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Need to Know: Will Barry Cofield be back with the Redskins in 2015?

Need to Know: Will Barry Cofield be back with the Redskins in 2015?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 13, five days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL assemble in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.

Question of the day

We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day 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.

Today’s question comes from Twitter:

The first thing that should be noted here is that we don’t have any hard news, or even any substantial rumors, coming out of Redskins Park that anyone is going to be released. Any talk you’re hearing is speculation based on some combination of a player having a high cap number, a 30th birthday that has either already passed or will soon, and low on-field production.

Cap cuts certainly are being considered and some teams have started them already. I wouldn’t look for the Redskins to make any moves until we get much closer to the March 10 start of the league year. Scot McCloughan has had only about three and a half weeks for his personnel evaluations; he couldn’t get started in earnest until he got back from the Senior Bowl. So it will take some more time to get it all sorted out.

All that said, let’s take a look a Cofield. He is in the danger zone in all three of areas noted in the first paragraph here:

—His salary is $4.55 million and his cap number is $7.7 million, the fifth highest on the team. Releasing him would result in a dead cap hit of $3.6 million but net cap savings of $4.1 million.

—Cofield will turn 31 next month.

—He played in just eight games, spending half of the season on the injured reserve-designated for return list. Cofield landed there after he suffered a high ankle sprain in the season opener. He also had a sports hernia issue tended to while he was out. When it was all over he started three games, had five tackles and one sack.

Despite all of that, I think he survives for another season. They don’t really have a better alternative at nose tackle (Chris Baker, who subbed at nose while Cofield was out injured, is better suited to playing end). They may let go of Stephen Bowen, who has the fourth highest cap number on the team and will turn 31 about a week after Cofield does, and Kedric Golston, who will be 32 in a few months. Yes, they need a youth movement but you can’t all of a sudden cut half of your defensive linemen. That should keep Cofield around.

I think they will try to negotiate a cut in Cofield’s base salary, maybe cutting it in half and giving him the chance to earn some of it back with incentives and per-game roster bonuses. If he balks on taking a cut, perhaps things will change. But I think that one way or another he’s on the 53-man roster when the Redskins open up the 2015 season.

Timeline

—It’s been 47 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 212 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 25; Redskins offseason workouts start 66; 2015 NFL Draft 76

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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NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:

  1. The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
  2. It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
  3. Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous. 
  4. While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN 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!

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - How freaked out should Redskins fans be after Arizona loss?

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - How freaked out should Redskins fans be after Arizona loss?

JP Finlay and Rich Tandler address the most important question for Redskins fans after two straight losses - is it time to freak out?

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!