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Redskins Wednesday minicamp report: A good day for Murphy

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Redskins Wednesday minicamp report: A good day for Murphy

The Redskins held their final practice of the offseason under cloud cover with some light rain in Ashburn. Here are my observations:

—Trent Williams and Jordan Reed were playing catch off to the side while special teams drills were underway. Williams has a decent arm but Reed, who went to Florida as a quarterback, had better form.

—Trey Williams mishandled a pass and and went to the ground and did about half a dozen pushups.

—Matt Jones was on the field with the first unit early and often. I think they have major expectations for the rookie.

—Among those who lined up with the second unit defense were Kedric Golston, Ricky Jean Francois, Jackson Jeffcoat, Tevin Mitchel, Adam Hayward, Tajh Hanson, Justin Rogers, Duke Ihenacho, and Trenton Robinson.

—It appeared that Colt McCoy got the majority of the second-team snaps with Kirk Cousins working with the third. It was the opposite arrangement on Tuesday.

—On one snap, Preston Smith lined up to defend slot receiver Andre Roberts. It looked like Smith stayed with the receiver but the ball was thrown to the other side. That’s something to keep an eye on in Richmond.

—In a red zone drill Robert Griffin III hit Logan Paulsen with a nice toss on a fade route. Paulsen was very close to the sideline and the defense claimed that he was out of bounds. From where I was it was hard to tell. Still a good pass either way.

—Still in the red zone a bit later, Roberts had a well-placed pass over the middle bounce out of his hands. Justin Rogers nearly came up with the ball after tipping it a couple of times. It would have been a nice play but Rogers probably should have made the interception.

—On the first snap of seven on seven in the red zone, Griffin took his time looking around for a receiver. Jay Gruden did not appear to be happy with him.

—A few plays later Griffin got rid of the ball quickly. Although the pass was incomplete Gruden stepped up to his QB and gave him some praise.

—McCoy came in and threw a bad, late pass into the end zone that rookie Tevin Mitchel intercepted.

—The kickoff return unit that took the field first had Evan Spencer, Kyshoen Jarrett, Matt Jones, Will Compton, and Trenton Robinson along the front line. Among those playing deep were Adam Hayward and Akeem Davis. There was no returner for this particular drill.

—Arie Kouandjio jumped on a hard count, turning a third and three into a third and eight. He ran a lap. Gruden seems determined to reduce such mental errors this season.

—Trent Murphy had a very good day, spending a lot of time in the offensive backfield. He beat both Brandon Scherff and Tom Compton on multiple occasions.

—Matt Jones got just a few yards on a quick hitter up the middle before what would have been a heck of a collision between him and linebacker Adam Hayward, who was in perfect position to lay on a big hit had they been wearing pads. Gruden pointed out after practice that Jones was running upright because of the non-contact nature of the practices.

—Jamison Crowder had a bad drop on Tuesday. He made it up at least in part with a nice, leaping catch of a Cousins pass in the end zone.

—Ran in to Scot McCloughan on the way down to the practice field. He mention that he was very happy with the rookie class “both on and off the field.” The GM likes the way they pay attention in meetings and generally how they conduct themselves. The coaches have been paying similar compliments to the rookies.

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For Redskins, will shorter term with full guarantees get a Cousins deal done?

For Redskins, will shorter term with full guarantees get a Cousins deal done?

The prevailing notion around the Redskins negotiations with Kirk Cousins on a long-term deal seem to center around a five-year contract, especially after the Raiders reached a five-year extension with Derek Carr, their young star quarterback. 

Much group think points to a similar deal between Cousins and the Redskins. If you're Cousins, however, why sign?

The Redskins passer has all the leverage in the situation. He's got $20 million in the bank from the 2016 season, and he's due $24 million this season on the franchise tag. All guaranteed. 

RELATED: What is the risk for Kirk Cousins in terms of a deal?

Washington team president Bruce Allen has repeatedly talked about team options for 2018. Those options would be a $28 million transition tag or another franchise tag at $34 million. Expensive options. Cousins has repeatedly talked about market value, and how he has little choice in what happens. 

