Quick Links

Skins’ punter battle remains close

Skins’ punter battle remains close

There are those who think that Washington Redskins punter Derrick Frost saved his job on Saturday night by punting for a nice average in the Skins' dismal defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers. It appeared to them that he got a leg up, so to speak, on rookie Durant Brooks by averaging 51.3 yards on his eight punts.

Not so fast.

To be sure, Frosty boomed his kicks. They traveled 50, 65, 46, 46, 49, 50, 40, 56, and 58 yards. With a performance like that, you have to give the job to the veteran, don't you?

Something tells me that Danny Smith wasn't as impressed with Frost's performance as the casual TV viewer might have been. As far as Frost's kicks went in one direction, the Panthers negated much of the yardage with returns in the other direction.

Jason Carter, to be specific, ran back seven of Frost's eight punts. His runbacks covered 4, 18, 10, 5, 8, 18, and 30 yards. One punt, the 56-yarder, went into the end zone for a touchback. The Panthers started inside the 20 zero times after Frost's punts.

That all adds up to a very pedestrian net of 37.1 yards a kick. That's not awful, just mediocre. It's not the kind of performance that forces a team to jettison a draft pick and go with the veteran.

That said, it's not like Brooks has been lighting it up in the net yardage category either. He averaged 33.5 against the Colts and 33.8 against the Jets. That's at the bottom end of mediocre. It's not the kind of performance that will force a team to whack a veteran to keep a player just because he's a sixth-round draft pick.

The battle for the roster spot remains very close. I still have Brooks as a very slight favorite but it would not surprise me in the least if Frost remained the team's punter.

Neither punter has distinguished himself in the preseason games. It's said that if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. It's starting to look like the same deal for the Redskins with their punters.

Quick Links

Who else could be trade partners with the Redskins in a Cousins deal?

Who else could be trade partners with the Redskins in a Cousins deal?

With the offensive and defensive coordinators now in place, the Redskins now turn their attention to two other matters.

One is the NFL combine, which gets underway on February 28. The other is the NFL franchise tag deadline, which happens to come the very next day, on March 1.

There has been plenty of talk lately about the possibility of the Redskins giving Kirk Cousins the franchise tag designation and then trading him if they don’t think that they will be able to sign him to a long-term deal.

While one team, the 49ers, has been talked about as a potential landing spot for Cousins they would not be the only interested team if there is going to be a deal.

Let’s take a look at what teams might be moderately interested or highly interested.

RELATED: GRUDEN'S FATE WITH REDSKINS HINGES ON MANUSKY

49ers (2-14)
Head coach:
Vacant, but will be Kyle Shanahan after the Super Bowl
First-round pick: No. 2
2016 leading passer: Colin Kaepernick

Connecting the dots here is easy as Shanahan was the offensive coordinator when Cousins was drafted by the Redskins in 2012. There would be no need for the two to get familiar with each other; they had two years to do that. Cousins seems like a natural fit in Shanahan’s offense. The 49ers are likely to move on from Kaepernick rather than taking his $19.4 million cap hit. They may try to move that No. 2 pick, or a package of other picks, to try to get Cousins. Anticipated interest: High

Bears (3-13)
Head coach:
John Fox
First-round pick: No. 3
2016 leading passer: Matt Barkley

This is the year that the Bears can finally move on from Jay Cutler without taking a crippling cap hit. Releasing Cutler, who played in just five games last year due to injury, would cost them just $2 million in dead cap. But do they really want to move on from Cutler, who wasn’t bad the last two years he was able to play? If they do, it seems unlikely that they would part with the No. 3 pick. Anticipated interest: Moderate

RELATED: 2017 MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Jets (5-11)
Head coach:
Todd Bowles
First-round pick: No. 6
2016 leading passer: Ryan Fitzpatrick

In the last four drafts, the Jets have spent a second-round pick on Geno Smith, a fourth on Bryce Petty and a second on Christian Hackeberg. Smith is on his way out, Petty was shaky in four starts last year and Hackenberg didn’t see the field as a rookie. It would not be surprising to see them shop for an established, young-ish starter like Cousins. The No. 6 pick might be too much for Cousins. Another factor to consider is if Cousins would agree to a long-term deal to play in New York. They would have to carve out some cap space to get a deal done; they currently are $7.7 million over the anticipated cap. Anticipated interest: Moderate

Browns (1-15)
Head coach:
Hue Jackson
First-round pick: No. 1 and No. 12
2016 leading passer: Cody Kessler

Robert Griffin III is under contract for 2017 with a $6 million salary plus a $1.5 million roster bonus that the Browns can move on from for a relatively modest $1.75 million cap hit. It would not be outrageous for them to deal the No. 12 pick for Cousins. The question is if Cousins would want to be the latest QB to join the Browns’ Trail of Tears. Anticipated interest: Moderate

Other possibilities: The Cardinals might wonder if Carson Palmer’s slide from MVP candidate to mediocrity will continue and look to bring in an alternative . . . The Broncos can’t be happy with Trevor Simeon as their long-term starter and if they didn’t like what they saw from Paxton Lynch they might want to deal. But John Elway isn’t going to overpay . . . It will be another year before the Texans can move on from Brock Osweiler without a killer cap hit but they could just bench him and bring in their long-term answer a year early . . . Blake Bortles has just one more year left on his rookie deal and the Jaguars may move to get his replacement this year.

Note: The Rams are not mentioned here despite the presence of Sean McVay. They gave up a lot of draft picks to move up to No. 1 overall to take Jarred Goff last year and while he struggled they are not going to move on from him after one season. 

RELATED: MOST IMPORTANT REDSKINS FREE AGENTS

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Quick Links

The Final Countdown - Ryan Kerrigan saves the day in 5th best Redskins play

The Final Countdown - Ryan Kerrigan saves the day in 5th best Redskins play

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and at the 10 worst.

No. 5 best play of 2016

Redskins at Eagles Week 14

0:21 left in Q4, Eagles ball at their Redskins 14, 2nd and 10, Redskins leading 27-22

Carson Wentz sacked at WAS 22 for -8 yards (Ryan Kerrigan). FUMBLES (Kerrigan) [Kerrigan], RECOVERED by WAS-Trent Murphy at WAS 27. Murphy to WAS 34 for 7 yards (Ryan Mathews).

More Redskins: Podcast--All eyes now on Cousins

Tandler: The Redskins were trying desperately to end a two-game losing streak but the Eagles just wouldn’t go away. Washington scored the go-ahead touchdown on a Chris Thompson run but then had to keep the Eagles out of the end zone to secure the win. The Redskins did but just barely. The rookie Wentz drove his team into the red zone. The drama finally ended when Kerrigan blew past Philly’s third-string tackle and knocked the ball away from Wentz. Murphy scooped it up and a key win that was much more tense than it should have been was in the books.

Related: Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky

Finlay: This game started bad for the Redskins, as the Eagles took the opening kick and scored, a troubling trend for Washington in the back half of the season. Eventually, the Redskins offense looked like it was poised to take control, only to have Kirk Cousins throw a bad out route that got turned around for a Pick 6. Late in the game, needing a score desperately to break a losing streak and climb back into playoff contention, the 'Skins delivered. Then, more drama as the rookie drove the length of the field before Kerrigan's sack ended the Philly comeback hopes. When folks incorrectly say that Kerrigan's 11 sack total didn't amount to much game impact, remind them of this play. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!