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Redskins have plenty of 2018 cap room to make or match a possible Kirk Cousins offer

Redskins have plenty of 2018 cap room to make or match a possible Kirk Cousins offer

It seems like Monday's franchise tag deadline will come and go without much news between Kirk Cousins and the Redskins. The quarterback is currently slated to play on a one-year, $24 million deal in 2017, and unless a contract breakthrough takes place over the weekend, that looks to be the plan for this season. 

The intrigue then all begins again in 2018.

Washington will have three options with Cousins then: 

  1. Make a deal - Get a new contract signed in the time after the season ends and before the team must decide to use another tag, either franchise or transition.
  2. Tag you're it - The team can again tag Cousins, for a third straight season. The transition tag carries a $28 million price tag and lets the QB market his services around the league, which the Redskins can then match. Another franchise tag would cost $34 million, and Cousins' options for talking with other teams are either non-existent or much more limited than the transition tag. Not to mention, $34 million guaranteed for one season is unheard of, it's hard to imagine a scenario where that money gets turned down. 
  3. So long - The final option in 2018 is Cousins hits free agency unfettered and can go to the team of his choice. This seems the least likely option, but the entirety of the Cousins contract saga has been bizarre so who knows what will happen. 

It is important to note, however, that the Redskins will have plenty of cap room in 2018. $54 million to be exact. That much money would allow them to match just about any offer that might come for Cousins should he be given the transition tag. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

One report suggested that two NFL general managers are prepared to front-load offers for Cousins in 2018 to make it hard for the Redskins to match. 

Immense speculation points to the 49ers wanting Cousins, especially given the ties between new coach Kyle Shanahan and the Washington quarterback. San Francsico projects to be about $50 million under the 2018 salary cap, meaning they actually have less available money than the Redskins. Those figures can change, and San Francisco could have a lot of money roll over from the 2017 cap. 

For Redskins fans worried about the 49ers spending recklessly to sign Cousins, know that the actual cap numbers might not support the theory. Would the Niners pay Cousins as much as the franchise tag in 2018? Maybe, but that's a prohibitive figure. 

Realize too, however, that Washington has now had two offseasons to try and work out a multi-year deal with Cousins. It hasn't happened, and hasn't really even appeared close to happening. 

It's entirely possible that should Cousins find a major dollar offer next year in free agency, the Redskins won't match it. That doesn't mean they can't. 

Salary cap figures courtesy Overthecap.com.

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

 

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, September 24, eight days before the Washington Redskins play Chiefs in Kansas City.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 CSN; Redskins vs. Raiders 8:30 NBC

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 29
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 35

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Raiders

—With Rob Kelley out and Jordan Reed unlikely to play, per Adam Schefter, Samaje Perine will get his first NFL start and Jeremy Sprinkle will be active for the first time. Perine got rolling as the game went on vs. the Rams. In quarters 1-3 he had 11 carries with an average of 2.2 yards per. In the fourth quarter, the rookie carried 10 times for a respectable 4.3 average. If he can get that 4.3 average all game and carry between 15 and 20 times, the Redskins will be fine on the rushing front.

—It was in Week 3 last year that Kirk Cousins got rolling. After throwing one touchdown and three interceptions in his first two games he threw two TD’s and no picks against the Giants. His pattern as the starter has been to start slowly and then pick up steam as the season gets going. Looking at the injury situation and at a Monday night game at Arrowhead Stadium looming next week, today would be a great day for him to get going. The talk in Oakland is that the Raiders will load up to stop the run and challenge Cousins to beat them through the air. Cousins will need to take them up on that challenge.

—The Redskins have four sacks in two games. It will be difficult for them to add to that total today because Raiders QB Derek Carr gets rid of the ball so quickly. The best way to get pressure on a quarterback like that is to take the shortest route. It will be important for Jonathan Allen to get some push up the middle and perhaps Greg Manusky will send Zach Brown or Mason Foster blitzing into the A-gap occasionally. The pressure is also on the secondary to make sure tackles after Carr gets those short completions to make sure they don’t turn into big plays.

—I was skeptical of the impact that Oakland RB Marshawn Lynch would have in his return at age 31 after a poor (417 yards) 2015 season followed by a season in retirement. And although there may be reasons to wonder about his durability over the course of a 16-game season, right now he’s healthy. The Redskins’ worst nightmare would be for Lynch to get 15 carries and grind out four to five yards per pop. That would set up Carr to do whatever he wants to do.

—This looked like a tough one even when it appeared that the Redskins would be at full strength on offense. If Kelley and, especially, Reed are out, the game looks to be an even more daunting task. The Washington defense is going to have to step up and force Carr to make decisions sooner than he wants to. Offensively, the Redskins are going to need to keep Carr and company off the field by controlling the clock. They did it last week against the Rams. If they can take time of possession 35 minutes to 25 again they have a chance to pull off the upset. It’s possible but I’m going to go against it happening.

Raiders 28, Redskins 21

2017 predictions record: 1-1

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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Report: Rob Kelley out vs. Raiders, Reed unlikely to play

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Report: Rob Kelley out vs. Raiders, Reed unlikely to play

The Redskins could be without two key offensive players against the Raiders tonight, according to a report.

According to ESPN, Redskins starting running back Rob Kelley (rib) is unlikely to play and that Jordan Reed (chest) is a game-time decision but it also is probable that he will sit out. Bot players were listed as questionable on the final injury report on Friday.

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Kelley was having a career day against the Rams last Sunday before he left the game in the second quarter with a rib cartilage injury. He practiced on a limited basis all week.

Reed, a key target for quarterback Kirk Cousins, missed some snaps after sustaining the injury to his sternum during the game against the Rams. He was out of practice on Wednesday and limited on Thursday and Friday.

Rookie Samaje Perine saw his first NFL action last week and he likely will get his first NFL start in Kelley’s spot tonight. If Reed can’t play, Vernon Davis will start and rookie Jeremy Sprinkle, who was inactive the first two games, will be in uniform.

MORE REDSKINS: A STRONG START FOR SMITH BUT MORE IS NEEDED

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.