a source familiar with the dynamics of the situation” reported that the Redskins would have to be “blown away” by a trade offer in order to pull the trigger on a deal.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

On the face of it, the reports conflict. One says that Cousins is available, the other says that he isn’t. But that valuation of them assumes the sources for these reports were intent on putting out the truth. The fact is that Cousins is very much available for the right offer.

A conversation along the lines of this one could well take place in Indianapolis this week:

“How much do you want for your house?”

“It’s not for sale.”

“No, really, how much do you want.”

“Really, it’s not for sale.”

“I’ll give you $50,000 over whatever it gets appraised for.”

“Sold!”

In short, you don’t need to have a “for sale” sign up in front of something to sell it. In fact, sometimes it’s better to act as though you have no intention of selling whatever it is. That can intrigue potential buyers even more.

The analogy falters a bit as it seems that the Redskins are unlikely to get a premium over whatever Cousins’ valuation on the open market might be. The receiving team will have to give the QB a massive contract. In addition, a team that wants Cousins is likely to be able to get him with no compensation in a year, when Cousins is likely to be an unfettered free agent. But you get the idea.

More Redskins: What happens next with Cousins?

The message from the Redskins is, don’t come at us with a couple of mid rounders. There is some point where the compensation for giving up Cousins a year earlier than they might have to isn’t enough. It literally would be better to rent Cousins for one more season than get, say, a third-round pick with a 2018 fifth thrown in.

That being said, they are not going to get the RG3 type haul—three firsts and a second—in exchange for Cousins. The likely would accept something south of that in exchange for Cousins’ rights.

So, he’s not available at any price—unless the price is right.

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.