One area Cousins has control: signing a multi-year contract. 

The longer this thing drags out, it seems more and more likely Cousins will play on the tag in 2017. While it might seem crazy, the Redskins have strongly suggested another tag is in play for 2018. 

That means Cousins would be in D.C. at least two more seasons. As Grant Paulsen reported, last offseason the Cousins camp was looking for a three-year deal with all guaranteed money, based on the 2016 franchise tag salary of about $20 million.

Could a similar, albeit more costly, deal get done now based on the 2017 franchise tag? Three years, $24 million per, all guaranteed?

Cousins knows, and has said, that the team can keep him at least two more seasons. The Redskins also know, should they use the transition tag to save some money, Cousins can walk with hardly any compensation next offseason. Is the organization brave enough to try a non-exclusive franchise tag in 2018? Cousins would likely be quick to sign a one-year deal at $34 million, and teams could wait for him to hit free agency in 2019.

The Redskins are low on options. Maybe less years makes more sense for Cousins, and maybe, just maybe, that can get a deal done. 

Washington might want a long-term deal, but after messing up this contract situation for two years, maybe now they should take what they can get. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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

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Picking 10 Redskins players to protect in a hypothetical NFL expansion draft

Picking 10 Redskins players to protect in a hypothetical NFL expansion draft

With the NHL adding a team in Las Vegas and the league's expansion draft taking place Wednesday, the internet started thinking about a hypothetical NFL expansion draft.

Since it's June and there's more than a month until training camp, why not give it a shot with the Redskins in mind? 

Remember the rules: In the NHL, no first- or second-year players were eligible for the Vegas Knights to pluck, so the same applies here. Nobody in the last year of their deal, either.

Going off of those parameters, check out this list of Redskins players who'd be wise to protect against possible expansion.

  1. Kirk Cousins - Obvious. Every team needs a QB, and with a long-term deal or not, Cousins is very likely under contract with the Redskins at least for the next two seasons. That has a huge amount of value.
  2. Jordan Reed - This contract jumps big time in 2018, but Reed is arguably the best tight end in the NFL. An elite route runner and gifted athlete, in his last 17 starts Reed has posted more than 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns. The only thing that can slow Reed is his health, and that's a guy any team would want. 
  3. Trent Williams - Five straight Pro Bowls and perhaps the best left tackle in football makes this is a gimme. Williams is under contract through 2020, and by then, the money will seem like a bargain. 
  4. Jamison Crowder - Only two years left on his rookie deal, Crowder probably has the most valuable contract on the Redskins roster. Poised for his first 1,000 yard season in 2017, Crowder should emerge as one of the best slot WRs in the NFL. 
  5. Brandon Scherff - He was drafted to play tackle but it quickly became obvious that guard was the correct spot. Even with the shift in position, Scherff made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and looks primed to do the same for the next five years. Still on a rookie deal for two more years too. 
  6. Josh Norman - Don't be surprised that the first five protected players on this list come from the offense. Norman is an elite talent, yet he's being paid as such. In 2017, he will make $20 million. From 2018 to 2020, he will make at least $14.5 million per season. His skills are undeniable, but if you're building a team from scratch, that's a lot of salary cap. 
  7. Ryan Kerrigan - Pencil him in for double digit sacks. Count on him to work hard. Oh yeah, his contract runs through 2020. This one is easy. 
  8. Morgan Moses - Fresh off a new deal that will keep him with the Redskins through 2022, Moses is developing into one of the top right tackles in football. This contract would get snatched up in an expansion draft.
  9. Preston Smith - Two years left on his rookie deal and he still has all the potential in the world. Smith flashed serious sack potential as a rookie but fell off a bit in his second season. Year 3 will tell a lot, but in an expansion situation, the Redskins would rather have him than lose him.
  10. D.J. Swearinger - New to the Redskins, sure, but he played quite well for the Cardinals in 2016. Washington is desperate for some stability in the back end of the secondary, and Swearinger should provide it. Plus, he's signed through 2019. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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