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Redskins, Cousins agent will meet at the NFL Combine

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USA Today Sports

Redskins, Cousins agent will meet at the NFL Combine

The Redskins will sit down with Mike McCartney this week to continue the process of working out a long-term contract for his client, franchise tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins.

“Eric Schaffer, who’s a great guy and works hard for the Redskins, and I are going to get together this week,” McCartney told Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday, just a few hours after the Redskins announced that they had placed the exclusive franchise tag on Cousins.

McCartney said that he has had “a few back and forths” with the Redskins since the end of the season, when the two sides were permitted to talk about a long-term deal again after being prohibited from doing so during the season as Cousins played on the franchise tag.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

Schaffer’s formal title is the Redskins’ Vice President of Football Administration. In layman’s terms he is the team’s contracts and cap guru. He and McCartney will work to hammer out the details of a deal that, if it gets done, will have a lot of zeroes in it.

How much will it take to get it done? McCartney strongly hinted that their position would start with making Cousins one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the game.

He was asked about using the extension that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck signed, a deal that carries an average annual value of $24.6 million, as a comparable deal to work off of in the negotiations. He said that they certainly would have to consider that contract in the negotiations. However, McCartney believes the price tag that the Redskins themselves put on Cousins is the best indicator of his value.

More Redskins: What happens next with Cousins?

“We’re sitting here today, we’ve had a one-year offer placed on Kirk that says he’s worth $24 million,” he said. “Kirk didn’t ask for that, I didn’t ask for that. The club chose to put that on him. Now, we’re very, very appreciative of that. We recognize that that’s a commitment from a club and they’re sending a message by making it non-exclusive that they see him as a franchise quarterback. And they’re willing to do that for one year. But that’s his value right now, until we do a deal.”

[McCartney apparently misspoke when he said that the tag was “non-exclusive” since it was exclusive]

Note that McCartney did not lock himself into a negotiating position, saying that the QB’s value is $24 million “right now, until we do a deal”. He could negotiate from a higher or lower number depending on what happens between now and the July 15 deadline to get a contract done.

In any case, he’s talking about high-priced territory. It remains to be seen if Schaffer, Bruce Allen, and Scot McCloughan are willing to talk about a deal in that neighborhood. 

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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Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

Oddsmakers give Kirk Cousins favorable shot at 2017 NFL MVP

There continues to be a (ridiculous) debate on whether or not Kirk Cousins can continue to be a successful starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the betting industry, there is not much debate with Cousins being listed with 50/1 odds to win the NFL MVP award this upcoming season from Bovada. Among all the other players listed, he is in a tie for 14th. 

He is coming off back-to-back seasons with seven 300 yard passing games, a team record, and has an abundance of fresh, young wide receivers to compliment his passing style. Last year he was third in the league in passing yards with 4,917, trailing only Drew Brees (5,208) and Matt Ryan (4,944). 

The team may not be poised for a Super Bowl run in 2017-18, but if the team makes a post-season run, who will it be on the back of? Jordan Reed? Rob Kelley? Ryan Kerrigan?

No, it will be Kirk Cousins. 

RELATED: Ex-GM outlines staggering contract for Kirk Cousins

Entering this season at 40-years-old, and defending Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady is the overall favorite at 4/1. He is closely followed by Aaron Rodgers, and young quarterbacks Derek Carr and Dak Prescott. 

BOVADA 2017-18 NFL MVP ODDS:

Tom Brady, NE — 4/1
Aaron Rodgers, GB — 7/1
Derek Carr, OAK — 9/1
Dak Prescott, DAL — 12/1
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT — 12/1
Russell Wilson, SEA — 12/1
Matt Ryan, ATL — 16/1
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL — 20/1
Drew Brees, NO — 25/1
Andrew Luck, IND — 25/1
Cam Newton, CAR — 25/1
David Johnson, ARI — 33/1
Marcus Mariota, TEN — 33/1
Sam Bradford, MIN — 50/1
Antonio Brown, PIT — 50/1
Kirk Cousins, WAS — 50/1
Julio Jones, ATL — 50/1
Eli Manning, NYG — 50/1
Carson Palmer, ARI — 50/1
Adrian Peterson, NO — 50/1
Philip Rivers, LAC — 50/1
Matt Stafford, DET — 50/1
Odell Beckham Jr., NYG — 66/1
Rob Gronkowski, NE — 66/1
Alex Smith, KC — 66/1
Ryan Tannehill, MIA — 66/1
J.J. Watt, HOU — 66/1
Jameis Winston, TB — 66/1
Blake Bortles, JAX — 100/1
Andy Dalton, CIN — 100/1
Joe Flacco, BAL — 100/1
T.Y. Hilton, IND — 100/1
Marshawn Lynch, OAK — 100/1
LeSean McCoy, BUF — 100/1
Von Miller, DEN — 100/1
DeMarco Murray, TEN — 100/1
Carson Wentz, PHL — 100/1

RELATED: After Derek Carr deal, Cousins' best option may be short-term

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True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

True or False: Rob Kelley will be Redskins leading rusher

Robert Kelley emerged as the Redskins top running back in 2016, an incredible story of an undrafted guy working his way to the top. Of course, Matt Jones' problems with fumbling helped push Kelley to the top. 

Redskins coach Jay Gruden speaks highly of Kelley, particularly his fluidity and vision, but the team drafted Samaje Perine in the fourth round this year to provide additional competition in the backfield.

Here's the crucial statement: Rob Kelley will lead the Redskins in rushing yards in 2017.

Finlay: True.

Kelley averaged 4.2 yards-per-carry last season and the Redskins ground game is very much centered on a "4 or more" philosophy. Washington running backs coach Randy Jordan joined the #RedskinsTalk podcast and explained that the team wants a runner it can count on for positive yards more than creating big plays. The Redskins offense, as designed by Gruden, sets up for big plays in the pass game, and the run should allow for proper use of play action. 

In just nine starts last year, Kelley gained more than 700 yards. Project that out over 16 games, and he would be over 1,000 yards rushing. Perine has much to learn about the NFL, and understanding pass protections will take time for the rookie out of Oklahoma. Chris Thompson will be a key part of the offense, but much of his yardage will come via the pass game. 

Kelley will lead this team in rush yards. He's looked great in OTAs and minicamp while the coaching staff believes Kelley is in much better shape this year than he was as a rookie. Write it down in pen. 

RELATED: How will Kelley and Perine share the carries?

Tandler: True.

After the draft and during rookie camp I was saying that there was a chance that Perine could lead the team is rushing this year. But after seeing Perine playing with the big boys in OTAs and minicamp it’s apparent that he has a long way to go to become a consistently productive running back.

One thing Kelley seems to have going in his favor is that he has a very sensible outlook on the NFL. As JP noted, Kelley showed up to Redskins Park in better shape than he did as a rookie. This indicates to me that he understands that being an NFL players is a year-round job. Staying in great shape is important in the league but at running back it’s vital. Kelley gets that and because he does, his chances of being available for 16 games are much higher.

In turn, that improves his chance of being the team’s leading rusher. I’m not sure if he’ll get 1,000 yards—Perine will get things figured out enough to take some carries before the season gets too old—but Gruden will make sure that he gets fed plenty as long as he is available. 

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