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Redskins will have 11 key players going into the final year of their contracts

Redskins will have 11 key players going into the final year of their contracts

With all the talk of the one-year contracts the Redskins have been handing out lately, here is a look at the Redskins who are slated to be unrestricted free agents in 2018.

We’ll divide them into three categories with the caveat that a lot could happen to change this outlook between now and early March of 2018. One will be core players and others the Redskins are likely to want to re-sign next year. Then there are players who are likely to on the roster this year but the Redskins might want to let walk in 2018. The third category is players who are on the bubble for making the roster this year.

Core players (11)

  • RB Chris Thompson
  • ILB Will Compton
  • ILB Mason Foster
  • ILB Zach Brown
  • WR Terrelle Pryor
  • QB Kirk Cousins
  • K Dustin Hopkins
  • OLB Trent Murphy
  • OT Morgan Moses
  • C Spencer Long
  • CB Bashaud Breeland

The key player here, of course, is Cousins. If he is around it will either be on a tag that will cost from $28-$34 million or on a long-term contract that could take up about $15-$20 million in cap space. In either case a deal would squeeze their ability to pay some of the other players.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 7.0

The draft is likely to have an affect here. One or two of the inside linebackers could be removed from the “core” list if the Redskins take one early in the draft. A wide receiver taken in the first two days of the draft could make Pryor a lower priority.

The Redskins could reduce the number of names on this list prior to 2018. They have until July 15 to get a long-term deal done with Cousins. Thompson and Compton have not signed their restricted free agent tenders and they could negotiate multiyear contracts rather than playing on their one-year tenders. Murphy, Moses, Long, and Breeland were drafted in 2014 and they are now eligible to get their deals redone.

2018 bubble (7)

  • OLB Junior Galette
  • G Shawn Lauvao
  • WR Brian Quick
  • TE Niles Paul
  • DB Will Blackmon
  • DB DeAngelo Hall
  • WR Ryan Grant

There are a few of sub-groups in this category. Galette and Paul must demonstrate that they can stay healthy and could be 2018 core players if they do. Quick and Grant have not produced much in their careers and the Redskins might want to move on if their careers don’t start to blossom. Hall, Blackmon and Lauvao will all be over 30 and the team may want to go younger and cheaper.

MORE REDSKINS: Will McCaffrey be there at No. 17?

2017 bubble (6)

  • NT Phil Taylor
  • TE Derek Carrier
  • LB Chris Carter
  • CB Tharold Simon
  • S Josh Evans
  • OL Vinston Painter

This list pretty much explains itself. These are players who will have to battle hard to avoid being free agents after the Redskins cut their roster to 53 on September 2.

Salary cap space

How much money will the Redskins have to work with? With so many free agents they will have a lot of cap space. With the contracts they have as of this moment they are about $67 million under the projected $178 million cap. The only major addition that we know will happen here is the salaries of their 2017 draft picks. Depending on how many of their 10 picks they keep that will add about $5-$7 million to their expenditures. Barring contract extensions to veterans they should go into 2018 with roughly $60 million in cap space.

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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The due date of Kirk Cousins' baby is getting closer to a critical part of the NFL schedule

The due date of Kirk Cousins' baby is getting closer to a critical part of the NFL schedule

Once upon a time, one Redskins quarterback infamously announced that he was all in for Week 1. The Redskins' current QB, however, is most certainly not.

While talking to the media on Wednesday at his team's OTAs, Kirk Cousins said that the baby he and his wife, Julie, are expecting is projected to come earlier than the couple originally thought. That's, of course, tremendous news for the two, but it could also present a large issue due to what Cousins does for a living.

"Yeah, the baby's due in mid-September," he said. "Was supposed to be Week 2, but we got the 20-week ultrasound and they moved it up a week. So, we're looking for around Week 1, between Week 1 and Week 2. We're praying that it'll come on a day where it doesn't conflict with any important football matters."

MORE REDSKINS: A FULL SCOUTING REPORT ON EACH OF WASHINGTON'S OPPONENTS

Again — congratulations to Kirk and Julie. Babies are fun and cute and they're worth a ton of Instagram likes and, overall, they're something worth celebrating. But when Cousins says he's hoping that the baby arrives on a non-gameday, he's not alone; the Redskins will have a much better shot of beating the Eagles on September 10 if he's under center and not Colt McCoy, after all.

Fortunately, any day that isn't a Sunday during that month should mean that the 28-year-old can enjoy the birth of his first child and Washington can enjoy having their franchise passer take the field in crucial early matchups. And whenever the next member of the Cousins clan finally does show up, Julie is prepared to run the show so her husband can run the offense.

"We're excited, and Julie's been great," Kirk said. "She's just been outstanding the whole time and she's already told me that she's going to carry the weight the first few months so I can focus on football, and she's gonna be a big help. We're looking forward to that. Lots to look forward to right now, I'm in a good place."

RELATED: JAY GRUDEN ON MATT JONES' ABSENCE 

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The biggest addition, strength and question for each Redskins' 2017 opponent

The biggest addition, strength and question for each Redskins' 2017 opponent

You already know the Redskins' 2017 schedule. But do you know what makes each opponent on that schedule a threat, or what pressing question each of those teams needs to answer?

With free agency and the draft in the past, and OTAs now picking up, it's finally time to really start previewing the upcoming NFL season. With that in mind, CSNmidatlantic.com has created a gallery that does just that. 

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S SCOUTING REPORT ON EACH OF THE REDSKINS' 2017 OPPONENTS

Look no further than the link above or below to find out the new faces the Redskins will be dealing with starting this fall, as well as where their foes are strongest. Plus, you'll get a look at a to-do item the 13 franchises that Washington's slated to play must address out in order for their own campaigns to be successful. 

As a Redskins fan, you're familiar with all things Burgundy and Gold. Allow this gallery to update you on everyone else.

CLICK HERE FOR CSN'S SCOUTING REPORT ON EACH OF THE REDSKINS' 2017 OPPONENTS