Were all trying to figure out what the definition of contact is. The are some linemen firing into others but they are holding big pads.Hightower is taking some handoffs and running and doing some cutting. He probably couldn't suit up today but he is looking pretty spry.Hankerson running some patterns. Not quite in sync with RG3 on a few throws.RG3 is occasionally double clutching, like he isnt quite sure of what hes seeing from the defense.Hankerson was a spectator during 11 on 11.Practice was stopped briefly after there were issues like jumping offside a few times in the course of several plays. All of the players huddled up in the middle of the field with Shanahan in the middle.Rex heaved a wounded duck to Niles Paul, who was open down the sideline. Paul made the catch but a starting NFL defensive back would have knocked it down or picked it off.With Graham Ganos recovery from a back injury coming along well, the kicking duel started in earnest. Neil Rackers gets great height on his field goal attempts and it appears that Ganos travel farther.Kirk Cousins is showing some arm with a laser to a tight end over the middle.If Rex does have to come in and play, the playbook will have to be tweaked substantially. He never looked very fast rolling out but after watching RG3 on the move and the watching him, well, theyre not on the same planet.Have to say that with 90 players a lot of them do a lot of watching. Hard for a guy like Lance Lewis to get a good shot when he is spending so much time on the sideline.NT Chris Baker shouts an expletive after missing a play. Again, guys like him get so few chances that one mistake can do substantial damage.We get good Rexbad Rex in practice, too. He had some great touch on a fade that dropped right into Pauls arms in the end zone.Post practice interviews:Niles Paul said that playing tight end demands a lot more thinking and knowledge of the playbook because of involvement in the blocking schemes.DeAngelo Hall is spending a lot of time learning the slot corner position but he is not sure what is role will be when the season starts.Mike Shanahan said that Leonard Hankerson will not fully participate in practices until training camp starts in late July. Josh Wilson and Roy Helu are being held out due to some minor injuries.
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.
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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.
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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.”
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.