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Need to Know: Will the Redskins use the franchise tag?

Need to Know: Will the Redskins use the franchise tag?

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 14, four 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.

We’re going to do something a little different today. If it works, I might do it every Saturday. Every week I get some good questions that just don’t demand a big enough answer to fill up a whole post. This morning I’m going to clean out my inbox, in a manner of speaking, and rapid-fire answer some questions that require shorter answers.

Here we go.

I see virtually no chance of that happening. It would cost $13.75 million to tag Brian Orakpo and that is not happening. Are they going to pay Niles Paul, Roy Helu, or Jarvis Jenkins the average of the top five highest-paid players at their positions and guarantee that money the moment they sign their deals? No. Teams can tag players starting Monday but don't look for the Redskins to do it.

If you release a player prior to June 1, all of the prorated signing bonus that is left on his contract will be charged to that season's salary cap. If you cut him after June 1, the remaining money is split between the current season and the following season. So you lessen the cap impact of the move in the current season but you pay off the balance the following year.

https://twitter.com/skinz4life1975/status/557966213805252608

At this point, it's very tough to name names. I did venture at one possibility here yesterday when I looked at Utah CB Eric Rowe. Whether or not it's Rowe, a cornerback to develop is a good possibility since there are only a few that have the size that Scot McCloughan likes in the earlier rounds. I'd say look for a wide receiver (a tall one like Tony Lippett of Michigan state) and an offensive lineman (a heavy one like Rob Havenstein of Wisconsin). I'll be at the NFL Combine next week, follow along here, on my Twitter account (@Rich_TandlerCSN), the Real Redskins Facebook page, and my Instagram account (RichTandler).

It's no secret that McCloughan prefers bigger football players just about everywhere, including at wide receiver. Jackson, who is listed at 5-10 but probably not that tall, probably would not have been drafted by McCloughan or signed by him as a free agent. But that doesn't mean that Jackson is going to get run out of town immediately. McCloughan knows that he can't build the team the way he wants to in one offseason. It's like that Jackson will at least play out his contract, which has two years left to run.

Timeline

—It’s been 48 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 211 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 24; Redskins offseason workouts start 65; 2015 NFL Draft 75

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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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

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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