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Training Camp Rapid Fire

Training Camp Rapid Fire

I've gotten behind a bit, but since I'm not a slave to the 24-hour news cycle, here are some rapid-fire comments about some events over the past few days:

Fan Appreciation Day a clusterbomb

Go look up "debacle" in the dictionary and you'll see a picture of traffic in a virtual standstill on the Loudon County Parkway and on Waxpool Road in Ashburn on Saturday. Some genius—or, more likely, a committee of geniuses—decided it would be a good idea to put on a free event on a Saturday afternoon featuring the area's most popular sports team and to hold that event at a venue that is served by one road that narrows from four to two lanes.

The result was several thousand fans being "appreciated" by being turned away at the gate, while those who make it inside the gates, many of them well after the event started, saw the scrimmage cut short.

This same organization, as you know, owns at stadium that could have swallowed up Saturday's event no problem. But FedEx Field just sat there on Saturday. So did numerous high school stadiums in the vicinity.

This PR staff is the gang that can't shoot straight. If the Redskins keep treating their fans like this, they'll be lucky if they get 280 of them at such events in the future.

Kerry Brown Cut

I was among a group of people who thought that this 6-5, 305 undrafted free agent out of Appalachian State could be among the surprises of camp with a legit chance of sticking around on the practice squad. The Redskins cut him on Saturday after he strained his left shoulder earlier in the week. They simply had to get some healthy bodies in and evidently Brown was at the bottom of the depth chart, behind fellow UDFA Andrew Crummey of Maryland.

Montgomery to miss 2-4 weeks

Anthony Montgomery will miss 2-4 weeks after surgery to repair his broken hand, not the 10 days initially estimated. He'll still get in a preseason game or two but practice time is important for a third-year player who still is learning on the job.

Blades on the shelf

This is a bit more significant than the one to Montgomery as linebacker is a very thin position on this team. There are nine of them counting Blades and Rian Wallace, who also broke his hand on Saturday and who also will miss 2-4 weeks. Rocky McIntosh still isn't participating 100% in practices. The Redskins were going watching the waiver wire to try to find a veteran LB anyway, this might make that search a more urgent one.

Collins' learning curve

Jason Campbell has had to learn eight new offenses in his past nine football seasons. Todd Collins will be learning his second after 10 seasons in Al Saunders' scheme. So far, Campbell is adapting while Collins is struggling. Collins was the world's foremost authority on the Saunders' offense and that knowledge helped him out immeasurably when he came in for an injured Campbell late last year and spearheaded the playoff drive. Without that edge, will he become just another hack journeyman backup?

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Trent Williams promises that the best has yet to come from him

Trent Williams promises that the best has yet to come from him

If you took 100 random NFL fans and asked them to name the best player in the league, there's a very strong chance none of the 100 would say Trent Williams, the Redskins left tackle who clears paths like a snowplow. But according to an in-depth ranking system published a few weeks ago from Bleacher Report, Williams is in fact the correct answer.

The system, called NFL1000, is supposed to "bring exposure" to players who aren't as appreciated as they should be, and in the eyes of the analysts who built the rankings, no one should be appreciated more than Williams, who beat out Tyron Smith and Aaron Rodgers for the top spot. But that's still not the peak of his performance, the lineman says.

No. 71 apparently just got a hold of the NFL1000 list, and in a Wednesday Instagram post that featured it, he said his "best is yet to be seen." Sorry, opposing pass rushers.

In addition to that accolade from Bleacher Report, Pro Football Focus chose Williams as their highest-rated offensive lineman, and the Professional Football Writers of America assigned him to their All-NFC team. It wasn't a perfect year for the Pro Bowler, however, as he was suspended for four games during a critical stretch in the season's second half (the Redskins were 2-2 without him).

Nevertheless, because an offensive lineman is often doing his job best when you aren't hearing his name called, it can be easy to take someone like Williams for granted. These types of awards, though, show the 28-year-old's value — value that he says will continue to climb in 2017. 

MORE REDSKINS: SETTING THE ODDS ON WHAT THE 'SKINS WILL DO WITH COUSINS

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Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Need to Know: The early odds on what happens with Redskins and Cousins

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 19, 98 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 42
NFL free agency starts 50
First Sunday of 2017 season 235

The coordinator search and more

As noted above, we have 42 days until the deadline for the Redskins to put the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. The immediate future of the franchise is contingent this situation being handled correctly by the organization. It’s time to turn the attention and the $100 in imaginary casino chips towards what might happen with Cousins as the process unfold. We will revisit this from time to time as the various deadlines approach so consider this the early odds.

Sign before the tag deadline, $5—This seems unlikely after his rather cold response to my question immediately following the season-ending loss to the Giants when he said, “The ball’s not in my court.” He indicated that it’s up to the Redskins to tag him. It doesn’t look like he and his agent will have much of an inclination to sit down to any serious negotiations before that happens.

Let him go into free agency, $5—Yes, I know that this is out there but it makes no sense to take the chance of the possibility that he could walk with zero compensation. While there might be some logic in finding out what Cousins would be worth in a true free market in order to establish the basis for a fair contract the risk of behind left empty-handed is just too great.

Tag and trade, $20—This also has been discussed by various media types as a possibility. It would involve giving Cousins the non-exclusive franchise tag, which would let him go out and negotiate a deal with another team. The Redskins could then match that offer or choose to get compensation. The CBA calls for compensation of two first-round picks although the two teams may negotiate something less. The most frequently suggested trade partner is the 49ers and their soon-to-be head coach Kyle Shanahan but there are probably around half a dozen teams, maybe more, who could be interested. If the Redskins don’t think they will ever sign Cousins long term this could be the way to go.

Tag and sign by July 15 deadline, $30—This may be a little low for this possibility. Perhaps if the other options are off the table he will consider that he is a perfect match for Jay Gruden’s offense and that he might not be such a good fit elsewhere. There also is the possibility of injury or, for whatever reason, Cousins having a subpar season. Those thoughts could spur him to instruct his agent to get the best deal he can get in Washington.

Tag and play the season on the tag, $40—Right now, this appears to be the mostly likely scenario. They can afford the $24 million cap hit and it would get them one more year of his services. However, the prospects for him remaining in a Redskins uniform for 2018 and beyond would be very cloudy.

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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.