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Why the Cleveland Browns might be a legitimate landing spot for Kirk Cousins

Why the Cleveland Browns might be a legitimate landing spot for Kirk Cousins

For a signal caller looking to take the next step in his career, the consensus around the NFL is that Cleveland isn't the best spot to do so, and for good reason. The constant quarterback and coaching turnover that happens in the Browns organization makes them the antithesis of stable.

Therefore, when a report this week stated that there may be some intrigue between Kirk Cousins and the league's worst team, a fair amount of eyebrows were raised. But in a new #RedskinsTalk podcast, Redskins Insider JP Finlay and NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo discussed the merits of playing in Cleveland (yes, that sentence was intentionally included in this story and is not a mistake).

"I feel like Cleveland is looking for a veteran option," Garafolo told Finlay. "I really believe that."

"Hue Jackson wants to win now," he continued. "That feeling of losing that he had last year did not sit well with him, and he got emotional at a few points during the season. So I think he's looking to turn this thing around quickly, and not make this a longer rebuild. And the way you do that is with a veteran quarterback."

So far, most have only made a connection between Cousins and his former coach Kyle Shanahan, who's now in charge of the 49ers. But Jackson has a reputation similar to Shanahan's of being a guy who's desirable to play for, even with his unsightly 1-15 record from 2016.

MORE REDSKINS: GRUDEN ANTICIPATES THAT COUSINS WILL BE QB NEXT YEAR

In addition, even with Tuesday's news that the Redskins placed an exclusive franchise tag on No. 8, a trade is still possible between Washington and another franchise, which is why Garafolo "could see [the Browns] certainly emerging as a strong candidate for Cousins."

Another thing to consider is Cousins' aspiration to suit up for a team that wants him, something he's made clear in recent months. If he doesn't feel that way with the Burgundy and Gold, he could force their hand by not agreeing to a long-term deal (if he's offered one), which in turn could push the Redskins to trade him to ensure they get something for him.

Garafolo can also see that affecting how the next few months go.

"The other thing you got to remember about Cousins," he said, "is that he's so frustrated with the lack of a commitment from the Redskins now, that a team that is going to be able to convince him, 'Hey come here...we've got the right plan, we'll build around you, I'm a quarterback friendly coach,' you know what? That may be enough to sell him."

Cousins has already formed a nice relationship with one former Bengals offensive coordinator in Jay Gruden. In Jackson, there's potential there to form another. And if the Browns work hard enough and the Redskins don't, what at first seemed like a longshot may not end up being one. 

For the full conversation about Cousins and the Browns, plus Garafolo's thoughts on Colt McCoy as Redskins starter in 2017, listen to the #RedskinsTalk podcast below. And don't forget to subscribe.

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Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Need to Know: Redskins’ needs line up well with the strength of the draft

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, April 25, one day before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 16
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 28
—Training camp starts (7/27) 92
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 137

Wrapping up the Redskins pre-draft presser

We’ve looked at a some of what Redskins college scouting director Scott Campbell said during his pre-draft press conference on Monday, covering possible trades, who makes the final call on those trades, and how the organization handles character issues. Here are a few more bullet points from Campbell’s presser:

—Asked if the Redskins would draft to fill needs or take the best available player, Campbell gave the stock answer. “I guess as you asked the question, you kind of framed it and the way I’m going to frame the answer, and the age-old answer of ‘I’m going to take the best player available,’” he said “And if that serves your needs, that’s a bonus.” So, there you go. That said, don’t be surprised if the best players as defined by the Redskins in the first few also happen have the “bonus” of filling one the team’s top two or three needs.

—The needs could line up well because the strength of the draft as Campbell sees it coincides with side of the ball where the Redskins need the most help. “Well, I’m excited because I think it’s one of the strongest, deepest classes on the defensive side of the ball that I’ve seen,” he said. “I’ve told the guys upstairs I’m excited because we’re going to get better . . . And several different positions – sometimes it’s just maybe defensive line or outside backers or corners. Across the board on defense, I’m really excited about the class and the guys we’re going to bring in are going to help us.”

—The draft board is still used after the draft ends and the scramble for undrafted free agents starts up. “There’s going to be guys left on the bottom of that board that didn’t get drafted that we had rated as draftable,” said Campbell. “So that’s our No. 1 targets. I assign a scout to all the coaches, and really the coaches talk to the players – once the draft ends, let me be clear, it’s after the draft ends when we start making calls – the scouts are on the phone with the agent finding out what our competition is, how much.” Campbell said that money isn’t much of a factor in recruiting the undrafted players; selling opportunity is the key.

—The draft board was influenced by former GM Scot McCloughan but adjustments have been made since he was fired in early March. “Well, he certainly had influence on it because we all met as we always did the last couple of years and every team does. You meet right after the all-star games before you go to the combine and kind of get an initial ranking of how you like the guys. Of course Scot hadn’t been here since, so just like when he was here before, there’s adjustments being made to the board with the new information.”

—The 2016 draft class did not contribute a lot but does not mean that there is more pressure on the organization to do better this year. The pressure is always there regardless. “Always pressure. Every year’s pressure,” said Campbell. “I grew up in an NFL household. My dad was a coach and a player for 40 years. Pressure every year to perform, that’s what the NFL is. You’ve got to perform every year.” His father was Marion Campbell who played in the NFL for eight years and then coached for 21 seasons including stints as the head coach of the Eagles and Falcons.

—Campbell also asked for a little patience with the 2016 draft class, citing a group from a few years ago. “It takes a couple of years to develop a class,” said Campbell. “People are saying the ‘14 class had some success. Well, if I read articles and see what happened and what was said right after that draft, our grades in the mock drafts were not very good. It takes time. Morgan Moses didn’t start his first year, you know, but he’s come on to be one of the best right tackles in the league. That’s my opinion anyway. It takes time to develop. I still think with time, that class [2016] will be just fine.” I guess I buried the lede here—Campbell reads draft grades.

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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Redskins 2017 NFL Draft preview: What you need to know about the Redskins' draft

Redskins 2017 NFL Draft preview: What you need to know about the Redskins' draft

The 2017 NFL Draft isn't officially here, but it's very near. And for the Washington Redskins, this year's NFL Draft brings with it a lot of intrigue.

The Redskins are coming off an 8-7-1 season and are in the middle of an offseason that's included a lot of change. Therefore, the team needs to ace their 2017 NFL Draft and bring in a rookie class with a lot of talent. 

How will they do that, though? Starting with pick No. 17, will the Redskins draft a player based on need or based on their board? And which prospects would be the best fits for Washington?

Scroll through CSNmidatlantic.com's 2017 Redskins draft preview for the most in-depth coverage of the team's draft you'll find before the big night.

What will the Redskins' draft strategy be for the 2017 Draft?

 

 

 

What are the Redskins' biggest draft needs? 

 

 

 

  • Feeling a safety? Malik Hooker and Budda Baker both figure to be in the mix when the Redskins first pick on Thursday night.

 

What are mock drafts projecting the Redskins to do at No. 17?

 

 

 

 

Other Redskins draft storylines that Redskins fans should know

 

 

Draft busts: 15 draft busts taken in Round 1

NFL Draft history: The best players taken 17th overall